I’d been filling my head with Shakespeare’s tales of kings during the week Storm Henry battered the north of England. Royalty had played out their battles in iambic pentametres and metaphors, and now, out on the moors, I was struggling on as Prince Hal's namesake whipped up around me. Onomatopoeic winds beat at the barren landscape as I fought on, trudging through mud, tripping over stalks of burnt heather.
Gales sped over hills and careered through the valleys. Peeping through metal slits, flanked by shields, lances, arrows. On the brink of France. Azincourt. Mud-soaked boots marching onto the field, onwards through forests, closer to the charge. A country mile of peace now between each side. A country mile before metals clash.
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
And as quickly as it had drifted, my mind returns to England. Grouse launch up from the heather, catapulting themselves up into the sky. Easy prey for a shotgun sight. Or the trained eye of a longbowman. A common walking soundtrack, their cackles taunt from the path’s edge. Ignorant of the jesting birds, it’s best foot forward – always forward – ascending the moors to their pinnacle, aiming for the advantage of height. Aiming for the end.