No doubt after the latest storms have passed there will be little left of the autumnal colours to enjoy. So I am pleased that a few days ago I journeyed to Leeds by rail – why? Because if you take the train between Skipton and Leeds and stare at the Aire Valley instead of at your iPhone or some other already-out-of-date device, you’ll see that despite its industrial history Airedale is in fact blessed with a great deal of woodland. All along the route up to within a mile or two of the city trees cover the valley sides. And I hear that just a couple of weeks ago Yorkshire Water, along with the Forestry Commission and Natural England, began a £1m project to restore more ancient woodland near Esholt – nice one. Not only are trees vital to the environment they provide a great deal of pleasure, and I’ve enjoyed many a grand walk along the Leeds-Liverpool canal which snakes through the Aire Valley woodland. I took these pictures by the canal near Kildwick in summer – it’ll be a while before we see such greenery again.
I just watched a re-run of the Stones at Glastonbury on iplayer. It was way past my bedtime when they were on the telly last night (which is worrying seeing as Jagger and Richards are ten years older than me). Jagger strutted up and down the stage like an out-of-control puppet; Richards wandered around waiting for someone to take him back to his room at the home. Wood looked a bit non-plussed by it all and seemed like was looking forward to being in his slippers enjoying a nice cup of tea. Watts reminded me of some character from Shaun of the Dead. But despite much of the audience being young enough to be their grandchildren, it took just the first two notes of ‘Satisfaction’ from the guitar of Richards to send the thousands into raptures and a shiver down my spine – just as it did when I saw them in Leeds in the early 80s. I thought at that time I could be witnessing their last major tour how wrong could I be? Shame Bill Wyman wasn’t on stage though – maybe his zimmer broke. They lost their way a couple of times last night and at one point it seemed Richards was playing a different number to everyone else, but by gum they were entertaining. So good to see musicians out there to make people happy instead of being a mile up their own backsides.
Up to retiring from my job as editor of the Yorkshire Dalesman magazine in November 2012 I wrote a weekly blog about my travels around the great county of Yorkshire. I always took with me my trusty Canon 300D to make a photographic record of my trips and tried to include some shots – good and poor – in the blog. Readers got in touch from all over the world to thank me for showing them what Yorkshire is like or for reminding them ‘of the old place’. I’m hoping, if we ever get any decent photographic weather, to continue with the ‘service’ from this blog so please keep coming back to see where I’ve been… and get in touch if you’d like to see somewhere specific from God’s Own Country.
(I’m also freelance editor of The Countryman – a national magazine for lovers of the countryside – visit my blog via www.countrymanmagazine.co.uk . The new editor of Dalesman also publishes a fine blog via www.dalesman.co.uk )