The lovely Sharon’s parents visit every week. This week they visited during a February storm which was strong enough to turn over the iron coffee table and chairs in the garden. They had stood tall and proud all winter, through high winds and under thick snow. But today they turned over in strong westerlys that had her parents cowling inside and tutting at the ferocity of the weather. But the lovely Sharon did not understand. She, and I, feel the urge to be out in all weathers, we love it. We love the cold and even the rain. We love the wind and we love the onslaught of the summer sun. The lovely Sharon has been on her hands and knees with a full rucksack as she, literally, crawled down from the summit of Slieve Commedagh in 70mph winds before she settled down in the valley to a wild camp on the bend of a river. She has slept in a thin tent beside a mountain lochan which was frozen solid under a clear winter sky. So, we feel that we are strange people. We see the forces of nature around us and we feel no urge to hide.

At night we sit in a room that is heated by the wonders of plumbing to a minimum temperature of 16 degrees. For us it feels tropical but necessary for the little man. We fuss over the thermometer as typical over protective parents do. We worry that our own desires for an arctic bedroom do not fall into line with the little man’s frighteningly small surface to volume ratio. So, we sweat under our duvet and most nights I imagine our bed to be outside and under the stars and wind and rain. This deception sends me into a slumber as I dream of sleeping on the earth and on the turning world.

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