Category Archives: Writing

Days Like This, No 16: Blue Skies, White Hills, Red Screes

A winter’s walk up Red Screes . . . Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Hiking, Mountains, Walking, Weather, Writing | Tagged , , , | 35 Comments

Days Like This, No 4: Before Night at Beacon Tarn

Memories of a backpacking trip from Cockermouth to Greenodd . . . Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Environment, Hiking, Mountains, Quarrying, Slate quarries, Walking, Writing | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Arkengarthdale and the Hungry Hushes

IT’S midday and a storm warning has been issued by the Met Office. I’ve just set off across the northern spur of Reeth High Moor and can expect gale-force winds and up to 40mm of rain. The valley fields are … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Climbing, Environment, Geology, Hiking, History, horse gins, Industrial archaeology, Knut Hamsun, Life, Mountains, Patrick Kavanagh, Politics, Quarrying, Ranting, Ruins, Unemployment, Walking, Writing | Tagged , , , | 36 Comments

A Pennine Trek, Part 2 – A Night Beneath Hangman Hill

McEff continues his backpacking trip to Hexham . . . Continue reading

Posted in Camping, Climbing, Death, Drove roads, Environment, Footpaths, Ghosts, Hiking, History, Mountains, Railway goods wagons, Walking, Writing | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

A Pennine Trek, Part 1 – Moorland and Mustard Gas

The first stage of a three-day walk from Bowes to Hexham . . . Continue reading

Posted in Allotments, Camping, Charles Dickens, Climbing, Drove roads, Environment, Explosives, Footpaths, Hiking, History, Mountains, Northern Echo, Pennine Way, Running, Second World War, Walking, Writing | Tagged , , | 27 Comments

Starry, Starry Night

IT’S turned midnight and stars are burning. There’s a smell of autumn in the grass and draughts stir the flysheet. The summer isn’t quite dead but it’s fading. In the deep shades of night, lying still as a stone in … Continue reading

Posted in Beowulf, Camping, Death, Environment, Hiking, Life, Norfolk Broads, Seamus Heaney, Shipping Forecast, Walking, Writing | Tagged | 22 Comments

Green Remembered Woods

WANDERING through hay meadows. See twisted hawthorn trunks and rusted metal gates hanging from stone stoops; fields swooping down towards an estuary and distant Lakeland fells. Smell hay and damp fields after rain, the rich aroma of cattle and clover. … Continue reading

Posted in Childhood, Environment, Footpaths, History, Industrial archaeology, Life, Vikings, Walking, Writing | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

Slieve Muck, Moal Chobha’s Fort, Veering, Visibility Good

McEff is again let loose in the Mourne mountains . . . Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Cookery, Environment, Food, Hiking, Mountains, Mourne Wall, Shipping Forecast, Walking, Writing | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

London 5: Butchers, Saints and Sinners

BLOWN on a thin wind around a corner from the Barbican tube station past a private park surrounded by private railings to a place where knights once jousted on a meadow called the Smooth Field – which was situated just … Continue reading

Posted in Beer, Cookery, Death, Environment, Food, History, Life, Pigeons, Politics, Religion, Walking, Writing | Tagged | 14 Comments

London 4: William Morris and a Wander Through Walthamstow

A WIND to slice ears off whips across the entrance to Walthamstow Central tube station. The temperature is below zero degrees Centigrade and snow settles behind chimney stacks on bleak roofs. This is London at Easter. There are no bunnies … Continue reading

Posted in Beer, History, Life, Pigeons, Politics, Ranting, Walking, William Morris, Writing | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

London 3: A Cold Wet Walk for Pie and Mash

THE worst weather is wet snow. It saps the spirit and soaks through to the shoulders. When it whips off a river on an easterly wind it stings and sucks life from fingers and feet. Just as well we’re searching … Continue reading

Posted in Beer, Environment, Food, History, Life, Ranting, Religion, Walking, Writing | Tagged | 10 Comments

Causey Pike – A Country For Old Men?

NEAR the summit of Causey Pike, where the heathery track gives way to steep rock, an elderly man sits on a boulder. He’s wearing a wide-brimmed hat and his white hair wisps about his ears. I get the impression he’s … Continue reading

Posted in Climbing, Environment, Ghosts, Hiking, Life, Mountains, Walking, Writing | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments