I think we’d all seen it coming. With increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases the need to ‘flatten the curve’ was becoming ever more pressing. So in the last week of March 2020 we were all effectively quarantined, told to stay at home to save lives. And for good reason too, I’m not criticising.
But it did coincide with a block of annual leave I had booked some time previously, and a period of settled weather across most of the country. I had been planning a canoe-camping trip to Inverpolly, but with lockdown that was now off. It’s funny how people react to restrictions placed upon them. My instinctive response to being told to only leave the house for essentials and exercise was to make damn sure I went out every day – in more normal times, I might have had some big days out, and other days just mooching. I stayed within the rules – walking from home, not driving to the honey spots of the Peak District only a few miles away. I didn’t even go paddling at Underbank Reservoir, all of ten minutes drive from my house, and a place to effectively socially distance myself if ever there was one!
But for all that I count myself lucky. I live in a beautiful and quiet area in the Pennine part of South Yorkshire. Familiarity doesn’t so much breed contempt as a sense of complacency. When I first moved to the area about twenty years ago, I explored all the local footpaths, but over time had forgotten them, prefering more dramatic landscapes on the moors and edges of the Dark Peak. Lockdown made me revisit my local patch, and reminded me how lucky I am to live where I do.
I won’t describe each walk. I walked from my door every day for the ten days I had off work, and since going back have tried to keep up the habit. I found a number of loops, of around 6-7km, crossing fields, passing local reservoirs, and climbing local hills.
The views from High Bank, above Thurlstone, are magnificent, it’s a bit like flying walking along there, and the cloudscapes from Royd Moor and Hartcliff Hill are huge. These three weeks have covered the start of Spring here, and I have made a point of noticing the changes day by day.
You can choose to be positive in adversity, and despite all the changes forced on us socially and at work, these daily walks are helping me find those positives.
Photographic notes – all the shots in this blog were made handheld with an iPhone 11. I’ve been quite impressed with the camera. Although it does start to struggle with more extreme lighting and macro type images, it handled night shots very well, and the wide views excellently.