Wednesday, July 16, 2014


You know I had a cataract removed last November? Well, in June I had the other eye sorted, and Monday saw my follow-up appointment with the optician. Our optician is fantastic. She is the opposite of flash: she has a tiny office and writes her notes on index cards. She gives you as much time as you need, and will explain everything. She also comes to the rescue with free, emergency disposable contact lenses when you are flying to America the next day and have lost your permanent contact lens on the bathroom floor. Dave and I think she is tops.

Anyway, she said that the reason my eye was sore was because I had scratched my cornea. We discussed how that might have happened, and the only thing I could think of was dust from the Monsal Trail. (It has been so dry lately that my bike is covered with a film of dust.)

“Perhaps you had better stay off the Trail for a bit,” she said.


“I can’t do that!” I said instantly without thinking.

I walk or cycle (or both) on the Trail everyday. We agreed I should always wear sunglasses when cycling, until my eye is better.

When I cycle up the Trail at teatime to my thinking spot between the Cressbrook and Litton tunnels, and then cycle home again, the sun behind me, I love the warmth, the atmosphere, the wildflowers, the views, the quiet – I love them all so much – that I have this feeling that in the future, when I am ancient and unable to cycle, and perhaps live somewhere far from here, that I will look back on these summers on the Trail with huge nostalgia.


It will be like the nostalgia I feel now for the summer afternoons I sat and talked with my parents in their Wensleydale cottage garden. There are certain weather conditions that bring on those yearnings – a warm, bright afternoon, with a breeze ruffling the leaves of our copper beech.

If I were Bob Dylan, I’d express it like this -

Perhaps it’s the colour of the sun cut flat
And coverin' the crossroads I'm standing at
Or maybe it's the weather or something like that
But mama you've been on my mind.

Here is George Harrison’s rendering of the song – after the horrible, rackety ads.


No comments: