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We really do live in a beautiful country.

Yesterday I hopped on an early train to London, hurtling through the countryside, past sleepy villages and some very cold looking sheep. The sun was just coming up and the sky turned from purple to lilac to pink to white to blue.  The fields were thick with frost and the world looked white.

This morning I went out for a run. (I’m doing remarkably well with my bid to represent the C25k in the Olympics).  The frost glistened on the road and my rather overly-exhaled breath hung in clouds in the air long after I’d shuffled past.  I came home still in the dark, but just as the red streaks of dawn touched the church tower.  It looked absolutely lovely, if you ignored the panting red-faced mess ruining the view.

I want to be out walking. Preferably in the Dales, or the Lakes, well wrapped up and with the prospect of a good yomp ahead.  If I could teleport several of my friends to be with me as walking companions that would be wonderful.  Ideally the route would include a pub with a roaring fire, Black Sheep on tap and homemade lasagne on the menu. Tradition dictates there would have to be a map reading incident of some description, possibly some involvement with a field of cows, and at least one fall into mud.  There would also be some major leg-pulling and various in-jokes played on each other. We’d have a great time, chattering away and striding out.

We’re so lucky to live within reach of such marvellous countryside.   Dipping a toe back into the metropolis always makes me glad that it’s there to visit, but content to leave.  I’ve served my London time, and I’m pleased I’ve been there, done that and got the t-shirt. But the truth is I’m happier with my boots on, map in hand and hill to climb. That’s not to say I won’t whinge on the way up, mind, but the view from the top is totally worthwhile.