A face in the rocks

Published 9 August 2020

Face in the rocks

As I type this, the house is amazingly quiet. It’s a Sunday afternoon (the week before this is published) and the children are out with my parents.

It’s also a few days after the local lockdown was implemented on Greater Manchester, and parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire. I’m not entirely sure, but I suspect the fact my parents have taken the children in the car in order to take them to a nearby park is not exactly following the rules.

But then just a few months ago the chief advisor to the Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings blatantly broke lockdown by driving from London to County Durham. Then he went off in his car on a massive drive to Barnard Castle to “test his eyesight”. And instead of government ministers condemning this, they were sent out onto TV to talk about “common sense” and how he was just doing “what any parent would do.” And to think that early in lockdown I felt guilty because I went to the petrol station to get some petrol for the lawnmower so that I could cut the grass so the children could play in the garden without fear that the local cats would poo on it. What a fool I was…

Anyway, the house is quiet. I can relax for a bit. It’s the first time since March that we have been child free at any point in the weekend. They’ve been out other times, either with grandparents or their mum, but every other time has when I have been working. It’s been about five months since I’ve had a few hours of daytime where I have had absolutely nothing to do.

With no children around for the first time in many months, I’m taking the opportunity to sort out photographs. My phone is full of them. I realised it was in December that I’d hooked my phone up to the computer, taken them off and sorted through them. I haven’t had the time since. Nor the energy. I probably should be trying to work out why my proper camera isn’t working properly. But sorting out photos is easier.

Rifling through I find shots of the last day walk I did on a soggy Sunday in January. There’s shots of our family holiday to York in February. And one from our last family outing days before lockdown in March.

It was a stroll along Cown Edge Rocks, a short drive away from our house, and just – JUST – inside the border of the Peak District National Park. It’s a quarter of a kilometre inside the park.

As walks go, it’s not huge. A little loop along the top of Cown Edge Rocks, then round the back to potter round some old quarries before returning to the car. Not long, for my daughter’s only four and can’t do much more than 6km.

It’s a nice stroll though. Quiet, peaceful. And the children enjoy pottering round the quarries and climbing up on the rocks.

It was in one of the quarries that we spotted the face, smiling out of a hole in the rock. A rock face. With a rock hat. Two eyes, and a broad smile.

A happy little face, smiling out at everyone.

Not long after, we were confined to our homes. But when, many weeks later lockdown was eased and we could drive off to places for a little walk, we went back to do that same walk. And we’ve been back a couple of times since. And I’m glad to tell you that – as of a few weeks ago anyway – the face is still there.


Linda L. Kilmer

9 August 2020 at 11:18 pm

Ugh. Leave no trace! Don’t disturbed the landscape!

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

10 August 2020 at 8:15 am

You should have seen the number of empty beer cans and laughing canisters strewn nearby at the same location on my next visit… I think in comparison, a chalked stone placed in a hole of a stone in an area created by humans quarrying out stone for use in building isn’t much to worry about.

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