autumn sabbath

When the news is unrelentingly horrible, when a friend has suffered a heart-shattering blow, when scary deadlines loom, then sometimes the only way to stay sane is to get outside.





Sheffield must be one of the most gloriously situated cities in the world.




All this scenery is just a few miles from the centre.



We walked and walked today. Most of these views are familiar, they are home, and yet they are always new.




When we got back my legs ached, my eyelids were drooping and none of the hard stuff had gone away but the vastness of the sky, the light on autumn leaves and the rush of swollen streams had cut all the problems back down to size.



I have found another tonic for the winter blues: a good long train journey. Yesterday I travelled from South Yorkshire to Devon in the blessed peace of the Quiet Coach (which was surprisingly quiet). Without internet access, I managed to read two chapters of my current set book- and almost understand them too – and also type up about 10 pages of interviews from Todmorden. It was like being suspended in a place where I had no responsibilities, no deadlines and no distractions. Absolute bliss. If only train fares weren’t so extortionate, I could make a habit of this.

Countryside somewhere near Bristol