"If you don't hurry up it will be too late to go."

"It isn't going to get any darker."

It is just after six pm when we set off.

"It's foggy. We'll need the torches on full power. And we should stay off the road, let's just go down to the hill and then straight over and back."

 We set of down the lane. We adjust our headlamps to make ourselves as visible as possible, but we can see only about five metres ahead.

"Can't see much."

"Crap weather for a crap day. I still think it's an enormous hoax on the world and we'll wake up tomorrow and someone will say April fool."

"President Trump. He'll be seen as the green light for misogynists, racists and xenophobes everywhere. Brexit effect with knobs on. He thinks half his population are only there as ornaments and if they aren't pretty enough they are pointless."

"I heard Farage is putting himself forward as a Trump aide, he wants to be US ambassador to the EU."

"Wouldn't he have to be a US citizen? Poor EU, if he is. I bet they thought they were finally rid of him and his arrogant rudeness."

"This way," pointing over the stile and up the hill. "Urrrr, it looks like a swamp."

I step over the stile while the Webmaster, muttering about it not being a very good idea, switches his torch from red to white.

"Oh, it's not as bad as it looks. It's quite firm. I expected to sink in."

The Webmaster picks his way across like a cartoon circus elephant balancing on a small ball. 

The path up the end of the hill is slippery and we slide down sideways on a couple of occasions. As we get higher and the slope becomes less steep there is more grass and less mud. The going gets easier.

"These lights are effective in the fog."

"Yeah but they are burning up a lot of battery on full power."

"I need to spend the last few pounds from my sports fund before it times out at the end of the year."

"Do you need more running leggings?"

"I've got a couple of pairs but one is almost worn out. I bought a new pair last year and lent them to the Student but she lost them at a race, first time used."

"Someone lifted them in the changing rooms."

"Nah, unlikely. But if I get running leggings I'll have to start running again, and that means you will have to come too. Can you see where you are going?"

"I'm following you."

The fog is much thicker and we can only see a few steps ahead, even with the lights on full power.

"Are we still on the right path or have we strayed onto the bottom path? Watch out. Big puddle."

"This is the right path."

"Are we still going up?"

"Yes, we're still going up."

"When we get to the car park we can double back down the bottom path rather than just turning round."

"It's overgrown."

"It isn't."

"It is. When we came up from Tongue Lane it was. We can't go that way in the dark."

"No, not that way. Not down to the road, back round the hill on the path that circles back to join this one."


"Another big puddle here."

We reach the top of the hill and walk past the view point and down the steps to the car park. We loop round and take the lower path back out of the car park and follow it around the hill. It is narrow but not overgrown, apart from the occasional reeds growing at the edge, leaning over. Picked out through the mist with the head torches, they look almost like showers of fireworks cascading over the path, droplets of water down their stems reflecting the light. 

"Now my legs are wet." We rejoin the top path. "Happy, now you recognise where we are?"

We retrace our steps back down the hill. "I don't think we can get down at the end, we'll slide everywhere."

"I'm not going all the way down. We can turn down the track to the road."

As we walk down the lane I notice the Webmaster's shoes sound oddly different. Firmer, no squelching noise, which I would have expected after walking though such wet ground.

"My feet are a bit wet. I didn't put my boots on for this short walk," I venture.

"Mine aren't," replies the Webmaster with a slightly smug tone. "I put my boots on."

"You've got boots."

"These are my everyday boots. I bought them today. And a pair of proper walking boots."

"Oh my goodness. You went out and bought boots. I thought you were gone a long time just getting something for lunch."

"The walking boots will need a bit of breaking in. They are leather, but not fancy."

We see a car approaching and stop in a passing place until it passes us.

"And did you buy a belt too?"


"You do realise you've killed off a story line in my blog. What does the Archers do when a story runs out?"

The fog thins as we approach the bottom of the lane. I turn to look at the Webmaster who is wearing a smug expression. 

"Do you mind. Stop dazzling me." He is referring to my torch which points right in his eyes.

We walk the final 500m back up to our house. The automatic light comes on as we approach the door. The Webmaster takes out his purse and turns towards me, holding it out. I think he is moving into the light to search among the coins for his key, but he just stops.



I look again. "Oh no. A new purse too. Another story line dead."