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"End to End via the Margins"
-the diary of a walk.

- May Day - Otley to Summerbridge


It turns out the proprietor of the place we stayed belongs to Bridge URC in Otley. They pop up everywhere, these URC people. Unfortunately I hadn't got organised enough to arrange a meeting with that church.

The showers today weren't so polite about stepping round me, so I got a wet morning, but one of continually changing light on the distant countryside. The listening post at Menwith Hill first looked strange and urban in the shade. Then the sun shone and the white balls looked like some kind of higgledy piggledy celebration. A bird of prey had a reddish back visible when it swooped in the sun. Anybody any ideas what it might have been?

I had got to Willow House and was about to turn left off the main road. I was on the left of the main road in preparation, and I heard a vehicle behind me. It was slowing as if to turn, so I stuck my left arm out to indicate my own left turn and waved it through with my right arm. It turned out to be a police car, and the window was open. "Are you alright sir?" "Yes thanks. Yes" "Just out for a walk?" "Yes" "OK". At first I wondered if my eccentric signalling style had attracted their attention, but then I remembered I was now within a mile of the perimeter of Menwith Hill. Once again I had the same thoughts I had at Fairford... (a) Wouldn't they be better employed catching criminals (although if somebody did decide to blow themselves up in the base I'd be proved wrong), and (b) what answer did he expect me to give? "No, I'm here to sabotage the base"? I suppose it's just their way of saying, we've got our eyes on you.

At some point in the day, the North York Moors were visible in the distance - I must be making progress. And later, I came upon a solitary cornfield, for mostly around here it's sheep and a few cattle.

Janet and Hannah were a brilliant support again today, Hannah being off school for polling. I am reminded that local elections in this country attract only a small number of voters, in contrast to the scenes at South Africa's first fully democratic elections, in which the voters dressed in their Sunday best and queued for hours in the sun. We may be more inclined to vote McFlurry, as MacDonalds asked us to do two years ago. One could argue that would have been a more real exercise of power - consumer power - than voting. If so, we need to use that power wisely.

Pictures from today...
Anyone know the story of this pub north of Otley?
I found this notice in a hamlet 15-20 miles from Leeds. There were expensive cars parked outside some of the cottages
Menwith Hill Listening Post
Support team at Summerbridge on polling day
Outworkers wanted in Summerbridge
Living God, we thank you
for the privilege of being able to vote.
Help us use that vote wisely,
and for the sake of all.
Help us to exercise our power,
the power of speech, the power of the purse,
whatever authority we have been given,
for the good of everyone.
And we thank you God
for the voices that are raised
on Mayday and other days,
when power is abused,
in the attempt to bring us to justice.
Help us and all people
to distinguish the voices of truth
from those of falsehood.

We remember, God, your power in Jesus,
the power of true speaking,
of love,
of healing,
yet also the power
that did not save its own life on the cross.
© Bob Warwicker. The words here may be reproduced freely, but not for gain, or without attribution. All alterations must have the permission of the author.