When you’re walking the plank you don’t expect to meet anyone coming the other way.
Friday, 15 September 2017
There’s a large chalk cross upon an incline (or decline, depending on which way you’re heading) of a Chiltern hill. It’s called Whiteleaf Cross.
The pinnacle offers a panoramic view of the hills sweeping off to the left, and the vale of Aylesbury to the right. You can see for miles. In fact, in common with the Great Wall of China, you can see the moon from there.
Last autumn I sought photographs of the sunset from that very spot. I studied the weather forecasts and calculations of the sun’s related times and positions. The idea was to snap Nada, my Dalmatian, running across the horizon as the sun’s dying embers turned the sky orange.
I made a number of preliminary visits to get the lay of the land. Just as well really, I hadn’t accounted for the other folk who’d be there for their own sunsets.
Nada and I had to overcome our shyness. Neither of us struggled TOO much on that count. Some people were interested and wanted sneak previews in the back of the camera. The rest ignored us and hoped we’d go away. We didn’t.
During a number of our reconnaissance missions, Nada and I ran into a gentleman with a five-o’clock-the-next-day-shadow and a ball-obsessed collie. Clouds obscured the sun on one occasion. “Oh well,” I said with rusty optimism, “they’ll be other sunsets.”
“Yes,” said the gentleman thoughtfully, “but not many.”
To this day, as I descend the Whiteleaf Hill, I wonder if his words were prophetic and that the end is nigh. It seems there have been many sunsets since then though. Nearly a year’s worth.
Copyright © 2017 M J Race
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.