18 not out

If it's Christmas Eve, it must be time for my annual ascent of Moel Famau. That makes it 18 years on the trot.

This year, I had six first-time companions: Carolyn, her partner Howard, their three sprogs, and their dog, Daisy. The weather was unseasonally clement, but extremely moist.

The last time I went up Moel Famau with Carolyn was in November 1991. We gabbed so much that we climbed over the wrong stile near the summit on our way down and got hopelessly lost in the woods. We were lost for hours, and didn't manage to get back to the car until well after nightfall.

So, of course, we told Carolyn's children the story of the time we got lost, and they thought it was really cool. So, of course, we then had to pretend that we had somehow got ourselves hopelessly lost again today. I think her son was quite taken with my suggestion that we might have to build a shelter and spend the night on the hill (although he wrinkled up his nose when I said we might have to eat Daisy).

But, when I pointed out that it was Christmas Eve, and Father Christmas wouldn't know where to deliver his presents if he was camped out in the woods, he decided that maybe it would be a good idea if we found the cars after all. Which we eventually did.

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