I found this slate poem tonight, the latest one I’ve come across on Longridge Fell during this Covid pandemic.

Sometimes – Sheenagh Pugh.

Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse. Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go amiss, sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen: may it happen for you.


I was at the far end of the fell, once more seeking solitude. Dark clouds were gathering and I set off up a sidetrack more in hope than optimism. I was not very optimistic about staying dry but I hoped I would.  One can be pessimistic but hopeful at the same time. The above poem, by Sheenagh Pugh, expresses similar ideas I think.

It was only a short walk to clear my head, there were some large drops of rain for a short time but I was back at the car before the forecast storm.  A triumph of hope over optimism.


The slow progress out of this pandemic is of concern to me especially as lockdown is being lifted quickly without good medical evidence. There are still a significant number of daily deaths and the magic R number is struggling to stay under 1.  Boris wants us all to go shopping next week, that shows where his priorities lie – certainly not with the vulnerable in our society.

My optimism for a successful outcome is dwindling – I will just have to hope from now on.


7 thoughts on “SOMETIMES.

  1. Eunice

    I like the last photo, it looks very atmospheric. I assume this was yesterday evening? – I don’t know where the forecast storm was supposed to be but it was wall to wall sunshine and blue sky here all day.

    1. bowlandclimber

      Good old Pendle always photographs well.
      Yes, it was hot and oppressive when I set off, a few drops of rain and then all was bright and clear. The storms forecast must have been much further south. Looks good today again, enjoy the sunshine.

  2. 5000milewalk

    You sounded a bit melancholy there BC, you OK?
    It does seem economic pressure is overtaking medical pressure now doesn’t it. Things reopening when nothing’s really changed. I don’t have any solutions myself either, mind.
    What does seem a bit cruel is that restrictions are constantly lifted to allow more people to work, but my friend still can’t hug her grandchildren when the poor little things reach out to her open armed😢.

    1. bowlandclimber

      I’m fine Paul thanks.
      Just everytime I go up the fell one of these poems pops up and sets me into contemplative thought. Better go in a different direction today!


    What can one say? If ever we were in need of
    “A people sometimes will step back from war;
    elect an honest man…”

    If anybody has any doubts I suggest reading this article in today’s Guardian – ok, I know they are biased to the Left but this does paint a reasonably accurate and woeful picture.

    This is not wholly a matter of politics, but largely a lack of competence and destroyed trust

    In the meantime we battle on. I am pretty sure there will be another spike after all the recent mass gatherings.

    Would that we could continue our straight-line walk across the country

    1. bowlandclimber

      Morning Conrad.
      As you know I’ve been medically pessimistic from the start, or rather before the start. I share The Guardian’s views in this instance.
      The poems scattered around Longridge Fell are a source of discovery for me in the present time. Most of them are chosen to uplift and glorify but that last one ‘Sometimes’ had a darker side to it with some excellent lines.
      Should I book the B and B’s for October or maybe January? Or we could keep isolating and sleep in our cars, shame you sold the caravan.


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