Yesterday, I went for a three-hour wander over Dartmoor.
And got promptly lost, despite the fact that I've walked the ground many times.
If you know or have heard of Dartmoor, it's not the sort of place you want to traverse absent either a map/compass or a working mobile phone. I had neither. That's not quite true, I did have a mobile phone up until the point when I needed it most, and then, you guessed it, the battery, with one last heave, gave out. (I did manage to take the above picture just before it stopped working.)
But I wasn't scared.
Perhaps I should have been.
No. If anything, I wanted to feel... life. I wanted to feel that slight hint of fear, an aching body (my left hip has seen better days) and to remember. To remember that sitting at home (or an office) in a centrally-heated environment isn't, well, normal.
That might sound odd, but it's a recent invention to make things as comfortable as possible for us. No bad thing you say. Of course not, but what, like so many things, have we lost by making life too comfortable?
I'll leave you to make your own list but if this pandemic is reminding us of anything, going back to basics isn't just some romantic space we like to inhabit once in a blue moon, it was like that for many people during the 20th Century and much earlier.
And that meant, in my opinion, everything was valued and valuable.( Collapse )