Friday, 29 August 2014

Part II - the View from the Top

As we began to climb, we passed through a gate and these two ponies were happily grazing.

It was quite a challenge and I had to keep stopping, but no shame in that.

Looking back on Worms Head.

The views more than compensated for the aching legs (and it was my legs as much as my breathing which had slowed me down).  Looking across the coastline to North Devon and Exmoor on the far side.

Heather, ling and gorse in full bloom.

Whatever direction we looked in there were stupendous views.

Just to prove I made it!  And how much I need to lose weight . . .

Looking back towards Burry Holmes, now cut off by the tide.

Then looking back towards Worms Head.

There are more photos than I thought, so I will post the last tomorrow.  This is the remains of a burial chamber amongst the heather.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

An AMAZING walk! Part 1.

You will have to forgive my absence from blogging this month, but life has been very busy, and we have had our eldest daughter here for 10 days (with the Green Man Festival taking her off at the beginning of it).  Last Saturday we joined up with a good friend of mine, who suggested a walk down on the Gower again.  It is fast becoming one of my favourite places to visit.  

Above is the view from the sand dunes at Broughton, looking back towards the Carmarthenshire coastline and Burry Port.

Turn slightly East, and you take in the Carmarthen Fans and start of the Brecon Beacons.

This is the Blue Pool at Broughton. As you can see, lots of youngsters were thoroughly enjoying themselves leaping into it again and again.  Some being more adventurous than others, climbing to the highest part to jump.  It's about 8 feet or so deep, so safe to leap into.

Harebells were growing here - the area is limestone with  masses of sand dunes.

Looking across to Worm's Head at the far end of Rhossili Bay.

Burry Holms, which becomes an island at high tide. We ventured across but didn't dare to linger as the tide was coming in fast.

The remains of a small chapel built by monks who once lived here in the Medieval period.  Before them, there was a Hillfort built in Iron Age times, and previously, the isle was used in the Mesolithic by peoples who visited it periodically during certain times of the year, to add to their larder.  (Marine resources I don't doubt).  As we were leaving, several fishermen passed us on their way to the isle to spend the night fishing.  I should imagine it is incredibly atmospheric there at night.

Pointing my camera into the sun darkened the photos and made them a nice combination of gloom and sparkling waves.

This one turned out very well.  Worms Head in the background again.

A backdrop of Rhossili Downs (192m, 632 feet) behind a lovely holiday home owned by the National Trust.  I mention the Downs, because I actually managed to climb up them with T and D!!!  What I should also mention is that having found out that I have a Dairy intolerence, by cutting it right out of my diet, my peak flow is back to 420 - 440 and my Respiratory Nurse said I was 95% of back to normal again.  My peak flow is pretty well normal for someone of my age.  SO, with much encouragement from D and T, I made it up the hill.  I shall put the photos in Part II.

Meanwhile, we had the entire length of Rhossili Beach to negotiate - a level walk at least, but 2 1/2 miles long.

I have to admit, half way along the beach, when I was committed to the other half AND the return trip, I wondered if I was doing the right thing.  As it turned out, YES I WAS!!

Part II tomorrow, and I wish I could include every photo I took (about 150 of them!) but no time or room . . .

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Belated Pembrokeshire walk photos and update

Apologies for not having updated my blog regularly this month.  It seems to have started off with an empty calendar then every day suddenly filled up and it has been hectic here.

Anyway, finally some photos of a walk I did with my friend Debs last week.  We started off taking a breath of sea air at Wiseman's Bridge, just over the Pembrokeshire border.  I wonder who it was named after?

Whilst the weather didn't look too promising at this point, we only had a couple of heavyish showers the whole day, so no complaints really.

Then we drove to Stackpole Quay.  Once there was a very grand house and stables here which belonged to the Cawdor family, but now only fragments are left.  You can just see the quay here, with the tide completely out.

The link shows you just how grand the house once was.

Looking Eastwards along the coast.  You can just see the heaving-up of the rocks millions of years ago.

Overlooking Barafundle Bay is an old doorway built into a long stretch of wall.  It framed a lovely view through to Stackpole Head in the distance.

What a beautiful beach it is, and only a few people enjoying it.

Looking back on it from the Western side.

This shows you the wall and the doorway - and the climb back up the steps from the beach!  It would have been easier if I was a couple of stone lighter!!

The rock here is limestone, and there were lots of Scabious growing.  It was windy so a little difficult to get things stationary enough for a photo!

Carline Thistle.

Caves formed largely by rockfalls.

Viper's Bugloss.  When I was 6 I had the Observer's Book of Wild Flowers (I have always loved wild flowers).  Viper's Bugloss was the most exotic-looking illustration in the book, and I longed to find one, but had to wait until I was 30, and walking in the Purbecks.  I can still remember my excitement!

The views were so beautiful.

This looks like the remains of a Neolithic burial chamber, but I know nothing about it, sadly.

From Stackpole Head, looking West.

Then a walk back and up the steps to the car and on to St. Govan's Head.  More of that later.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Catching up with life

The new header photo was taken in the Usk Valley, near Tretower.

So sorry to have been tardy about updating this blog, but I have been keeping more than busy and have had a lovely walk with a good friend - this is Barafundle Bay on the Pembrokeshire coast.  Stunning.  Back with more photos over the weekend.

So pretty - my blue hydrangea putting on a show.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

The wheel turns

It felt a little like Autumn today, even though I haven't noticed that day in late July when there is the first tiny hint of the wheel turning, a sort of standing still day is how I would describe it.  Now as I look out across the garden, the apples are slowly ripening - enough to attract the wretched jackdaws with their colouring, and the windfalls have recently been stewed up, along with a few of the larger apples from the tree at the end of the driveway.  The rowanberries are colouring up and bowing the branches with their weight, and I have noticed the first blackberries.  Perhaps it is the recent rain which has brought this change with it - when it was still really hot and sunny in July, autumn seemed so far away.

I am picking the first gluts of garden produce - different sorts of French beans, the first Runner Beans, Firenze and an un-named spring onion above and eating the autumn fruiting raspberries as they ripen! The greenhouse cucumbers are still doing well and the first ripe tomatoes have been picked.

The beans have been trimmed, blanched, flash frozen and bagged up for the winter months.  So have the spring onions, for use in stir fries.  The cucumbers are being eaten as fast as they can ripen!

Yesterday we drove up to Leominster as there had been an antiques warehouse barn clearout highlighted in the trade gazette we picked up.  No real bargains for us, but we had a nice day out, looking around the other antique shops, and I had a delicious slice of Lemon Meringue Pie when we sat down for a cuppa.    We just bought a few things - printed wooden buttons, a book on getting in touch with your psychic self, 3 mahogany Regency chair legs (OH says he has something in mind for them!) and a couple of embroidered cushion covers which need a stitch or two.  I also paid more than I wanted to/it was worth for a bag of oddments of craft wool and several cards of very fine beige/fawn darning wool, which is what I really needed, to repair a geriatric Welsh shawl which has a few moth-holes.

On the way back we stopped at the junky antique shop and although I didn't find any more cards of darning wool, I did find some American craft magazines which had been sold through Borders bookshop when it was still open (and I miss it still).  One was Sew Somerset, and the other two Cloth Paper Scissors, all dealing with mixed media and creative sewing.  I need my brain stretched!  I looked on Fleabay to see if I could add to this small collection and found they were desirable and fetching good money.  One of the mags I had bought was £11.95 on there!

I had a definite feeling of Autumn yesterday, as we drove past the dried, sun-bleached grass of the verges, fallen leaves encouraged to drop early by last months' sun and lack of rain, fields which had been harvested and just stubble and large bale straw remaining and fields in anticipation of next year's harvests.  The beautiful Rosebay Willowherb of my header photo is romping up its pyramid of flowers and soon will be covered in cotton wool strands from its seed pods.  The creamy froth of the Meadowsweet is already over and the earlier Umbellifers brown seedheads.

The Swallows have been lining up on the telephone wires here - the last group of nestlings taking their flying lessons and then lining up to be fed - in strict order! - by their parents.  Soon they will be leaving us for Africa.

We have plans afoot - I will say no more now - but leave you on tenterhooks until September arrives . . . not to do with house-selling, sadly, but something positive all the same.