By: Blonde Two

There are two types of stars in this blog post.  The shiny ones and the ones with red shiny jackets.  Anyone who volunteers their their time and energies in the way that the Dartmoor Search and Rescue Teams do, deserves our support.  You can find out more about and donate to the Ashburton group here

Most of us enjoy watching the stars on a clear night. They are particularly beautiful when viewed from the top of a Dartmoor tor, or out of the door of your wild-camp tent. I have watched them many times; but never before from a stretcher.

I was on said stretcher, because I was once again playing the part of casualty for the Ashburton Dartmoor Search and Rescue team. This time round, I had very carelessly lost my son, abandoned my husband to his head injury and broken my own leg, wrist and ribs.

I was offered some very effective ‘virtual painkillers’ by two skilled and friendly team members (a tree surgeon and an actual surgeon!), so was able to enjoy my sky view in comfort.

I had been looking forward to my stretcher ride as I hadn’t experienced it before.  At one point, it looked as though another ‘casualty’s’ needs meant that I wasn’t going to get my stretcher-star-gazing experience; but the team arrived and I was very capably manoeuvred onto the stretcher and into a cosy fleece-bag-thing (it does have a proper name).

I discovered then that being bagged up, wrapped up and strapped up on a one-wheeled moving platform, is a rather disconcerting experience. You have no control whatsoever over your fate and have to put your faith in people that you can’t even see. Luckily, I knew that these were guys (and gals) to be trusted; so I concentrated very hard on the stars overhead and tried to ignore the fact that they were moving from side to side.

I have to confess to feeling a tad relieved when the decision was made to end the exercise before the team started to wheel me back down the hill to Grimspound; I am sure that they were equally relieved, as I am not the lightest of Blondes! Moving stars, I have decided, are all very well, but maybe in future, I will stick to viewing them from terra firma!

By the way, did anyone else see the International Space Station on Wednesday night?  I had a great view!