I rarely listen to my iPod when on events – the sound of the countryside, and my own thoughts, are usually all I need. On the other hand, my runs around the various routes I have in and around Chester are often done to the accompaniment of 70’s rock, Mahler Symphonies or Wagnerian drama.
The exception to the event rule was last year’s 100 (actually 106), when the mind-numbingly boring stretch along the road to Fortingall, and back through the woods into the 2nd night, were trudged whilst listening to Tchaikovsky’s 2nd Piano Concerto (in Stephen Hough’s recent blazing performance) and the Crazy World of Arthur Brown’s debut album.
But almost always, when not sporting earphones, I have some or other tune running through my head. Way back in the late 1980’s, just after all this long-distance stuff began, I recall tramping across the North Yorkshire Moors with long-missed friends on the (then) very popular Lyke Wake Walk. It was night, raining and misty and the (then) thin trod was a small stream. I followed dutifully behind the others whilst the Moody Blues album “Sur La Mer” played endlessly in my mind. There are very “moody”, dark and eerie songs on that album and they matched the night perfectly. Even now when I hear “The River of Endless Love”, “Want to be with you” and the magnificent “Deep” I think of that night, and the other crossings we made.
Even more apt was when we reached Ralph’s Cross, where we were to meet our support party. It was thick mist still, and they were obviously taking time to navigate the myriad tiny roads in the area. We waited, “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere” running through my head, when sure enough, their headlights arced through the mist and swept into the car park.
I still pack a tiny iPod and earphones, and this album is always on there – waiting for the right “moody” atmosphere.