It's a few days ago now but in the afternoon of New Year's Eve I headed out to the nearby moors with my trusty partner Sir Clint the Cantankerous. It's very familiar territory for me as I have walked every path and byway in this vicinity in all weathers and in all seasons.
Last Friday served up the warmest New Year's Eve on record in this part of the world. One hardy fellow walked by me in shorts and a T-shirt but I was wearing my Hull City manager's coat - one of the best clothing purchases I ever made.
I parked Clint in a small layby that I have used a few times before. Clint grumbled as I put my boots on and asked me to push in the driver's side wing mirror. "If you are more than two hours I'm driving home without you!" he warned.
But the walk didn't last so long - more like ninety minutes. I headed up to a rocky outcrop known as Over Owler Tor that sits up on the ridge. There were too many people around for my liking. I prefer to have those moors to myself. A family group came puffing up the hill from the Mother Cap outcrop. You could hear them from afar because every step of the way their lively and excited dog was being berated quite angrily - "Come 'ere! RUFUS! RUFUS! Come 'ere NOW!" This carried on as they explored the rocks - disturbing my peaceful contemplation and it continued as I walked away. Poor Rufus!
Over the last three decades, I have photographed Overstones Farm countless times. It sits photogenically below the millstone grit escarpment known as Stanage Edge. You can see it from afar in the top picture. And here it is - appearing much closer as I used the "zoom" button on my camera from more or less the same position...
Below there's a picture of Higger Tor - a rocky plateau that was also a defensive fort in distant times before the Romans invaded this island. In summer, the russet brown vegetation will be replaced by waist-high bracken - its green fronds dancing in playful synchronicity upon the breeze.
And here's Over Owler Tor, silhouetted against the western sky on the last day of the year. There's the tiny figure of a man on top. It might have been me or anybody else saying goodbye to 2021 and hoping for a less anxious 2022 when the coronavirus chains that have bound us may at least be slackened.