Tag: nature

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 39: ‘what could I do but laugh and go?’: Segwaying

A friend at Cambridge once described me as the only person she knew who would use the word adjunct in a normal sentence.

The same friend noted, one time we went cycling, that I somehow managed to maintain pretty much the same speed whether I was going uphill or down. I’d love to believe this was because I could power up hills with steel-thighed speed, but really I know (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…)