I’m bored. I’m bored of my post-Christmas, pre spring routine. I’m bored of my normal walk.
I glanced at the news, incidentally a subscription service that I pay for but never fully exploit, saw some dribbling monster of a politician from the other side of the pond moaning about Mexican Chihuahua’s and how they were stealing jobs. He wanted to build a kennel to keep them out for goodness sake! Anyway, I’ve had enough of it. So I decided to take my Dad out on a long walk. He didn’t exactly know what to do, so I had a butchers at the ordinance survey map and picked out a nice local Rutland walk. Few footpaths, and a viaduct to look at.
Of course I had to get a railway theme in there.
The gusty hillside was joyous once we had ventured out together, with my enthusiasm pulling Dad along both physically (I had to keep pulling the lead to encourage him to continue) and emotionally. It was remarkably refreshing to explore somewhere completely new, and yet be so very close to home. We both enjoyed the relaxing of our hearts and bodies as we patrolled through the fields, particularly when I utilised the strength of my father to hoist me over stiles. I’m so glad I purchased the mountaineering harness for myself, because frankly I don’t know how else I would have got myself over the obstacles without caking my companion in mud. After a fashion we arrived at the viaduct, and what a sight it was. Countless arches aching off into the distance, stretching between two ripples in a wide valley. Not impressive at all when compared to engineering feats like the ribblehead viaduct, or the caledonian canal, but it is impressive because of the unexpected nature of its appearance and the disconnect it has from the local surroundings. This is only a loosely industrial area, not the industrial powerhouse of the north after all. I have to say though, my Dad’s lack of knowledge regarding the structure was, as usual, embarrassing. He didn’t even know that it was Britain’s longest valley crossing viaduct and I had to very carefully explain to him the expansionist nature of the Empire railways during the late 19th century. I mean, Jesus.
A short stroll found my Dad, as usual, supping on a pint of local while I sat on the concrete floor hoping for a non-existent crisp, before heading home through the sheep fields for another depressing night in the company of my family. I did, however, have the warm glow of a day well spent and the wind-ruffled appearance of a battered wood pigeon.