Hadrian’s Wall Walk

 I had an emotional breakdown August 2016. I decided to walk the whole of Hadrian’s wall over 5 days to challenge myself mentally and physically. Also to raise money for Beresford Centre Newport. Beresford Center encouraged me to talk my past out of me.Hadrian's wall walk September 11th to 16th 2017 027.jpg

Dear reader,

Monday 11th September at 7 15am I flew from a very stormy wet Bristol airport and at 7 50am I arrived in sunny Newcastle. Where I began my walk on Hadrian’s Wall.

Wearing walking trousers, fleecy hoody, blue beeny, coat wrapped round my waist. On my back my old faithful back pack.

Inside the back pack

Two Books titled  Hadrian’s wall” by Henry Steadman, “Notes from Walnut Farm” by Roger Deaking and my journal

Two tops, 1 pair of leggings, 1 trousers and waterproof trousers

underwear for 5 days, 2 pairs of socks and a nighty,

toiletries,

Pair of fat face sandals,

Small first aid kit, compass, torch and my water bottle.

For the first leg of my walk I have no photos the Luddite in me accidentally deleted the photos. I was devastated then I got a grip and thought of when I walked. Exmoor, Snowden North Cornwall, Somerset coast and part of Offa’s Dyke without a camara or phone.

Monday September 11th 10am

The real walk starts at Heddon on the Wall, behind the Three Tun pub. Changed into my shorts at the petrol station toilet. The roaring B6528 brought me to farm fields. Where I saw a dead Hare. I have only ever seen one live Hare, off Lavernock point 1991. Through a wooded glade and unusual sheep. I had not eaten since 3 30am I stopped at the Robin Hood pub where there was lovely greeting from the landlady. I ordered some food, four Dutch ladies looking slightly flushed came in wearing huge back packs. I felt for them then realised they were young and fit. I chatted with an elderly punter named Ian. Ian was riddled with arthritis. He shook my hand and I made my way. Between Robin Hood pub and Halton Chesters I came across a trig point built into the wall surrounded by brambles. onto an open space beauty with stunning views. I saw four walkers picnicking. I took their photo and they took mine. They also asked me to join them. I declined and made way towards Chollerford. Following the military road. Reaching St Oswald church I made a mistake. I followed two walkers and not the sign. The two walkers were ahead of me so I followed but unbeknown to me they were inside the church. I do not do churches or religion. After walking quarter of a mile I saw the two coming from the church. I sighed in frustration and retraced my steps. I saw the sign post. Down through a very busy lane brought me to Cholloerford and The George Hotel.

My room had a bath, pour luxury. After a good soak I cat napped. Went down stairs for my meal while waiting I looked at the days photos and deleted them. I was horrified the lovely bar man named Lewis tried to retrieve my photos alas all 18 photos had gone. Lovely meal went out to look at the North Tyne River what a beaut.

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The view from my room.

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George Hotel is a fairly posh hotel, expensive £80 but it was the only place I could book at the time. Penny, Barnupus and Lewis were a credit to the owners of the George hotel.

Tuesday 12th September

Slept well up with sunshine fed and watered I left Chollerford at 7 40am wearing shorts. 4 miles later autumn nipped at me calf’s. Changed into my trousers. Came across many of these stair stiles that I was not keen on. Reason being I am built like a Welsh mountain goat sturdy, strong, little arms and short legs.

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Brocolitia Fort and the stiles I liked.

   

The views took my breath away physically and mentally. Now the real walk starts.

 

Met three women from Bowness they had never walked Hadrian’s wall before. I took their photo they took mine. They were really impressed by my pink walking coat. In the back ground of the photo is Bromlee Lough. The weather was cold with showers in between. My eyes and nose were streaming but my man’s size hankie was always at hand.

 

Amazing views I now I had to walk the back of the wall. It was like walking the equivalent of the wild Cornish coast and West Wales. Up down in out, a Jezebel of a walk. I stopped to eat and drink watched bull finches catch flies and cloud sheep shaving the earth then dance with the sun. Walking up the steep path, head down backside up load of Scottish children were coming the other way. They stopped to let the stooping Welsh mountain goat through.

I turned off at Cawfield Quarry and my mile walk up a tarmac lane with drizzle trickling my face. Pass the Mile Castle pub and the Bridgehouse B & B. I am a very keen walker with tremendous stamina, the walk hurt me, right to the marrow. Very clean and clinical B& B run by Angie and Norman. Nice ornaments with sayings on. I had a large room with shower en suite. Showered and cat napped. Made my way to the very busy Mile Castle pub busy with walkers, tourists and locals. Nice young waitress named Jasmin. The woman in charge of the pub was rude and aggressive. I ordered starter pate and a curry, assuming it was an Indian curry. The curry was not Indian. It was Chinese I am allergic to oyster and soy sauce that is used in Chines curry. I told the aggressive woman who proceeded to  ignore me. I spoke to her again explaining why. She stood there hands on hips and said it’s not chinese. I replied “I think it is”. She snatched the food and stormed off into the kitchen. Then came out with smug look and said it is not Chinese it is Malaysia. I just looked at her and said I cannot eat it.

What do you want?

I said a chilli.

“Are you sure that’s spicy you do not like spicy food”

Dear reader I had just walked 21 miles I was tired and hungry I replied.

“I am not allergic to spicy food”. She then said you ought to careful what you order in here in future. I sighed and said I have never been in this area or you pub before. The chef was by the bar she asked him did he have any Chilli he said no. The chilli was on the board and two people just ordered chilli. I felt sad inside and asked for the bill. I followed her to bar. Told her she was rude and aggressive and customers should come before money and I will put her in my blog. Walked out into the rain, cold and damp in bed 8pm with that stupid woman inside my head.

Wednesday 13th September

Slept okay weather was not good rain and low cloud. Down to breakfast and where I met Haji. Haji parents were from North India he was born in Britain. He was walking the wall with his in-laws and wife. They were not walking all but Haji was. The battery on my mobile was low and I had no charger with me. This lovely man loaned me his. We talked about walks when his family came into the room. Haji told them about me. His father in law loudly said to his wife and daughter. No women should not be allowed to walk alone. I said I can hear you. “Well I am ex army and I think it is wrong”.  I disagreed with him. Ironic it is Haji culture which  is supposed to be not fair to women. However, his father in law who was white, English and ex army  was a misogynist. I shook Haji’s hand and thanked him for the use of his charger and told him he was a real gentleman.

Bridgehouse B&B cost me £60 very pricey I think I paid for the love sayings and the ornaments. Those who are walking the whole of Hadrian’s wall do not want a massive fry up. Ceral fruit, toast is sufficient. A price of a fry up in a lunch bag instead. That would be good.

Left  Bridgehouse B&B at 8 40am the swifts were ducking diving and the sun came out and cast my shadow before me. A steep incline past Burnhead B&B. At great Chesters fort Aecisa. I met Deric and Barry from Exeter Devon. We chatted and I took their photo and they took mine.

 

The two were staying at Gilsland I was making for Walton. Just outside BirdsOswald I stopped to eat and was losing hope. I gave myself a telling off, fed and watered I carried on.

The path was boggy very boggy slippery and flooded.  The accident I had on Boxing day 2014 where I was stuck waist deep in a bog. Was in my mind constantly and I became vocal and coloured the air blue. Saw walkers walking on the road so I did the same. Many American’s Canadians, Dutch and German. The wall was built at the time of the Roman Empire and the workers came from Europe, Africa, Syria The soldiers were British European, African and from the middle East. Today the wall was walked by others for leisure from all over the world. Through flooded farm fields that were guarded by cattle and calf’s. I changed my accent to Ruth Archer from the radio program “Archer’s”. “Wey up cow wey up”.

I could see a steeple in the distance this kept me focused. About 2 miles up a lane and I saw a blue metal bicycle advertising Florrie’s On the Wall Walton.

A wonderful bunk house run by two beautiful people Jos and Rebecca. Clean fresh and inviting. Florrie’s is named after Rebecca’s grandmother who lived in the house with her husband and would often greet walkers offering refreshments and encouragement. They left the house to Rebecca and the bunk house opposite was the chicken barn.

I had my four bedded bunk room en suite to my self. The community room was light and open. I met Florin he was with the four people I saw picnicking on Monday he remembered me. His wife was Sylvia their friends were Karen from Canada and her English husband Corin. Lovely intelligent people with a great sense of humor. Witnessed a dramatic sun set, peach orange and gold through the showers of rain.

Later Rebecca’s mother Rita joined us. A wonderful story-teller of her travels when younger. Also Francesco from Italy a Geology student working at Florrie’s. A warm-hearted clever gentleman. I read and performed my poetry that evening. Went to bed late 9 30pm.

Thursday September 14th

Sunshine warmed the dew away fed and watered said my goodbyes hugs and smiles were given. Rebecca gave me £10 towards my charity I was humbled. Florrie’s cost me £40.

Florrie’s is a wonderful peaceful place, run by two beautiful people I would recommend Florrie’s to anyone.

Out of Walton to Carlisle left 8am onto more squelching, soaking paths. One path was flooded so much I climbed round a huge beech tree. Peaceful sound of the river Eden.

I stopped in Crosby on Eden and lost hope again. Told myself off in a reassuring way, fed and watered I made my way. A massive flock of starlings lifted my spirits. Following the river I missed my the sign post and was lost. Saw boot prints and I carried on. The roar of traffic and sirens told me the big city of Carlisle was not far. At Rickerby park following the river Eden there was a massive diversion. I followed the diversion. Into the busy center of Carlisle. to my abode Howard Lodge. Nice room, good shower, clean and tidy. Tony and Charlotte who run Howard Lodge were good down to earth people. showered cat napped. Out to dinner at Dempsey’s. 3 course meal £19 it was very good. Paul was a very efficient waiter. Bed 8pm. Early hours heard the rain and the eek eek sound of an owl.

Friday September 15th

Awoken by a blue tit sound “teacher teacher” and the “caw caw” sound of the Jackdaws and wall to wall sunshine. Breakfast eaten said my goodbyes to Charlotte. My room and breakfast cost me £40 which was very good.

8am on the road again. To another diversion that cost me 3 miles. Met a fellow walker told him about the diversion he was not happy and expressed this vocally. I suggested we walk and find the diversion. He was carrying a small back pack, his clothes and other belongings were in his friend’s car. He stopped turned to me and said “I cannot walk at you pace I have my own and it is faster than yours and I need to me Bowness on Solway to get the bus back”. I looked at him and said “No worries I have large back pack you carrying on”. He went storming off and missed the diversion. I could not shout to him because of the roar of the traffic. I would never have caught up with him. I carried on but my shoulders were hurting very badly I took two pain killers. Threw away trousers, a top and underwear. 5 miles later road runner turned up. “Oh you found the diversion okay then” I ignored him and walked at my pace. Paths were flooded from farm fields and tarmac it was cruel. 6 miles outside Bowness on Solway I met two lovely gentlemen Tommy Rickerby and Ed Miller both were 80. We chatted and used banter. They wished me well and I needed good wishes. I was tired and very weary. My boots were bogging my legs mud splattered. I found Edward “Oh flower of Scotland” Yes I sang the Scottish anthem.

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Onto the long tarmac road that followed the Solway.

The song of the sea birds lifted my soul. A lady on a racing bike stopped to speak with me. Her name was Millie, Millie was 72.  What a women. Millie was a tonic and lifted my spirits.

 

Sea of humanity was walking towards me. I wished them well and warned them of the diversion and to look out for the acorn sign on lamp posts. Round the corner from port Carlisle to Drumburgh I met Roger what a man!!! He made the signs himself and I saw Cardiff on the post, the city of my birth. He said a young man from Cardiff aged 19 was running Hadrian’s wall for charity. We chatted and laughed I told him I was walking for me and Beresford center he put the name Beresford on the sign. All proceeds go to Cancer research I told Roger for the past 18 years I have money taken monthly from my  bank account to Cancer research. We hugged each other and said goodbye

Walking towards me was the young Cardiff lad I wished him well. He was thumbing a lift back to Carlisle to his train and home. Out of view I wiped a tear. There are such beautiful people in the world.

Bowness on Solway

The end of my walk a lovely man waiting for his son to finish his walk, took my photo.

Found my B & B Chapel house run by the beautiful and courageous Maureen. Boots were left by past walkers Maureen planted geraniums. I did the same to my old boots when I walked part of the Camino 2014.

 

Chapel House B & B was warm clean and homely. My room had a bath pour joy. After my bath, writing my hand written blog I heard voices down stairs. I head a man voice say Julie Pritchard I know her. It was only Barry and Deric my Exmoor friends I met on Wednesday. We chatted over tea and coffee. Later up to the busy Kings Head full of walkers, tourists and locals. I ate on my own, later Deric and Barry came in and bought me a glass of red wine. As I looked towards the bar, there was road runner he must have walked so fast he missed his bus back. I left my friends to catch the sun setting.

I know you can see the Northern lights sometimes from Bowness on Solway. Look at what I captured. Yes the Northern lights!!!! In the photo on the left. I cried tears of joy.

 

The following morning I went out and captured the sun rise over the Solway. Breakfast eaten goodbyes to Maureen. Chapel House cost me £35 what can I say. Bus ride and train journey home.

The walk was 83 miles and it was hard very hard. Cried twice but they were tears of joy. Swore many times and sang folk songs. I ached everywhere but I rested well. Basic B&B and places like Florrie’s on the wall are the best places to stay. I am near 57 I do not wish to camp.

The views on the real Hadrian’s wall will stay in my mind’s eye for ever. The people I met will remain in my heart. I would not like to walk Hadrian’s wall again. If others would like to walk this beautiful place. Train well and become fit before you go. Know your song before you sing it. My fitness and stamina kept me strong. I am not sure how much sponsorship I  have raised when I do I will put it out on this blog.

All photo’s are mine all thoughts and words are my own.

Breathe deep and become beautiful.

 

 

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Training for “Hadrian’s Wall Walk” Walked 55 miles over 4 days

15 miles Monday 28th Aug 013

I will be walking Hadrian’s wall two weeks today!!!!

From Friday 25 the August to Monday August 28th I have walked 55 miles. On Hadrian’s Wall I will be walking 73 miles over 5 days.

Friday 25th I walked 12 miles to and from work.

Saturday 26th intended to leave the house at 7am but overslept.

Left the house at 8 30am, the weather was good. Big skies and the orange orb spread its warm and light, casting my shadow before me. I wore shorts, tee-shirt hoodie fleece, good walking boot and my back pack. The weight in my back pack  will be the same as when I walk Hadrian’s Wall.

Walked through my barefoot meadow,  the meadow was full with dew. Onto the open space beauty of Gelligaer common. Towards the Roman road and making my way to Capel Bugail. The only sound was sheep, gold finches and sky larks and the lovely sound of my back pack. I stopped to survey the view, ate an apple and banana drank some of my honey water.

Photos taken at the top of Capel Bugail and surrounding area. Information from Ian Jenkins who is an expert on Capel Bugail and the surrounding area

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Walked from Capel Bugail turned left into the beautiful Bedlinog Valley. The views were stunning. The welcoming light breeze turned the dried thistles into white fairies creating fluffed up snow in summer. Cut across the common, with every step  sky larks leapt, making their liquid sound. The sun was high in the sky sapping me of energy.

Sunday August 27th 7am.

Same walking gear but different tee-shirt and I wore my new walking scarf a gift from my dear friends Rhiannon and Dan. The sun yawned and smiled, skies were big and clear. Past the cattle from farmer Powell’s farm. Across Gelligaer common onto the old Deri road. I cut down passed the dam waved to my secret meadow and spied all theses spiders webs very mystical in deed.

Onto Cwm Darran Trail, the trail was bare only shadows from the trees and me. On the trail I spied a buzzard but out the corner of my eye saw two red kites. One kite had a bird in its claws the other was behind covering its partner back. It was spectacular  but the cries from the black bird stayed with me for a while.

Past the visitors center saw a couple of runners and two dog walkers. Walked towards Focrhiw I wanted to walk the back of Focrhiw mountain but cannot find the route. I passed the path where they are felling non indigenous trees. I turned left and crawled my way up through the heather. Up the top to where I wanted to be. The views were breath-taking. Views at the top of our beautiful Rhymney valley and me hot faced, wearing my new scarf.

Sat and ate and had a good drink, soaked up the views. Walked towards Groes-faen. Above big skies, below to my left Rhymney Valley below to my right the Darran Valley. Waved to the farmer cutting grass. Through the shade of Deri woods. Saw these and thought of Amanda Birch my walking friend.

 

Back onto to the Cwm Darran Trail. I saw two cyclist in the distance and behind me.

I was a cyclist myself for many years. I would often cycle from Bargoed to Cardiff do some shopping and cycle back. I used my bike for work. I stopped cycling after a nasty experience. When I was a cyclist I knew I had to give way the pedestrians, dink my bell to let others know I am coming through.

I heard the man shout “get out-of-the-way”. I ignored him and carried on. “Hey you get out of my way”. As he drew near I noticed him and the woman he was with were in their late 60’s shame on them!! I told him to go away and take his misery with him and no I did not get out of his way. I walked through my secret meadow passed the young oak trees onto the old Deri road and back home.

Monday 28th August left the house at 6 50am. The reason why I leave early, I am Celt in colour and I do not like the heat or the sun on top of my head it saps my energy.

The sky was on fire  as I walked the sky blazed flaming red creating a golden glow.

I left my boot prints in the heavy soaked dew grass. Walked the road way towards the five houses then veered right. Through the right of way and more heavy soaked grass.

Where I encountered a herd of Welsh Black. I am not afraid of cattle. They began to run towards me. I put my hand up and said “Cow up cow up”. They ran towards the kissing gate and my right of way. As I drew near I saw two bulls among the herd. I  shouted not yelled “Cow up cow up”. I thanked them and made my way

 

My boots are good boots and well dubbed. Making my way towards Cwm Bargoed park and the Vale of Merthyr. The views from the Graig were wonderful.

 

Walked back onto Gelligaer common to the cross-road of Deri, Merthyr and Gelligaer.

I saw people stood around a one seater aeroplane. I stopped and we all chatted. The owner of the plane was David Gwynn Carreg the others were man and wife Rob and Adel. David had never flown this plane before but in Australia where he lives six month of the year he flies similar planes regularly.

I made my leave walked on the old Roman road and I was freezing. I stopped to long to chat and I was on one of the highest points of the common. Also my arms were bare my fleece was tucked inside my Back pack. I stopped put on my fleece pulled the hood up. These wild horses and foals warmed my heart but not my bones.

Just before Capel Bugail I stopped on a boulder pulled my water proof coat out wrapped the coat round my legs. Ate an apple, banana and drank my honey water. Warmed up I passed where the elevated Roman villas stood, down the back lane onto the old Deri road and back home.

Tips for walking.

Make sure everything fits and nothing rubs that includes underwear and socks.

Always wear good walking boots when you walk on uneven ground.

A man’s handkerchief or flannel is better than any tissue.

Warm water is better than cold. Reason being when you are warm so is your belly. By you drinking cold liquid your belly can be upset. Honey added to hot water is just as good as any plastic bottle water.

When you do stop to chat remember to put on another layer of clothing.

If you get bitten rub Vick on to the bite, it works I have tried it!!

If you encounter cattle stay calm walk a good distance from the cattle. If you have a dog with you let the dog go they will chase the dog and you can get away. Through the eyes of cattle we humans look enormous, giant like. The dog will look like a dinosaur. Just gingerly walk and keep your distance.

Remember cyclist must go round the walker, wheel chair user, mam with a pram and by law the cyclist must dink their bell to warn you.

Monday 7th August launching my latest collection titled Spirit Cracked not Broken

Lovely quote from me old Socialist friend Ian Thomas.

A big thank you to Julie Pritchard who launched her new collection of poetry ‘ spirit cracked not broken’ in the capel in bargoed tonight. Extremely powerful and moving , if art is meant to move you emotionally this succeeds big time, as a compliment the last time I felt similar feelings was after watching ken loaches film ‘ the wind shakes the barley’ in the cinema, Julie’s poetry is as Patrick jones writes ‘so powerful. Raw. Honest’ thank you Julie.

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Reading this evening my latest collection of poetry Spirit Cracked not Broken this collection taken from my unpublished novel “Spirit Cracked not Broken”. This collection is poetry with pathos.

NEW SCNB Front cover

In the Oxford dictionary the word depression means despair, despondency, desolation, dejection and discouragment.

I will be launching and reading from my latest collection titled “Spirit Cracked not Broken”on Monday 7th August at the poetry open mic that I run.

Spirit Cracked not Broken is autobiographical and covers mental, physical and emotional abuse, alcoholism and courage. This collection is taken from my unpublished novel with the same title. I took extracts and put them into poetry and prose.

This collection will be used for counselling purposes. I will be reading Spirit  Cracked not Broken and running workshops at Drug rehab and homeless hostels. In the Valleys and Cardiff. Also poetry readings at Merthyr and Newport.

The word depression  in its literal sense came into being in 1650. Dejection, depression of the spirit.

Having a sensitive nature is a curse, you feel every jib, remark, and react to facial expression a lot more than most people. However when you are an abused hyper sensitive person. Life is amplified and becomes even more painful. Yet I go out into the world with my feelings stripped bare, my heart raw, my soul exposed. Hyper sensitivity also helps with my creativity.

I have lived with depression for over fifty years.

To me and in my experience. Depression is not having debt this is called irresponsibility. Grief is not depression, grief is a sense of loss, a time for reflection and acceptance. Life moves on from death. The same when someone you love leaves you, this is called heartache. Where time is a healer and you will get over the pain and move on from and maybe learn to love again.

Depression is a terrible dilapidated illness.

Depression is a deep sadness that seeps inside your true core, and you have no words to describe how you feel. A numbness takes over and freezes your soul, yet you long to feel whole. Because of this you will make mistakes and misjudgments along the way. Some times depression can be born out of shame and fear.

Babies and Children. Should be brought up in a loving paradise, full of affection and care. However, if you have been brought in fear, addiction and violence.  with no love or  any guidance.  Your inner being and true core has been destroyed from an early age. By mental, physical and emotional abuse and poverty.  Adult responsibilities when still a child. You feel worn out and a complete failer. Low self esteems comes calling and never leaves. I would slowly rise as a people pleaser and to my detriment and my down fall a doormat. I would fill in the gaping wound with people and things I did not enjoy.

 August 2016 I suffered an emotional breakdown  I feared the sky, wind and me.

I lost the world in me and I did not want to exist anymore. Suicide was on my mind and I did not want to be here. I went to my doctor for the first time in years. He gave me Beresford center.

I could not talk about the medical mistake or the abuse. 55 years of pain was stuck between my heart and throat, under layers of abuse and shame. Beresford center helped me to untie, undo and let out the pain and release the sea of words to describe how I felt. Waves of tears came and I cried for the first time.

I will be walking Hadrian’s wall alone in September and will be raising money for this wonderful place of healing.

For the first time in my life I cease to be a people pleaser and I have learnt to say no and put me first. Compassion, love, empathy is what I wear in my heart, mind and soul.

Acceptance, forgiving. To forgive does not mean you forget or allow it  to happen again. There is no point in going back to things you cannot change. It is a waste of time and energy and creates a build up of negativity. Let acceptance sit in the well of your belly, breathe deep and become beautiful and move on. However, I accept that depression will always be part of me.

The pen is mightier

For a year I ran a writing group in all women addiction centre. The women had all been through rehab. I inspired these woman to write for the first time in their lives. Also had their work published with the help of publisher Debbie Price. Their collection of work was Titled A is for Addicts. I was so humbled.

The pen and love for oneself is far mightier than hate, blame and bitterness.

Regret over what was and the fear of tomorrow robs us of being in the moment.

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PS

Walking helps too. 

Physical activity is a wonderful antidote to depression it creates happy endorphins. To walk among nature, hear bird song, see a sun rise. It truly is the simple things in life that bring happiness.

For Catherine and Lyn

Dear Cath and Lyn,

7 30am captured images of Bargoed Park (the little park) and the sun rising over the beautiful Rhymney Valley

Saturday August 5th, John and I celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. Going to Llansteffan we stayed in the “Inn in the Sticks”. Lovely place to stay, great tasty food and very good staff.

some photos of John and I and the landscape surrounding Llansteffan

 

Some sun rises and sunsets over the beautiful Rhymney Valley

 

St Gwladys Cross and beyond

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Landscapes and lanes

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My od stomping ground Penarth 023Yesterday out walking caught the river Rhymney in full flow.

 

One of John with his great-granddaughter Paisley (Daryl’s daughter) we had baby  Paisley while Daryl did some shopping and they both fell asleep.

Reading Poetry at my Kitchen Table

 

Dear reader,

For the past four years, on my kitchen table sits a collection of poems by past and present poets called “Poems for the Day”  I read this collection daily. This mornings poem was John Clare’s poem “I Am” John Clare’s poetry describes nature in a truly beautiful way.  Today Thursday 13th July happens to be John Clare’s birth day.

Since January this year. I have branched out to reading other poets as well as “Poems for the day” Some of the poets I have mentioned here, have performed at the open mic that I run for the past 3 years called. “Poetry Open Mic at the Capel”

Mary Oliver’s collection called “A Thousand Mornings” By Penguin books. A wonderful collection of her thoughts in poetry. Her poem “Goodbye Fox” Stayed with me all day. Mary Oliver poetry is so serene, liken to a river on a summer’s day. This collection flowed into my soul.

I bought “Words from the Garden” By Summersdale publishers.  In a second-hand shop in Penarth. It is a flowery collection of words from writers of many genres. Charlotte Bronte,  Henri Frederic Amiel, Edward Thomas, Joyce Kilmer, Christina Rossetti, Victor Hugo and many others. This collection took me from my wild wilderness walks, to cultivation in words.

“The Aspirations of Poverty”  By Poet and playwright Patrick Jones. Published by Red Poets. I have seen Patrick read and perform many times. He is a very passionate writer and performer. His plays are very good too. This collection of  poetry  is full of political compassion for the under dog.  Words of reality explode in your face, that make you sit up and think. To the tender poem “Shoes Beneath the hospital Bed” No matter how many times I have read this poem it still makes me cry.

 Writer and poet Alun Lewis. “Ha! Ha! Among the Trumpets” By George Allen and Unwin Ltd. This collection was published in 1945.  This collection gave me an insight into my grandfather.  Who was in the same regiment as Alun Lewis and was in Burma the same time. The poem “Embarkation” Gave me an insight of what my grandfather might have seen and how he might have felt. This beautiful collection I can pick up at any time and be transported into  his Aberdare, India and Burma. I really enjoy Alun Lewis’s writing from his book “Morlais” to all his poetry. 

Scottish poet and sailor, Ian Stephen collection called “Maritime” By Saraband. Ian Stephen came to me, from wonderful nature writer Robert MacFarlane. Ian’s poetry gave me back my nautical ancestors. With his raw, broken, sea saw words. I liked most of his poetry but “Scarp Island” stayed with me the longest.

 Claire Williamson “Split Ends” By  Eyewear Aviator. I have heard Claire read many times. “Split Ends” Was so profoundly beautiful, words so tender. I enjoyed all Claire’s poems in “Split Ends” but the poem “The Reading Seat” Made me cry and is still with me a week later.

My old stomping ground Penarth

 

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Dear reader,

My mother’s family were old Penarthians  But I grew up and went to school in Ely, Cardiff. Later I moved to Penarth in the days when I could burn the candle at both ends.

Parked the car in the shade at Cosmeston lakes. The car park was fill with TV crews from the program “Casualty”  I am so glad that I do not watch TV, prefer the radio instead. Weather was proper British summer, some sun shine with a keen wind. Good walking weather. Walked onto the duck boards past the man-made lake that was once a quarry and when I was young and foolish I used to swim in.

 

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Through a small glade found these two delightful squirrels.

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Up the very wide path and cycling track. Where I heard the laughter and giggling voices of school children. They were having  lessons about the natural world.

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Over a grass meadow which led to Cogan woods.

My od stomping ground Penarth 007.jpg My great-grandfather Mowie Cheeseman was a bookies runner in Cogan.

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Cooling shade, so I forest bathed and bird sound floated off the trees.

My od stomping ground Penarth 010.jpg Making my way out of Cosmeston to the dangerous busy, Lavenock road. Up Ford road, along this B road in the field to my left. I saw my first ever Hare in 1991. I have never seen a Hare since. Under the old Cardiff to St Mary’s Well Bay Railway line. Where I spent many a happy time as a child in the 1960’s.

My od stomping ground Penarth 012 Past Lavenock nature reserve toward where Marconi made his first radio signal.

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To Lavenock point. Weather had warmed up a lot but was not as hot as last week, thank goodness. Flat Holm in the distance.

My od stomping ground Penarth 019.jpg I use to cycle this path in the 80’s not allowed now. They now call this walk Vale Trails and Welsh Coastal path.

Sat outside Cosmeston Lake Cafe where I met a bloke who knew my father’s family from Ely.My od stomping ground Penarth 025.jpg Walked just over 4 miles but the beauty of this walk is you can lengthen the walk. But most of all I used to love walking this walk with my dear friend now sister in law Brenda. I remember the time we picked cherries and blackberries.