I was in the bookshop last Sunday (again ….) and found this little book perched on the shelf – to be honest it was the National Trust logo and the author’s name that caught my eye and not the title. I flicked through it to find that Melissa Harrison has produced a book about four walks in the rain – two of them in places I know and love deeply – Wicken Fen and Dartmoor. I was the Property Manager at Wicken Fen for the NT for 7 years and was General Manager for the Trust on Dartmoor for 11 years.
The author deliberately sets out to go walking in the rain in different seasons in different places when most other folk would find an indoor activity instead. This is a book of nature writing so if you want to follow in Melissa’s footsteps and follow her routes you will be disappointed. You get occasional glimpses and hints of where she (her husband and dog) have been and this is interspersed with passages about the history, people and nature of the places overlain with meteorological experiences.
I really liked the book – at this point I have only read the chapters on Dartmoor and Wicken Fen – there is a chapter on the Darent Valley and another on Shropshire.
The book has inspired me, today I have decided to go to Wistman’s Wood (a place Melissa visited), I have checked the weather for Postbridge (which is nearby) and light rain and drizzle are forecast. Perfect – a Dartmoor walk in Dartmoor weather with a special Dartmoor name – mizzle.
The slight shock for me with the book however was to find that I had been thanked in the acknowledgements. I’m not really sure what I did but nice to be thanked anyway!