Friday, 8 October 2010

Walk along Top o' Bank . .

I decided to keep up my walking (3 miles, increasing, every other day again) and get out again this afternoon. I am now fit enough to do hills once more so I set off up our hill, with the sunshine soon persuading me to take off my sweatshirt and tie it round my waist. I found a few wild strawberries revealed when the hedge banks were trimmed recently and they were incredibly sweet and still warm from the sunshine.

The hill work, even though I took it slowly, brought out the endorphins and I soon began to feel great - that's the beauty of exercise.

I had intended to walk past the farm which had once been Rosina and Isaac's, but I got part of the way and decided really I would rather walk along Top o'Bank, so I turned and was soon strolling along the lane on the top of the hill above our valley. Fields and trees basked in the warmth, though Black Mountain and the other Carmarthen Fans were hidden in the haze. I stopped and had a long chat with a neighbour, whilst several of her dogs laid on the verge and sunbathed, eyes closed in bliss.

I carried on along the lane for another half a mile, stopping to take photos, and as I drank in the landscape, I counted the little farmsteads and smallholdings, and realized that I could name just about every one and who lived there. They are my community, and I and my family are very much part of it. We don't meet up very often, but when we do we have a chat about what we've been up to, and there's always, "have you heard about so-and-so?" which town folk would think is being nosy or "gossiping" and they always say "I'd hate everyone to know my business. " In a small community it is inevitable though, and I would say I would far rather this, than knowing nobody. It is normally a caring sort of "gossip" - we know the bad 'uns in our area, as well as those folk who might be having hard times, needing support. We look out for one another.

It has been a privilege to live here for so long, and it will be hard to leave, and to become newcomers in another community, to start over, making new friends and acquaintances. It won't be happening for a while, but it will come to pass. We are off to view two properties in Devon next week, as I am being pulled back there (not unwillingly, I might add, as my heart has been there for many years now). Whilst we are there we hope to drop down to the South Hams for a few hours to do some family history research. I can't wait.

Above and below - there are over 200 different sorts of Blackberries, and here are just two examples, still flowering bravely, though 98% of the rest have gone over for this year . . .

I meant to look this fungus up when I came in the house, but will have to do so and report back . . . Been to check Roger Phillips' excellent site and it's Helvella crispa . . .

Peeping through the hedgerow.

The Italianate tower of Pantglas in the distance.

Below - various landscape views from the top.

The lane ahead.

Black Mountain was hidden in the haze today.

Heading towards home. Pantglas tower in the distance.

An earthball in the hedgerow.


  1. Such beautiful clear landscape BB - how can you bear to leave it? But then Devon is another beautiful county too.

  2. I can see why you would miss all this beauty and the companionable way you know the farms and the people. Yet, Devon calls you and we can't live in 2 places simultaneously.

  3. My Devon roots have been calling since before we moved here. I cannot deny the call any longer.

  4. Lovely photos as ever, I always particuarly like the lanes, it must be the gipsy in me :D

  5. Beautiful pictures you've got here. Just lovely! I'd love to come over for a look-see myself some day!