I started this before the sun came up, the sky was pewter and the snow covered rooves a soft pale grey. There had been a soft dusting of snow overnight and by the looks of it, it then froze into gravel hard pellets of glittery silvery white. And, although now that the sun is well and truly up - it is unseen as it hides behind the thick layer of pale grey-blue cloud drifting across the sky.
Yesterday we walked up and over the moors to a favourite space of ours - locally known as Deerstones, it is a rocky outcrop facing the village with a bit of history. It is near an old quarry which now has weathered into a protective space for grazing moorland beef or sheep. If you look hard enough you can find the old powder house, a natural cave beneath a large rock which has the remains of a concrete lining making the space as dry as possible for the explosives.
Local village knowledge talks of this powder house being a 'den of iniquity' during the days of the mills. When the workers, having being paid on the Friday afternoon, traipsed up onto the moors and hid in there, where they'd gamble and drink all weekend only to return back down on the Monday morning worse for the wear, stumbling straight back into work. The stories go that the wives would have to go up as soon as they could and wrestle as much money as possible from their partners so they could pay the rent or buy food for the family. If they left it until the Monday evenings when their errant husbands would return home to eat and sleep - there would be very little if any money left over from the weekly wage. Hard times ...
We often sit on the rocks above the powder house and let our eyes feast on the view - but yesterday was too bitter. The wind could slice through clothing with such an icy steel that we only briefly acknowledged our favourite stopping point with a cursory glance.