Returned to the West Coast and Cleveleys today through the Irwell Valley.
It’s just north of Manchester, and you traverse it on the M62, or more accurately the M60 ring road these days – its the bit just before you get the top right corner. I wonder if any other ring road has a corner?
I know this road well, mainly through regularly crawling along it from Rochdale to Trafford as a commuter. It’s where the Metro gearbox broke one rainy night. It was the road back to my parents when I started work. I’ve walked and cycled the valley below.
When you have to travel it to get to work, it is a drudge. You see it as an experience that you are stuck with forever, and one you would be glad to ditch.
But I did enjoy the work at the other end, I did enjoy returning home, and when it wasn’t busy, what a joy to sail through.
These days that valley connects different locations, and has become a re-travelled route with echoes of previous journeys.
It never was the valley of the shadow of death, though it did used to be called Death Valley because of the way people raced through it. But tough bits of our lives, even persistent ones, are part of it. And occasionally, only occasionally, I do miss all that time I had to myself sitting in queues, but you didn’t read me say that…