3rd November - Snow and fire - time to sparkle


This morning, my hair smells of smoke and then, of snow. Hailstones have been falling down the chimney and the wind is so loud we can't sleep at night. Winter is upon us and this morning there is snow on the mountains across the bay.  The tide has gone as far out as I've ever seen it - there's a new moon.  White gulls circle the rocks and black crows follow them, ready to finish off whatever they leave.

Bonfire on the shore
Last night we celebrated Bonfire Night, warding off the storms and darkness with a giant fire on the edge of the sea. Because of the storm, it wasn't decided until 4 pm whether we'd actually go ahead with it or not and now we have, the flames are roaring and a huge shower of sparks is blowing across to the hut where the food and drink is being stored.  When we arrive I realise I'd like to have my camera and have forgotten it, so I decide to brave the road back to the castle.  There's just me and my head-torch and shadows everywhere.  Beyond the radius of the torch everything is completely invisible...Other lights come towards me - we can't see each other but say hello anyway.
Once back, we stand well away from the fire, which is (to start with) about three metres high and rapidly devouring the random bits of furniture, old bits of boat and shed planks that have been put on it.

Outside the hut, a barbecue competes with the fire, Sandy and Fliss bravely daring the flames and soot to cook us sausages.  A mysterious figure disguised in a huge yellow sou'wester and hat goes backwards and forwards in the distance setting up the fireworks - Sean.  The children are hugely excited and running about in the mud with sparklers.  Otherwise it's really difficult to tell who anyone is - everyone is wearing so many layers that it takes a while to work out who's hiding under those headtorches, macs and hats. Every now and then we run across - or through - the spark shower to grab another drink.  And every now and then the wind changes direction and we're all caught in it.  This morning I have got what looks like sunburn, but in fact is fire-burn!

The shed...luckily not on fire!
From fire to snow to hail - we are living as close to the elements as we can...

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