Friday, 22 May 2009


Some days I look like I dressed in the dark

If I pack a few days early I will always feel the need to empty everything out at 6.30am on the day of travel, and re-pack in a muddle, with an extra top I won’t wear

My suitcase on wheels hates me

No matter how much I aim for ‘elegant traveller’ I get ‘harassed bag-lady’

If I have heavy bags I always have to run for a train

My hair has gone free-range in the excitement

If I go away I nearly always forget to take something crucial (this time my brush)

As you may have surmised, I am off for the bank holiday! I will be pegging it down to Euston train station after work to meet good friend R and then we will set off for a Famous Five adventure (minus two others and Timmy the dog). We are heading north to the Lake District, where will spend daylight hours striding over hill and dale, and twilight hours in cosy pubs with ale and pie. I am taking chapter five to glance at occasionally and fret, and R is taking paints and sketch pad. I am also taking waterproofs galore… oh the glamour of the ‘mac-in-a-pack’. Oh the style of waterproof trousers. For some reason I went for navy… perfect in case I ever have to do community service, or wish to become a refuse collector. In fact, my whole hiking wardrobe has been cobbled together from various snowboarding holidays, bygone school day-trips to France, and my entire collection of fleece jumpers. None of it matches, is a brand name, or even really is the same colour, thinking about it. *hangs head*

Still, some hikers are rather eccentric, aren’t they? I’ll probably blend in quite well. I remember my last visit to the Lakes six years ago, winding our way ever higher in the grey drizzle, and finally reaching the peak to find clusters of determined people sitting in the rain and howling gale grimly eating sandwiches. They are a strange lot at times. But that is why I like it.

I take the same motto as the scouts when thinking about holidaying in England – ‘be prepared’. As long as I am warm and dry then I have no problem with our weather – rain, sun, buffeting wind – it’s nice to smell the green and feel alive. I like the sense of time walking gives you, the feeling that nothing is rushed, and the way the hills seem to whisper ‘let it go’ about all your problems. City worries seem mindless and petty in the face of nature. We endure, we last forever, the hills and sky seem to say. When you realise that, then it is perfectly fine to sit back and watch the clouds.


musicobsessive said...

Sounds wonderful. My favourite weather is that sort of blustery rain-in-the-air yet strangely warm type that seems native to the British Isles and if it coincides with great scenery, it is heaven on earth.

You don't fancy taking two extremely noisy kids with you, do you? I could do with a break myself...

Jayne said...

It was so lovely - my favourite part was when we reached the top of some crag and the weather changed from mild to rain - you should have seen the speed in which hikers went from t-shirt wearing strollers to head to toe in waterproofs. It was instant lock down in about two seconds flat. I was very impressed!