Walk – Heptonstall

Another nice sunny day and another power walk to Heptonstall to meet Lisa. This time I decided to get warmed up first rather than charging straight up the hill from a cold start!

So, first things first. I walked to an ATM and took out some cash, and changed a bag of 5p pieces at Spar to pay for my share of the coffee and Millionaire’s Shortbread we’d be having in Heptonstall. I then wandered round to the market and bought my week’s supply of fruit and veg., dropped that off at home and then began my power walk.

This week, I decided to walk up Moss Lane rather than The Buttress. It is a steep concrete-surfaced road which comes out about 50 yards from the top of The Buttress.

I then took the little path through the woods to the Heptonstall Road, You know – the path on which I banged my head on a low-flying tree a couple of weeks ago! Hmm, thinking about it, I have no recollection of either ducking below the tree or of banging my head this time so I reckon somebody must have been up there with a chain saw since I last walked up there. Either that or I was completely pre-occupied and ducked without thinking about it.

The walk up the hill got me really warm and it was the first time since about last October that I’ve felt overdressed in my fleece jacket. I should have taken it off while I was walking but I’m a bit self-conscious about the size of my beer-belly which is just above my threshold of tolerance. A loss of 7 or 8 pounds of fat would reduce it to a more acceptable size and hopefully I will have achieved that before the end of May.

When I got up to the village, there was no sign of Lisa so I sat on a bench seat in the sunshine to wait for her. I felt pretty relaxed and was enjoying just sitting there looking around when suddenly a strange feeling came over me. It was the way I felt when I first visited this area about 30 years ago. I was really knocked out then by the green hills and the dark gritstone walls and buildings but over the years you kind of get used to all of that. Every now and then though, in an unguarded moment, those old feelings can come flooding back and magical it is when that happens! But then the mental shutters close again, and everything fades back into a cosy familiarity. I suppose it is like being married for 30 years. You still love your partner but it gradually transforms into more of a warm glow then the hot excitement you felt when you first encountered each other. Both slightly sad and deeply reassuring at the same time!

And then Lisa appeared…

We had a brief chat and then walked over to the cafe to buy our goodies which we took off to the grave yard at the old Heptonstall church. It’s quiet there and a nice place to sit and think.

I’d cooled off in the breeze and was feeling slightly chilled. It was that kind of day – hot when moving around, warm when in the sun and sheltered from the wind, cool when out of the sun and exposed to the wind. A windtop would have been better than a fleece today.

We walked back to town by the footpath down the side of Heptonstall quarry.

Footpath from Heptonstall Quarry
Footpath from Heptonstall Quarry

A nice little stroll, the kind of thing that shouldn’t be taken for granted. My father was already riddled with arthritis by the time he was my age and would have really struggled to do that walk. I may moan about things from time to time, but I am actually grateful for my good physical health and fitness.

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