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"Elastic time to stretch about the eternal moment…"

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Thursbitch: Valley of the Demon.

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Cycling up Pym Chair past Jenkins Chapel during a 43 mile bike ride

By contrast, the contemporary idiom often leaves the reader on the edge of comprehension, struggling to make sense of what's happening. We learn little, and only with effort.


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Sal is dying. Ian is a carer - matter-of-fact, patient, the butt of Sal's wit. Maybe they once loved one another, but it's too late to admit it.

Geranium Cat's Bookshelf: Thursbitch by Alan Garner

They're intelligent people. By now their dialogue has the tiringly clever brittleness of a crossword puzzle, which, when it relents in the face of her emotional situation, collapses into bathos. They have none of the spiritual health of the book's 18th-century characters: curiously, they have none of the emotional depth either.

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Barred from Jack's certainties, they bitch and moan and make aggressively metaphysical statements. Where Jack's fall from grace leads to madness and divine regime change, Sal opts for mulishness. Where Jack narrates his land into being with the wry humour of the aboriginal, Sal can only make indefensible claims. If you do enough fieldwork you can't escape it. Some places have to be treated with respect, though that doesn't get written up in the literature. This is the rationale of the fantasist; it belongs in a less visionary kind of book. But maybe that's the point. Maybe that's why we are all in such need of saving.

A walk which visits many landmarks featured in Alan Garner's novel "Thursbitch", an exploration of the sentient and at times dreadful full of dread landscape of this part of East Cheshire. The name Thursbitch means "Demon Valley". It covers most of the area described in Alan Garner's book of the same name, and visits many of the landmarks of that book, in particular the valley and ruined farmhouse of Thursbitch.

This is a round trip, starting from a car park, and is mostly on footpaths although there are short stretches on roadways.


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  6. Much of the countryside in these parts is peat bog and, although the Tor path along the ridge to Shining Tor is paved with flagstones, other parts can be quite boggy particularly in the Winter, so stout footwear is recommended. That said, my 11 year-old niece managed it in a pair of Converse and somehow barely got them wet. The route includes Shining Tor, the highest point in Cheshire