There is something delicious about visiting a place you visited as a youth. This makes me sound old. I guess I am old. I’m certainly older than I was when I last visited.
Hogsback in the early- to mid-90’s seemed so far from our small university town, a magical faraway land atop a hill shrouded in fog. The first time I went, I went with my boyfriend and his family (all of whom I still adore). We stayed in a lovely lodge and the mist swirled and the fire roared in the hearth and we were young and in love.
The second time, I went with the same boyfriend, also in the early-mid-90’s. We drove in my 1975 deep green Ford Escort (as old as me) and camped in the campsite. The emerald green car became almost completely camouflaged in the delicious-smelling forest. We were the only people there and we walked and walked and swam in icy rivers and frolicked next to waterfalls, then huddled next to the fire and then in our tent as the rain came down and whipped around us, dripping on our heads and forcing us to sleep in the car. The next day we fought, and left in a huff, a day early. Only on getting home and eating did we realise it was just because we were hungry. I’ve never been good at being hungry. He neither.
The third time was for a friend’s 21st, still in those heady ‘varsity days. A bunch of us in a house on the forest’s edge, beset by fairies. Wandering the paths through magical woodlands, filled with the freedom of being young.
Twenty year’s later (how did that happen?), I returned, older, wiser (but that’s arguable) and able to buy food to ensure I didn’t get hungry and mean.
And it’s still as emerald and magic and filled with esoteric beings as it was (and a good few more restaurants/pubs and a chocolate shop!). Reading the community notices wall, we were blessed with gratitude and authenticity and plenty of potential tarot readings, including one promising that she worked ‘with fairies for wisdom, insight and joy’.
The spectacular road in and the view from the edge of the cliffs was all I needed to grow my wisdom, and bless me with insight and joy. No tarot, eco-shrine or yogi-humming necessary. It’s breath-takingly beautiful, and made me think of this: