It was such a lovely day today I thought I’d nip out for a walk in the delightful countryside that South Yorkshire has to offer. My destination of choice was the delightful Langsett Reservoir near Barnsley/Sheffield.
Langset near Barnsley in South Yorkshire
The sun was out, the sky was blue. I didn’t have a care and I wasn’t blue. It wasn’t raining. Raining in my heart.
Langsett Reservoir is owned by Yorkshire water and there are many permissive paths. But me not being someone to stick to the boring old main track decided to follow my nose and take a well trod side path to see where it went. And I’m bloody glad that I did.
After crossing a very busy road I was soon walking through a lovely peaceful forest. Not a soul about. Lots of little birdies and squirrels foraging about. Nature can be so inspiring sometimes.
Part of me had decided that I had to do this today because I have gotten a bit fat lately. This is partly down to having a lot of stress from finishing this bloody Media degree of mine.
Another part of me wanted to take photographs because out side the hustle and bustle of urban life, the countryside is the only place left that I feel like I am not intruding or being strange when I brandish my camera.
There was a stream running through the forest. I couldn’t see it because it was hidden under lots of undergrowth but I could hear it. As I rounded a corner I could see a bridge. I crossed this and discovered a lovely peaceful little glade where I could sit for a while and reflect on my future.
After a while some walkers approached from the other direction. We exchanged greetings (why is it that in the countryside people always say “hello” but in cities the same people would just ignore you?) and they told me that they were enjoying their walk especially as they had not seen anyone else all day.
The path split once more. A higher one that crossed the top of a cliff face and a lower one that only went a short distance toward a wall. I took the higher one which led me through another bit of forest and onto a landscape that could have placed me in any of the wooly wild locations in England.
Nothing but trees, rolling hills, sheep and scree. Not a soul around. Perfect for reflection and soul searching.
Stepping over a dead sheep I realised that I was miles away from anywhere. Worse, I had very little battery left in my mobile phone. Fortunately I had thought to check the map before I left just to give me a rough idea of which direction I should head to return to my car. I had been walking by this time, for over an hour.
The sun was beating my face and the path depressingly headed up a very steep hill. Beneath me I could see a river winding its way from the peak district bound for the sea.
At the top of the hill I could see a farm house. I was reluctant to pass through the field of bunny rabbits as it kind of looked like private property. Closer inspection revealed that this was a completely abandoned farm holding. With cattle sheds, sheep dips and live stock holdings. Nobody lived there now except for the many many startled rabbits. Even so, I walked through gingerly for fear of waking a dead farmer zombie or being accosted by some inbred family of mutants bent on making me their father. But in reality I was many miles away from Grimethorpe so this was unlikely to happen.
Once through the farm I headed up the path which in turn headed up the most demonic gradient I’ve seen outside of Scotland. The winding path lead me to a lone standing stone. The view from around there was amazing. I could see the windmills out near Penistone. I could see the hills and forests for miles. I truely was in the middle of nowhere. But what worried me most was the fact that I did not have much battery left in my phone and in the distance, angry black clouds floated in the sky like water filled bin bags.
I’d just taken this picture of a vividly green tree when the unthinkable happened. My battery died. Miles from anywhere, no phone. No people. "Stuff it!" I thought and I carried on walking.
I wasn’t too worried as I was so chilled out and calm. I also knew that following the path would take me straight back to my car. It took me a good hour further to walk there.
I sat in my car just in time for PM on Radio 4. The roar of civilisation zooming past me in trucks, cars and on motorcycles. Nothing to bring you back to earth than Norbert Dentrassangle hurtling past noisly at 60mph.
A good day. :-)