By: Blonde Two

We have passed the equinox now and as the nights draw in the Blonde calendar suggests that we will be spending just as much time outside but that a fair proportion of it will be in the darkness. This isn’t unusual and as you know we do enjoy a bit of Dartmoor night navigation, winter wild camping and putting the world to rights under the Dartmoor Christmas Tree. However, our forays into the darkness do sometimes leave us with the unspeakable question, ‘Are you scared?‘ hanging in the night air.

The unspeakable question is unspeakable because, if one of us asks it whilst we are out, surrounded by darkness, ruins, legends, foxes and Blonde-eating sheep the likelihood is that we will both have to admit to ourselves that we are… just a little bit scared… yes.

A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves on a mission to take some spooky photographs at Foggintor Quarry. Anybody who knows Foggintor will appreciate that, although this Dartmoor location is relatively near to civilisation, it has all the necessary ingredients to allow the ‘Are you scared?’ question to set seed and flourish. These include:

  • A deep (in appearance), dark quarry lake
  • Ruins that could have been built for the set of a horror film
  • Tent-eating foxes
  • Low-hanging trees grown to exactly the right level of gnarliness
  • Steep, man-made drops (natural ones somehow aren’t as scary)
  • A legend that includes soldiers, drums and a dead boy

Sometimes it is the possible presence of man (or woman) that can unleash the fear, you are unlikely to be molested by anyone in the middle of the Dartmoor wilds. It wasn’t until we walked back down the lane past Yellow Mead Farm that I allowed the, ‘Are you scared?’ question to slip into my brain. I didn’t answer it of course, neither did I voice it to Blonde One, I just kept on walking into the circle of light that my torch cast and ignoring the depth of the darkness either side of the lane that it didn’t touch. To give the question a voice would have given it far too much reality and permission to enter Blonde One’s head as well as my own.

Once back at the car of course, with doors shut, buttons to press and boots safely put away, Blondes can become girls again instead of intrepid explorers. They can also finally ask the question… now it is filed away safely in the past tense…

Were you scared?

The honest answer is usually yes… but that doesn’t seem to deter us!