August 15th, A run to Beacon Hill


8:56am. Had a decent nights sleep for a change. Still got a headache, not as intense as yesterday but it’s still there. I’m sat here wondering what I do wrong with people. I seem to drive them away for some reason. At first everything is ok and then they gradually leave my life. Do I bore them or does my behaviour get to them and after a bit they have had enough of me? I know I’m not easy but I do try and do my best for people and be the best I can. With my lack of social skills and not being able to read facial expressions and body language it’s twice as difficult for me to know if I’m doing the right thing or not. Together with my slowness of mind, taking in what people are saying and what it means it makes life really difficult for me at times. I don’t know what I do wrong. I wish I did so I can change it. I wish people would talk to me and help me to understand my own behaviour and other peoples and how they interact and intersect and how my behaviour affects other people. I want to be a better person but it’s a struggle when you feel like you’re in a rudderless boat without sails or a paddle in the middle of the sea and all you can see is water and sky and you don’t know where to go or what to do. Life can be really hard when you don’t understand it. I want to change but I don’t know how to change. I decide to go for a run despite my right calve feeling solid I decide to risk it and see how it goes on a run.

4:02pm. Back from a run to Beacon Hill overlooking Halifax town centre. I ran down through Shibden Valley to Shibden Park a nice run on trials and Yorkshire stone paths. The park was packed so I had to weave my way through them to get to the other side of the park. I find the path I’m looking for to climb up to Beacon Hill at the back of a new housing estate and walk up as the stones are slippy and my Hoko’s aren’t gripping very well on the surface. At the top of the climb I stop to take in the views and take some photos.

I carry on the trail to Beacon Hill passing a house before I see a trail that I assume must lead me up to the top of the hill. For once I am right in my assumption and after rounding a corner I am at Beacon Hill. The climb was worth it as the views are stunning stretching far away in the distance.

I head back down the trail and return on the easier trail that takes you back to the park. Next time I do this run I must remember to do this route as the climb is runnable unlike the route I came up. Over the road and back in Shibden Valley I continue back on the route I came down on.

As the trail nears Shibden Mill Inn I take a stile on the left and head up the hill towards Hag Lane. The last time I did this I had to turn back as near the top of the climb was a group of cows with their calves and I wasn’t taking any chances trying to walk past them. Today the cows were in a field below me so I was able to do the climb and take a trail new to me that I knew would bring me out at Lee Lane but I wasn’t sure where.

The trail brought me out at the bottom corner of Lee Lane just below Lee House and at the side of a house I have passed many times but missed the opening in the wall for the trail. I’m pleased I took this route as it gives me some more options for running round this area. I carried on my run past Lee House and onto Scout Hall which is famous locally at least for being a calendar house having 365 windows and 12 doors although I have never counted them.

Despite the hall being a sorry state there is a family living there so it is good to see someone living there and making the hall a home again. I run on past the hall and pick up the CWR Leg 5 climb that goes down from Swales Moor Road to Simm Carr Lane. Instead of going up to Swales Moor Road as I usually I do I go on the road where a local multi millionaire has bought an old and derelict ex Yorkshire Water pump house and converted it into a family home. It is rumoured that the land was sold directly to him and was never put up for sale to the public. 

I run on the new road that he has built and come across a gate that is locked. A woman coming the other way informs me that this is a private road but I can climb over the gate if I want. I mention the Calderdale footpath sign at the top of the road and she tells me that the footpath is back on the road and I need to go down the side of a building near the top and follow the trail down. This is where my run got very tricky.

After a short, steep descent the trail petered out and as usual my sense of direction deserted me too. I ended up wondering around a field of knee high grass looking for a stile and couldn’t find one. After going round in a circle I ended up not far from the bottom of the descent and saw a gate that was open. I went through the gate and saw at the bottom of the field a yellow Calderdale footpath sign. I walked down to it as there was some horses in the field and they were eyeing me up for someone to trample.

The gate to the footpath is padlocked shut with a brand new metal chain. Undeterred I climb over some old barb wire fence and get to the stile above the gate. Here the landowner has illegally installed a metal gate with two large metal chains around it. Clearly for some reason the landowner does not want people using this footpath even though it has been closed off illegally as it is public land and he has no right to do what he has done. I eventually find a spot where I climb over yet more barb wire and a wall and get onto the trail that takes me home. I vow to make a complaint to Calderdale Council about this illegal closure of the footpath.

Back on familiar trails I run back to Queensbury on very, very tired legs that are aching and screaming in every muscle and sinew.

11:34pm. I showered and had something to eat but I couldn’t settle. My head was pounding despite my run and a mess of thoughts swirling round and round. I couldn’t settle at all and all I wanted to do was to be out of the house and away from the walls. This house is beginning to feel like a prison to me and I had to get out. I go to the club and watch rugby then have a chat with some of the others there. I stop as long as I dare not wanting to go home but I do having had too much beer and still having a headache that feels like it will kill me now.

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