Monday, 18 February 2008

Climb Every Mountain

It's typical really. Brother Tobias has climbed Cruachan, Suilven, Cul Mhor, Stac Polly, An Teallach and Healaval Mhor, not to mention Tryfan, Snowden, Helvellyn and a host of other mountains in Snowdonia, the Lake District and the Highlands. Some of them several times. And yet, even though he lived in Skye for 30 years, he never got round to climbing in the Cuillins.

I call this the 'Tower of London Effect'. If it's right next door to you, you never get round to seeing it, whereas a tourist will do it on day one and get a tee shirt.

What's the betting there are people in Chatham who have never made the pilgrimage to Luton Arches on Midsummer Day, to watch the first rays of the rising sun spill through the central span, streak across the darkened rooftops and strike the multi-faceted obelisk at the end of Sun Pier in a starburst of light?

There are probably folk in Ruabon who have never explored the one and a half mile tunnel linking the Ruabon Burn with Y Gardden hill fort - a marvel of Bronze Age engineering that later became the headquarters of the 'Wat's Dykers' movement in the mid eighteenth century (and from which they mounted their abortive campaign against farm mechanisation).

There may be Basildon residents who haven't tasted Basildon Bun - that delicious, iced, yeasty plait of saffron-coloured dough, redolent of cloves and ginger; Notts folk who've never marvelled at the 'Titania', the glider credited with making the first recorded flight in 1772, its wings coated with Nottingham lace as fine as gossamer; Maidstoners dismissive of that pearl of twentieth century town planning, Shepway Model Village, with its sinuous curves and grandiloquent vistas.

I don't suppose I'll ever get round to conquering a Cuillin now. I should have listened to Julie Andrews.

[To buy Basildon Buns, visit 'Bazzer's Bunny Bake' in Basildon High Street. See the Titania at the 'Wings above the Wolds Museum' near Thrumpton-on-Soar. For information on the availability of guided tours of Shepway Model Village, contact Maidstone Borough Planning Department on 01622 602234]

1 comment:

  1. Very thought-provoking. I haven't done any of the things listed, nor have I done things that tourists do around here.
    I'll get a backpack and start straight away.