The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 1 March 2009

The Fluidity of Plans

Last Monday evening, after some considerable hours of indecision (and much consideration of weather websites and train timetables), I decided that on Tuesday morning I would pop up to Edale for a couple of days.

My bag was soon packed (thankfully everything was in its correct place in the kit room, rather than strewn all over the house) and I was ready to go.

No sooner had I packed than I noticed that last Wednesday evening was the day of Martin & Sue’s talk on the Dolomites* at Stockport Walking Club and realised that I could feasibly manage to get there whilst still being able to do all the other running around the country that I had scheduled in for Thursday and Friday. At approaching 10pm I bought myself a train ticket to Stockport and then unpacked my just-packed bag.

Fast-forward to Wednesday afternoon, there I was on the train from Sheffield to Stockport with my head in my book, completely ignoring everything going on around me, when the train unexpectedly slowed down. Up popped my head and out of the window I glanced - and was taken aback by the scenery. “Where is this?” I thought and tried to recall where I was going from and to, so that I could consult my woefully-lacking mental map. I hadn’t managed to come up with an answer when we passed through a station – Edale. So, that lovely scenery was exactly where I would have been for the previous two days, but for my change of plan. I vowed to return there soon.

Yesterday I hatched a plan. I would get up at 5am tomorrow morning and cadge a lift with Mick, who, on his way to work, would swing off the M60 at Stockport and drop me somewhere in the vicinity of the station. From there I could get a cheap train ticket and two hours later be in Glossop, from where I could walk over Kinder Scout to Edale.

Not put off by the ridiculously early start, a couple of hours ago I toddled off upstairs and once again packed my backpack.

Just then the phone rang. It was my sister reminding me of her hospital appointment tomorrow. Of course, I immediately said that I would go with her. I always attend her appointments with her, and I know not why this one wasn’t in my mental calendar.

Five minutes later my bag was unpacked for the second time in six days. No great loss really – the weather really did look quite awful for Tuesday. Maybe when I finally do make it up to Edale (and hopefully I will eventually) I will be blessed with some fantastic weather, but it won’t be this week.


(*Incidentally, Martin & Sue’s talk on the Dolomites was excellent. I now have yet another destination added to my wish-list – but that always was going to be the danger of going along.)


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