Peering out the window at 7am on Tuesday my neighbour's car had changed colour, from black to white, and so had the barn roof. There was no hesitation, like will I or wont I, it was a definite 'yes' in favour of getting out for a run.
|The moon and Venus (Click to enlarge pictures)
A waning crescent moon hung in a clear, frosty sky with Venus shining like a diamond a little farther to the west as I jogged along the lane. I was well wrapped up with a buff pulled over my nose and mouth to warm the air I breathed.
|Arriving at the rim together - the sun and I
Last week's slushy fields and gateways were now frozen and rutted making it more pleasant for running. Stars disappeared in the dawning light, a robin gave a brief burst of song from a holly bush by the cottages and a rabbit hopped away rather stiffly.
|A convoluted route to the summit
I'd taken a different, longer route onto the hill, brushing through brambles and steeply up past prickly gorse bushes to arrive on the rim just as the sun peered over the horizon.
A chill wind from the west ensured I kept moving through the frozen landscape, enjoying the changing colours with only brief stops to aim my camera at some eye-catching scene.
|Wind and frost on the summit
Like that rabbit I passed earlier my old legs weren't performing as well as they should. I abandoned my usual set of hill reps to jog home with porridge and hot coffee in mind.
|Approaching slippery flags through the gorse
Stone flags coming off the summit were slippery with frost so I ran warily, remembering a time when I lost my footing and landed in a heap ten yards farther down. I was younger then, and faster!
Arriving home tingling and invigorated a hot shower took preference before the obligatory glass of cold chocolate milk.
The porridge boiled over, but what the hell, if the world had come to an end it couldn't have taken away the magic of that last hour.