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]

Friday 21 May 2010

Post Walk (1)

It was a bit mind-boggling that at 6.45 yesterday morning we were standing in a stunning bay just to the side of Cape Wrath, and at 8.10 this morning we were walking through our front door.

What made it more mind-boggling was that we didn’t have a gentle transition of landscape. The light left the day as we rushed through the Cairngorms, and by the time we were awoken this morning we were already south of Preston, and in briefly lifting the blind all I saw was dense fog.

The first time I really noticed the outside world was when we were on the bus home (which takes a long and winding route through many a village; it was a bit more gentle than yesterday’s minibus from Durness, mind!). I was positively bewildered by the greenness of everything. In fact, I’ve spent most of the day expressing disbelief at the colour out there.

We really have been stuck in spring for the last eight weeks. Even four days ago, we were still seeing daffodils in full bloom, and although trees have been more in-leaf than not, they haven’t been in full foliage. And for the last few days, there haven’t even been any trees. Plenty of gorse in bloom, but not a tree to be seen.

On top of the only-just-coming-back-to-life stage of the plant-life during our walk, the areas of Scotland through which we have been walking aren’t areas that boast lush greenness. With the grey rocks, brown heather and muted gorse and grass, bright green is not a colour seen in great swathes.

By contrast our area of the Midlands is nothing but green. The roadside grass is a foot tall; the trees in our garden (and even the recently-denuded hawthorn hedgerow) are all vibrant, the grazing fields are looking like meadows, and we have one flower bed that is the most ridiculously crowded riot of sweet peas ever seen. I feel like I’ve never seen anything so green, but I’m sure that it is just a contrast issue; this landscape is not that to which I have become accustomed.


  1. Congratulations on a job well done - and with style!

  2. I've just finished catching up with your adventures and have thoroughly enjoyed reading about them. Looking forward to your next!