I feel the cold alarmingly for someone still clinging resolutely to my twenties. My hands and feet are cold pretty much all of the time because that’s how I roll. Cold hands, warm heart and all of the old wives tales/clichés all because my blood doesn’t much like it in my icy extremities.
There’s nothing to you, people over a certain age exclaim. Skin and bone and lace up snow boots and two jumpers because it’s August now and this year that means the first frost forming on the grass that flanks the roads. Roads we drive along as the hour approaches midnight, through dense pockets of mist, noses pressed almost to the windscreen because somehow it’s easier to look out for errant trees/hedgehogs/turnings that way.
And sometimes, when it’s cold and everything is covered in heavy midnight dew and you’re exhausted, it’s good to get out. To trudge across a field guided by a torch and little else while the trees fill the air with a drip drip dripping that echoes around us, natures creepy surround sound.
The beauty of the darkness means nothing is quite as close or as far or as real as it seems. Little clouds of mist roll across the field and an unknown, unseen animal coos at us from a distance and woah, the sky is beautiful out here.
The beauty of stars is that as soon as you look directly at them you can’t see them – that’s science I can’t explain – and the beauty of using a phone app to locate constellations and the cameras live view to search the darkness for something to focus on means as soon as you look away from the light you’re rendered almost completely blind in the vast darkness.
So I’ll just turn my tripod this way and press the shutter…
…maybe this way…
The air is still and damp and refreshing and we swore we’d leave half an hour ago but it seemed like a good idea to run around the playground first so run around the playground we did with glee. And torches.
Creeping through the door at 1am, warming hands around a cup of tea, peeling off wet jeans, kissing sleeping cheeks and sliding into bed, tingling from warmth and wide open skies.
Next time we’ll point the car the other way and head towards the coast because I am obsessed with taking photographs of the stars and last time we tried that, this son of a bitch was blindingly bright…
August, you rat-bastard; you gave good adventure but my god, you hurt too.