Category: travel

thing 40: ‘today is ours, and today alone’: St Hilda’s Way, part (i)

“It’s a high-risk activity,” the doctor I’d never met told me, down the phone. The man was a stranger and here I was having to talk to him about cramps and diarrhoea so that he could pronounce sagely about the potential for me shitting myself in a field. That’s a possibility? You don’t say.

But St Hilda’s Way had been beckoning for months. We’d booked hotel rooms, consulted local bus timetables, contemplated sawing (more…)

thing 38: ‘all experience is an arch’: the spirituality of travel

I’m lucky enough to be able to say that Grasmere’s not a long way away for me. Pretty much all year round, though, getting up into the Lakes on a Friday involves crawling along in traffic (and though I can’t really blame people for wanting to drink it all in, that doesn’t mean I don’t blame them, vociferously, in the privacy of my own car). (more…)

thing 37: ‘a delightful weekend in the country’: going on holiday (not by mistake), part (iii)

As you’ll have gathered by now, wtak is not a ‘quick, pass me a dolphin so I can swim with it’, bucket list sort of a thing. Not wanting to panic my way through middle age ticking things off and anxiously scuttling onwards, I didn’t Make A List. I have known, though, of a few things I wanted to feature in my fifty, and seeing puffins was one of them. No idea why. It just was. And today, all being well, was the day.

Suan and I drove to Seahouses and parked near the harbour, whence (more…)

thing 37: ‘a delightful weekend in the country’: going on holiday (not by mistake), part (ii)

The ‘Yikes’ moment: when Shaggy and Scoob have been running so fast, legs ablur, that they don’t notice they’ve gone off the edge of the cliff—then realise and, with a wail, start plummeting. I love that: it captures an emotional experience I recognise. But, oh dear. If I’m giving existential readings of cartoons, maybe I’ve been a counsellor too long. Maybe I’m feeling unusual.

When Suan and I got back to (more…)

thing 37: ‘a delightful weekend in the country’: going on holiday (not by mistake), part (i)

Okay, so it’s not exactly the country. And it’s not a weekend, more of a week. Well, 5½ days. But there hasn’t been nearly enough Uncle Monty here at wtak; and besides, I was definitely starting to drift into the arena of the unwell—too much work, too many difficult things going on. So it was time to stop. Or go, then stop. So off I went.

For me, holidaying alone—I love the slightly quaint feel of “holiday” as a verb—can be a tricky undertaking, both in the conceiving and in the doing thereof. I can well see that a few days away, alone, might (more…)