I set out early for Lingmoor, hoping for quiet country roads and a peaceful journey. I was in for a shock.
A restorative interlude below Raven Crag, by Middle Fell Farm, where I was attracted by the din of swallows at home about the wires of the farmhouse chimneystack. The domestic life of swallows: busily flying to and fro, feeding their begging juveniles, preening and sleeking their feathers. Long tail streamers distinguished the adult birds, and a wondrous warm light suffused their white breasts and cast their shadows cast on the lime-washed wall. Swallows perched on a wriggle of wires about the chimneystack in intimate relation to farmstead and barn. What a morning!
Fresh from a rereading of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped’, and the adventures of David Balfour and Alan Breck who ‘take to the heather’ in flight from King George’s Redcoat soldiers, I wandered by Lingmoor Tarn in a take to the heather fantasy, finding a split rock where I might hide in the solitudes of Lingmoor knolls and hollows. Ranging over heather puts a spring in the step and I imagine it would be comfortable for a bed, with drinking water trickling down toward the tarn for fugitives who don’t mind sharing it with a few Herdwicks. A lone figure appeared on up on Side Pike, scanning the landscape, but I doubt he saw me and he was not a Red Coat: I was safe.