19th September

I am reading Robert Macfarlane’s ‘The Old Ways’ at the moment. As ever his language is amazing, poetic really, when he describes the countryside, or in the bit I am reading at the moment, the sea around the Isle of Lewis. But at one point he has picked out various hills and he refers to the ‘pregnant’ Black Combe. So I was on Scout Scar today and you can just see Black Combe, admittedly not very well, and stood there trying to work out how he thought it looked pregnant. Or did he mean something else? At some point I am going to have to go over there to where we had our old family holidays in the 60s at Silecroft and see if I can see what he means. Going back to old places with good memories can be interesting. I am sure it does not look the same. When it was raining, which it often was, my Dad would drive me to Millom which still had its slag heap in the centre of town, to the Airfix model shop. I am sure that both have gone now. We used to collect mussels off the rocks as we new nothing about the early version of Sellafield, and I don’t think I would be doing that today. Mum used to cook them that night and they were delicious. The sea was just below the house we rented on the cliffs above and it was a great place to watch sunsets. All was well until we, as kids, burnt the owner’s bench for a bonfire. The parents were not pleased. We used to play Newmarket in the evening betting with matchsticks, and in 1966 listened to the World Cup there as there was no TV. One morning Dad came in to say Jim Reeves had died, to the total lack of interest on our part, who had never heard of him. The way others see places is always interesting, especially when they come at it from a completely different angle.

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