Saturday, September 10, 2011

Walking With Mothers

Amount of creative activity achieved in last 24 hours: 1
Listening: Ella Fitzgerald, PJ Harvey, Roshi 
Hair Day: greasy
What I can see from my window no. 16: the death of summer. Sob.

I went to the South Peak District for a Walking With Mothers holiday this week, the sort of break where you are ONLY cool if clad in cagoule, walking trousers and the best boots Mountain Warehouse has to offer, ohhh yes.  We had some top walks in the very untouristy White Peak area and enjoyed some brilliant natural wonders:

1) Thor’s Cave was a gaping maw high on a hill in the Manifold Valley, as if blasted straight out of the rock. With its scalp-smooth limestone and pitch-black hollows, it was all my ‘The Descent’ fears come to life: Mum had to force me to use my camera flash to shine into dark tunnels, where I assumed a rubbery mutant would be half-heartedly growling back at me.
2) Chee Valley saw Mum and I venture, Indiana Jones-style, into the mud-and-nettle trails next to the Chee River, glowered on by canyon walls, clambering over stepping stones and trees before the monsoon rains hit and battered us into a taxi rescue.
3) Hen Cloud and The Roaches were marvellous crag-topped hills and ridges with amazing views of the Tittesworth Reservoir.
4) Lud’s Church was a brilliant, forest-hidden chasm 100 yards long, drenched in luminous green ferns with water dripping irregularly like the sound of a clock dying. The Lollards apparently hid here in the 14th century; I just about resisted the urge to run about pretending to be Sir Gawain fighting the Green Knight in the epic poem also thought to be set here, though did clamber up as many sopping rockfaces as as I could and squeezed through some tiny gullies, as is my wont.

Birds of note: grey heron, nuthatch, youngish dipper, yellow wagtail, peregrine falcon, buzzard and kestrel.

Animals of note: hare, stoat, 4 dead badgers.

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