more walking in the peak district

On Easter Monday, Liam and I went on another lovely hill walk (best make use of the few days we have off work that are not filled with travelling!); this time in the Peak District, because it's close, and amazing.

We passed Derwent Dam, a quite majestic structure, famous for where the so called Dambusters practised during World War II (before they went and bombed things in Germany, which most British people know about; a raid which was later deemed a failure and a waste of resources, which most British people don't know about, because of, you know, a history of glorification of war in general.*)

*Yes, I know I can say things like this because of the privilege of growing up in a country that hasn't been in a war since 1814. I discovered this same phenomenon years ago living in France; this sense of pride in having won, which is essentially a sense of pride in having successfully killed more people or killed people more efficiently than the people you are killing. I'm not saying that resisting a threat and fighting against it is bad - it has clearly been necessary in the history of this world - but do we really need to glorify it? Do we? People who are able to somehow separate the "winning" of a war with the horrendous pain and suffering that was caused everyone involved - I don't understand it. Maybe, living safely in Sweden, it is innately impossible for me to understand that pride, having never lived through the trauma of war.

And then we walked past English cottages and lakes (well, reservoirs)

climbed upwards

sat down to have lunch while admiring this view

admired the view some more

crossed moors

walked down again

and ended up on the other side of the same dam.

It seems silly now, when I tell about it. We walked up and the we walked for a bit and then we walked down and that was it ... But it's so much more than that, you know, to me. Sights like these fill me up and charge my batteries enough to live on for days. Moving my body and breathing in the air and smelling the trees and the grass. And I got to do it with my favourite person, my favourite company for, it seems, everything. I am lucky indeed to get to live in country where I can go out walking in beauty such as this.

easter in the midlands

On Easter Sunday, I woke up in Brownhills to this sunny weather. Liam and I drove down the night before to spend the day with his family.

I started my day with a long walk along the canal. Love these towpaths so much; walking next to water is my favourite, and this country seems to be littered with beautiful canals with towpaths.

I returned to the house just in time for the barbeque. Where did summer come from?!

Bracken was there!

Now let's talk about this thing about chocolate and Easter. It's a new concept to me; Easter in Sweden is allll about the pick and mix. (I made them pose like this just to show the abundance of chocolate that could be found in this house.)

Cracking chocolate eggs is a lot of fun though. I assume it gets old if you grow up with it, but I certainly haven't had enough yet.

And if the chocolate isn't in egg form, it's in the form of nests - with eggs.

My favourite dessert (except ice cream of course). Fresh fruit and chocolate will beat cake for me any day. (Unless it's mousse cake which doesn't seem to exist in this country.)

There was playing in the garden

cuddling with dogs

reciting of Shakespeare? (What are you doing, Bella?)

and general hanging out and talking, until the summer day had turned into a soft summer evening and it was time to drive north.

And yes. I still look at him (or think about him or kiss him or listen to his voice or sniff him) and realise that I'm the luckiest person in the world to have him.

Rigmor Gustafsson | Joy to Me

yorkshire dales

On Good Friday, Liam and I went on an amazing hill walk in the Yorkshire Dales with our friend Raphael. We started with board games and dinner on Thursday night, and stayed over at Rafi's place in Leeds so that we could start early on Friday. Who am I kidding, obviously we didn't start early on Friday, it's me and Liam we're talking about! But our intentions were good! :)

Anyway, it was such a wonderful day. Summer (!) landed on us completely unexpectedly, I broke in my brand new, comfortable hiking boots (I knew from the moment I put them on in the store that they were the right boots for me, since they felt exactly like my old ones. And I was right), I got a rush of adrenaline through a bit of scrambling (it was a very tiny cliff and a very short scramble, but it was fun nevertheless), the company was obviously brilliant, and I drank in the beautiful views with delight.

Here's what I saw of the Yorkshire Dales:

I keep thinking about how close all these beautiful national parks in this country. (I've vowed to visit the all fifteen of the UK's national parks in my lifetime - I have three so far, and they've all been wonderful experiences.) The UK is so tiny and dense, you know? I want to go everywhere and see everything!

All the tiny sheepsies!!!

After a while we crossed a road, in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere. What did we find on that road? And ice cream van. It's so incredibly British.

My boyfriend is so incredibly British. <3

The views were on the whole pretty OK on this hike!

Looking back over Malham Cove. It's weird to stand down here, and look up, and think that I was just up there twenty minutes ago, and took the two photos before this one, looking down over the valley. ("[Malham Cove] was formed by a waterfall carrying meltwater from glaciers at the end of the last Ice Age more than 12,000 years ago" says Wikipedia. How cool is that?)

And then we went back to Raphael's for more Pandemic. Hill walking and board games with two favourite people; my bank holiday weekend couldn't have started better.

the Sixteen | Bring Us, O Lord God by William Harris