It has been a while since I have written. Sometimes it is a bit of a habit. Bad or good, it waxes and wanes.

Coming back to school into the summer term has been a busy time. At the moment I seem to have every spare moment of time filled with something.

Although the whirlwind did have moments of calm. One of these was in the mountains. As the students roughed it in a mountain camp, the teachers sat in a cosy hostel. After our hearty meal, of chilli con carne (made by the lovely Sharon) and baked cheesecake (one of mine), we journey out into the cold dark spring air to check that all was well in the wild camps. Its a little stroll to let our eyes become accustomed to the dark. The teachers at the back leave their head torches off and follow the glow of the leaders. We chat and keep one eye on the ground and the other on the vastness of the clear starry sky. These are the moments in-between.

We split up, three teachers to one camp, three to another. The tireless Meg scuttles off with the other group. All is well. The young mountaineers are all in tents and tired after the long day trekking. Unfortunately, not all their equipment and food is in the tents. I sigh. It is a learning exercise; it is their first overnight camp. I give the whole camp a quick word on camp craft and the dangers of small mammals. In the corner of my eye I see meg eating, but something deep inside, something primitive and hard wired says; “that’s moving wrong”. Primitive hard wired instincts don’t need grammar. It’s a fox! And a bold one as it hung around and needed a lot of encouragement to leave.

As we left for the walk back I slowed down. I lingered. On rocks and walls I paused to drink in the stars. I could walk under this sky all night. I sensed that the others were waiting for me. In situations like this there is only one thing that robs me of fully enjoying it. One thing that saddens me; the desire to have the moment shared with the lovely Sharon. But there she was. I glanced over as she meandered over the bog. Years ago she used to walk in the mountains with her hands ready to catch a stumble. Now she hikes over rivers and rocks with her hands in her pockets……in the dark.