We found ourselves today with an eager 7 year old who can see the Stiperstones from his bedroom window, looking back from that ridge to see if we could see his bedroom. Great in theory but very hard to put into practice. From our vantage point on Manstone Rock we did our best to point out landmarks to him and guide his inexperienced eye along contours, woods and shapes to the place we call home. I'm not sure we succeeded but he seemed happy enough with the notion that 'here', in its boulder strewn vastness could be seen from 'there' - and that 'there' was over in the distance.
Such a wonderful day to be clambering over the Stiperstones - the craggy outcrop that runs roughly north to south between the Long Mountain and the Long Mynd - above us a clear blue sky with a handful of cartoon clouds. England spread below us to the east, and Wales to the west where today both Cader Idris and Snowdon were visible on the horizon. We scrambled along the rocky trail that links the massive quartzite tors; Nipstone, Cranberry, Manstone and Shepherds Rocks and the Devil's Chair. This trail is an ancient routeway and this is an ancient place. We looked down on other sites where man had made his mark in former times, leaving forts, cairns and circles - the enigmatic Mitchells Fold - and goodness knows what else beneath the soil in his wake. The 19th century's miners have come and gone, their predations now disguised by fields and trees. The landscape below is restored and pastoral once more.
We ate our picnic lunch - a jam sandwich (most yummy) and an apple, lodged amongst the stones, lounging in the sunshine and curiously comfortable. Our boy leapt and sprang amongst the heather and the rocks to emerge jammy faced and happy. It's back to school for him tomorrow so today was something of an end of holiday treat. For us all.
Here's my souvenir, a sprig of heather and a couple of stray feathers.