Wintery Walk

Even though I have lived here for nearly 30 years there are still paths that I don’t know and I went on one of these today in the snow. First you walk alongside the railway through an avenue of white birches, then cross the railway and ascend steeply alongside a little clough with trickling water in thick old woodland to arrive at the gothic style folly castle and then the fields beyond, misty and wide ranging leading out on to the tops of the hills It was here that I turned around because in the mist I was not sure where the path was and where it would go if I could find it through the snow blanket. Also a keen East wind was throwing tiny ice crystals against my cheeks. As I descend through the woods the crystals tinkle on the dry brown leaves still hanging like rags in the oaks.
It was coming dusk on a day that had never been light, because of the mist and the fine snow falling. Down below the great wall of Todmorden, built of black gritstone to support the railway above the canal and about 100feet tall lights were glowing into the fog and figures rounded and muffled made prints homeward through the yards of workplaces.

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