Wednesday, June 21, 2006
This morning at 5.40am I was on top of Brittany's highest hill, drenched to the skin and barely able to see the egg and bacon sandwich in my hand through swathes of mist. Being a committed pagan, the solstice ritual is part of my spiritual year, but this is the first time in all my years in France I've failed to see the sun come up over the Monts d'Arrée, flooding the vast bowl of marsh and reservoir with new light. This was also the first time I took friends along for the powerful pleasure of that experience - in the event, we slogged up the track to the summit in driving rain for twenty minutes and then had to wedge ourselves into crevices of rock to avoid being swept off the top by a bitingly cold wind. Even the dogs' shivering misery was not alleviated by crumbs from our soggy feast. After the first five minutes I gave up saying 'But usually ......' and kept quiet, closing my eyes for some silent chat with the sun god who is just as frustrated as we are by these celtic brumes and buggers off to Provence instead.