Cut off from the Welsh mountains by lockdown, our Berlin-based writer stays connected through the work of a local artist
Growing up in a small west Lancashire town surrounded by potato and cabbage fields, I always felt the mountains were a long way away. They weren’t of course. Snowdonia was a couple of hours’ drive in one direction. The Lake District was a similar distance in another. An even shorter drive took us across the fields to Formby where, down on the beach when the weather was right, you could even see them – the Welsh hills a line of shadowy shapes on the horizon, across the wide expanse of Liverpool Bay.
When you’re young, the time between weekends, let alone school holidays, seems endless, and for me those mountains symbolised moments beyond the everyday. Trips to high places were something out of the ordinary, an adventure outside the routine. Not that we always went willingly, of course. For every walk in fine weather, when the view would unfold before us like a piece of elaborate natural theatre, there would be a long trudge to a mist-covered summit where, sheltering from the drizzle behind an oversized cairn or trig point, we’d eat a soggy sandwich and try to imagine what we might be looking at if visibility was greater than about six feet.