Simon and Garfunkel's "old friends/bookends," tells us the story of things that have been and yet still are. Hunting down and looking through some of my old mountain photos, I'm struck by the forged friendships, extraordinary teachers, journeys shared and memories made. This winter I found my old mountain mittens made from mottled dachstein. They are 30 years old and work as expected. We had simple clothes, darned woolly jerseys, socks, hats and scarves. We had leather boots which we smothered in dubbin, poly gaiters and partially waterproof jackets. I walked in hand-me-down +4's with an old green poly tarp backpack with a couple of squashed sandwiches and an apple or two. Dressed in an assortment of marginally appropriate clothes we headed up and out on the narrow windy paths to find the views. We always returned, later than expected, tired and hungry with wet socks, damp tops and epic stories.
The ancient footpaths in our old clothes were the perfect combination for growing grit and digging deep. Being wet, cold and tired were good outcomes. When meeting walkers, ramblers and hikers on our beautiful South Downs it is refreshing to still see older styles, worn, weathered and working perfectly to form - both walkers and apparel!!
We don't always need the most modern and could try and make do with the old faithfuls that have stood the test of time. In my bible, it says, "ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls."