Why Blood On Our Own 'Mersey Moon' Brings Back Bad Memories ...
It was while we stood smoking that we noticed. We watched, wincing and worrying, as a brilliant half moon started setting across the Mersey, before dropping down to disappear altogether behind the hills of North Wales.
So why where we wincing and worrying?
The last time we witnessed a half moon as 'bloody' as last night's, was way back in 1991. And though we still can't quite recollect which month it was, we'll never forget the year;not ever.
We were being bounced about (to beat the blooming band), inside a battered & bruised old minibus being driven hell for leather (and aimed at an airport), by the mad young Montenegrin man
We'd left the (then), fantastic four star 'Fjord' Hotel (since we were working and almost 'well off' then), on the outskirts of the tiny old town of Kotor lots later than we wanted to and were worried we wouldn't make it in time for take off.
To this day we've never forgotten that night. Nor will we ever.
The reason we were way behind time leaving was because our wonderful (and hellishly hardworking) waitress, Maria, had finished later than usual that night - but on her way home had collapsed in a nearby old cobbled street.
Locals had stumbled upon the lovely little lady laying prostrate at the kerbside. They brought her back to the hotel hoping for help but, by that time it wasn't any longer the lovely Maria that we'd (only an hour or so earlier) hugged, kissed, bid a fond farewell - and in addition had (much more than willingly) treated to a truly well deserved, tidy-sized tip.
Sad to say, our then most recently become best mate, Maria, wasn't destined spend any of our voluntarily donated Dinars. Since it soon dawned on us all that our dear Maria had already gone to meet her maker. What Maria's concerned fellow Kotor residents had urgently yet gently & careingly carried back to us all, was by then no more than a still warm, dead body.
Later that night, the Black Mountains weren't black at all. They were eerily red;rich deep red;blood red - as also was the brilliantly lit half moon hovering above. As also were the deep, dark waters of the fjord itself, frighteningly far below us as we belted along the (badly in need of proper repair) winding fjord perimeter road - at a petrifying pace.
That night, even the stars themselves seemed to shimmer in several shades of scarlet. The facts of the matter are that we couldn't possibly truthfully call what we saw, 'a moonscape' -- no way - it looked much more like something crying out to be christened a 'bloodscape'.
Disconcerted? Definitely. Filled with foreboding? For sure we were. In fact it's difficult to describe and/or explain exactly to what (extreme) extent.
To cut a long story short though, we eventually got to the airport check-in desk in the (proverbial), nick of time. We kid you not. We made it by minutes.
The airport was the Medieval walled city of Dubrovnik's - in Croatia. We'd come from pretty as a picture postcard, Kotor - in Montenegro. We'd been in (what was then), The Republic of Yugoslavia.
It was soon after that blood-red, moon-lit, mournful night flight - both by road and by air - that Yugoslavia first 'flared up'. Thereafter, things thereabouts rapidly worsened to the point where they 'blew up' - full frontal - right in the whole world's face.
Shortly afterwards, the Balkans' now infamous bloodletting 'spree' (aka Ethnic Cleansing) began in earnest.
So, after the shock of (for only the second time in our reasonably long lives), suddenly seeing such a surfeit of 'blood on the moon' as we saw last tonight ...
... well ...