In a couple of weeks time, it will be The Winter Solstice, after which, of course, the amount of daylight increases every day – just that little bit longer each day. Its the turning of the year and deserves a little celebration.
There is, in the wind, a little expedition up to the summit of Deadstones, to witness the dawn of the new year (notice I didn’t say New Year).
Deadstones, I should explain is a 2300 foot subsidiary top of Burnhope Seat and is most easily got at from Killhope Cross, where the main road crosses from County Durham into Cumbria. This is at an altitude of just over 2000 feet and is about 2 miles North of the said Deadstones.
Why Deadstones? Well- its fairly easy to get at, and it has a fine view of the East coast on a good day, and it has a little shelter on the top, with a fireplace but nothing in the way of a door. Four people who are close friends could probably fit in. The one nobody likes would have to stay outside.
And so, I parked the knipemobile at Killhope Cross and struggled through the snowy peat hags the two or so miles to Deadstones and deposited some luxury supplies – that is to say, some kindling, a fire log and some log..er..logs… All in all enough fuel for a warm fire lasting about four hours.
When I got back to Killhope Cross it was just about dark.
There are a few problems:
1) If its snowy, it could be very hard work getting there – it took me 90 minutes. In the dark and with soft snow, this could be at least an hour longer. (worra struggle – 5:00 am start, I think)
2) The roof is looking a bit dicey. Several tonnes of gritstone slabs are currently being held up by a shaky and split beam, probably very ancient oak, I shouldn’t wonder – and a fence post. If it snows heavily, this lot could shutter in. This will be no worse than a lead mine shutterring in, so maybe we shouldn’t worry too much (ie we wont know much about it if it does)
3) It was full of snow. Clearly, the snow has come from the “wrong” direction. Perhaps we’ll need to excavate….
4) I’ve hidden the fuel, but if some pillock finds it, I bet they set fire to it. To counteract this/get revenge – there’s an evil curse on the fuel and anybody who nicks it or sets fire to it before we get there will crash and die on there way home. It only seems fair.
Not entirely sure who’s coming on this trip…..
The view East