We head towards Edale Cross with our sights on a high, exposed camp. By 5pm we're settled and a brew is on.
Islay's had a Bonio and is snuggled in her bed.
It's cooling fast. My Skywatch is outside and I can see it falling. 1.9C, 1.8C...
I prepare a dinner of cheapo Batchelor's spicy arrabiata pasta with a chopped Pepperami chucked in for good measure. Delicious. To follow, on David's recommendation, Bird's Instant semolina. I've brought a dessertspoon of blackcurrant jam in a placcy bag and it makes a really tasty pudding. Islay tucks into her food with gusto.
I watch a couple of episodes of Fargo, series 3, on Netflix, before retiring. There's ice beginning to form on the tent. It's just below freezing. Islay has her fleecy PJs on and her insulated jacket too. Hunkered down in her camping bed (to buy one see here) she feels toasty warm.
As the night passes I wake a couple of times. In the early hours I check my Skywatch. It's minus 2C and the wind speed is 26mph. In these conditions it's comforting, listening to the wind, secure in the knowledge that all my kit is combining to keep me safe, warm and comfortable. I'm in my Rab Neutrino 600 bag, wearing some Rab long johns, a Montane Allez microgrid top and my Bridegdale liner socks. I'm supremely comfy but I think, for me, it's on the limit for this, my spring/summer/autumn bag. When colder I'll use my Rab Expedition 800.
I check Islay each time I wake. Despite occasionally squirming out of the cover of her bag, she's warm. I cover her again anyway.
I wake just before 8am. There's ice inside and outside the flysheet. But it's dry. The wind has dropped.
Islay and I breakfast in bed then pack up. It's begun to snow...as forecast. By the time I leave the tent, there's a thin covering. Islay plays in the snow while I drop the tent.
By the time I've packed the tent my fingers are numb inside my fleece gloves. Once Islay's panniers are on and I've adjusted my rucsac, I don my old, faithful Extremities winter mitts. As we begin to walk my fingers warm quickly.
We head towards Kinderlow End. Islay is loving dashing about in the snow. I love to see her so happy.
With a thin covering of snow we use poles to ease the steep descent off Kinderlow End. A slow pace keeps us safe from trips.
A first outing for my deliciously loud new Dijon, Rab Torque pants.
Home again, Chrissie, Dale and I muse about further trips over bacon and egg butties.
Winter is coming. Life is good.