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"If we go now we'll just catch the last glimmers of sun."

"First evening walk after the hour changed. It was still light at this time last Thursday. Soon it will be completely dark before we can set off."

"Maybe we should stop for the winter, it isn't as though we can see anything."

"We need some fresh air and exercise, and we might see badgers or bats or owls."

 

It is almost dark but there are definitely a few streaks of pink light across the cloudy sky. We set of carrying our torches, not yet switched on.

We walk quickly, down the lane and up over the hill. It is surprisingly dry. No word from the Webmaster about wet feet.

"We might get caught up in the trick or treat nonsense" worries the Webmaster.

"We won't be going close enough into the village. It's not worth anyone coming this far out."

"Suppose so."

"Have you called your Dad? Today would have been your mother's birthday and you haven't called him this week."

"No, and that's why I haven't called him."

"Don't be daft."

"It might upset him."

"No it won't. It might make him a bit sad, nostaligic sad, but not in a bad way. It will be worse if he thinks you are avoiding him because you don't want to remind him of your Mum."

"Mmmm.."

"It isn't as though he will have forgotten and you'll be reminding him. When Andy died I didn't want people to avoid me or not talk about him. He was real and people not talking about him or editing the past so as not to mention him made it worse, not better. If I thought it was happening I'd deliberately bring him in to conversations. I think you should call him, even if it brings tears to his eyes or makes him choke up, it won't be bad."

"Mmmm...."

"Anyway, halloween. Your Mum's birthday. I bet she had to live with the jokes about that."

"Yeah, I think it came up a few times."

"Has your Dad decided about her ashes yet?"

"I think he is avoiding it, but it might be an opportunity to have a ceremony on a windswept cliff top or beach at Christmas."

"That would be fitting, she would like that. Remember the time in the lake district with the kids at new year when we had that picnic in the freezing rain. Last week I watched the video we made."

We reach the top of the hill and make our way down the steps and through the car park. There are no cars but the gate is still open. We switch on our torches, one red, one white, turn down towards the village and see fluorescent strips and two amber eyes approaching. A man and his dog. We pass and nod to him. He doesn't respond.

"The Grand Master and his band were good on Saturday."

"I found out what they were called ..."

"Yeah, something and the Warriors."

"How do you know that?"

"You told me."

"I couldn't have. I only just found out."

"Oh, must be telepathy. What was the something?"

"Must be and don't know. I've forgotten."

We walk along the lane skirting the vale. The landscape and features are only visible by virtue of the lights, street lights, flood lights, lit buildings. We don't climb the stones and over the stile but continue to the end of the lane. It makes the route slightly longer, but easier in the dark. No rough path to stumble along in the dark.

As we walk back towards Hill Top we see the fluorescent strips and the amber eyes approaching. The man and his dog have walked the same loop in the opposite direction. We pass him again.

"Ah, we've seen this dog before," said the Webmaster, but the man said nothing.

The pub is quiet. Too early still for the regulars. The car park gate is locked, it is early but well past dusk.

"I wonder if the man with the keys locks it on his way in?"

"Could do now it is dark so early."

We climb back up over the hill. The Webmaster wriggles, as though he is dancing to silent music.

"What are you doing."

"Something going on in my pants."

"Oh, anything I should be interested in?"

"Bah. No. They've slipped and twisted. A bit more swingage than usual."

"That's is definitely going in the blog."

"You can't write 'swing-age'," protested the Webmaster again walking normally having re-adjusted his under garments.

We pick our way carefully over the rough, sand path avoiding the ruts and rocks.

"I don't feel inclined tonight," he says as we walk past the post where the footpaths cross.

We turn down the track and follow the lane home.

"That was quick. We walk much faster without the dogs."