Every walking season so far has had its disappointing months, like September 2017 or June 2015, when plans don't seem to come together and it all ends up feeling rather disjointed, or the stamina drops and illness knock the stuffing out of you to leave all you best intentions scattered like so many Autumnal leaves, and I'd thought that after the delays brought on by weather and general unwellness back in March and April, this year might look to much plainer sailing through the Spring and Summer. That has been largely the case, as the plans have gone on without interruption since Spring sprung in April, doing the usual trick of filling every available day with activity and not taking time out despite promising myself that I will take time out to rest and be sociable, like I do every year, but as August came around we hit the point in the year where the wheels start to spin and impetus feels like its lost. After three successful months of treks around Wharfedale and Nidderdale, my plan to take a detour into the Upper Washburn has become something of a millstone as after missing out on the planned trip two weeks ago, and failing to get it done this weekend, means that I won't get it walked until I've had both my breaks away, meaning that all my scheming for phase three of the High Season won't get started until the middle of September at the earliest. Having plotted out six trips in and around the vicinity of Malhamdale leaves me with the frustration that despite being in only Mid August and still having three months of walking season left, I'm left with a rapidly diminishing number of weekends to use before I run out of viable days, and I learned in both 2012 and 2014 that having multi-week plans still loitering on the schedule in September and October forces you into activity when you might be starting to lose the motivation with the cooling and shortening days. Having taken last weekend out for a trip over to visit My Sister also leaves me feeling rather frustrated, as has again taken so long for us to get together when I'm always promising that we will be more sociable and put together some proper walking schemes for each season, as I'd forgotten how much I enjoy her company, and that of her family, as it's nice to be able to hit some paths that I wouldn't see in ordinary circumstances and shoot the breeze with someone who can fire a conversation for hours regardless of the topic.
Having taken a Sunday stroll in Manchester with her and younger niece made me discover just how familiar I had gotten with that particular city centre, while also frustrating me about how little I actually knew about it, as we were following the Bee in the City trail, an art instillation of over 230 bees created for community bonding and charity in the wake of last year's MEN Arena bombing, located all around the city. It's the sort of thing that I'd be all over if it were local to me, but we can only get but a taste of it as we trail around the area around Victoria, Deansgate and Spinning Fields, feeling like I am getting to know the lay of the land at last and pointing out the location of the L&NWR's Manchester Exchange station, which has completely vanished from the view of people who never knew that it was there, but I hadn't realised that the bee was a symbol of the city at all, despite it being on every piece of municipal furniture that you could find. Otherwise, we are on a break from all activity because I've had a rough chest for the last few days, knocking me out of work since Tuesday and pretty much out of circulation until this afternoon, the deeply annoying sort of respiratory ailment that saps your energy horribly without leaving you particularly symptomatic, and getting stuck at home without the physical will to do anything useful is a fine way to get me demotivated. It's altogether been a rough month, with very little bringing me much joy, for the cooling of the weather ought to have brought some respite after the hot days of July, but we are still working with non functioning air conditioning at work, and even though our workload has dropped below the regular pile-ups of the previous Summers, everyone is feeling drained and dispirited as the office temperature loiters at a consistent 28C after more than six weeks. Matters are not helped by the promise of a complete revision of roles, practices and placements at work either, as after many years of having change promised and not delivered, this time around it looks like we'll finally looking down the barrel of the new strategy that will change everything, and it's hard to keep the focus on and the spirits up when you know that your working life of the last 19+ years is soon to be upended. So moods are low and I'm not physically apt to face the oncoming end of summer, but what else is new, I've been here before and I've come through it, so I have no doubt at all that things will come around again, and so this is only shared for my benefit, to remind me how I felt in this instance, and if the casual reader isn't interested, I am sorry, but you were warned that this was for reference only.
5,000 Miles Cumulative Total: 3464.8 miles
2018 Total: 371.4 miles
Up Country Total: 3121.1 miles