I was on a train between Sheffield and Manchester when a girl wearing a red blouse took out a notebook and began to sketch. In short, sharp grey lines she picked out the fields that sloped away from the train window. She managed to make snippets of the scene the train left behind. Travelling the train between Sheffield and Manchester takes you through the Peak District National Park. The Peaks separate two of England’s most popular cities like a parent controlling two siblings who might argue but equally like to know each other is there, only a certain distance away. The landscape between big brother and little sister is filled with farmland that has befriended moorland. In summer the hills are painted purple with heather then left beautifully bleak in winter until a cover of snow lies over, changing their contours. I was jealous of the girl in the red blouse. She was forming her own special relationship with the landscape passing the window. This is a journey I will never tire off. The physical changes of the landscape are a transition, the preparation for the transformation from the more innocent little sister to the edgier big brother Manchester. At least this has been my personal experience of these two cities.
Now as I travel backwards on a train, I think of ways I can speak to the landscape like the girl in the red blouse. I think she was someone I would have liked to have met.