A Breath of Fresh Air

How I'm getting back out into the countryside whilst living with MS


I walked to a puddle today. It has continued to rain or promise to rain ever since the Boxing Day floods. There has been no hope of a tandem ride – and anyway, the canal is not fit for cycling at the moment after the flooding. The skies have matched the mood round here at the moment – gloomy and despondent.

the puddle

the puddle

That’s not to say that people aren’t pulling together – they are in spades! But you just look at the amount of damage and the cost, and can’t help but wonder whether the Calder Valley will get itself back together any time soon, and when Hebden Bridge will be back to its bustling colourful self.

There are some very positive signs: the cinema is open again – upstairs only and you need to bring a blanket! A few shops have been able to open their doors and two of the flooded schools are hoping to open again this week. However, one school’s pupils are having to decamp elsewhere as their building won’t be fit for months, and there are rumours of some businesses saying they’ve had enough.

So, all you want to do is get outside in some cold bright winter sunshine. Except there hasn’t been any. Zilch!

sodden field

sodden field

Anyway, I really had to leave the house and feel some outdoor air on my face. I got my coat and my walking poles and walked to the nearby field. I got wet. I got blown on – and it felt pretty good. Even if I was looking at a puddle. But I wasn’t looking at raging flood water coming down the hillside and the sodden view summed up these holidays rather well!


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4 thoughts on “Rain!

  1. Edwina Simpson on said:

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks for your blog. I’m in Airedale, similarly soggy! But I love your sentence: ‘I got wet. I got blown on – and it felt pretty good.’

    Having MS has made me analyse what it is that I like about walking and cycling, and a big part of it is simply the joy of being out in the elements and feeling ever so slightly out of control and therefore more alive.

    You get wet, yes, but then you get dry. And you freeze, and then you warm up. Because being spontaneous is not often an option any more, it’s very easy to settle into a mindset which says ‘comfort and control at all costs’. Time to fish out the waterproof trousers and get out there!

    • Thank you, Edwina! Yes, I know exactly what you mean. It is so easy to think oh I can’t go out because of this or that reason when sometimes almost literally simply sticking your head out of the door to get blown about makes all the difference. I do have to keep reminding myself of this though! Good look with your expedition – whatever its length! I hope you are not too wet at home.

  2. We’ve had flooding in our area of the world too with many experiencing loss. We are personally fortunate, but watch with sympathy as others suffer. Hope the sun shows its face in both of our corners of the world to dry things up and lighten the mood…and so you can go adventuring again.

    • It’s hard seeing all this devastation. It takes so long to recover but as you say some sunshine would be extremely welcome. (More adventuring would be great too!)

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