We didn't take a flask and buns this time, we knew the Shepherd's Hut would be at the top car park at the start of the walk up Moel Famau in the glorious Clwydian Hills.
The little corrugated hut was tucked into its usual corner and the chimney was smoking. But we had to earn our treat, though it was no hardship walking up that lovely hill. We had plenty of smiling company as quite a lot of people had chosen to walk the wide aisle to the top of the hill rather than struggle up the supermarket aisle.
In the distance, the hills of Snowdonia glistened. We watched a kestrel looking for a meal. He hung in the ice-blue sky like he was being dangled from invisible wire. If it snows, he'll find it very difficult to find food. Kestrels see in ultra violet and they hunt by following the ultraviolet light reflected off the urine trails of dribbling voles!
And then a human kestrel came into view!
The wood burning stove was full on and even though we sat outside in the icy air, the lovely Hut owners had thoughtfully placed the table and chairs next to the nifty little hole in the side of the hut and we could just feel the heat from the cosy stove. I rummaged through the fabulous local products they have on sale, rubbed on some muscle and joint oil (smelled delicious), flicked through the stunning hand made cards then picked up leaflets about wilderness skills and the history of Moel Famau before leaving, with the promise to return on New Year's Eve when the hut will be twinkling and serving warm fruit punch to welcome in 2015. Fancy joining us?