There's a lot of grumbling I could do about the small town I come from, but I can't fault it for reminding me why I'd never be happy settled down for good in a city.
That photo's from the traditional family Christmas Day walk (featuring also the traditional family Christmas Day short-cut in which my uncle always ends up trying to scale a close-to-vertical footpath as his siblings stand back rolling their eyes, the traditional family Christmas Day moment of panic as somebody realises that several of the children have headed off in a completely separate direction, and the traditional family Christmas Day complaints by by southern relatives that it's so very cold up on the hills, which must by right of ancient tradition be accompanied by copious mockery from the rest of us.)
At the top of that hill, people have been carving their initials into the stone for a long time. This is less interesting when it's anything from the past twenty years or so, especially since this is a small town and the mysterious initials are less mysterious and more 'oh, isn't that Diane's brother's son?', but the oldest ones are worth looking at. 'G M', whoever he was, must have spent a long time on this:
But 1908 is nothing compared to the land around it. It's very, very old here. Some of it's old in a pleasantly rustic way, but up on the hills, scattered with standing stones from a long, long time ago, it's beautiful in a way that turns bleak and creepy very fast. Our best local author is Alan Garner, who writes about the landscape as something ancient and magic; if you want a feel for how disturbing this can be, I can't phrase it better than this.