The moon has been fattening up over the last week readying for the January full moon: Wolf Moon.  So to see it with little light and distraction we headed for the mountains  (we didn’t really need and excuse).  A short stroll (with two rucksacks each!) was rewarded with a warm fire (once it got going),  good wine and great company.  The warm fire was nicely balanced by frequent short excursions out into the frigid night to stare at the moon.  It was brighter than I ever remember seeing with bold moon shadows cast on the ground.

Any grand ideas of walks and hikes had gradually faded over the week as the moon grew.  The lovely Sharon was tired from a hectic week and I had been complaining (cue sympathy) of stomach cramps since I ate something questionable mid week.  Instead, we spent Saturday relaxing and reading and making a big pot of chilli in preparation for people visiting.

it does not look it, but it was cold

our closest neighbours, I don’t think anyone is in

Eventually enough people were collected together for a short night nav to build up an appetite.  As we headed further into the mountains the sun soaked the sky with rich colours that changed and deepened every minute.

As we turned and began to pine after our pot of chilli we paused to see the moon rise over a ridge.  Remembering back on this I wonder if pictures are worth it.  A camera could never have captured it.  Maybe poetry could have as it can conjure something closer in the soul than the minds eye.  I used to hate poetry.  Is it one of these things that is gained with time, like the taste for olives, jazz and radio 4?

We piled fuel on the fire in time for more arrivals: a tired and weary party of friends who had been delivering a mountaineering course all day.  The chilli was divided and relished.  After dinner we once again sat around the big fire and nattered into the wee hours.  Although, two of the party departed just after dinner.  They were two brave souls who decided to head deeper into the mountains and the night to practice night navigation for their ML.  They planned to bivvy out somewhere far from the cottage much later on.  No amounts of wine and promise of the simmering apple crumble could tempt them back.  Crazy or dedicated, the line is thin.

the view, feebly captured with my camera phone

As with the previous night, people drifted away from the fire at random times to stand outside and stare at the sky and moon as it treated us to its icy halo .  Just as warming and intoxicating as any glass of wine.

moon halo by will merydith

EDIT – I have a clarification from the chief editor (the lovely chief editor).  It seems the ‘we’ I referred to in the making of the chilli might actually have not been ‘we’ but might have been just the lovely Sharon.  And I have been instructed to point out that while said chilli was being made I was asked to make a coffee for the afore mentioned chef and ended up drinking it myself.