Hello all!! I would like to dedicate this post to my father. I know there may be groans of “how cliché on father’s day!” (He he, that rhymes!) however I have my reasons:
1) My father was the one to get me into all my outdoor stuff. We have a little cottage in the Lake District and when I was younger, we all used to cram ourselves into a car (whichever fitted 6 of us…sometimes plus a pet!) and would trundle up and down the hills towards Cumbria for 2 hours, counting the cattle grids as we went. When we arrived there was always a scramble for the top bunks in the bunk bed room, though in later years we’ve become more dignified! Then there would be the unloading of the car, all the food and bedding for however long we were there for. When we were little we would be there for a good long time, maybe 2 weeks (in a place that has no phone, no internet and now no tv except video and DVD). When we were teenagers the time period generally shortened as we were moody and got bored very easily! Now the time periods are lengthening again as we all begin to appreciate the quiet and the world around us. It was here, in Cumbria, that my parents (more specifically my dad) would drag us up and down hills to his heart’s content, with sweeties in his pocket to help us along the way. At the top there would be lunch, and then we would proudly plod back home having made it to a top, generally the smallest of us on dad’s shoulders until we decided it was quicker to run down. Once we lost my oldest brother on the hills, but thanks to my undoubtedly cool fluorescent pink cardy, he was able to work out where we had gone and found us again. So it was there, in Cumbria, in Eskdale, where I started to develop my love of the hills, of walking, and of geography. The landscape awed me, and dad was always happy to indulge my inane questions about why was that rock there? Or why was this side of the hill colder than the other hill? Or why couldn’t we just have stayed at home in a thunderstorm?!
2) Here is the sad part, and the reason why I am being incredibly cliché . Two years ago at Christmas, my dad died from cancer that had started in his bowel, spread to his liver, and finally to his lungs. He is no longer able to drag me up hills and tell me about the country side. He is no longer able to chuck us all in a car and take us to the Lake District. However, whilst he was ill, he always made sure that he went on a walk everyday. He loved walking about where we live; the Yorkshire Dales, as it meant that he could get fresh air as well as see all the people who lived by us. Him and mum used to go up Penny Gent to see some rare flowers that grow up there. Since he died, my love for walking outside and experiencing the world has blossomed, and I am indulging it as much as I can. I now run (he was a runner when he was young) and I’ve started to become the main cook at home (he loved to cook, and took great delight in buying me vegetarian cooking books).
The sad part is I wish I had done it all sooner, so I could have shared it all with him.
So, this post is for my dad, as he is the main reason for my love of the outdoors, for the Lake District, for where I live, and for walking. Thanks Dad I miss you.
The Short One