As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. —Ezekiel 13:6
Early morning in the Calder Valley, a fingernail moon still hanging in on its hook, the sky growing lighter. A heavy fog in the depressions of the moorland landscape, like thick white smoke.
In the distance, a yellow pickup van motors along a single-track road and disappears into a hollow of mist. Silence, and then the van is upon us, bursting up through the cloud and sweeping along the winding road.
A few quick, jerky images from inside the cab of the van: “The Ride of the Valkyries” playing at full tilt; a mouth below a handlebar mustache singing along, drowned out by the music; one hand on the wheel, the other conducting the orchestra; a pair of big wide-open eyes under a pelmet of heavy eyebrows, fixed on the road ahead.
Outside, seen from a distance, the van comes to a stop above a dark and narrow valley. Seen…