If you're still experiencing balmy autumn days with jumpers tied loosely around your waist and sunglasses on top of your head, you may not have heard about the recent news that sent shock waves through Yorkshire this week just gone. Nope, I'm not talking about the American election (god knows that's been spoken about enough), but the news of snow. Snow.
One thing I've been most excited about since moving up North has been the prospect of a 'proper winter'. How early this winter would occur, I didn't know. Whispers of 'have you seen the weather for Tuesday night?' rippled around work and I excitedly refreshed my weather app ever 20 minutes. There was no doubt about it. Snow, 'double snowflake' on a black cloud snow. For HOURS overnight. We discussed the snow policy. We spoke about what we'd spend our impromptu day off doing. I had visions of reading on the sofa under the window, slowly watching a white carpet rise up the windowsill. It felt like snow. Sharp cold that wraps itself around your knees.
On Wednesday morning I leapt out of bed like a child from a Disney cartoon in the 1950s. I flung the curtains open to... BUGGER ALL. Not a single snowflake. THANKS, MET OFFICE. What a blowing disappointment. I'm still not over it, clearly.
Anyway, snow grief aside, my weekends up in Yorkshire have taken on a very different from compared to when I lived in London. Now we have a bigger flat (for lots less rent!) we've had people up to stay most weekends since the end of August, which has meant the teapot has actually gotten some use and many a pub in the Peaks has been visited by us and our muddy boots.
I just love it. Ten minutes in the car and I'm sat half in half out of the boot, wobbling with a thick socked foot in the air as I try and lace up my Mum's old walking boots. You know what else has happened? I use an OS map to find my way around the hills. I'm pretty much Christopher Columbus, minus the colonial attitude of claiming land that's not mine.
Recently, after passing many blackberry bushes and thinking of all the crumble I could be eating, I actually remembered a tub and took it to Lady Bower Reservoir. The reservoir was crucial practice ground in WW2 for the 'Dambusters', who practiced flying planes at extremely low heights and used the dam for target practice. Naturally, it's pretty awesome for stone skimming, which I observed from afar as I'm so rubbish at it I'd probably hit someone stood directly behind me.
The blackbirds hadn't gobbled up all the blackberries and I plucked off the remnants to take home. It's this time of year that you really notice that the earth has a heartbeat of its own. The ferns were a fantastic burning ombre of green, turning into orange and brown. The last fat bumblebees of summer were walking wearily across branches, interspersed with slow, heavy bursts of flight.
After it all, with ruddy cheeks and green moss-stained bums, pulling up outside a pub with a sign saying 'muddy boots and paws welcome' tops off a perfect weekend nicely. I've got the muddy boots, for sure, the muddy paws will have to wait...
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