by Max Akroyd
I’ve just completed another round trip to the North of England.
You certainly do justice to the distance when completing it by a combination of car, boat and rail. Plenty of time, then, to mull things over: questions of identity, “where is home?” and, most weightily of all, “how many of the childrens’ sweets can I eat without being sick?”…
It’s a kind of catharsis, I think (the travelling, not the sweet-related nausea). Leeds, where I spent my formative years, seemed grey, boarded-up and contained a disproportionate number of people shouting obscenities into the middle of the afternoon. Normandy was big, misty and majestic. Ille et Vilaine was interminable and very foggy.
But by the time I reached Finistère, spring was ablaze and it all felt like home – but without the complexity of belonging.
This is the scene just three miles from the garden, with nature untamed, impossible to culivate, or with the roots of things showing:
Nature at her most un-ownable, but appreciated universally. It belongs to no one, and to me.