A trip to Manchester is a mixed blessing. We make our way down the A1 and across the M62 to see our youngest daughter. That’s the good bit. The down side is the miles and miles of traffic clogged tarmac and the endless road works.
Having said that, I quite like the M62 as a road. Am I wrong? I like the bit that goes up over the moors and the bit where the farm house is in the central reservation. I especially like it in late summer when there is high pressure, the air is clear and the heather is in bloom. The hills are coloured heliotrope. You can see for miles and everything is alright with the world.
The song ‘Driving away from home’ by It’s Immaterial is going through my head.
Today was grey and dank. The higher we got the more the spray from the lorries mixed with the low lying cloud to make driving like a being in a head cold. An air of depression hung over the sodden peat and made me think of the terrible things that went on upon Saddleworth Moor.
We were coming up to rush hour. Is there ever another time on Britain’s highest motorway? The traffic stuttered between soup and solid. Where does it all go? We ground our way over the spine and down the windward side of the Pennines towards our rainiest of cities.
The windows were steaming up. The passengers were steaming up and our moods darkened. We wished that the journey was shorter and the road less busy. We stopped to stretch our legs before making the final crawl into the northern powerhouse.
We were overjoyed to see our daughter again yet our pleasure was tinged with the realisation that soon we would have to make our way back. Back over the M62.
Melancholy is much darker than heliotrope.