Wednesday, 17 September 2008

A walk in the country

A couple of yards from my desk in the office, the good people of Country Walking magazine go about their business. Speaking as someone partial to yomping round the Peak District on a regular basis, it's a magazine I've always enjoyed, but the new (October) issue is particularly good.

It's a Yorkshire special, and contains a fine piece by editor Jonathan Manning about Ian McMillan. There are a couple of newish poems included, and as ever, McMillan is good company.

It strikes me that, should he be interested, they could do a lot worse than McMillan as the next Poet Laureate, because he seems completely lacking in self-consciousness about mixing populist and less accessible poetry. A couple of years ago, for example, I bought one of those issues of The North in which the poems are presented anonymously, and you have to turn to a key at the back to find out who wrote what. There was a really fine poem from McMillan in there, and at the time I'd never have guessed that it was from him, so far was it from the rather lighter stuff you often see and hear from him on TV and radio.

The same issue contains my own article about walking on Ilkley Moor with Yorkshire and England fast bowling legend Matthew Hoggard, and all the usual features. Oh, and it recommends Timothy Taylor Landlord, Black Sheep and Sam Smith's Bitter - surely three of the finest beers ever to be supped.


Susan Richardson said...

Was flicking through the current edition of Country Walking at lunchtime today - and (being a HUGE lifelong cricket addict) was especially chuffed to find the Hoggard piece! Am ashamed to say I didn't notice that it was you who'd written it. I'm going to go and have another look at it now :)

Matt Merritt said...

Thanks, Susan. He was a really nice chap, too - thoroughly down to earth, and would have been happy to spend the whole day walking. Even as it was, we were out for about four hours.