Magic carpet rides


Part of the Langdale Valley, at half mast                           © David Faulkner

There was a late summer’s evening. And on that evening it seemed a magic carpet ride occurred.

From Ambleside, the only passenger on a red rural bus had clamped herself to the windows as she listened to the rotund, amiable driver tell his solitary audience of the space in a barn on his property given over to his son’s collection of 1950’s American automobiles: both far from Langdales’ valley.

Time was made to accompany the driver to the end/ returning point (Old Dungeon Ghyll, since you ask) and as he drove unseeing of Creation’s majesty, she could only gape at the overwhelming peace and power radiating from the landscape.

Irony notwithstanding, rural services are not merely under threat but appear to be facing judgement’s deathly black cap. These red blood vessels which inculcate vital nutrients – mobility, news, enablingness, supplies, cash-carrying tourists – may not seem essential to civic bean counters. Yet, the core vitality ventillating isolated custodians of the landscape is beyond essential. Asphyxiate them at your peril, Whitehall.