When you get to twenty five years married to one person as lover and friend, though an arbitrary point in time, it is a convention to have a celebration. So, on 1st September 1998 Sue and I planned a quite picnic, an Indian Summer, warm and sunny. We were both was working in sales, so cleared all afternoon appointments, and set off for a walk to the Cheesering and then a picnic in the middle of the larger Hurlers circle. Some champaign, strawberries and cream and the best selection off Safeways deli counter (pre Morrisons). The afternoon wore on, the sun westered, the passing dog walkers thinned then ceased and still we sat on the picnic blanket enjoying our own company and the quietitude. Even the sheep fell quiet. The sinking sun watery reds dropping through a wall of grey that now circled the stones. The fog can come down thick any time of year on the Moor, even a balmy September evening. A chill crept into the air, time to head back to the car as the fog spilled into the inner sanctum of the stones.
As we packed the picnic basket and folded the blanket, out from the fog a dark grey shape formed to a strange sight. A woman of a certain age, piled natural red frizzed hair, a kaftan type coat, suede boots & long dress and an outsize crescent moon on a gold chain. “ May the blessing of the Goddess be upon you on your special day”……look at Sue, unspoken shake of the head signifying a wordless “No I didn’t set this up”.
“ But the blessings of the Goddess are upon you always, you live under her sign”…true, top of Trevena Hill at the lane end is the ancient Moonstone.”
An unintelligible incantation, waving of arms, more blessings and she continued across the stone circle disappearing into the fog, OK seriously weird. A second shape, rather two, emerge from the now darkening fog, the first stars appearing in pale blue sky. It was a man leading or rather being led by a King Charles Spaniel, business suit, tie with one of those awful car jackets and the wrong shoes for walking a dog on the moor, especially if its getting dark and you don’t see the cow pats.
“I’m awfully sorry” he says to us “she’s barking mad!” and he disappears into the fog following the first apparition”.