I want to try and keep this one going as a positive post because I’ve done well to drag myself out of bed, out of the house and out in to the fresh air of the Somerset countryside. Ever since I finished work yesterday lunchtime though, my mood has been on a steady decline. I spent the afternoon sleeping on top of my bed; I couldn’t even be bothered to walk the dog. My evening was no more pro-active and I was struggling to get going today. Even when I left the house, I wasn’t really in the mood and this usually changes once I’m out and about…
Maybe I’m finally getting bored of my own company? I have thoughts of not having to return to work until Thursday but still, I know I’m going to spend this time on my own. Maybe it was the setting?
Whatever the cause, I’m feeling low today and, not for the first time since I’ve been in counselling, I’m finding myself unable to crawl down and ‘hide away’ in my secret, safe space. It’s surrounded by nature; buried beneath a layer of leaves and grass. Inside, it is dark but, the walls are warm and earthly. Now, it’s as if someone’s concreted over and filled it in. I cannot break through, I cannot get in. I’m left stand out in the cold, exposed, feeling the way that I do right now.
Anyway, let’s have a look at where I went today…
In Somerset, the Mendip Hills are renown as great place for long walks, mountain biking and other outdoor pursuit activities. During primary school, I’m sure we visited some of the caves not far from where I parked today. During my teenage years, I spent my enrichment week (activities week) mountain biking across these hills along with a small group of others. Up until a few years after that, my dad would bring my sister and myself up here, along with our dog, for walks on a Sunday morning (I can’t remember why this stopped? It might’ve been when I started working weekends).
From all my previous time spent up here (it had been over a decade), I had a vague recollection of where things were and what direction I should be heading in. These hills and the Mendips themselves go on for miles. There’s too much for me to cover in one afternoon so, I have several opportunities to plan for returns. Following familiar paths, I found the old dog bath – it’s amazing how some things still remain in these places, after all these years and memories. It’s a shame the same can’t be said of people in or out of our lives…
There was one ‘stream’ that I’m sure used to be a path – but, with the month’s-worth-of-rain and all the flooding that hit the south west on Monday, I’m not too surprised! Had I been able to follow that path (or, find the one I was looking for), I’d have passed a familiar cave that I used to enjoy poking in to (but not too close).
Sticking to the dry routes, it wasn’t long before I found myself struggling for breath and stopping too frequently… It was almost like the start of Cheddar Gorge, all over again! But, I soon made it up to the highest point in the area, known as Beacon Batch; a whopping 325m above sea level!
Water was everywhere. Apart from the views across Somerset and, even, as far out as to both of the Severn Bridges, I was struggling to find the ‘attractions’ that had kept me entertained in visits to other parts of the west country. Maybe it was my mood or, the fact that I was only a stone’s throw from this land seven days ago?
Again, I saw the ‘mystery‘ hill that was visible from Cheddar Gorge last weekend:
Apparently, it is Brent Knoll Hill. I’d assumed that Brent Knoll and Burnham-on-Sea were further along the coastline… Probably where Minehead is!
When I reached the highest point, I was presented in heading in one of four compass directions (actually, three, as I didn’t want to go backwards just yet!). I wasn’t sure of where to go and began following a group of walkers or ramblers heading off in to the distance. I took a slight detour from their path as they turned off and discovered the strange-looking hill that you can see above…
My best guess was that’s some kind of hill fort (there are said to be others on these hills). There’s a door on one side, shielded by a tall brick wall. I didn’t dare enter inside though – that lost trainer and the absence of light made for the setting of a horror film… The door had clearly been unlocked at some point – who’s to say that someone couldn’t have emerged from behind the hill as I entered and padlocked me in?! I probably wouldn’t get a phone signal in there and it is some way from the main footpath…
Did anyone used to watch LOST? Yeah, it reminded me a bit of one of those underground stations as well – it could be good material for a short story. 🙂
(Apparently, it was a World War II decoy bombing site, code-named Starfish! Wish I’d gone inside, now…)
There isn’t really much more to tell but, as always, you can view the complete photo range in my Flickr album. I am starting to feel a bit better after writing this but, I still can’t bring myself to have a shower. I feel grease all over my skin but, I just cannot face the thought of undressing and the hassle of drying my hair. I haven’t changed my bed sheets for about two months either. They’re also dirty but, I just don’t see the point when I’m the only one who ever sleeps in it. It’s not as if I have company or anything (as much as I do get my hopes up, even without substance to base it on).
Tomorrow, I’m going to try and head out to another part of these hills – perhaps even to Brent Knoll and to find that hill’s identity. I don’t feel like sitting or lying around at home, especially when I know my dad’s intending to pop in (I’ve already seen him both today and yesterday!!). I don’t feel like straying too far from home. With three more days to myself after that, I might revisit Leigh Woods on Monday (to recover those untaken photographs) but then, I think rain is forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday, before I return to work.