By: Blonde Two

I often take a train up to Malvern at this time of year. It was my Mum’s birthday yesterday.

I realised this year that I have been doing the journey so long that the Navy boys (and girls), who always seem to be going home from Plymouth on the same train as me, are no longer suitable material for a bit of mild flirtation; in fact, they are all now younger than my own children.

It will be no surprise for you to hear that travelling by train is not them same as walking across Dartmoor, but I had a lot of time on my hands yesterday and came up with a few comparisons:

1. On Dartmoor, you never have to reserve your seat. I have never had occasion to approach someone and say, “Excuse me, I think you are sitting on my tor.”

2. On Dartmoor, if you happen to put your rucksack down, nobody dumps a pile of heavy suitcases on top of it.

3. On Dartmoor, there is a type of automatic toilet flush (we call it rain), but you get to choose whether or not you are prepared to get a wet bottom.

4. On Dartmoor the worry that you are going to be exposed to the world as the electronic toilet door rolls open is taken away. No need to worry out on the moors, exposure is guaranteed!

5. On Dartmoor, you know where the coffee is going to be. It is always (unless she has succumbed to Ribena) in Blonde One’s rucksack.

6. On Dartmoor, you get to choose how long you wait at each tor. If you like it, you can have a little snooze, if you don’t, you can walk straight on by. There are no annoying announcements each time you approach a tor. “This hike is about to arrive at Yes Tor, please mind the gap and make sure that you take all of your belongings with you. Yes Tor, this is Yes Tor!”

I suppose, it would have taken me a very long time to walk up to see Mum. I would have had to risk several exposures, a wet bottom and a sad lack of coffee but it would have been peaceful and my rucksack, though wet, would have remained un-squashed. Maybe next year!