SENSE OF HERE

Storm at 414m

N54° 25.807′  W3° 04.742′

in the black pitch of our tent
we have entered the breathed-out silence
of a sleep that floats on moss and mountain air

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We were sitting chatting over a beer yesterday, after a morning with the August canvas in the Duddon Valley (which we’ve yet to blog about), and it occurred to us that the canvas is not the only installation in this project.

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July 23, 4pm It’s hot, very hot. Must be 25 degrees or more, the sun is burning, there’s barely any wind and we’re wet with sweat. We’ve just set off from Elterwater to begin our ascent through the quarries and we’ve stopped to one side to try and locate the peregrine we can hear in the trees to the left. We don’t, but instead, I see a red squirrel, its compact rust-red body on a wall and then a fire-bright flash of tail as it disappears up the trunk of an old oak.

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We have been blanketed in cloud, wetted through, walking within a multi-directional wetting. We headed downhill to seek a ghyll with a fresh flow of water, and all of a sudden the clouds lifted, danced in front of us, dressed and undressed the hills, rolled up from the valley and then back down again.

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Each month we’re pitching our small tent (all 1.2kg of it!) at a point chosen precisely, moving month by month in intervals of 30-degrees around a clock face which has a single sycamore at its centre.

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A camp just for one night takes us a long way out of the normal counting of days. Each camp is a journey – the settling into a rhythm, the tug of walking up hill, the sensation of looking down across the path we’ve ascended, the moment of awe at the highest points, and the changing view as light shifts. We witness threshold times: dusk and dawn, and the depths of night, dark window onto the universe of which we are such a tiny, tiny part.

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We’re driving in, listening to the radio and all the talk is about Brexit – last night the government’s deal was voted down, Corbyn called for a vote of no confidence, and there is, if there could be, even more political uncertainty than before.

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