Where to start? Perhaps the 'fretting' weather as we approached the moors, fine misty rain and dark clouds gathering over the moors. You climb up to the moors from the farm lands below, once marshy places full of water, today prime farm land, and then you hit the great dark landscape of pine and larch trees, forestry plantations, dark and forbidding, edged with bracken and heather. A wilderness of cultivated trees, as you pass along the old moor road, old stone gateposts tell you that once even this land was farmed right to the edge of the moor.
We stopped and I gathered some heather, and then drove down to the Wheeldale Beck, no one was there this time, so I walked along by the water, it was raining slightly so LS stayed in the car. Sheep on either side, did not bother to move as I passed by, the water peat stained brown, rippling along. No mushrooms yet where the trees start, only the ground soaked by rain, puddling everywhere. I took Moss in my mind along on this walk, a spiritual creature, who took no notice of the sheep or the water, he hated getting wet.
We came to Lastingham, which I have written about before, for lunch at The Blacksmith Inn. A typical old world pub, tankards hang from the beams above your head, you are respectfully asked to remove muddy boots at the door. Here you can order great pies, fish and chips, and a whole host of different meals. We took the easy way out and ordered, me a ploughman and LS a ham sandwich, not exactly an anniversary meal, but we cannot do large meals at lunch time. The small corner table in this pub is always 'reserved' I think for a single oldish man who we have seen there a couple of times, but he wasn't in today, perhaps it is reserved for a ghost from the past, a place by the fire with all the copper kettles and pans gleaming in the firelight. The landlord always sits on a stool by the bar, not doing much.