I’ve been feeling a bit flat recently, although that’s not uncommon at this time of the year.

I know I’m currently craving solitude and simplicity, wanting to spend some time somewhere a little remote. An area of moorland, such as Dartmoor or the Pennines, would do me very nicely. Even better if there were some woodlands nearby, too. Although there would be no people around (ideally), there would be wildlife to watch and hills and valleys and those woods to explore. Maybe some interesting ruins nearby…

Simplicity, that’s what I’d want. Somewhere with no wifi, no TV, no phone signal or even radio. A decent supply of food and a few beers because, as Jerome K Jerome said, thirst is a dangerous thing. A fire to sit beside in the evening. Somewhere small and basic with no luxuries.

I’d take some books. Several sorts, so I could pick one up or swap to another depending upon my mood. At least one book of poetry, perhaps Stranger in the Mask of a Deer which I read for the first time a few months ago, and then re-read recently because it was so damned good. Maybe a Seamus Heaney collection, including the ‘Station Island’ sequence of poems, or a collection by Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko for the marvellous long poem Zima Junction. Maybe I’d just take all of those.

I’d include some sort of detective novel for pure escapism, then one or two books by the likes of Robert Macfarlane – books that would inform me about the landscape I had decided to inhabit for a while.

I wouldn’t just be walking and exploring, or reading. I have a few poems I need to finish off, one about salmon and one about the Winter Solstice. In this environment I think I’d be inspired to finish them, hopefully write some more.

A week would probably do it.

42 thoughts on “If…

  1. I first become aware of Robert Macfarlane through The Lost Words — one of my favorite books: both for the art and the writing. Seamus Heaney would be a terrific choice. I used to have a cabin out in the Texas hill country that was much like you describe — although we had to carry water and use lanterns for light, too. It was wonderful. I’ve slowly, slowly been transforming my suburban home into the nearest thing to that little escape possible (although I’m fine with keeping the running water and electricity!)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That sounds idyllic, Mick. I can just see you in my mind’s eye doing just that. I hope it becomes a reality for you. Personally, I would feel very daunted at the prospect of not having people around me and forms of communication such as Wi-Fi access, friends at the end of the line and my laptop with which to pen my thoughts. I think it would all be too introspective for me. However, I can just see you being happy and content in these surroundings going by your mentions of places like this over the years that we’ve known each other. I hope it comes to fruition for you, Mick. X

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful pics, Mick. I hope you get to go to the place you want to. I don’t crave for isolation. In Dhaka, I feel just that despite so many around me. Your post makes me want to write a post on where I’d like to go :).
    Thank you for the book references. I haven’t read any of them. Will try getting them.

    Liked by 1 person

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