The opaque sky and sea blend together, cloudy typical English weather, though we weren't in England we were on an island of the coast of Scotland. A survival course. I shivered, wrapping my arms around myself. I was dressed in several layers, jumper, coat, walking boots and a heavy rucksack of 80 Lt's. Plus I had to carry the pots and pans, my friends insisted.
I was tired, thirsty and as we approached a small clean flowing stream, I fell onto all fours, with my hands I scooped water up and brought it to my cracked lips.
In amongst the grass, bloodsucking ticks crawled around, waiting to touch bare flesh and sink their teeth in. They would swell into big balloons, before falling off or get the tweezer treatment, then they would be plucked.
As I bent down for more water, I noticed one of them making it's way up my exposed arm. Before it had the chance to attach, I flicked it off. They weren't the only vampire around here. There was also the mosquito, flying and biting everyone, in their wake.
Slate, shells and other stones crunched under our feet as we walked to the shore. The jade hills rolled to the edge of the coastline and far behind me, stretching endlessly.