Traveller's tales

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Youthful wanderings

Wanderings in my youth


Robert L. Fielding

When I was 24, my Dad was 48, and spent his weekends in the garden, while I walked the hills – fresh air blowing the cobwebs away, all that!

The lung bursting climb up Alphin Pike woke me up – no cobwebs up here – backs of legs aching – remnants of last night flushed out in the exertion.

Grouse sprang up from flecked chicks – called out ‘go-back’ to discourage us from coming any nearer - a few more feet to a blackened wall – a hundred years of cotton mill smoke merging with purple heather, the green shoots fed to mewing young – shot later on ‘the glorious 12th’.

Every step up revealed a new level of the hill – an area big enough to play cricket on, unseen ten feet below, and the view back down showed up the foreshortening of looking up.

Ant people at ant bus stops waiting for ant buses to take them into a grey town – gobbled up by old cotton mills - Rome and Cairo, changed now to wallpaper manufacturing or making printed circuit boards for guided missiles – everything’s changed - here almost nothing has.

It was always good to get out of all that – although it never felt like a rat-race – just summat I had to do from first thing to 5, every day until Friday night came.

Writing this, I remember the wanderings in my youth like they were yesterday - sometimes I wish they were!
Robert L. Fielding

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