Its not a miserable day but its how I feel.  I guess I am lucky that up until now I have not suffered any coughs of sniffles since September.  Until now.

It is unofficially winter now according to the tradition that Halloween marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the winter season.  I wonder if it was known as the festival of the dead due to all the killing and the fact that it was a time of year when death was all about.  It was the time when a lot of the animals had to be turned into food and preserved for the winter as there was never usually enough fodder that could be stored over the winter for all the animals.  It seems sensible that the surplus of food and the change in weather requires a big party and an excuse to stay indoors letting all the other world run riot in the dark.

For halloween this year the extend of our celebration was eating a couple of chocolate eyeballs.  No party for us as we were out in the mountains on our mountain leader course.

We could not have asked for a better weekend (apart from my sniffling).  The weather was cool and clear, so clear that some of our group sat and identified Scottish islands at lunch time.  The training this weekend was security over steep ground.  The lovely Sharon and I agree that we always seem to walk away from these weekends learning so much more than we expect.  And then some more.  However, the lovely Sharon also walked away with a couple of scuffed knees.  Did the steep ground get the better of her?  Not at all, it was the flat ground on the way off the mountains at the end of Sunday!

“Mountain climbers will tell you that it is not the ascent that poses the most danger to the climber but the descent.  More accidents happen on the descent.”


Its just getting dark outside, the air is cold and still, the trees are all sorts of colours in the strange light.  Time to throw some peat on the fire.