thesticks

"It's almost dark already and we are only five minutes later than yesterday."

"But is has been dull and overcast since mid afternoon. There was heavy rain; see all the puddles."

"Could be a lot of frogs in the road again."

There is still enough light for us not to need the torches as we set off, but it is decidedly gloomy and damp.

"I finished strimming in the orchard and I got the hedge trimmer started with the new spark plugs, but the brake has jammed on. It will either need replacing or bodging."

 "What do you mean, bodging? It sounds dangerous."

"So the blades will move when it has been started. The brake lets you stop the blades and leave the engine running."

"Like I said, it sounds dangerous. I don't like the idea of all these power tools, especially if they are bodged."

"It isn't any more dangerous than the chainsaw."

"Hmm. Not more dangerous than a chainsaw! Those notoriously safe pieces of equipment that you should be trained to use and have been the weapon of choice in horror films."

"I thought you'd be pleased I was mending the old equipment and not just playing with the new one."

The Webmaster fumbles to switch on his head torch. There is still some light but we have reached a section of the road where there is likely to be traffic.

"We didn't see any frogs on the way up. Maybe they only come out when it is completely dark."

We turn onto a side lane and switch out the torches to save on the batteries. It is still light enough to see and in all the time we have walked the lanes we have only seen two cars driving along it. By the time we reach the stile into the field it is dark. To the left we see a shadow moving and hear munching. It is one of the horses. We can just make out its white patches. The grass is wet and the ground underfoot very soft and uneven. This is the first time we have needed our torches to cross this field.

"I hear that the Brexit shock hasn't happened. OECD had to revise its forcast."

"Had they expected something sudden? Brexit hasn't happened yet. It is more likely to be slow imact, apart from the exchange rate. I guess most businesses are waiting to see what the plan is. Maybe they think that nothing will happen until there is a plan, and then they will have two years. Problems will probably come when manufacturers like the Japanese car companies need to re-tool production lines for new models. Finance firms can probably move a lot faster."

"Apparently they had predicted an immediate shock."

"I think the scariest thing is that the government appears to be clueless and making contradictory statements, particularly on what it can achieve for Brexit.  Government should have the welbeing of the country as its main priority, but they don't seem to have. A few years ago we had a health service routinely ranked in the top few in the world, now it has crashed down the rankings. A smaller percent of the money spent is going on the health care outcomes and more on dividends, profit, management, sourcing and legal costs. The doctors are voting with their feet, the welfare system is next to useless and the education system has been put into reverse."

"Someone on the radio was saying they did some sort of research and found that most Brexit supporters had thought that they could curb immigration and keep all the single market benefits."

"That's what Leave campaign offered. Britian is so important the EU wouldn't cut us off. They need us more than we need them and so on." 

"He said that what they appeared to want or have expected was completely unattainable."

"Yeah, well. Anyone who pointed out otherwise was either fearmongering or talking Britain down. Difficult to counter those sentiments, they aren't based in facts. Problem is there isn't any real opposition. Only the Lib Dems seem to have any clue about the practical impact of Brexit. If the government does, it is doing a good job of fooling everyone. The Three Brexiteers. Will they fix it or bodge it? Did you read those papers by Nick Clegg? They are quite good, best I've seen from a politician."

"Stop. Look. A frog." A yellowish frog is walking along the edge of the road. Its gait makes it appear to be doing a sort of front crawl. As our lights catch it and it realises we are watching it stops and looks at us. It waits until we have moved past before continuing towards the grass verge.

The car park gate is locked. The hill is deserted, the air is cooling and it feels even damper than when we set off. No one else is out tonight. No dogs getting an evening walk. We turn off the hill to take the bottom lane back. The frogs have come out and we walk carefully looking down to avoid stepping on any of them.