With everything that has been going on, it would be easy to imagine that the COVID pandemic is over. But it's not over. Only this morning, my South Korean friend Clint informed me that he had tested positive. Consequently, he would be unable to transport me to the nether regions of South Yorkshire for a long walk in unfamiliar territory.
I took a local train instead. Beforehand I caught a public bus into the city centre but would you believe it! The electrical systems aboard the bus malfunctioned when we reached the bottom of a long shopping street called The Moor. I jumped off the bus and marched half a mile to the railway station, making my train with less that a minute to spare.
The train was heading for Leeds. It was a slow train that stopped at every station on route. We were in a landscape that once belonged to coal mining but of course now the collieries are all gone. Only the memories remain, becoming more diatant with each passing year.
I alighted form the train as planned at Moorthorpe, sandwiched between South Kirkby and South Elmsall. Then I set off north. In the wasteland north of South Kirkby I met a lone woman with a big brown dog. She was standing by the track drinking a can of strong lager. I conversed with her as the dog barked and sniffed. "He'll not hurt you," she assured me,
Typically my walking route was circular. I plodded through a large village called Hemsworth where I once played rugby as a schoolboy. After a long while, the circle brought me back to South Kirkby where I stopped to admire the statue of a coal miner. It was nice to make it back to the railway station in good time to make the 15.20 train back to Sheffield.
Top picture - A bamboo grove at Royd Moor Farm
Second picture - Fish and chip shop in South Kirkby
Third picture - Image on a concrete block by the railway at Mutton Flats
Fourth picture - Terraced streets at Moorthorpe
Fifth picture - Two off licences at Moorthorpe (American - liquor stores)
Sixth picture - Statue of a coalminer at South Kirkby