• Head-banner
  • Head-banner
  • Sticks-banners
  • Sticks-banners

The sunset is spectacular. A large, thin, flat layer of rippled cloud, as though made by waves on a beach, lit, apparently from below, with the red glow from the sinking sun. Orange, red and pink light reflects back down to us. The sun itself, visible below the clouds, silhouetting the the folly at the high point of the ridge and casting a red glow over the fields. But it is sinking fast and soon there are only a few red streaks of light remaining.

 

"I've never seen a sunset like that before. I've been here nearly 30 years and I really can't remember such a spectacular sunset. It looked even better from the top road. I could see it while I was driving home."

"It's dry tonight. Unlikely to be any frogs."

"I used to think it was a myth that they only come out when it's wet, but maybe it isn't. It hasn't been a good day today, but this is nice."

"The bats are out tonight, look! That's the third or fourth I've seen on this stretch of the road."

"Yes, there's another. Maybe there a still insects about."

"I started to cut up the boards for the shelves under the stairs but they are a bit too big for me to move onto the saw bed. After tea you can come and help me move the second one. We only need two but I bought three because it will come in handy and it was only £5 more. £45 for 3 and £40 for two."

"I thought you were using the jigsaw not the circular saw."

"I am, but I'm using the bed of the circular saw to rest the boards on. Where else can I put them?"

"We haven't managed to save the jobs. I had a phone call. It isn't me this time but I'll be left on my own. It isn't going to be much fun, and I don't know how long it will be until it's my turn."

"Think of the money!"

It is still not quite dark. So different from last night in the rain. We walk in silence for a while, gazing across the Vale. 

"There's another footpath there. I hadn't noticed it before. Looks as though it comes out by the second house where your sister used to live. It must go through to the Vale down one of their drive ways."

"We will have to try it when we have more time and preferably in the light."

By the time we get to the stone climb up to the stile it is dark and we need the torches to see our way over. The horses must be in another part of the field. We can't see them or hear them munching on the grass.

"I wish I hadn't put this thick fleece on. I'm too hot, but after last night .."

"I've unzipped mine."

"Stop a minute while I take this off, here, hold my torch."

We walk past the pub which seems quiet, but we can see through the windows that there are several people inside chatting and drinking.

The car park gate is locked. 

"We've never seen the man who locks it, but we must have been here within a few minutes many times. He probably locks it quite early now. It's dark before eight."

If there had been anyone sitting in the car park or walking on the hill to watch the sun go down, they have left. It is deserted. There is now no sign of the glorious sunset that less than an hour earlier was lighting up the sky and treating us all to a spectacular light show.

"Stop a minute while I put this back on. I'm cold now."

We walk over the hill, occassionally slipping on the rough surface. 

"We will need new batteries soon. My torch isn't very bright."

"I've found the charger but it needs cleaning. It's gone a bit furry. You know, like when old batteries have been left in too long."

We reach the track and turn onto it to double back down the lane. The path, straight on, through the cow field and down to the end of the hill is almost certainly still boggy.

A pair of glowing green eyes is tracking us as we walk up the lane towards our gate. The dim outline of a cat, sitting on the garden wall, slowly appears. It jumps down and follows us in. Two more pairs of glinting amber-green eyes latch on to us. By the time we reach the door we are accompanied by three cats. They watch while the Webmaster fumbles for his key, juggles with the coins spilling through the split seams of his coin holder, and open the door. The Young Dog greets us. The cats stay outside on the mat.