Wednesday, 22 November 2017

After Dark in the Brecon Beacons

No photos, as I was driving at the time!  We bought something in auction yesterday (on-line participation) and then today drove over to Glos. with the intention of buying a couple of chairs to pay for the trip, but prices were downright SILLY.  I guess dealers are buying for the run-up to Christmas and need to stock their shops to the gunnels.  That and ordinary folk buying things for their houses as it's cheaper that way, cutting out the middle man (that's dealers like us!)

Anyway, we set off around 2 p.m. to come home, thinking at least only the last hour will be in darkness.  Wrong - the light was fading from about 2.30 p.m. onwards and we drove back in heavy rain on and off, and a rising wind (now a strong gale howling round outside, as it was first thing this morning).  As Keith had done the motorway part down to Glos, I did the return journey.  It was NOT pleasant.  When you know that the further you go, the darker it will be, and along the route you are meeting every town's exodus of working folk coming in your direction, and you can't see the road for the rain and the lights, it ain't much fun. 

Coming through the Forest of Dean, it was lovely to see the trails of Old Man's Beard lining the road - its seeds blown by passing traffic - and its garlands around the Blackthorn bushes looked like ghostly flowers.  There are more trees with leaves on there than in Carmarthenshire, which has a high proportion of Ash trees, and those lose their leaves early.  Particularly noticeable, especially in the plantings alongside the dual carriageways, were the tiny yellow star-like leaves of the Field Maples, though these were being wrenched off by the wind and tossed into the rain to cascade across the road in front of us.  The smaller oaks were still hanging on to their syrup-coloured leaves, as were the Hazel bushes.  It was good to see some colour in the failing light.

It was a most unpleasant drive home - I coped, but my neck and shoulders were getting more and more tense and painful, and then the bottom of my ribs joined in (as my shoulders were round my ears!)  Boy, was I glad to get home.  We were met by a bevy of rather disgruntled cats, who became priority no. 1 of course.

We did have a ten minute stop in Abergavenny on the way so that I could go in to Waitrose and get something quick for tea (sausage and chips).  Keith then had a bowl of cereal instead . . .  hmmm!  I had Toulouse sausages which were yummy but I will reek of garlic through the night which will not go down well with Himself, and I will have to eat lots of mints tomorrow as I am meeting up with friends for lunch.

Much as I hate driving in the dark, it is a skill I had lost down the years and had to regain as my little business requires us to be up before dawn and out after sunset.   It is easier without torrential rain though . . .

I will be so glad to get to my bed tonight and I should sleep (I had a very fretful mostly sleep-less night last night). 

I'll try and get some photos of festive Hay tomorrow (it's their Winter Festival this weekend). 


9 comments:

  1. When driving at night I feel as if I can't see properly, so tend to go much slower. Luckily I'm only driving locally so no too much traffic.
    Always love your Hay photos

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    1. Sorry, no photos as the camera got left in the car when we went to deliver an old chair for recovering to our friend. It even rained heavily on the way there this morning! Then the sun came out.

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  2. The driving conditions sound horrible but I loved your description of the flora lining the roads and being picked out but the headlights. I used to drive a lot for work. Down to Marseille in a day, Amsterdam to Rotterdam and back to Antwerp in an afternoon, early starts and late finishes, hire cars and left wheel drives and automatics in the States. Nowadays I drive as little as possible and really dislike motorways in heavy rain. I cycle to work and always ensure I'm home before dark as I cycle off-road over the hills, but driving is a practical skill that relies on confidence so I keep practising and keep confident. Nevertheless when I'm on my bike and I see car drivers eating, drinking, chatting on their phones I become terrified. I bought a couple of very nice things from my local antique street in Dorking the other day. A small bronze table lamp, very classical in design like a Grecian urn and a pair of Waterford crystal wine glasses. Old things are always so much nicer than their modern counterparts. Hope your neck and shoulders have relaxed and the wind drops - it's still very gusty outside here.

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    1. I've only driven in Belgium and that was bad enough - those satellite roundabouts horrified me - I'd only passed my test the year before! I agree with you about keeping confidence levels up with driving. I don't enjoy motorway driving either but need to keep that skill for a while longer yet, but as you say you see how other folk drive and it is worrying!

      Those things you bought in Dorking sound lovely and I agree with you about old things being nicer than modern. Still a bit stressed due to lack of sleep . . .

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  3. It was very wet and wild out there I only drove to Carmarthen and back and that was enough, would not have like driving in the dark with what mother nature was throwing at us.

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    1. Well, a night in the car park wasn't a pleasing option, so it was drive home or do that!! We survived, but my neck is still sore.

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  4. We had that storm here last night, the wind was wild with occassional sheet lightning! Very dramatic. I'm glad you got safely home. Take it easy today, if that's possible.xxx

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    1. Oh dear. I bet the ponies were glad when that passed over. No lightening here - you must have had it all. I am taking it easier tomorrow . . .

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