Monday, 24 August 2015

August walk around Colomendy and thoughts on suburbia

Another busy week over.  Our eldest daughter Tam and her partner Zane came to stay.  I wish I could report that we had wall to wall sunshine, but it was nearer wall to wall rain after Tuesday was over. Fortunately they had a couple of dry days to start the week and went down to Tenby, Manorbier, and Pembrokeshire, camped overnight, and enjoyed some walking and beach pursuits.

We hadn't met Zane until now, so I think we were as nervous as he was, but he was soon just like one of the family.  After all the heartbreak in recent years it was so good to hear Tam laughing again, and obviously happy and well-suited with such a lovely, gentle, thoughtful, responsible and caring young man.

It was Zane who suggested we take advantage of a break in the weather and have a walk on Saturday afternoon, so we did the three mile walk around Colomendy.  Many of you have seen similar photos before, but the views are still wonderful!

Looking across at the Black Mountain, misty under rain-filled clouds.

Looking back up our neighbouring valley which like ours, heads towards Brechfa.

A lovely old farmhouse which is now derelict and going "back to nature".

Looking back down the Towy Valley.

The road ahead.  It's a heck of a climb, coming up the other way!

View above Alt-y-ferin Nurseries, looking across the Towy valley.

The other side of the lane, looking back towards Whitemill down the TowyValley.

A view across the fields towards Llanfynydd, on the other side of the Cothi valley.

The Italianate tower is all that remains of the once-fabulous Pantglas mansion.  It is now surrounded by Timeshare log cabins.

Well, Tam and Zane have gone back home now, so the house seems very quiet without them and no more games of Scrabble or cards for a while.  

Yesterday we were up early (4 a.m. after both sleeping very badly - I had been awake since 12.50 a.m.) to drive across the Severn to do a Militaria Fair just outside of Bristol, one which we had never done before but was apparently normally a really good fair for sellers.  The weather was horrendous - heavy rain, and lots of motorway spray.  I had to overtake a heavy (about the only one about at that time of the morning) on a bend on the motorway where there were only two lanes, and had a panic attack whilst trying to pass him.  It is a long time since I had one and can only put it down to the lack of sleep, but I had to just grit my teefs and get on with it.  Let's hope I won't have another blip like that for a long time.  

We set up our stand at the Militaria fair, which was in a Leisure centre.  I don't know whether it was the fact it was a holiday time, or the weather had put people off, or what, but there was a very low footfall and no-one did well.  One chap was saying last Fair he had taken over £2,000 and this time he had taken just £40, which pretty well summed it up for all of us.  We took £26 and had outlays of over three times that . . .  However a Journalist from one of the Militaria magazines came round and took a couple of photos of some interesting and unusual pieces we had for sale and these will appear in his magazine in due course.

 I had plenty of time to watch the people on the gym machinery in the gallery which overlooked the hall where we were.  Some people (slim girls in particular) were very fit and ran and ran on the treadmills.  Others were less fit and lurched about, and many more just walked (personally I wouldn't pay to walk or run on a machine, I would just get on and DO it outside.)  Others were working a sort of upper-arm roller - I don't know what it is called but it was like peddling with your hands!  I have found out the name of another - the elliptical cross trainer - which looked like torture - you had bars that you moved backwards and forwards in time with treading on foot-sized pedals with a built-in resistance.  Hmmm.  As all us - mainly pensioners - were packing away our stalls, and then carrying it out to the car park, I couldn't help thinking that some exercise comes free . . .

THEN we tried to get home.  It was pouring with rain and it we went the motorway route, it would mean a lot more spray and I couldn't face that, and it was also more difficult to change drivers - that meant coming off at a service station whenever we swopped.  So we decided to come home via Gloucester and the Forest of Dean, and were planning to head to the A38 via a couple of B roads, which was all very well except that The Authorities seem determined to make you go places via the M4 or M5, and we drove round for 3/4 hour trying to get across to the A38 and at one point were heading right into Bristol (but I will blame my OH for that as he made a wrong decision at a V junction when we only had VERY local place names which weren't on my map.)  As we drove around suburbia, where there were houses so cheek by jowl, many with shared driveways, we said no way could we live in suburbia again.  I think we have spent so many years in the wilderness here that we can't do that sort of cheek by jowl living, however convenient it is.  Not us at all.  A period house in a cathedral city would be considered at a pinch, but not the suburbs.  We'd look like the Beverley Hillbillies!!!

Eventually we gave up and took the M5 up to J12 and onto familiar roads again.  What a long day though. Now we have to restock the Unit, but things are very quiet there and seem to have been since February (although last month was slightly more rewarding).  It seems to be the same for many of the other Unit holders there, so it's not just us or what we are selling.  

If it stays dry today, I am back out with the Autumn Tidy Up in the garden.


  1. He looks a lovely young man, all that worry over nothing I am glad you all had a lovely time together, my thoughts on suburbia it reminds me of battery hens, the thought of having a neighbor within touching distant makes me shudder :-)

  2. Once more I am enthralled by the views around your home. Simply marvelous and not unlike the rolling hills of Marin County, the other end of the Golden Gate Bridge lands in some of the prettiest and least developed land within hailing distance. We've spent many a bright afternoon wandering the golden or green hills.

    Tam's beau looks like a fine young lad with a wonderful sense of himself-I love that in an individual. Wonderful that she's found some happiness; her smile glows.

  3. Wonderful scenery as always, so glad that Tam has found such a nice young man and is happy again. Driving on motorways in rain - heavy or not - is not on my list of fun things to do! Like you I always look for an alternative in those sort of conditions.

  4. Dawn - that is is EXACTLY! We even found it when we were away in Cheddar camping - all those motor homes and caravans just like a little estate, right down to having wind chimes (OK, acceptable) and stick-in-the-ground herons and the like. Yeesh!

    Lynda - I am so glad you love our scenery. I have to say, we are very fortunate with the views on our walks and when we DO finally move, I have to have similar good scenery and beauty around us. Zane is a musician (a very talented one I might add) who loves classical music and has his own grand piano too. Not for Tam, the suited and booted sorts!

    Rowan - you know just how bad it was, and how relieved we are that she has found such a lovely partner. I hated that drive down to Bristol, not helped by passing the scene of a crash where the occupant(s) had had to be cut out of the wreckage. Like you I don't enjoy driving after dark too, and that is how we started our journey!

  5. The weather had been just as bad here BB - we had an inch of rain overnight last night.
    Lovely to see your daughter looking so happy.

  6. Your story wants me to stay at home forever. I am not a fan of motorways, our nearest one is an hour away, yippee a whole hour. I do not drive so your panic attach makes me feel so bad for you, fingers crossed it will never happen again.
    I hope you are enjoying your day at home.
    Lovely to see photo's of your daughter, she has a beautiful smile.
    Fondly Michelle

  7. My granny's old place was overlooked by the steep side of Pen-Y-Fan in the Beacons. Aways snow capped in winter, she would tell me.

  8. Lovely photo of Tam and Zane, what a tall young man, both look very happy. Motorway driving is hell, especially in the rain, it must be such a relief to get home to the peace and quiet of the countryside.

  9. Pat - ah yes, for once everyone suffered I think. I hope that Tam will finally be able to put that last dreadful relationship behind her. She deserved far better than that waste of rations.

    Michelle - I didn't realize you weren't a driver. I enjoy driving, but not in rain that heavy behind big vehicles. It didn't help that we passed an accident where the occupant(s) of the car had had to be cut from the wreckage either. I hadn't had a panic attack for quite a while, but I think the lack of sleep didn't help matters. I have had a lovely At Home day today and caught up with the Autumn Clearup in the garden.

    Simon - On a good day we can see Pen-y-Fan from the top of our hill and of course, Bannau Sir Gar which is only 14 miles or so away as the crow flies. Quite often Pen-y-Fan is snow-topped in winter.

    thelma - they make a lovely couple. I think Zane is about 6ft. 2. We were very glad to get back on the quieter Welsh roads, and as I said to K, there are too many people on the road when you get out of here . . .

  10. Terrible weather indeed and to be on the roads as well...I feel sorry for all the tourists down here at the moment. So happy to hear you had a good time together with Zane.

  11. More of the same tomorrow Suzie. It'll be webbed feet before long! Yes, we look forward to seeing him again and are missing Tam already.

  12. Great pictures! Your daughter looks very happy. I don't drive on busy highways and not during heavy downpours. People drive too fast and most are concentrating on cell phones or something else. (Sorry, that is my pet peeve.) Thanks for sharing and have a blessed day.

  13. Hi Joan and welcome. Tam IS very happy and we are so happy for her. She had a stinker before but you know how love is blind . . . We wouldn't have driven all that way in the rain by choice, but having paid out for our stall at the fair, felt we couldn't just right it off. In hindsight, of course, we should have! I'm with you on the people not driving well or paying proper attention.

  14. Love is exuding from that photo. The views from your walk were stunning and as for the driving - you are a braver woman than me! I can drive but choose not to!

  15. Rachel - it is obvious too, when we were with them. Hurray!! I enjoy driving normally, although that said, it is quiet round here. I do not enjoy driving in very busy areas, or much motorway driving. Getting old I suppose. You don't want to have to drive like a dingbat to get out of all the idiots out there on our roads.