Solitary hiker

What do you do when it feels like Spring and your husband has headed down south for a week? When the sun shines and you have nothing in your diary? There are things you should could be doing – a whole house to renovate, but nothing you have to achieve.

You take a hike.

Truth be told, I’m not a natural solitary hiker. It’s fine when I’m out there, but it’s the getting out of the door that I find hard. The idea of being alone, out there on show, encountering couples, families, even dog walkers. And then me, on my own. Not even a hound to accompany me.

A whole day – just me and the hill.

But once I was out of the house it was plain sailing. After getting lost in the grounds of a ruined once-grand house (there were tennis courts, meadows and woodland) I got into my stride.  And I rediscovered the joy of solitary travel, singing out loud when you know no one can hear (I’m partial to the Smiths on a wooded footpath), the pride in knowing that everything you do is under your own steam. And the people you meet, the chance conversations with strangers that can only happen when you’re alone.

And when you want to stop and take a self-portrait, no one will complain. (Though to be fair, Ron never complains about that.)

So this is me taking a break on a lap of the Fernilee reservoir. Look again and you might notice that I’m not wearing a coat.

In February.

Yes, I know I’m in the shade but that’s as far as the bulb would reach.

And this time I had no one to help me out. Just me and a bunch of songs in my head that I sang to myself all the way home.


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