Leave Nothing But Footsteps, Take Nothing But Memories

Leave Nothing But Footsteps, Take Nothing But Memories Blog

Fighting words and fish

For our next poetry challenge (see “Grab your words and fight back” from back in November), we’ve picked up on one of the peak’s most abiding recreational pursuits, offering you two different perspectives on the noble art of fishing……

precarious pastimes in Monsal Dale

The aim of these “challenges” is to give you something to think about and invite you to send in your responses: as poems, as prose, as pictures….as a few words scribbled over a cup oft ea or a considered composition that kept you up half the night…..And “responses”? You may agree with the poems presented – or disagree – or think it’s all rubbish and we should just build motorways – or be deeply indifferent to the appeal of thigh-length waders and lots of cold water.

1. Enjoy thy streame, O harmless fish;

And when an angler, for his dish,

Through a gluttony’s vile sin,

Attempts, a wretch, to pull thee out,

God give thee strength, O gentel trout,

To pull the raskall in!

John Wolcot, 1801

2. Oh my beloved nymph! Fair Dove;

Princess of rivers, how I love

Upon thy flowery banks to lie;

And view thy silver stream,

When gilded by a summer’s beam,

And in it all thy wanton fry

Playing at liberty,

And with my angle upon them

The all of treachery

I ever learnt, industriously to try.

Charles Cotton, 1630-1687


Exploring a sense of place

Back in September, i was working up in Inverness telling stories and leading storymaking workshops in schools across the region. I spent one session with some old friends at the Glachbeg Croft Centre in North Kessock where we talked about the Footsteps project. The group were taken with the idea of people visiting places and valuing places very much as we do today over the centuries. Out of that discussion came two collective pieces of work that, while they aren’t about the peaks, are about that sense of valuing place and that adventures come from how people see and respond to a place and to each other rather than anything hugely shocking taking place.  ”The Expedition” and “Glachbeg” follow. there is an image sequence to go with Glachbeg that will go onto our YouTube site just as soon as I work out how to do it!

The Expedition

Out on the waves, looking for dolphins,

Out on the waves, in a bumpy boat,

Out on the waves, racing along,

Out on the waves, hanging on tight,

Out on the waves.

Giggling girls holding on for dear life,

Navy blue lifejackets, blue and black wetsuits,

Hoping for giraffes, for crocodiles, for penguins, for sharks.

Out on the waves, under the water,

Dolphins and seals are gliding.

Out on the waves, over the water,

Seagulls, herons, cormorants and shags are sailing

Out on the waves where the guillemots spit

Out on the waves where we see no whales,

No seals, no dolphins, no nothing but waves

Back from the waves, back from the water, back to Glachbeg

Singing all the way, back to home and back to bed!

The Wednesday in-It Together Club, Glachbeg Croft Centre, 15th September 2010


The day the diggers came,

moving mountains of earth,

Glachbeg grew out of mud and wood

and a sunset glowed over the hills

Cleaning out chickens

Collecting eggs

Feeding excited cows

Hoping for horses but not here, not yet,

And in the autumn, the cows will steal the apples

Lambs in the field, jumping around, both lambs and us

Escaping to Spain

Summer holidays and heat

Relaxing in the sand with jacuzzis  under the stars

Under the sun

A hot sun

A bright sun

A roasting sun, while palm trees wait by a clear blue sea

But Glachbeg brings us back to black sheep and brown sheep and

Lambs still running across the fields

And here is our room

And time with friends

The band is playing – drums, guitar and a strong voice

Joining in, singing, dancing, or watching

The Wednesday In It Together club is best!

Cleaning out chickens

Collecting eggs

Feeding excited cows

Hoping for horses but not here, not yet,

And in the autumn, the cows will steal the apples

The Wednesday In-It-Together Club,

Glachbeg Croft Centre, 15th September 2010

turbulent seas and a sense of some discomfort....


Winter Walks Challenge

search for the locations of 18th and 19th Century prints in the Derbyshire dales this winter


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