Saturday, 12 December 2009


In true abi fashion, I stormed out this afternoon with the intention of getting as far away from Sheffield as my legs would carry me. I packed a flask of hot coffee, a packet of chocolate biscuits, my favourite fruit, my bible, notebook, a torch, batteries and camera, and headed towards hills. I followed a river, and subsequent streams, and walked pretty much where ever I felt inclined, twisting and turning my way through dense woodlands, open fields and along treacherous roads. About an hour in, I decided to make my goal to find and converse with a sheep. Secretly, I think my true goal was to get completely lost, because I love being lost and the lack of responsibility it offers. Anyway, I wandered, and wandered, and thought, and sang, and smiled and cried and laughed and stumbled and tripped and slipped and slid and looked for sheep. I stroked any dogs that came my way, and then came across a herd of alpacas, which made me overwhelmingly happy. Then I found some very noisy geese, and a beautiful horse which came over to me and let me stroke its nose. I love horses. It's tongue was amazing. Then I found a village, which I'd visited in the past, and finally, after much questing, I discovered a field of sheep. I took photographs all along the way, so these claims will be substantiated when I find my cable...there's one I particularly like of the horse's nose. ((I'm editing this, and hopefully will have managed to put the images on..hopehopehope)) Once I had found the sheep, the sun was setting, and I was about 6 miles from my flat. Problematic, considering that my route had been largely muddy, stony, uneven paths next to streams in woodlands. So I started back. I discovered that my flask (newly bought for uni and unused until today) had a crack in and thus my coffee was not only all over my bag, but also nearing ice-cold. Light was lost in that fluid way that you first think is gradual but discover to be just a prelude to sudden submersion into darkness.

"Soon it will be dark and these unfamiliar paths will seem stranger still".

I guess inevitably I'm heading this way: I always go as far as I can my own way, pushing boundaries further and further, disregarding responsibility and sensibility and wisdom, looking for what I've set my heart on, and when it gets dark, I'm far, far away from where I really need to be. I start walking back, and I trip over rocks I can't see, I slip down muddy slopes. I follow my whims for as long as I can pretend they're all that matter. When I have to come back to reality, when there's somewhere to be, I've only made it harder for myself.

This is obviously just a metaphor, inspired by some pondering as I wandered back tonight, because thankfully, my journey was relatively peaceful, and I had cleared the most of the darkest woods before night really fell hard. A good spontaneous walk. If my maths is right, it was about 13 miles. Yesterday through trips to the station and random wandering, I accumulated about 13 too. 26 in 2 days. These are what we call 'Sheffield legs'.

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