Cheviots

We walked through hail on the Cheviots, those rolling hills that straddle the border between England and Scotland.  I was on the southern side, in Northumberland, when big, fat balls of hail began to prick my cheeks like tiny needles.  Starting out, it was sunny and cold with no sign of hail as we trudged … Continue reading Cheviots

Brigid

Ireland has three patron saints: Patrick, Columcille, and one woman, Brigid. Today, February 1st, is Brigid’s feast day and it also traditionally marks (in Ireland at any rate) the first day of spring. There are many legends surrounding Brigid: she had a reputation as an expert dairywoman and brewer, with the enviable reputation of being … Continue reading Brigid

Yorkshire

I’m back in Yorkshire for a few days. Mostly I’ve been in York itself, town of snickets and ginnels, inviting little passageways that you might call an alley, close, entry or vennel, depending upon where you come from. Last time I was down here was December and I could barely move through the narrow streets, … Continue reading Yorkshire

Pentlands

The Pentlands, a range of hills to the south-west of Edinburgh, are just about eight miles out. We went up them yesterday for a walk. Or, I might borrow famous Scottish hiker, Nan Shepherd’s better fitting expression: yesterday we went into the hills for a walk. Nan Shepherd’s mountains were further north, and she wrote … Continue reading Pentlands