Just about bordering on odd, I see things through different eyes.The heading says it all - I live, I love, I craft, I am me...

04/04/2021

Big skies

A savoury pasta sauce is quietly bubbling away in the kitchen - one I have made before (52newrecipes) and the scent has just reached us.  I attempted a post yesterday, written several paragraphs, included photos, however was not happy with the underlying tone I'd managed to weave through. My blog is not a place for me to rant, it is a place where I share things that have warmed my heart, made me smile, made me feel positive - things and people I love.  So yesterday's wafflings felt jarring and ugly and quite petty - so everything was deleted. There is enough discordance around for me not to add my rather sour tuppence worth. And breathe ....

The temperature said 9 deg c but it certainly felt cooler, the sharp breeze definitely saw to that. We celebrated Sunday with our first family get together for what feels like years. We sat in the garden, appropriately distanced whilst swathed in blankets, coats and hats, hugging hot water bottles and mugs of tea as we ate chocolate cake and nattered.

We did a 'practice run' yesterday, following the sun, watching where the breeze was slipping in and it was a warm and sunny day. Today was so not that - it was bracing, it was fresh but it was with family 😊 so the warmth was of a very different kind - one we have missed for what feels for so long.


Friday was a lovely day -  a rare blue sky, one so big and so deep that it reached from horizon to horizon and filled my eyes and my heart. 

We packed the van with a packed lunch, flasks, dog towel and nibbles, camera, coats and boots and we found ourselves a quiet back water path. We knew that the first bit would probably have a number of folk and there was - so we stepped around them and soon left the well trod path for a lesser quieter one. I have been asked if we are afraid of folk due to the pandemic - No, definitely not afraid - even now, we just dislike crowds and have always avoided them if possible. Today was no different.


In the base of the flat flat glacial valley, a wide shallow stream burbled over rocks and pebbles, Moss of course took the direct route and plunged into the chilly waters. We took the more sensible (or boring if you are a dilly dog) footbridge over the crystal clear stream then continued upward on to the valley sides.

Himself and I stopped on the crest of a small hill and looked back over the view we'd just walked through. The colours of the valley are turning a delightful spring-like green. Trees are still bare but the grass and the hedges are developing hints of a delicious fresh growth. 

We drank tea and ate lemon drizzle cake while we listened to the warbling trilling songs from the skylarks. It is only the males that sing, defending their territory and advertising their availability to the lady larks - it is a wonderful melodic saga which fills the sky and heralds spring.

Mugs drained, crumbs brushed away we start our walk again, dropping down off the crest into a moorland field full of rushes and wild grasses. We could smell the 'green' of the sap filled leaves and stems as our boots bruised the grasses along the path.

In places the hillside oozed spring water and cows had made muddy quagmire patches. Himself and I carefully hopped across while Moss took this as the perfect opportunity to top up her mud levels.....

Our path took us alongside huge boulders which seemed have been inscribed with giant runic lettering. The stones were warmed by the sun and rough under my fingers.  The path slipped in and out of visibility, wound round reeds and thickets of moorland grasses, leading us further up the valley. A hare dashed out and flew up and over the hill in a blink of an eye - we marvelled at the speed this magical creature - a special moment.

Ahead of us a stoically square farm house sat solidly on the valley bottom, surrounded by nursery fields full of lambs and ewes basking in the sublime spring sunshine. Moss had to go back on her lead, which she cheerfully did as soon as she realised that there were woolly monsters which lived in the field we were just about to enter.


The closer to the farm house we walked, the younger and smaller the lambs. Until we reached the buildings and in the small nursery field alongside the house were tiny twins and triplets sleeping snuggled up to their mother's fleeces. Protected from the still chilly breeze and warmed by the sun.

Through the buildings and out the other side and a couple more long fields full of sheep then suddenly it was just us again so Moss was set free. At the side of the dry riverbed we stopped for a brew and sandwich, the water runs beneath the stones until there are floods then it fills with a roaring torrent of dark mud coloured seething water, however today it was empty and quiet. 
Our lunch was accompanied by the evocative cries of the oystercatchers (I though of Jill), curlews and the distant bleating of lambs. We'd seen no one, apart from the masses queueing at the ice-cream van at the beginning. 
Across the riverbed, then up the bank on to an isolated single track road, this was the first time we saw a fellow walker, a quick covid 2 step and a mutual nod of appreciation acknowledging the precious space.

The off the road, up the opposite side of the valley and the beginning of the return walk - this time along the ridge of the hills. The sun had warmed and the chilly breeze just lazily drifted along.

We stopped at a waterfall for Moss to have a drink and a bit of a wallow. It was both eerie and fascinating listening to the water crash on the rocks a long way down below our feet.
It was a long way down ..... it would be very difficult to get out again without some help.

Higher up where the cervices open out and are less deep, Himself dropped himself down into the stream bed - Moss was not happy and watched him very carefully - only relaxing when I called her and held her tight.

After we explored what we could, we returned to the track and continued along the ridge.  We did not say much - we were just happily absorbing the atmosphere and the air and the sky.


Then finally, reluctantly we'd finished our walk - so at the van, we cracked on the kettle, got out of our boots and fed Moss. Drinking piping hot tea and watching a couple on their mountain bikes going up the path we'd just come down, we agreed that this walk had been amazing. It had been healing, it felt real and it soaked into us and made us feel so so much better.

We have missed this so much - and this walk helped top up the batteries - here is to many more wonderful walks as life becomes easier. Hope you can get out too xx

23 comments:

  1. It looks and sounds like a lovely walk Kate and your words and photos make me feel as if I was there myself. I love the water in the wide stream, it looks so clear - would it be drinkable? - and the first pic of Moss is lovely :)

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    1. Thank you Eunice, it was a lovely one, made all the nicer for being the" first" proper one as restrictions lift

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  2. A cracking walk..all the better for the lack of peoples!
    Writing out your rant did you good, even if you deleted it

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    1. I did rant. Deleting it was cathartic. Walking certainly makes things better!

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  3. That does look like a fabulous walk ... I know what you mean about crowds ... we much prefer to be the only ones around. I also know what you mean about blog content ... I tend to keep mine light and bright ... there is enough doom and gloom and ranting and raving about without me adding to it. I’m glad your walk did it’s job and restored your equilibrium 😃

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who chooses not to let off steam in my blog, as you say ... there is enough doom and gloom and ranting and raving about without me adding to it x

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  4. Wonderful walk and great photos as always. I am anti-crowds but not anti-people:-) I apologise but I make a beeline for the shots of Moss! Love to see her being Queen of the castle on top of the boulders and of course having a paddle in the waterfall. I wonder though why she is so wary of sheep? It was fascinating to read in your previous comment that she loves the sea too. Walking makes me feel good but I imagine your sort of walks are tremendously exhilarating and therapeutic. keep well Amanda x

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    1. Moss is a failed working farm dog - I suspect it is not sheep she is afraid of but what she associates with them. It has taken a while to work through all her problems - she came very afraid of everything. Knowing a little of the farm/family she came from - the association of human anger and unkindness is what triggers her fear.

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    2. I just cannot imagine anyone being unkind to such a gorgeous dog like Moss.. that is upsetting! On the other hand I am so happy for her that she is with a caring family now and you've been able to give her the love and kindness she deserves. A x

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  5. What a fab walk; all the more so as you were not mixing with hoards of inconsiderate people! Does that comment count as a rant? I've no idea where you walked but I did spot Ingleborough in one of the photos. It would be too far for me but it was good to see you took Moss instead! x

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    1. Your rant is quite polite (compared to how my deleted post had become!) We were in Kingsdale, started at the Ingleton waterfall side of it and walked up to Victoria caves and back - one we have done several times over the years and happy to revisit.

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  6. A beautiful day for a beautiful walk. The scenery is just breathtaking and I felt just like I was walking it with you. The river looks incredibly clear.
    Like yourself, I avoid crowded places and have been pleasantly surprised by the lack of them in the lakes this weekend. X

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    1. The water was crystal clear and icy cold - glad you came with us for the walk!

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  7. Beautiful. So missing being able to head for the hills. Don't think I have ever been confined to East Anglia for so long - not known for its mountains!
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you :) We love heading for the hills, we use them to clear our heads, luckily our village is surrounded by moors and hills, we escaped a lot to them during lockdown whilst we were allowed :)

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  8. Your countryside is so picturesque. I love the sheep and the quaint fencing. I'm inspired to get out for a walk now instead of playing on the computer.

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    1. Oh definitely get out - it will clear your head and make you feel so much better :D

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  9. What a lovely post Kate & like you I've not wanted to post about anything controversial or depressing & also know we've had a little more freedom over the last couple of weeks, so don't want to step on anyone's toes, but our lockdowns can also be instant when we get one new case so that is stopping us doing anything where there might be crowds. We're not good with masses of people either. Your walk brings back so many memories of some we've done when we've been over & I'm always amazed that you can walk across farm fields when here that would be "trespassing" with a huge fine. Thanks for sharing, take care, stay safe & hugs.

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    1. Thanks Susan - we cant just walk anywhere unless it is 'open access land' which tends to be moorland and higher ground, we have to stick to footpaths otherwise we are trespassing. Unfortunately since the lockdown it seems that many folk have forgotten the rules of walking giving walkers a bad name :(

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  10. Looks beautiful and very peaceful. We too try and head to places we hope will be quiet. We are definitely ones for getting up early as well which helps us avoid the crowds. The littering here especially down by the river gets terrible. Definitely can't understand why folks don't take their rubbish home. :( X

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    1. I am saddened (and angered) by the 'new' littering lout that seem to have taken over recently - it is almost as if they have lost their countryside manners - what has gone wrong??

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  11. Thank you for sharing your walk, it was wonderful to read and imagine. Happy Moss, always smiling. Doesn't she ever get tired? 🧡🌼🦴 xx

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  12. What a wonderful walk. I love sharing them with you both and Moss. Sunday was so special being the first family get together. Seeing Eldest and Youngest and their girls was special as we have not seen them properly for ages. It was a freezing cold day but with lots of love and warmth. Thank you for organising it. But do hope the next one is a bit warmer.🧡🌼🦴 xx

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Hi there...

Thank you ever so much for stopping by today - I'm really glad that you did. If you would like to leave me a comment then I would be delighted to hear from you, any one signing as anonymous or writing anything unkind, political, any form of hate or computer generated will be acknowledged as spam and deleted.

Hawthorn x