Shivering Mountain

Monday, 14th November 2005

Sandal church and other train sketches
The tower of St Helen's church, Sandal, set amongst hills sketched a mile further along the track at Walton and trees sketched on the way to Sheffield.

dandelionAs I did last Monday, I'm commuting to the Peak District again. There's time to draw a leaf of dandelion and a buddleia seedling, growing in gravel alongside the platform as I wait for the train. I can't say that I feel like settling into a drawing with the proverbial anxiety of a train to catch but I'm acting on the belief that any drawing is going to be better than none.

deisel train I've never done more than dip into The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron's self-help guide to freeing up your creativity, because creative flow isn't really a problem for me, just finding the time to settle down and make something of that creativity. She suggests that you should start every morning by writing a page or two - more or less whatever comes into your mind - not in order to produce any finished work but just to kick-start the creative side of your brain.

bridgeSo, I might not be especially inspired by the trackside sights of Sheffield, but it is getting my eye in and getting my brain into some kind of synthesising mode before I get off the train in Hope (both metaphorically and literally - that's the name of the village where I'm starting my walk today).


'Shivering Mountain' is the nickname of Mam Tor, because the repeating layers of porous sandstone and impermeable shales make it unstable. A major landscape back in the 1960s closed the Sheffield to Manchester road which ran along the lower slopes of the hill.

I haven't chosen the ideal weather for walking but the wind and cloud on the tops of Lose Hill and the ridge leading to Mam Tor make for a memorable experience and should give me plenty of material for the Peak District sketchbook that I'm working on. Next Page

Richard Bell,

Mam Tor
What I can't help thinking of as the 'rear' view of Mam Tor, as seen from Edale station at the end of my walk.