I’m standing on a bleak mountain top. At least, I think it’s a bleak mountaintop because with the mist and drizzling rain, I can’t see very much.
I can see enough though to feel terrified. There is a ravine to my left and a group of intimidating sheep to my right. The car is parked on a narrow track and the adjacent ground looks suspiciously marshy. Executing a u turn if I’m on the wrong road will not be easy.
The light is fading, the mist is thickening, I have no working sat nav connection and my phone battery is dying. I am lost.
My last human contact was the farmer who rescued me from four snapping barking dogs who launched themselves at me when I stopped for directions.
The farmer helpfully directed me to this godforsaken mountaintop via a precipitous narrow track along a dam. The swirling mist revealed just enough of the vertiginous drop to my left to make me feel I was driving a plank.
I eye the sheep. They balefully eye me back. I wonder who I am and how I’ve arrived in this place?
Artist. Northerner. Wife. Ex-lawyer. Mother. Ah yes: mother. Motherhood is what’s got me here, to the brink of the civilized world as I know it.
I have driven north through floods and rain to collect Youngest Daughter a day early from her annual visit to the school’s OutDoor Centre. We have a big family affair and she needs to be home.
But the OutDoor Centre is a place no sane parent should ever want to see. All the tales over the years of derring-do midnight hikes and rat poison are best buried deep in the unconscious because otherwise you would never willingly dispatch your little lambs to such a place.
The sheep are still there. I open another No Access gate and drive on through, committed to the trail because there is no turning back.
And by some minor miracle, I’ve arrived.