If anyone had told me a few years ago that I'd be visiting Dartmoor by choice, I'd have given them short shrift and told them where to get off.
Like so many veterans, my lasting memories of this bleak and unforgiving landscape was of pain, sleep depravation, driving wind, endless horizontal rain and twisted ankles.
Having moved to Devon in 2012, I was acutely aware of Dartmoor's proximity but I would always head north, usually to The Beacons or The Malvern Hills.
So why waste my time writing about such a horrendous place and why would I revisit it?
I'm going to 'switch fire' briefly now, but for good reason. My older and wiser brother has been sending me updates on his Father of the Bride speech notes. In it, he refers to 'time' and how it has run away from him yet here he is, stood next to his daughter on her wedding day and time is standing still for a brief moment.
"Where does the time go?" "Life is too short". How many times have we heard those statements? What if we could all make time stand still. What if we could immerse ourselves so deeply in a moment that we feel liked we've stepped out of one world and we've stepped into another, just for a brief magical moment.
This weekend we stayed in one of our new favourite spots on Dartmoor, that horrendous place remember? Those forced visits back in the day are now just fond memories which makes me inwardly smile. I've seen the light, it's a magical place that conjures up a new found emotion. Wild and remote, perfect.
It's dawn on a cold, clear and crisp Sunday morning at Two Bridges near Princetown. Cue an early morning walk before breakfast. We walked and paused, both mesmerised at the huge expanse of moorland and sky, broken up by the huge granite tors as far as the eye could see. Throw in morning birdsong, the crunch of the frozen grass under our boots and the subtle warmth of the low winter sun casting long shadows over the moor.
Yep, you betcha. Time stood still.