In May 2008, I went on the first of a great many solo day trips. I wrote a little about it in the recent post Durham Cathedral, as a matter of fact. Why I am mentioning it again was that a couple of weeks ago I had to do a factory reset on my tablet, where I store a fair whack of my photos, and start again. I uploaded photos from my cameras and my phone, and slowly but surely I’ve managed to get a fair few memories back onto my tablet to flick through whenever I please. One of the photos I found on my old Kodak camera was of that day, taken by the Wear, sitting on some steps right on the edge of the river. I sat there for ages and I’ve sat there quite a few times since, sometimes with other folks sitting nearby, other times entirely alone. I have been there in all seasons, including in the winter when the higher river level claims the steps temporarily.
I’ve written before about how absolutely life-affirming that day was. I’m not normally one for sitting for long distances – there’s too much to see and do whenever I get away – but that day I sat there for quite a while watching the rowers on the river and folk pass by on the path behind me. It was quite a cloudy day, as I recall, but there was a little sun, which passed through the leaves in a way that never fails to make me thrill and love the world just a tiny bit more. I think I will need to get back to Durham soon – that’s usually the problem when I look through photos, I get pangs that lead me to journey planning. Never normally a bad thing, I hasten to add, just as sitting by a river, even for a seaside person like myself, can soothe the soul just about as much as a wave can.