Tormented weather screams across the long battered surfaces of the Pennines. The undergrowth is haggard and wiry and shrugs the weather with ease. I wish that I could do the same. There is little to see. Rain never rests and hastily shivers and slithers to warmer depths. To venture across these plains is for those with metal glinting in their blood and I guess a shimmer of youthful stupidity. I yearn to be able to shed the endless pounding of concrete and would gladly play roulette with the hidden dangers that are inherent here. The seemingly blanketed undergrowth beckons with deception. Proof is evident everywhere, the remains of craddled creatures shine about the place in warning. Many have failed the venture through.
Lurking far below is a vast myriad of monoliths. These lucky ones that overshadow the masses below peer out of the leaden skies. The very life lurking in these clouds is mercurial but seemingly purposeful and suffocates and stifles the dancing hopes of the suns rays trying to reach those weary souls below this dark veil.
I wish my friend and filming guru Michael from Sugarglider Productions was here with me to capture these moments.
I gradually leave behind the beautiful barren harsh slopes. The sounds of the urban jungle grows like a new wave. I feel and fight the urge to turn around. I have to face this oncoming rush and accept becoming part of this mayhem.
I barricade and brace myself and zone out.
As I am within reach of finishing I pull up and realise the long run off of the Pennines has taken its toll and I rapidly realise with a hollow sinking that my relatively healed ankle has pulled again. Its serious enough to have to force me to walk the last several miles.
This stretches and threads through the most depressing of areas. The worst so far on this adventure. An area where the scarred buildings themselves cry out and weep through their graffiti torn and shuttered fronts. Hope has long since been vacuumed out of all of the brightest corners and replaced by the acrid smell of the oldest twang of vinegar. It is as though this has been exhaled from the few lost souls that stumble around. This reminds me of the ‘Post Apocalyptic’ festival crowd in Leeds. This reality however cuts and dices infinitely further and instantly into my inner cerebellum with swiftness and precision. Surgical blows from a blade wielded by Freddy Kruger. The few human creatures roaming around are often manacled and brandished with Romanesque gladiatorial bravado by their ‘Pets.’
The grizzled dogs drag their owners without fear. Their scarred hides hard like the oldest of tress. Strained and twisted hands are tugged ferociously. The finely crafted ink lines of ‘love’ proudly show above a wealth of sovereign rings. Gnawed and pinched fingers puff as the industrial sized link chain constricts. The choking matters not to either man nor beast. Fierce eyes weigh me up, an obvious stranger in this hunting ground. Bravado carries only so far here. My shutters are instantly removed and I go on full battle alert. Even the humble Sparrow disdainfully struts hard here. By grace of the gods I walk the plank and survive.