By: Blonde Two

I think it is time now to confess to the world that I am, in fact, a big blonde chicken.  I am a chicken about many things but one of my biggest fears has always been the dark.  At home, I won’t go into a room without turning the light on and when walking the dog on my own at night, I walk in the road so that I can see into all of the gateways.

Which is why the whole camping, walking around at night thing is such a big deal to me. There is probably a name for the type of phobia therapy that makes you confront your fears – if you could invent a confrontational experience for nychtophobia (one of its many names) then walking on Dartmoor would surely do it.  Let me tell you why;

1.  When it is dark on Dartmoor it is really dark – and I am talking “Oh look that six foot cross has just crept up on me and made me jump” dark.  I did scream but think I managed to pass it off as over excitement at having found my navigation target.

2.  Everything looks the same.  You could be walking towards a large rock, an overgrown clump of gorse or a pony and not know the difference until you were right on top of it – although, admittedly, the pony’s glowing eyes and sudden movement would probably rule out the rock.  It is when the pony is on the rock that things become complicated and you find yourself face to groin with a rather solid looking, shiny eyed giant.

3.  There are a lot of dead people on Dartmoor.  Most of them have been there a very, very long time and are probably quite happy but it doesn’t take much for the imagination to get carried away when you can’t see anything. Cairns, memorials and crosses all make excellent navigation points in the day time but take on a whole new significance in the mist and dark.

So there it is – I have made my scared-of-the-dark confession and feel better for it.  It is easy to do while I am sitting here on the sofa.  The important thing is not to admit it to myself next time I am out on the moors in the dark.