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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.