The Cumbrian fells can be a desolate, dangerous place. In the blink of an eye, you can become lost, lose sight of where you’re heading, become a victim of the fog. Without warning, the whiteness envelops you, blinds you, disorientates you. Your senses are confused. Sounds are muffled, views are distorted, outreached arms touch nothingness.
Then, just as quickly, the fog lifts. Everything is clear again once more.
As she propelled herself backwards and forwards on the rocking chair, the fog wouldn’t clear. No matter what she did, she couldn’t remember. Rubbing her temples, blinking quickly, swaying her head. Where was she? This wasn’t the Jail Tap. This wasn’t English Street. Why couldn’t she hear the people jeering at the criminals being hanged?
Because she wasn’t in Carlisle. She wasn’t in the 19th century. A new century had dawned many years ago and she was now living 40 miles west of English Street in Whitehaven. But, as the rocking chair came to a halt and Nellie rested her head, she found herself not in the present, not in the distant past, but right back at the start. Back in Kensington. And her world had just been shattered.