Container ship delivering Christmas presents. A water borne Santa. Firth of Forth.
'Nah! Rubbish! Boo. Crap magic act!' Belinda complained. 'Bigus Disappointus. We can see the bits of sponge cake and biscuits dropping out your sleeves. How is that mastery of birds? ' They're only here to get a feed. We want our money back!. Whatever you're doing do it faster so we can get gone. I'm ********* freezing!' It's taking too long'
'Where's our dragon then?' chipped in Anne. 'That was to be the highlight of the tour. It's really cold up here. C'mon, don't muck around. We could easily freeze to death in this wind if anything bad happens.'
'Winter is coming.' I nodded solemnly, agreeing with her.
Unfortunately, they didn't crack a smile at the box set reference... just continued looked glum and miserable... and very, very cold. It was around minus five on the summit at a guess with a strong breeze blowing so even lower than that.
'400 years ago you two would be toast on a bonfire- you've certainly got the faces for it.' I joked.
'I don't think I've ever been this cold.' Anne informed me, straight faced. 'Seriously! Can we start heading down now?'
We were all well wrapped up with hats, warm jackets and gloves but it was well below zero with added windchill on the highest ridge lines where we were. By now the crowds had departed speedily and we were the only ones left on the summit- hence the theatrics from me and growing unease from them. Although I was well used to being on the mountains at night alone they weren't and were starting to look distinctly worried. An understandable concern when everyone else seemed to be heading down the slopes in a rush to beat the darkness but I was enjoying myself and in my element here.
'I really hope you have something better for the third act.' Belinda stated dryly.
'There's always a critic in any room. Call yourself a coven witch. You've no poetry in your soul- its magnificent up here. I'm just providing a few extra artistic touches. '
'Give us the faster version on speed dial then.' This from Belinda, impatient as usual. 'Feed crows- crows dance- we leave... they **** off home ...everyone's happy- .the end...Done.....' she got up to go. ' Sorry to spoil the script.'
'Just a shame it's so cold.' Belinda added, but not with any malice.
I had to agree as by this time I could hardly hold the camera steady to take clear photographs and couldn't even feel it properly. Once my hands had been exposed taking photos of the crows, even for just ten minutes in frigid air they never really recovered and it felt like oven gloves holding the camera instead of bare hands. A very familiar winter mountain feeling where teeth work better than frozen fingers on objects but I also knew from experience how far I could go before I had to pack it in and heat them up again. We could see the Christmas attractions along Princes Street... the 80 metre high drop tower on George Street, the big wheel in the middle, and the 60 metre high star flyer. And we were perched high above them all. They seemed very far away and tiny. Remote.
All of us were staying well back from the edge as it was very easy to walk over the cliffs in the near darkness but someone ahead of us had other ideas.
'Are they totally crazy!' Belinda hissed, pointing.
'I don't think that's a person.' I whispered back. 'It followed us down from the summit. Woooooo spooky!'
We then noticed it walked strangely, with a rolling shambling gait.
'I'm ******** myself.' Anne admitted at one point. Both kept their nerve though and we made it safely down.
' Now that was a third act!' Belinda was buzzing with energy. 'There's nothing like a near death experience to get you feeling alive.'
And a daytime view.