2 July 2021

Hollingworth

Horse at Flaxfield Farm

For one reason or another, I had not been able to take a long walk in the countryside since last week but that changed today (Friday). I steered Clint over the hills to Hollingworth near  Glossop. On the way, rather than listening to BBC Radio 4  as usual, I decided to play  an album called "The Very Best of  Jackson Browne". I bought it in 2004 but had not listened to it in ages. These years we are living in they just flick by don't they? Before you know it another decade has gone.

I parked on a particular street in Hollingworth having previously checked it out courtesy of Google Streetview.. Then with boots on I said farewell to Clint and headed north, through woods up onto treeless moorland.

The day was dry and rather sultry but did not provide the best conditions for photography. There was a constant haze and colours were muted. I plodded constantly for three hours - passing four reservoirs  - before taking a rest on a stile south of Flaxfield Farm.

Lane north of Hollingworth

I drank my water and ate my apple and then Geoffrey appeared. He was seventy six years old and could talk the hind legs off a donkey. He was wearing navy blue shorts with a navy blue T Shirt and scarlet braces (American: suspenders). When he came close to me to look at my map, I realised that he was wearing make-up. Not the kind of OTT make-up that drag queens might wear but a light foundation cream with ruby lipstick and a little light blue eye shadow behind his silver-rimmed spectacles.

As luck would have it, he decided to walk with me for half a mile or so. I  much prefer walking on my own but it was hard to refuse him. At a path junction we separated. He was heading up to a remote triangulation pillar and I was returning to Hollingworth. Geoffrey was a nice man with a zest for life but when we parted I realised that he knew nothing about me, apart from the fact that I had driven over from Sheffield. In contrast, I knew a great deal about him - including the names of his late parents, his sister, his best friends, where he had played in a band, his pension arrangements, how he had acquired his camera etcetera. This is by no means the first time that I have had a meeting with a stranger like that. They pour stuff out and seem disinterested in anything that I might have to say.

I felt pleasantly weary when I got back to Clint - four and a half hours after I had left him  snoozing under a tree. He woke up as though emerging from a dream about Turkey where Hyundais  are manufactured for the European market. "Wh...what? Err...! Oh it's you! Let's be off!"

Bench and signpost at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir

40 comments:

  1. Golly, I like that last photo of Higher Swineshead Reservoir.
    If I win the Lotto I'm buying myself a horse like the Flaxfield Horse.
    That Stanedyke Waa' ought to win the Turner Prize.

    As for the view, if there's no Intelligent Design, how about Sublime Nothing?
    I read a review of David Storey's journal, tracing his descent into madness.
    If he had spent less time in Hampstead and more time in Swineshead ... who can say?
    Storey was born in Wakefield, son of a miner, and played Rugby League.
    Haggerty
    P.S. Stanedyke Waa' is Scotchspeak for Stone Wall.
    Ach, I'm no Tasker but I dae ma best.

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    1. Long ago I read Storey's novel "This Sporting Life". I remember it being earthy, well-written and true to life. He wrote it in 1960. Storey actually played rugby league for Leeds RLFC. His father spelt the family name - Story which is I think a good name for a novelist!

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  2. Some people are all about themselves...boring!

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    1. Conversation should be like a game of ping pong.

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  3. Bench and signpost and a magnificent stone wall. It sounds like a good walk.

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    1. I would have liked to walk it with you, hoping you would not be wearing make-up like Geoffrey.

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    2. Geoffrey Archer? I nearly said one of my cricket heroes from Yorkshire who supports the lads from Old Trafford. I hope you write fictional or none fictional posts about Geoffrey. 😃

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    3. "Geoffrey and Dave" - romantic fiction from Yorkshire Pudding.

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  4. The photo of the lane with the tunnel of trees is lovely, hazy light or not.
    If I neet a stranger I usually prefer not to divulge anything personal. It is surprising how many strangers think it is fine to ask direct, very personal questions on first meeting.

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    1. If I walked with you we might say nothing to each other - keeping all personal information under lock and key...until of course the penny dropped and we realised who we were - stalwarts of the blogging community.

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  5. You omitted to tell us what Geoffrey had for breakfast.

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    1. Sorry. Toast with lime marmalade and a pot of tea as always.

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  6. The wooded lane and the stonewall, signpost and bench are great pictures, and I envy you the walk of 4 1/2 hours - it‘s been a while since I last did something like that, probably back in May during our 2 weeks off.
    The encounter with Geoffrey sounds rather amusing. Odd how some people just want to talk about themselves, when the best bit about meeting new people is to learn something about their views and lives.
    Mind you, of course when I blog, I basically talk about myself most of the time, too; maybe if Geoffrey had a blog, he would not feel the need to talk only about himself as much anymore.

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    1. Geoffrey could give make-up tips on his blog, offer pensions advice and provide other pearls of wisdom on a range of subjects. He could call his blog, "Happy Geoffrey" or "From My Limited Mental Library".

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  7. Very few people are interested in me. I must be a terrible bore. Perhaps we need to me forceful with the story of our lives or perhaps wear our hearts more on our sleeves.

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    1. Discretion is the better part of valour.

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    2. Also... Empty vessels make most noise.

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  8. Now see- I would have wanted to hear everything that Geoffrey had to say. I mean- a man out walking with make-up on? There's a story there. He obviously had a great need to talk to another human and there you were. Listening to him was a sweet thing for you to do.

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    1. If I ever see him again, I will advise him to visit Lloyd FL for his holidays.

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  9. Of course he could have gone home and told his family that he'd met a guy who had absolutely nothing to say for himself, and that he (Geoffrey) had to do all the talking! It depends upon which perspective you view these things!

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    1. Ha-ha! Good way of looking at it Carol! And the fellow he met was not wearing any make up - though he was wearing fishnet stocking with suspenders!

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  10. Another way to look at it might be that sometimes Real Life can be surprisingly like the Online version... ;) (except that online we can usually more easily just slip away from the conversation without the other person even noticing)

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    1. It was hard to slip away from Geoffrey. He was like a limpet on a rock.

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  11. It was sweet to have a walking companion for a bit. I was always quite happy with a dog, you can chatter on without interruption.

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    1. I am glad that I was only walking with Geoffrey for fifteen minutes - otherwise I 'd have been telling him to "Sit!"

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  12. It is very possible that Geoffrey (who presumably even told you how to spell his name) was a very lonely man and a very shy one. You, on the other hand, have often said that you value your privacy and are not particularly sociable with 'strangers'. That may well have shown. However just walking off may well, to him, have been rude and, possibly, difficult to find a way to achieve. Lonely people often find a stranger easy to talk to and, if that person doesn't offer them conversation or cues, talk about themselves because they feel constrained about asking personal questions. Shy people, in particular, display the surprising quality of verbal diarrhoea when faced with a blank wall. Perhaps, YP, he really wanted to know all about you so that he could sit down that night and think to himself that he had 'found a friend' even if only for a few minutes in his life.

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    1. Your analysis may well be valid Graham though I would not call myself a blank wall. Also I am very happy to meet with strangers. Meeting strangers has enriched my life. I don't know where you got that idea from.

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    2. One that struck me particularly was about people in pubs. I don't recall the exact context but it certainly left a very strong impression in my mind at that time. You also make it very clear that you prefer to walk alone. Neither of those things in themselves stop you meeting strangers who enrich your life but it has always given me the impression that you do it on your terms. If that is incorrect then I will adjust my views.

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    3. In my life I have travelled widely on my own - from Fiji to America, from Ireland to Hungary, from Iceland to Thailand. Without strangers I would not have got by and besides I am fascinated by other people's stories. In pubs I have met thousands of strangers and some of them live in my memory like diamonds. Though I am happy with my own company and have no problem with solitude, warm contacts with other humans have always mattered greatly to me.

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    4. Views duly adjusted.

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    5. I am following this line of thought with some interest because I had the same view as Graham. So remind me again, YP - why did Geoffrey bother you? What about him was different from the other humans who have mattered to you? I'm not trying to be difficult, just to understand.

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    6. I like to walk on my own and I certainly don't like to chatter as I walk along. Geoffrey latched onto me and I did not want that. He also delayed my drive home.

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    7. All quite reasonable; thanks for helping me follow your thinking.

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    8. YP, I rather think you have just undone your original explanation and done more to reaffirm my original view. That was very much about you and not about empathy for a fellow human being.

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    9. Of course it was "about me" Graham. I wanted a peaceful walk on my own in the countryside. Is that too much to ask? I gave Geoffrey more than enough of my time and listened to him. Meeting him delayed my drive home by more than half an hour. I have always been known as a good listener and showed interest in Geoffrey and what he had to say. I may be my own worst enemy and in most situations I am far too polite.

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  13. Oh, Lord. People like that exhaust me. I'm sure he's just lonely, but social skills do demand a certain give-and-take in exchanging information, don't they?

    How interesting about the makeup. Wonder what the story is there?

    And wasn't Honoria Glossop a character in Wodehouse?

    So many questions.

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    1. I read a novel by P.G.Wodehouse once but it wasn't my cup of tea. Yes the makeup was curious but I didn't like to ask.

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  14. I very much like that photo of the horse. Lovely composition and colours. Well spotted and well taken.

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    1. Thanks Jenny. It was the best picture I took that day. I looked behind me and there the horse was. I am pleased that I framed the photo in the way I did.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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