I didn’t even know how long ago I had my last drink at Georges with Dad, and some tears slipped out as I realised it may be the last drink I would have with him –then I stopped myself and said no it couldn’t be, and then reverted back to my previous light headed space of calm.
I can’t be sure, but perhaps a little of me died that day, certainly perhaps a fair amount of childhood naivety anyway.
After some time, I’m not sure how long without any watch I decided to get up and walk back towards where I believed the fence to be, in this slightly improved state of mind, because I gathered that know body else would help me if I didn’t help myself – if I could get on that fence and mill run track that I would recognise (I hoped in my state) which way it was towards Tin Hut mill and water. The clouds were building and much darker now and that was at least providing some relief from the burning sunlight. To this day I’m not sure what gave me the strength or drive to lift myself up and again make an effort –an effort to survive I guess.
I was surprised at myself that I had lost interest in the sheep’s’ well being – as I knew they were so desperate for water too, as I now well and truly understood as we always looked after the animals first.
But I resigned myself that if I died it would be very serious – but if they died nobody would know. I also thought of the pain my Mum and Dad would have –Dad putting me in this position and Mum not knowing and finding out the hard way. I think that gave me some added step in my gentle walk toward what I thought should be the fence line direction.
I don’t know what distance I travelled or how long it would have been, but eventually, although I hadn’t reached the fence, I could hear the faint noise of the jeep – a long way in the distance. There was a desperate urge to run towards the noise, but common sense grabbed me and I started walking more slowly towards the vehicle noise, but with considerably more spring in my step.