Bibliotreks: 2. Alston – Kirkhaugh
The rolling hills gather momentum around Tynedale, gently encircling the stonebuilt kindness of Alston before they strike out southwards, stoking duplicitous stormclouds.
Sounds perfect for an Artful Ways walk. Time for a stroll and a pint with the one and only Sarah Elliot.
Sarah’s a graphic designer and I’m a fine artist but I always love how much we find in common, despite our different life experiences. We were classmates on the Foundation programme at Carlisle College, and the last time we spent proper time together was on a field trip in Barcelona the day the city shut down. That was March 2020, when life as we knew it went off the rails and onto the Covid rollercoaster.
Today we’re both getting back on track – conventional train tracks – as we walk north from Alston along the narrow-gauge railway. We’ve faced very different challenges this year but as we walk we find plenty to laugh about. We often liken our class of 2020 to islands in an archipelago: separate on the surface but connected in the deep. The dog bounds around after the rabbits, oblivious as we cross the border from Cumbria to Northumberland and back again.