Out to the blue remembered hills

Ordered to exercise. That’s what it comes down to, and I am happy to comply. All that “stay at home” has a big proviso – “go out to exercise once a day”. Fortunate to live where the countryside still laps the lanes, I can head out far to the blue remembered hills, or at least the country lanes threading between the farms – this is not Housman country.

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

Oh, but I can come again, and will do so. Those days I have spent on distant hills, basking in the closer sun or the driving sleet are what I dream at night, but closer to home I have the happy highways where I went when first treading the parish, and now I can go there every day finding new ways, commanded indeed to do so. No more the hours wasted in commuting to London, yet awhile, and the evenings drawing longer and opening those remembered lanes where I could not tread during the working week.

I have never walked so much in the week in all my life.

Yes, it is a pity that the whole kingdom has to go bankrupt just so I can stretch my legs. I just will not think about that.

The same paths are coming up again and again, but there are new twists and combinations, and maybe I can find new ways through to further and more exotic paths as I go, or run the path one day instead of walking it. There is a small but steep hill too, up from the river – if I climb that enough times it will be the equivalent of Ben Nevis.

This sounds too much like gloating. I resisted the clamours directed at me to fix my abode in the city and I live where these walks are possible from my own doorstep. Most do not – they live clustered in flats and townhouses with no escape from humanity swirling about around them, in the close, plague-ridden city stepping out straight into the crowd. London is quiet, but never far from anyone. We who are more fortunate in these times should not criticise those who live in gardenless apartments and grasp their last lot of freedom in the parks and riverside.

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Author: LittleHobb

Solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short