I was going to write about mating moths this morning after an intimate discovery on the side of my garden shed. But I was reading online last night about the latest Indonesian volcanic eruption and I suddenly thought: 'Mount Lokon? That rings a bell.'
Indeed it does. Here it is in December 1985 when I was standing at the bottom trying to work out a way to the top. The smudgy zigzag to the right of the peak looked promising; it was a rare day of sunshine in usually humid, cloudy Sulawesi (formerly Celebes); and the whole scene was pleasantly reminiscent of Blencathra or somewhere like that.
The climb became a slither, but luckily the eerie canopy lifted in time for us to see that too much more sliding on the rust-coloured scree would take us - woosh, plop! - over the rim of the crater into bubbling, boiling water to add flavouring to what looked un-nervingly like pea soup. I can genuinely say that the colours in my very amateurish watercolour are more true to life than the muddy effort of my then inadequate camera. We returned to base camp in the Dumoga-Bone rain forest wiser and more cautious than we were before.