Saturday, September 02, 2006

the last legs

we wake with aching bones and muscles
from 19 miles and wooden benches
no visibility out there
slow breakfast
with soup and seaweed
one more top today
8 miles left

we set off in the cloud
'its going to clear up'
and it does
clouds lift
you need to see it yourself

last hill
up up up
'I want to go home'
down down down on the low level track
the warmest day
we gradually strip off along the path
descending into an ending
a bend in the stream
cooling feet
the last rest

the last mile
slowed down
we eat our way into town
blackberries and raspberries grow by the road
like prizes
we've earned them

friend on bench with a balloon
the end

village green
the end

book signing
the end

what did we eat?
celery soup and fried brie

there's something about this ending that doesn't feel like the end
we've walked a range
the end

I can't seem to finish here
there's always St Cuthbert's Way...

sequel in the pre-production stage

Byrness to mountain refuge hut (number 2)

Pete arrives
8am breakfast in the first and last cafe/garage in England
cafe au lait not so good this morning - tastes like weetabix
everyone has black pudding except Simone
Tamara donates hers to hungry men
Glyn departs
so do we
a mushroom trail up a very steep hill
onto the ridge between two lands
mostly militarised so stay on the path
'do not touch or you will die', a sign says
end of access land
we climb into Scotland to avoid the bogs
leaving edges of forests
we have an encyclopeadia walking with us
a catalogue of music and tunes
talks us onto a boardwalk echoing conversations hit the pines
our voices are moving
through a valley to a sign for lamb hill
a long three miles to a shelter
flies and sheep live here
they come to eat lunch with us
but they don't partake in any tai chi
up up up up
down down down
the sun is beating down
two walkers walking south
say that the cheviot is just an hour away
they were walking down hill
time seemed to stretch as far as the landscape
the longest paving on and on and on
Peter's tales speed up time
distance between us grows
paces slow and quicken
the individual ways of getting up that hill
there's a different rythym in all our heads
a duet is with the contours (duel)
the top, a chocolate stop
six battered legs
a junction
'we're high enough'
the cheviot looks like a small mound
we wonder what it really has to offer us for those extra 2 1/2 miles
boardwalk the other way
scree scramble
running down
the shelter
constructed by the RAF
now we bunk down on narrow wooden platforms
camping food cramps
sheep trying to break in
the wind crossing
sweaty night
tales of cold Finnish walks
and more talk of saunas
an early night
not even dark yet

Friday, September 01, 2006

Bellingham to Byrness, more trees

a search for a latte fails
but compedes are found
a kind American chemist opens early for sore feet
custard tart
nescafe nastiness

black hands to start the day
remember memory drawing carried through the walk
up up up
more moor more moor moor
sweet smell of heather
purple hill sides

through the farm
horses munching
we went across a road
down and up
along the top
and then across more moor
up again
down slightly to a cattle grid
ahead of the book (recommended times) - unusual for the ambler's society we have formed
for lunch
a windy spot with bees
more memory drawings

back up and back down
a bog on a 1 in 3 gradient
across the top
welcome to Redesdale forest
the military look is back in fashion again
follow PW sign
a tangent through thistle parallel to the forest track
we march down the track
a forestry commission vehicle stirs up the dust
a long road, take me home
not to west virginia
but to a mountain high
then I'll know where I belong
we end up at a picnic bench
early, again
public toilets
no toilet paper, no toilet paper, no toilet paper
is the feedback
we wait for Glyn in the midges
he testing his suspension on forestry drive
over taken by off road vehicles
he's taking too long we go

in the first and last cafe/garage in England
correction - machine cafe au lait
but it was sooooooooo good
down the road to Byrness YHA
a small council estate
the last settlement in England
Glyn finally arrives
with the road in his bones
still vibrating

memory drawings into the night
this place is empty
we all get to sleep in separate rooms
another YHA bites the dust

in between trees and onto Bellingham

Laura wakes up an hour early
she is still on norway time
she weaves the forest
we make a brew on the bench
as a bus comes from the city
the mania dance group are with us

the edge of the forest
the entrance to pathway
woven with messages from birds
some are dancing
in a clearing
moving across
we see physical memories of journeys made in a city
imprinted on the forest floor
these young elves
lead us with tales of cotton
fast and silent
they show us the way and the bark on the trees
they show us the frogs that hurdle
Laura appears
a nordic animal transported
this could be a winter's tale
she scurries off
we are in the web of string
it rebounds
there's a pleasure of being caught in a moment
in a space between trees
we remember the weight
paper birds find new homes
on the fingers of others
we must weave the way out from here
lead on
to cake, fresh strawberries under a rain cloud

moooooo, we sing
and milk cows in Danish as we walk
everyone is excited to be a cow

the flock moves along the track
four depart
four continue
skirting rain clouds
raining everywhere but where we are
munching under the sycamore/sheep shelter

more departures on a hill
a point of return or finishing with us
we are not the slowest today
we overtake others
for the first time?

heightened view
of the village below
soon becomes an illusion of distance
river crossing opposite side of town
there's an arrow pointing that way
for a sauna, its not our way

through the village and up the hill
Swiss Chalet YHA
another one bites the dust
a warm welcome from the volunteer warden
bunks mostly taken
15 walking together
they finish tomorrow

a meeting
Glyn and his raw feet
at 7 sharp
no you can't wait in the bar

wark forest edge to wark forest central

morning glory
the latest start
after a late night
a see you later to the bothy
we'll be back
off on forest roads
to a clearing by a stream
passing pine beds under canopies
dark, hidden, only the outside branches have leaves

soggy underfoot
we are very high
we can see the last hill, maybe?

we hit Stonehaugh
in time for the fete
the village funday
tea, cake
an announcement over the tanoi
we are superstrangers
five a side
banoffee pie

the wettest night
there's no competition for our competition tents

'listen to that voice'
a tent over there
sets a temporary military hospital
for our marine
slowing down for a while, foot problems

friends arrive
we circle up
with the car in the back
blocking the wind
rain rain rain rain and wind
wet inside, again

Steel Rigg to Wark Forest edge

one goes through field with cows, just
and would not have if a couple had not come into the field at the same time
other makes up hill diversion
up steel rigg
we know this rock
been up it, down it, rolled on it, drawn it
brought other people to it
along familiar roads
seen before and on TV
military miles
up and down
this wave of rock
we leave so soon
head for the forest
we don't know what is there
we turn right off the trail
is it there?
a hut with a radio
and carpeted bunks
jackpot find!
this bothy rocks
you can do it if you B and Q it
we have a superstar in our midst
and an evening of our teenage songs
these two guys have come prepared
we share food, drink, thoughts and the task of chopping wood
that makes you warm three times, you know
collecting, chopping, burning it
a blazing fire
a sauna, a sauna bar
cosy dreams (tamara), sweats in the night (simone)

Still on Steel Rigg

Tim is the colour of the sky today
we explore the textures of the crags
pathways through film
Simone has gone beyond wanting to touch sheep
she transforms
very funny
she lies on the ground and springs forward
searching and deliberately ignoring the sky
mouth surfing the grass
some swimming in the sky
some molding
some more Atlas talking
supporting the cosmos on his shoulders...
he strides on the rock blending in with the shades of the sky
greys and whites
he disappears into it for a moment and then returns
stand turning
the birds sing for him
arched over
taking the sky into his shirt, bird like
the weight of the sky on his back, but he's still floating
where's it gone?
the edges of things that show me where I am
in the clouds
I can feel the weight of the stones and the smell of grass
'I just hold out my hand...'
put your back into it and don't turn away
swirling air beneath your hands (wings)
how do those circles reverberate through the rocks?

Greenhead to Once Brewed, walling it

cold shower
we're really in the army now
in uniform of smelly clothes
not changed for days
but we did rinse them a few times

brekkie at the YHA
we wished that we had stayed here
Fiona puts love into her cooking
another familiar face
we walk around the village with another familiar face, Martin
because last night our stomachs brought us in the short way
circle around back to the bunkhouse
Ines joins us
ice cream
walking in a world heritage site now
packaged attraction
theme park
day trippers and wall walkers
here we all walk pathways together
do you get more respect for carrying a pack?

a marine asks us where to stay
this is the beginning of a long story
but to cut a long story short
there are stalkers on this trail
but to cut a long story short
get ahead of them to avoid any contact

a moment of group attention is drawn to drawing the quarry
marine nightmares are layered over the top
i can now see bodies choppped in half floating with the ducks
frozen in a horrific time of trauma
im speechless

we are a country at war
a reality sinks in
for a moment I am lost struggling to think who with
the enemy does not concretise in my mind
a country? a group of people? an ideology?
How confusing
with whom exactly are we at war?
or do post modern rejections of binary oppositions now apply to wars aswell?
A dangerous cynical place
a nasty taste in my mouth

military jets keep flying over head
that pylon over there is not on the map
it must be secret
later, we learn that the pylon is on the map, quite clearly
maybe we have the army edition of the ordnance survey map

we climb on
the highest place
the most open place
the pinnacle of connected lands
still militarised
in present and past

running down the rigg with boards
charcoal sculpting together the path we ran
we look back but
focused on the present
only the ancient military are with us now
the others go home

Slaggyford to Greenhead

4 of us, Glynn and Sorrel
a confusing start
railway or pennine way
no rebellion today
drawing boards are carried
local cloud rushes in towards us
across the moor
showers start
wet legs and thin trousers
board drops to the ground, more than once
and mostly on stiles
mono impressions, the real image is reversed
we're saying goodbye to the pennines
another country (or at least that is what it feels like)
gap in the land, sky opens
the Tyne gap pulls us away
misreading of the map puts us in shelter for lunch
backtrack to draw
impressions, darkness of the sky forming around the white paper
across the moors
finding out how to roll with packs
under fences away from cows with fluffy ears
'we're in the army now, oh oh oh' we're in the army NOW'
to the paradise bus
a warning from companions on cross fell
not scary
the scary comes after with cows with darkness in their eyes
confrontation across the path
has us edging around the field
tip toe
more moor more moor
lots of it
good heather
cross the road
dual carriageway chicken
no warnings to cars about walkers here
first main road without a man made crossing for the PW
run for your lives
especially if you have to eat in the pub
frozen pies marked up
this has to be the worst yet
bunk barn full of promise
but really full full of sofa beds (5 in total)
and plastic sheets and a festival for nylon
ahhh we love the YHA here
they feed us and make sure we are stocked for the day
another one to bite the dust
what a shame

new shoes removed
old skin removed
open wounds

Alston to Slaggyford, along the line

a diversion
the toy train for adults
running parallel with the Pennine way
this is the first time we've stepped out of line
we want to walk where there are people and tracks
5 miles parallel
the track confines and makes it easy to walk
attention wanders elsewhere
there's a group of us
with an array of knowledge
the last real train down here in 1976
the wisdom that sheep have passed down
grazing parameters
the pheasants that never get a chance to teach their young
a book called 'A Land'
cambrian building a vertebra like mountains
listening for trains
ears to the rails
the track disappears
under bridges of stalactites
Tim in a pink shirt plays cow bells behind the trees
home comforts flying down the bank
a different shade of heather in the background
an explorer of sensual detail
sunken between two banks of green
they would be good to scream across
to one another
his figure grows and fades with distance
with home comforts
a cushion's day out
they recline and let us watch them
a green boulevard for walkers and characters
pushed along, eroded, built up
a departure with a backwards walk and imagined run for the bus
walking behind each other
seeing through our ears
colours rush like sonar waves
Tim can slow time and stretch our periphery
absorb the landscape for an hour, sit against a stile
shul - a mark that remains after that which made it has passed by
the indentation in the grass where an animal slept last night
we three animals sit there for just an hour
sit and look, sit and eat, sit and talk, sit and look

Tim returns down the line
reverse journey
the other way

a changed body
stronger in the legs and lungs
weaker in the arms
a body that walks

dinner in a castle
a serene day
with a surreal ending
armoured knights to greet us

Garrigill to Alston, the slowest leg

17 tops
many drops
lots of highs and lots of lows
twenty one days we travel between us
leading and following
getting ahead and

as the distance grows between us now
we are bound
bound to carry on
this is a passage
to measure the distance
of this companionship
'to come close, to move far away, all in one,
emptiness is the track on which the centred person moves' (Solnit, 2006)
rotating around our worlds, lost in this other
we are tied together
we break each other along with the wind

this is a rejoining
a search for the rejoicing that company brings
in order to move on together

the music catches us up
Robin and his fiddle
provides soundtrack
to squirrels
and we whistle as we walk
in tune
to end in trees woven with string

down down to Garrigill

boys up first and ready to go
brew on all round
sparrowhawk chasing birds, sparrows hide in the wall
a singing silhouette in the mist
8 am song, the arrival of a loved one
farewell to Adam and Paddy
two more silhouettes disappearing in to the mist
with our unwanted porridge inside them
the descent to Garrigill commences
long winding track in the fog
with light conversations
through lead mines, barytes and fluorspar
sparkling in the ground
streams flowing through peat hollows
six months ago we thought that we might inhabit these
and scare other passing walkers
today we walk past
this work is about the moving through
a short day
the arrival of two more loved ones

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Dufton to Cross Fell, take 2

false start revisited
silence still there
sombre mood
both able to start the earliest so far
810am departure
down narrow lanes, many stiles, again
cows come to say hello today
across our path
they bow their heads and reverse
meeting stile queens
tentatively moving through
horizontal backs
dense bones and soft brown eyes
trees reappear
the grove of silence, and now a place to pee
the wide stride of the New Zealand man
leads us through a field of cows
we are too slow
he leaves, his strides stretching the distance between us
up into the clouds
quickly, steep ascent, dig toes into each bit of the hill
knock old man, then the heights, into the greyness
that envelops us
what is a currick?
up and over to Great Dun Fell
a single tarmac track, one car in and one car out
compass points at a golf ball
the hum of its presence
military radar, we don't know
but not good for our navigation on the ground
slightest of foot track develops into a flagged path
up and down and up and down
to Little Dun Fell
small flat top putting green
no visibility
picking through cairns
its a long haul
Cross Fell Summit at 1.50pm
the highest point on the way
the views are grey
stones and cairns, the shelter, the trig point
the foreground
no defined shapes or markers
a large putting green on the top of the land

down, you could be walking anywhere
rim of the cloud
river valley all the way to nearly zero degrees
in breath
moving from one world to another in the blink of an eye
sun, blue skies
to the right
there it is, Gregg's Hut
a cheer in unison
we see the New Zealand strider in the distance
we are sleeping here
the highest place you can
a warm welcome from a familiar friend
travellers passing through with tales
and other bothy users wanting to take our fuel
but there ain't much here
they offer us an invitation to their party down in the valley
if we walk down a spur, there is no path
missing the brightly coloured grass - indicate entraces to mines
we tell them we're having our own saturday night disco
the other party goers arrive - Adam and Paddy
early tea
scavenging for coal and there is some on the ground
you can see your breath
its going to be cold
summer sleeping bags, again
which we had in january - although that was not appropriate
slag heaps become launch pads to the stars
we dance for the sky and the valley below and the mist
that creeps down behind us
we light everything burnable
disco lights are a flicker of a flame
an orange horizon to the east
a city on the coast
where I live
its a full clear sky
i can see the milky way

Dufton - Cross Fell - Dufton (repeated return)

730 am phone call
mudslides and flash floods where you are
'don't go' she says, 'don't go'
foot not yet walked on
lots of doubt
brisk assertive start in the rain
'I can do this today' (building myself up)
I can do this, i just want to get over that bloody hill
not today
pain in the foot, rain
stop gap under trees
not agreeing
'I'm going back', 'I'm going up'
a collision of interests
shared desire to press on

im paralysed with anger and frustration
i dont know which way to go
i dont which way to go with writing this
its beyond words and i desire to shutdown
i want to be alone
this comapnionship breaks down and its just us , as 'I'
This a point, under the tree, in the rain where a weak spot appears- a crack in a friendship develops into an earth quake and those landslides are internally disarranging us and what we know

we go back
simone- quickly and enraged by her own failures, i stop for a moment to say hello to the cows, for some recognition through their heavy breath, returning back to all those stiles that irritated me on the way there -i dont want to talk about it for the next 24 hrs
tamara - slowly pondering failure, annoyed at the low pain threshold, slipping and sliding on the way back. wettest its been the whole way. rucsac collects water which spills on the floor back in the hostel. watery inside and out.

back at the ranch:
intermittent words
mostly silence in the air
cups of tea made for each other is the only act of kindness that can be given
still lost for words
need silence
need other bodies
contemplating how to endure
sharing such small spaces
mostly less than 18 inches between us

Dufton Day

trip to Carlisle
feel a bit uncomfortable about this
moving so far away from the trail
feeling sick in the car
feeling bigger on the train
its all a bit too fast and I can't place myself at this speed
we're moving backwards
body moulds to spaces it knows
navigating through people, traffic, crossings, shops, people
waiting - for traffic lights to turn
go when you are told by a green man
curious adaptability
provisions are here, restock supplies
this is tiring to the eyeballs
cold damp train station
spent too long here
waiting for trains that do not exist
except for a call centre operator the other side of the country
who thinks that it does
different train, even faster one
a lift with Lucy and her mum, means we are met further away
we end in Penrith

Langdon Beck to Dufton

a separation
cut foot and a car to Dufton
this is an edit, a section to be returned to
pasted in, which will now be my ending of this journey
ending in the middle

9.43 am:
a departure of a companion and a one woman walk
past lying cows and into the moorland where the river splits in two.
There a warning for bulls in the next field. Advice: DO NOT RUN
Im still trying to consider this advice

10.43 am there is a large rock to the left of me, balancing on smaller friends. cronkley crag is becoming smaller.
Midgys get a beating

11.43 am:
passed along the river to the roar of Couldron Snout, the dam imposing behind it- such a straight line in this rolling landscape. the smell of Cow dung and dead rabbits trace the pathway embedded, becoming road. I wonder if this road is layers of dead animals in the dust.

The danger area to the left of me. looks pretty passive to me!
its just the people in it that are dangerous.
I follow caterpillars journeys through the grasses, they are continually searching for something and me for something within them( i note that my big toe is throbbing at this point)
mistyness in the air and approaching boggy land
a conversation about the edinburgh festival and people dancing with skies on.

1.43 pm:
Maize beck: this way or that way? over the bridge . the original PW track is wetter and longer. Well, the pennine way is what im here for and the Pennine way ill go.Youll regret it the book says.

just before this Heron emarges from the grey rock its body camoflauged.
this expanse opens up before me eyes.
Wild horses come to eat with me, its my lunch their after
I can see the Lake district in the distance and i think about those places and memories that still live in that landscape-over there.
sitting listening to the sound of planes ricocheting across the basin of high cup

'dont you rain, oh please dont you rain down on me know....'
i sing a new tune as i run down the ricky descent, cake in my legs and ready for a bit of fast-forward action.
No time to say hello to passing walkers- im running in the rain.
down the tarmac track and the sheep i make it to Dufton earlier than i expected
A warm welcome from the injured party and the fast stompers that are Barbara and Paul that left me way behind this morning.

Being driven to Dufton
Pam and Brian on their way home, 50 miles out of their way, THANK YOU
12 miles by foot and 26 miles in the car
back down the valleys we have walked
given a ride to rewind through country i have left behind
tangent off trail and around it
gap to be filled in
road accessible routes around hills

Dufton at 1045am. The earliest arrival.
Visit the post office
its closing
people do not have the same patterns that they used to
villages losing services
walkers carrying more of their own gear
cars taking everyone everywhere
hostel's closing too, not Dufton
Dufton is one of the luckier ones
post mistress, 'they have forgotten the reason that they were set up'
everyone everywhere making money
more loss or soon to be lost

return, 3rd September 2006
Langdon Beck in the rain
to get here, a train from home and then three buses

high clouds and high winds
move it everything through
walking into the winds
upstream, the Tees
clamber over the rocks
see the fir tree that I imagined on the scar
more rock scrambling
the river is fast and flowing today
brown, boiling, foaming
spilling onto the path
I don't know what the time is today
Cauldron Snout, above a packet of crisps
under the bridge below the dam
a little shelter
on the road
to the moor
on the moor back down to the river
Pennine Way or shortcut at the bridge?
I take the PW
the path disappears as a crossing point on a stream is sought
the waters are high today
the other Maize Beck crossing is on the bend
across the heather bog and grass
crossing lots of streams
getting very wet feet
at the bend a limestone gorge
onto the plain
the rain stops
High Cup and four germans are describing the geological formation
sudden drops
I've never seen this before, but I knew it was like this
the gap in my mind was just in my mind
I finished this journey three days ago
I filled in this gap not walked
it is all so familiar
like I walked it
an alinear insert
down the track to Dufton
a friendly drink in the pub
I want to keep walking

Langdon Beck: rock rolling

two bodies nesting in the rocks
constant pouring sound of the stream
returning to places we passed
To spend time in flow, letting water pass in front of us- lets watch things move away from us in the opposite direction, for a change
not ebbing today
stillness that was hungered for
somehow still yet emptiness
now I miss motion
perpetual forward motion in the walk
The loss of stopping, feeling lost in the stillness
a deep luxury in curving
a sensation known from a distant past
this upright position is straining the memory of my spine

we remove our boots and socks
we place them above the water
tense legs cold feet, muscles shaking
black water, white skin
sometimes white foam
floating feet, the air between my toes
up my soles

the rain comes to join us again
a sign from the path, 'tea this way',
we follow the arrow
up a hill
met by a barking dog and no sign of a brew
several dead ends in fields
an empty dwelling
painted white by order of Lord Barnard
so he could find a place to stay at night
we go back to the road
treading passageways 'between friendships and feuds'

Monday, August 21, 2006

Baldersdale to Langdon Beck

a new land of reservoirs
all aligned west to east
its sad to think that this is the last time we will stay at Baldersdale
its closing down along with Keld
what will happen to the legs of the trail
when they are gone
and distance between beds grows greater?

what defines a metropolis?
context is all
a pharmacy and a toilet
the sun is shining though broken clouds
sweating in thermal tops
the stale smell of sweat
our uniforms now

middleton in tees
an old town and a new town built next to it
from the hill its hard to tell
where is the trajectory going?
accents have changed
o brother where art thou soundtrack on mind play
RAF tornadoes practicing tricks
must be in a national park again?

advice from a couple with two dogs going the opposite way:
eat, walk, eat some more, enjoy life, enjoy your life

a land of waterfalls
steep water, brown peaty
white foam, pine trees on banks
higher, up stream
against the flow

we want to stay there for a while
to let people and water pass us by
to see movement passing in the opposite direction
for once
from back to front
and into the distance that is in front of me

half eaten mountain takes us by surprise
discover a turnip stray in my bag
we forgot to leave for Patrick troll
adopted and named, Kidson
after the hill on which he was found
how far does he want to go?

we stop for sangers on the steps
of the bonsai garden
'this place needs a house'

skipping down across a bridge
we give a hill our attention
it seemed needy
but we need to go that way
and retrace back to the river
deserves our feet walking up and down it
we need another bridge
to know
which way to go

Langdon Beck, eco-warrior building
Hotel with the loneliest view
only us and them,
they sit in the window
watching the scar

the halfway mark

Baldersdale is the halfway mark in miles but not in days
walking upstream again and again
I can't quite fathom the distance we have covered
the body's strengths have shifted into the lower back and shoulders
both places I suffer with pain and stress are holding me together right now

perpetually passing
knowing the action of vertical foward motion through
passings, meetings, moving on
I cannot let go of my desire to linger
the body changes too quickly
each landscape imprints through the feet
a shape in the ground that thousands of others have made before you
the character of travel is fleeting and not knowing the roundedness
but is half way and we celebrate with yelps on the hills
and the companionship of meeting and leaving again and again

you say goodbye, and I say hello (internal music)

Keld to Baldersdale, bridge crossings

no pictures as yet due to computer problems

the neurotic troll is in the river and he wants to move it
to pass over the bridge
carry and stone and drop it on the other side
shifting the river bed from above
we cannot see his eyes, they are shaded
he's got quite a bad posture
we think of exercises for him to help his spine

neddy dick has a collection of musical stones
from the river swale that he would play with wooden sticks
we tell the tale we found on the hill to neurotic troll
who plays the stones in the bed
knots and threads, we torment the troll
dangling stones and edible treats
all the walkers carry stones for us
a procession across the bridge

we want to play more music
we want to sing the anthem
we want different voices
this is a country blue skat

reluctantly we must press on
singing around the hill
'she'll be coming round the mountain when she comes'

into a land of abandoned wagons
we hear the troll yee hah in the distance
we have left his land
but we take his kazoo with us

back into moor country
following the road parallel to the left of us
the weather has sunk well in to the ground
no fuel in the legs
whipping winds from the west
Tan Hill appears and disappears

an expensive cup of tea
bikers chat
the weather the same in York
pet sheep gets petted
fire lit and warm
two little waifs from the troll
are delivered to us by comandeered messengers
happy to oblige at the moment of asking
and join the troll in helping him hide
he disappeared into the mist we're told

cabbage and aubergine babes named
Fry Up and Kos
with homemade rain shields they are drier than us
we carry these abandoned strays and show them the world
of streams and bridges
a bridge into county durham
Tamara leaps, she's stepped into a region she calls home
waters running to places I know, the ground tastes familiar from here
at the boundary, the distance and nearness of difference
simone stands and waves goodbye to the land in their past she calls homeland
amongst there, in the greyness and lightness of many valleys of yorkshire
I can say (cant I ?) that this expanse is my home.
By that I mean a sturdyness of foot, a confidence in the body, a belonging of this body, a fitting of the feet in these parts.
my roots are a little more of the passing through these interchangable hills and the dialogue with a shifting weather system
I wonder if this weather has anything to do with me being a moody bugger all these years.

more moor and more moor, again
through fields of bulls
panic rising
breath shallow
a pause on a gate for a long time
the path swerves away
we follow the path as on the map
to the blockades
that a farm has erected
PW sign on other side of barbed wire
we jump the fence
blocked openings, intricately spun
sheep's troughs, wool lattices, teepees made of metal poles
attached with string
is this our right to roam?
we find openings anyway
access across the moors

another bridge
Patrick Troll
music is heard before God's bridge
Troll folk sounds rising from under the bridge
water ripples changing as he moves
it is the first time it seems that i have laid down on my front
we receive our advice back
trolls don't cry when they listen to music
they have no tear ducts but they do feel moved by music in the key of D
the music was moving me and I did not want to move away
rounded rhythms rounding me

we receive advice
we leave the babes
at the rescue centre for wayfarers and strays

onward with the troll map we don't follow
we stick to the trusty OS and the trail
mist is down
we think from the map it is not too far away
how tiredness is deluding
2 more hours across the moor
keeping the pace up
stiff legs and sore tendons burning tightly (not brightly)
pesky ligaments stop supporting feet

just a bridge in the distance and a wall that runs up the other side of the valley
that's where we have to go
talk about hitching a lift on the A66
to where?
we continue
spread out crossings of roads
scarce, follow the easy routes
not for us

we get to Baldersdale at quarter past seven
the troll sitting in the rain
with a sunken picnic
we stand him up
not as planned, or wanted
a disastrous date
but the troll is very forgiving
we talk about watching him
inhabiting hidden places
and being still, slowly knowing a place
knowing all the surfaces and depths

the black sheep eases the fatigue of the day
we will see trolls in the land for the rest of the way

Thursday, August 17, 2006

musical grove - interlude

a song for trolls (tune varies on a daily basis)

we go wandering under the fields
setting up traps and eating lots of cooked meals
we adopt wayfarers and strays
as long as they abide by our ways

oh its jolly droll to be a troll
cheering those pesky travellers along
full of song all night long

we go sitting under bridges
eating goats and lots of midges
we eat grit from the stream to keep it clean
all in all we're not so mean

recorded at troll grove - two part harmony (gruff and squeaky)

the nobbly grove, where burrows intertwine
underneath its shape a mass of hollow habitats
notes floating in the trees and across the wind
we play for our hidden guests
enchant the roots
which have seen many sheep and farmers
we are giants
this micro world beneath us
all the water spills from here
swaledale below
around the rocky bend
the magic hour
arrive just before dusk
tiny place
waist high doors
a meeting of ways of across
the first and last time we can stay
Keld YHA

Hawes to Keld

simone wants to touch a sheep
many different attempts to contact
round approach, slow approach, direct approach
unseen approach
all attempts failed
now with Jo and Tanya
and soon 6 mushroom brothers of 11
transported with us
we remain under watchful eye of the baron troll
asking passers by for sightings
on our 5 mile ascent to the summit of Great Shunner Fell
slowly and gradually, two by two with Jo's imaginary railings helping her up
slowly and gradually the wind picks up and the cold comes in
no trolls here, too cold
long winding mountain track
two walls cross to make shelter from the elements
a quiet moment to eat
we descend two by two

a late departure for us we say good bye
on the road next to the flat hedgehog
press on into a land
we must walk single file
a boundary crossed
troll territory

Troll at a waterfall

an unseen presence leaving messages for us
in the Green Dragon Inn
we are in Troll territory now
lunch fit for a baron
we scavenge and cook with Rachael and Henry
in thigh high troll waders left in a case
he likes wood for protein and stones for carbs
algae dressing, sweet floss and flowers
wood steak salad and sparkling stone stew
living under stones and bridges
watching us
we feel his eyes

gill moulding

we inhabit free spaces
stay there for a while

Ling Gill Echo

we climb down into the crevice of this water way
an echo of weight falling into the rocks
in the corner of my eye
and the feeling in my bones
i follow another body that rests
on the rock above
hands float and fall to weigh down the face
the ears and the chest
down into the limestone
i feel the weight of my bones change
i havent been in this place for some time now
laying here
in a different rhythm
with a different body

watching and recording these movements
try to remember
lie on lower rock and retrace
arms inhabit another body
slowly, hands are heavy on my eyes
pour down, wipe away
some compression, a comfort on the body
arms fall into rock
head aims for the water
feet up there and I am sliding

Horton in Ribblesdale to Hawes

a troup sets off
we sign the PW book in the cafe across the road
walk for an hour
with babies bouncing on backs and fronts
they are walking at new heights
children's eyes looking down on us
a fake fall is demonstrated
departure at a gate
an hour back to their start

open moorland
no trees, just grass
a deep incision
trees, running water
horizontal slabs of rock
Ling Gill

Malham to Horton, a women's day with a boy visitor at the end

roco red
roco red
azul blue
azul blue
amarillo yellow
amarillo yellow
rosa pink
rosa pink

(to the tune of Frère Jacques)

Therese, who resides in a bunk house
on returning from Spain
we climb the Malham Cove again
white horses on the tarn
we walk around the tarn, round robins voicing us along
different parts coming together
the wind to the left of us again
a familiar smell coming from the water
like starchy potatoes soaking in a pan on a sunday morning
at my gran's house
we wrap up
everyone else in shorts
singing through the forest to a big white house
field studies are underway
we depart from Therese
memories shared of unison and unity
with a nepalese song she leaves us on our way

down a sheltered forested track
through a grassy gully
past a farm
no people
a single track road out of place
emptiness, a place left behind
there are five cars in a row
down to the road and the Pennine way is lost
we go wrong
50m check on the map
still wrong
checking features
oh path down there
follow fence back to path
a wide white scar in this green landscape
difficult to miss
a field of bulls
is this the 'challenge' that Allison was talking about?
standing on the path
circling, stocky legs, broad shoulders
we jump fence to next field
up up up up up up
its the Pennine way
it must be going up
heather in the cairn on fountain's fell
from David?

big lump of rock over there
up to make 3 sides of a square
its Pen Y Ghent
windy hill
wind from the west
wind on the left
gust takes us off our feet
path is paved
steps up
crouched and close to the face
wait for stillness, to continue climbing
big wedge in the landscape
we got on top of it
singing loudly
we can see the sea
from this landship
with the wind to the left we descend
being pushed in to the hillside
sitting down
sensible says the two people going up
5 miles down, bony stones
friends are here with warm hugs
the women's centre at the bottom of the path
with a foot spa and a heart shaped cake
a boy visitor travelling from the Lakes
arrives in the darkness


we find Ben in Malham
we speak his name and he has not heard
it out loud for a week
his feet are sore
he decides his walk stops here
he is going to the seaside
to bathe his sore feet in salty seawater
we will miss him
he was always ahead of us
or if he was behind us
he always overtook us

a goodbye tune, we send into the south
for Ben:

(the tune of 'you are my sunshine, my only sunshine')

you were so speedy
but not so needy
we felt so sorry
to see your feet bare

you'll never know Ben
how much we'll miss you
we hope to see your speedy feet again

malham cove

tracing horizons together
we follow the stream up to the cove
we follow the children in the stream up to the cove
a new pace
one of exploring from rock to rock
wet feet, then cold
bigger ones take care of little ones
on slimey rocks
we hit the echo of the cove
and trace the small path up
in single file
to broad paves of limestone
limestone hopping and missing crevices
flocking with Maya
remembering the way here
the horizon shifted, now further away
we follow the steps on the way down
we follow the stream down to the village
we follow the children in the stream down to the village

blind horse

a blind horse leads us to Gargrave
a canal
sloe gin plant on the lane
a new country from here
well drained grassy
huge cows, more sheep
moving onto conversations about planes
they are flying overhead
tornadoes, spitfires
6 billion dollar stealth raptor jets
flown by Americans not here
something about remote controlled planes
piloted from Las Vegas
flying in Iraq
children playing in the river
200 Russian submarines rotting in Murmansk
fluffy fluffy seeds flying through the air

We follow the river Aire upstream
meandering in its bends and oxbows
across the bridge that is being renovated
and onto a smaller bridge that lets us watch the fish below
a diablo performance on the bank
sunny slowly we arrive
cove capturing the evening glow

1 hour circular walk to start the day

our earlier start, 930 not 1000
leaves us later than usual
a missed sign
a found sign in the right place going the wrong way
we backtrack, it feels wrong
but it matches the descriptions in the book
in reverse we realise when we are back to the bridge
where we started
backtracking, this wrong turn
and friends are refound
David with Sam and Josh

We pass through fields and meadows
ambling in the missed sunshine
tubes of yellow and red line the hillside
soon they will be underground transporting
big enough for people

Friday, August 11, 2006

hare and hounds
pit stop
we meet another David
walking in a southbound trajectory
he's lost his friend along the way
tender injured feet
ours too!

end of today
departure then lost
losing the trail
at the same place
bashing our toes
on clogger lane
leading on to A roads again
Simone goes left, Tamara goes right
too late for dinner tonight

simone walks past heavy traffic, its raining.
in my shorts and shivering knees i persevere to find the PW path again
im following my nose and not the map
I stumble across it and turn left up the lane through a small hamlet
a man says hello and tells me im on the right track
across those fields
i cant remember how many now- no signs
and not a clue
still following my nose
i edge the field to find the canal
the 3rd bridge and im there
in the rain a dog goes crazy at me while its owners drink wine from the bench on the side
they are on holiday

off Clogger Lane
Tamara is given directions to East Marton
by a man coming out of his house
looks at me lost on a village green
up a backroad opposite the Tempest pub
rain rain rain rain rain
a quiet road gently up hill
this does not lead back to the trail
no map to tell me
I know it is up hill and keep going that way
there is a canal
I find another A road
juggernauts spray water
i jump on to the verge
bridge across the canal
a few houses here
the cross keys pub right there

day 6, Ponden to East Marton

up a big hill
down a big hill
constant upward motion
in my own world
rhythm rhy rhythm
building paths
sheep farming on quad bikes
herded with the sheep along the path

what is a safe distance for a sheep to walk behind you?
around 15 metres away from us
when we stop they stop and wait
undulating in the heather
shepherds shaping the centre from the edge
whistles and calls and dogs resting on quads
in between shifts

the path is crawling

flying ants animate the tarmac
like a quivering carpet
my skin is crawling
we suck in air across the reservoir
and return drops to dried spillways
a moor crossed by Heathcliff once
in imagined stories
now brings signs in japanese
a fell runner and two women ask
'are you the big one?'
and we reply, 'yes, can you tell?'
'by the size of your packs and the
weather worn faces
challenge of length against a desire to linger

stomping to a deadline today
we get a sprint on from top withins
not wuthering heights the Bronte Society
have the need to point out
we descend
our friend ascends in a red car
to both arrive at the gate
together -
she brings treats of kendal mint cake and deep heat
yorkshire puddings with the day's toll

a room frozen in the year I was born
net curtains, no room with a view

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

the more the moor we stomp across the moor

indirectness is for those with time

a choice
Wainwright's path?
Official route?
we think Wainwright's longer, or more obtuse
perhaps taking us round a bend, nearly lost
there is no time
its times like these we wish we had time to be lost
we stick with the official route

day 5, Stoodley Pike up close and disappears

we should have come here yesterday, not retrace those steps from Mankinholes
agony all the way to
Stoodley Pike
you can go inside you know
up the stairs
i don't know if i want to do this
dark, light from the head torch
its well creepy
the old stone is weathered and worn
how long must it have taken to etch these names into the stone

End day 4, Stoodley Pike in sight

from Black Hill
we approach
a pin beacon
black and coming nearer
the last leg the hardest
down to Manky
stone paves
torture on steep gradient
slapped knees knocking stone
tears, the first

stone bridge
body bridge across concrete drainage ditch
push to hold
that shape
of the walk today

more signs of david

he ain't heavy he's my brother (internal music)
round and round the reservoirs we go
stop at the pub there's no beer a flow

some sky dances

signs of david

left in the ground by our
departing and returning companion

Day 4, we love man made things and the structure they keep us in

aiming for the M62 cafe and crossing
heavy pelvis and aching back
its amazing what can give you motivation
lets lose some weight
do bogs preserve or decompose bodies?

Saddleworth moor behind
a song in the present from an inhabitant of that place
'its a long way to Tipperary'
its a long long long long long long long long way
to go

Monday, August 07, 2006

a disappointed top into a deep disappointing drop

'Pennine country where wet feet are averted by the ubiquitous slabs all the way to the uninspiring summit of Black Hill...a causeway of slabs laid with painstaking care by the Peak National Park staff using nothing but a few crow bars and a kind of pallet-truck with caterpillar tracks, very slow and cumbersome to handle' (British Walking Guide to the Pennine Way)

lets give this place a moment of being a wanted arrival
a place where you enjoy the view whatever the weather
a place where you stop and take a long breath
a pause
for reflection and what it is like to be really disappointed, are you really?

at 1745 a deep disappointing drop
our soles meant for combing sea shores
not clambering upland moors
body groans at this beauty
body of water, one of many

day 3, postcards from David and Liz

8 legs on 9 legs, determined by us on the map, last night, some following path, some not

1. warmth welcome sun
2. yesterday was a battle, rowan tree berries
3. through the wall, sound of the breeze, birds. sheep, dry Crowden brook
4. a fast flowing stream, sun on back, warmth, clouds, shadow on hillside, peaceful
5. another stream, bilberries, lovely spot
6. jutting rocks, good view across to Kinder, slowly moving cloud shadows
7. no background noise or hum, only wind and sheep, occassional bird. A cricket.
8. so much better than last time, flagstones to follow now (David was last here 14 years ago)
9. Black Hill - the sun does shine on Black Hill sometimes

1. BLUE sky, GREEN ferns, VIBRANT chat
2. appearing/disappearing, present/absent, revealed/concealed
3. collections of shrubs, trees, rocks, round/angular
4. clear copper gushing bubbling water journeying downward, lone tree clinging to hillside
5. foothold under foot foot falls
6. rocks sticking out from the hillside like thrones over the majestic valley or diving boards into the deep
7. on the edge lopsided, wanting to see the earth from above, patterned on to hilltop like cheese? like the covering shrunk and didn't fit the hill anymore.
8. stream gets thinner and thinner. dragonfly can almost touch the clouds
9. so how did they get all the stone slabs here to make the path?

day 2, the things the weather permits

wade in the water (external music)
to fall down the bank of Rhodeswood
to climb up the cobbled wall of Torside

knowing it will rain
polar maritime funnels from the north
feeling settled and then cold
an absence on the crossing
driven away by driving rain

forest, three black crows, tent houses
pine needles and tarmac
warm, heavy pelvis
stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, still
grit stone
the road parallel
the wind blowing shapes across the water
the letter E and 4 floating quietly

friends new and old at the hostel
Liz arrives from Bleaklow through stair rod rain (or is it steel rods?)

end of day 1

15 miles of stomping
1 mile of stillness (no wind)
more absence than action
losing and loss on the way

internal music (day 1, but this will continue)

'i never wanna dance again, this guilty feeling, i ain't got no rhythm, though its easy to pretend, i know you're not a fool.
should 've known better than to cheat a friend???? oh oh oh oh'

what travels around our bodies

transporting weight and weight transfers tensions
hip and shoulder
heels and toes
blown constantly to the left
left foot kicks right
cheek polished by the wind

along along along we went

along along along we went, rain followed by a drying wind, by rain, by rain, moments of quiet and openings
hours and hours
when will this path end?
freezing skin and hot core

the first hour of rain

hens scuttling out of the rain
clucking hens
and gentle sound of falling rain

i want to be at the shelter
relief when we are here
children's verse gives us cheer

'when its wet and windy
water sprays back up the waterfall'

'twigs cracking.
into the natural carpet.
heather creeps along, the sloping bank.
a sheep path curls its way out'

'ancient boundaries, trackways and workings have marked the land of the Edale valley, like the worn hands of an old farmer.'

'packhorse trails - salt and cotton from the west were exchnged for coal and lead in the east, amongst other things.
journeys were long and hard, and often in terrible weather.'

Words in quotes found in National Trust shelter
a place where we listened to the rain and wind

walking to Hope, a departure imagined at Kinder Low

i miss michael and i've never even met him.
i hope he's alright
i hope he is walking to Hope
but i'm not sure if Hope is enough in this weather

1130, Lee Farm Shelter, 1 August

1030am, Old Nag's Head, 1 August

this is the start
this is where we begin
in the rain with nothing to say?
i have the weather inside me and there is always time for words

Thursday, July 27, 2006

some words from collaborating artists

I am interested in what will emerge from the very stationery action of writing on the very practical action of walking. I will be responding to what Simone and Tamara are doing without the insight of a tired body. My purely theoretical research, imaginings and interpretations of what Simone and Tamara tell me will at times be blurred with the reality of my brief visits into the journey. What I write will then be the result of another journey- neither rooted in the ground nor rooted in the page but instead elsewhere- a half truth; a whole truth.

Pulling on folklore from areas on route I will put together a series of interactions by taking on the role of a local boggart - an unseen presence, communicating but never in person. The travellers must abide by certain rituals, pleasing the boggart so that they may be preserved with good fortune for the latter part of their journey.

Landscape, place, space; and finding you way along the path. The Pennine Path. "Neither movement from nor towards... There would be no dance, and there is only the dance". And even when you are on the path, finding another way. Losing yourself into a feral world, a sensual world of sharp eye and instinct; the muscle of the land.
What do I make of it? What is it making of us? I look to get lost in it; and we both find ourselves asking: could it be the making of us? Body of landscape, place and space.
in between trees.
little (white) things found in unexpected places can evolve into bigger stories. through the forest I will prepare pathways of objects (paper, string, birds) and movement (mine, others) for the artists to respond to. this improvisation will be formed by the accumulated experience of their month long duet. you are invited along on the journey. on the pennine way and in the forest. we need you to erase our tracks.

Fires in Peak District

Due to fires, some of the moorland and areas of peat bog in the Peak District National Park are closed. However, we have learned that public rights of way are to remain open. Where the Pennine Way follows these rights of way, so will we. Otherwise we may divert to avoid the closed areas, following the nearest route to the trail along public rights of way.

We are hoping for some cooler weather to send us on a comfortable start on Tuesday. We start at 10am at the Old Nag's Head, walking towards Hope and beyond.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Pennine Way: the legs that make us

Information to Join in

Walk with the artists
Curated walks with the artists. Where two start times are indicated, you are invited to choose one. Walks on these days will be staggered with one group following the other, some clues left, some different stories made and told.

1 August, Edale to Snake Pass (9 miles), meet at The Old Nag’s Head, Edale, Derbyshire, 10am
5 August, Mankinholes to Ponden (16 miles), meet at Mankinholes YHA, Todmorden, Lancashire,
9-30am, 10am
9 August, Malham to Horton in Ribblesdale (15 miles), meet at Malham YHA, Skipton, N. Yorks, 9am
13 August, Keld to Baldersdale (14 miles), meet at Keld YHA, Upper Swaledale, N. Yorks, 9-30am, 10am
16 August, Langdon Beck to Dufton (12 miles), meet at Langdon Beck YHA, Forest in Teesdale, C. Durham, 9-30am
24 August, Greenhead to Once Brewed (7 miles), meet at Greenhead YHA, Cumbria, 10am, 11am

Perform with the artists
Day long workshops leading to performance events in the landscape. All you need is curiosity and sturdy boots. Each day will finish at about 5pm.

8 August, Malham, meet at Malham YHA, Skipton, N. Yorks, 10am
11 August, Hadraw Waterfall, meet Green Dragon Inn, nr Hawes, N. Yorks, 11am
15 August, High Force, meet at Langdon Beck YHA, Forest in Teesdale, Co. Durham, 10am
25 August, Hadrian’s Wall, meet at National Park Centre, Once Brewed, Northumberland, 11am

If possible, please let us know that you are coming to the workshops by emailing us at

Specific Performance Events
19 August
, enduring the highest moment, top of Cross Fell, all day. Cross Fell can be reached from Garrigill (7 miles) or Dufton (12 miles), both villages are in Cumbria.
21 August, the slowest legs, 4 miles along the River Tyne, starts Garrigill village green, Cumbria, 4pm
22 August, along the line, along the old railway line, starts Alston YHA, Cumbria, 10am
24 August, Hadrian’s Wall, near Crag Lough, Northumberland, from 6pm
28 August, in between trees, Stonehaugh Campsite, Wark, Northumberland, 11am
30 August, a last high, sounding out the Cheviot, Northumberland, from 7pm
An evening performance on the Cheviot, camping out. Our journey that day will start in Byrness, Northumberland at 10am
31 August, the last leg, arriving in Kirk Yetholm, Scotland, 6pm

Monday, July 17, 2006

invitation to walk with us

in a northbound trajectory
of many legs
ours, theirs and yours
we remember
by what happened
along the way

journey through
its time, space,
and memories
accumulate thoughts
and movements,
and stories
along this trail

Welcome walkers and talkers, travellers, wanderers and wayfarers

Over the next few weeks, news about the performance will be posted.
During the performance, August 1 - 31, come back here to read reflections and compositions on our progress. We will also be posting images and updates on meeting times , performance locations and travel information.
You can post comments here or email us at
Happy walking
Tamara and Simone

A BRIEF MAGNETICS PROJECT supported by the Arts Council of England, Dance 4, Dance City and Northumbria University