Many veteran walkamilers will remember my last encounter with a nuclear power station – Dounreay up in the north of Scotland – I’d camped a little close, on one of those beautifully manicured bits of grass that one finds at the front of business parks, claiming my right to roam, when I received a night time visit from the terrorist police (they weren’t terrorists, silly) asking for my particulars.
Thankfully I had the wherewithal to remove my bedtime balaclava so I didn’t completely fit their stereotype of Mr Al Kyeeda.
Today is very different from then. It’s hot for one thing. The people are dazzlingly friendly. Everyone says hello.
The greeting is everything on the continuum from someone they might have met once to long lost friend.
It’s fabulous. I met a couple who live locally – he works for Cruise Bereavement care, they have a daughter who’s a mental health nurse. Whilst we were acknowledging that men weren’t the best at talking about their feelings he said,
‘Would you like a fiver?’ in that lovely Cumbrian accent.
‘Yes I would,’ I smiled.
Further up the road I received a lovely yoohoo kind of hello – the kind where I wasn’t sure if it was me being yoohoo’d at.
I chatted with the lovely middle aged woman for a while as her golden labs bounced and sniffed around. She declined the offer to shake my hand since she was carrying a big bag of poo!
She was from Warwickshire – where the lovely Ella resides – a happy coincidence. She loves it up here. I can see why, there’s more than a little of the flavour of the west of Scotland here.
The main difference is the huge lump of power station that dominates the horizon to the south – making me think of a cross between Springfield (ask a middle aged man) and the merry old land of Oz (don’t ask an Australian – ask a grandparent)
Did I mention it’s sunny? The skylarks are singing, claiming their little bit of countryside, the sea is washing up on the coastline to my right, ewes and lambs exchange little noises of concern when they see Hubert…
And a number of bumblebees are bumbling.
All rather lovely.
Walk a mile