Wednesday, August 26, 1981


We set off for Snaythrop Abbey at eight-thirty and as usual with hiking, I began the day in a foul, irritable mood, which persisted until we really got going. It was clear and sunny as we set off up through a plantation to broad meadows, heading for Emwood Moor. We enjoyed superb views towards Emwood reservoir; the heather was incredibly vivid purple, the water a lurid blue.

As we approached the 'entrance' to moor we could hear the gunshots from the grouse shooters.We prayed the moor was open, and we were lucky. By now the sun was unrelenting; there was no shade and our dry, tired progress through heather and bracken was unpleasant. I cooled my feet in a pool beyond the reservoir (date on house ‘1891’), and we watched a green dragonfly laying its eggs beneath the surface of the water. Dad saw a brown lizard, and later I too saw one wriggle into a clump of bilberries.

We followed the road into Ranelathe where we had some tea, before carrying on along the Ainder towards Snaythrop Abbey. There were people everywhere, especially old women. I began to enjoy myself. The evening was mellow and after five miles of riverside we reached Snaythrop by sunset, driving home in twilight.

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