Today’s walk with Ollie started off well. The sun was bright at 1.45pm, as I left for the meadow. That low winter sun, so hard to look into; needing covering of eyes, and the shade providing a relief, as you turn away. We were on our own for the most part, many dog walkers put off by the early fog. I could feel the latent heat from a dying sun, and was glad to have not added too many clothing layers. For Ollie of course, the weather was irrelevant. He gambolled excitedly, just pleased to be out.
After three ’rounds’ of the meadow walk, the moon was visible, large in the sky. The sun was setting to the West, and I was avoiding the accompanying glare. I passed the time of day with some of the more casual walkers, and Ollie remained on the lookout for his usual gang of dog friends. By 2.45pm, it was noticeably colder; a huge drop in temperature, in sixty minutes. The sky was beginning to take on a marvellously red hue, and it was obvious that sunset was in full swing. I knew that it would be complete, by 4pm, so did not have long to wait.
Looking across at Hoe Rough, beyond the small river, I could see the mists beginning to form. Lying in the low areas, like gas over trenches in World War One, the thick pockets were developing fast. Within a few moments, that mist could be seen rolling downwards, towards the river, enveloping the ground. Wild birds began to fly, game birds called their repetitive song, and the sky took on that gunmetal grey, that I associate with the approach of night.
I checked my watch, 3.15pm. It was noticeably colder, my cheeks felt chilly, and passing walkers were commenting on the chill in the air. That mist was thickening, not quite across the river to the meadow, but not long away. Since I had left home, the temperature had dropped considerably. Even with the benefit of long thermal socks, my feet felt cold in my old Dunlops, and I was zipping up my parka to my neck. I decided to take a break from my circulation, and sat on the benches near the river. Ollie was keen to progress, but I made him wait a while. I watched the sun drop below the horizon, and the moon take on a full bloom. It was undoubtedly a winter evening, at least in Beetley.
Birds gone, and sun well and truly set. Although it was only 3.45pm, it was time to make tracks to home. Ten minutes later, and it was officially dark, as I got to the back door, and took Ollie off the lead. In two hours, I had experienced the end of the day. Ollie had seen few friends, as their owners sensibly avoided the cold and mist. I got in, and laid a fire in the wood burner. For the first time, in over a year of having it, Ollie stretched out before it, and enjoyed the warmth. He is still doing this, as I type. The traditional place of a dog, warming before a flame.
It makes me feel good. To live in the county that provides these delights, and to see my dog rewarding himself with a well-earned rest. Sometimes. life is just as it should be.