Friday, May 29, 2015

Melin Court Falls, Banwen

Above Melin Court Falls, my friend and I met up just after 12 noon, we had a meeting place planned, I couldn't find it, and after driving far to far on a wrong road, I stopped in a lay by, saw a text from her and she had actually changed our rendezvous place and time!!  So I had plenty of time to drive a good way back to near where I had actually started!!! lol...  Never mind!  We went to the falls above first, bit of a muddy pathway, but well worth the short trek and obligatory photo shoot!  These will be my last photos!!  No more, there are only so many angles I can actually take of these falls and where you stand is very limited!

We had our picnic at the tables near the parking area for Melin Court Falls, near the Marion Hall, incorrectly spelt! ha!!

Then we went onto Banwen, a small village, a huge nature reserve and a community area for courses, its called D.O.V.E. They do workshops on loads of various subjects....

Also, Banwen is where St Patrick was born!

We left the car parked there at D.O.V.E. after having a coffee in their lovely café... and we walked! We walked, and walked!!  Took far too many photos... most of which are just the same, lots of green, lots of pine, and lots of nothing really!

Although I quite like the fir cones above, the old and the new....

And the pine trees old branches new cones or branches?

Strange neither of us had ever seen so many different pines in one place, or the way they are growing, so many different buds, green and red...

I got walloped by a huge dog... I was trying to ignore him, out of fear really!  My friend spoke to it/him, I turned and he lolloped over to me and jumped! Would have been okay but he was as tall as me and his face in mine, his paws nearly on my shoulders... and mud all over me! He's been in one of the many lakes!

We reached a certain point, where the wind turbines reached the tracks and we thought we better turn about, only we turned about a bit too far, more because we wanted a different route back to the car, it took us further up the mountain and deeper into the forest, which is so beautiful, almost mystical, we expected trolls or pixies and fairies...

This bower beneath not man made, the mosses and tendrils of ground plants pulling the branches down, I actually got in this and did a selfie!!!  Of course you can't actually see where I am, so pointless to post it!

This 'below' in the bower and all about the forest floor... We hadn't a clue as to what it is?  Its a type of fungus we thought, its hard'ish, sticky'ish... very strange, neither of us ever having seen it before... Any ideas amigos??

We walked a fair way up this forest path [mud road], and reached a junction of other forest paths [mud roads!], I turned on my GPS and we followed a road back down at an angle to that which we had come up!  Or we would have been going nowhere fast!  Except further up the mountain and of course we knew we had to go down and left... We criss-crossed a fire break, which helped us keep track of where we were, and I told my friend we had missed our last cup of coffee, seeing as it was well gone 4:30pm... although she didn't believe me, for some reason!  As if I would joke about the time!

Then she wanted to see a lake we could see from the road, we did, and we saw some strange fish in it!  Dark with red fins above and below?? We continued out the other side of that field, passing through sheep, not keen on us doing so, the little lambs looking very nervous, just of me though, friend is vegetarian, me most definitely not and talking about mint sauce probably not helping!!

We came out on a road, and then after five minutes found it to be the wrong one and had to do a reverse turn, quite a long way back, we did find the car again, 5:30pm and eight miles since we left it! Not bad going, considering Tuesday was the day I was going to rest after so much toing and froing! for the last couple of weeks and back to work on Wednesday.... still long time dead eh!

And after days work Wednesday, sore throat Thursday, now I seem to have a cold... good going really, I don't remember having had a cold this year... although I am not happy to have one now of course!


Weston Super Mare

And to Weston Super Mare, quite a long trip by coach even from Neath!  Too long, stopped at services, too... would have helped if my phone hadn't kept telling me, 1hr and 48 minutes to Neath... the whole four days being reminded of actually how close we were by road, by car... not coach!!!

We were lucky with the weather, on the day of our trip down it looked like it could have gone either way!!  But turned out nice, and on the second morning got the open top deck double decker bus down to Sand Bay, a small area up from WSM, only a ten minute ride, but nice, at top the bus! Swaying this way and that, and trees branches hitting the front of the bus, making us nervous of hitting our faces!!!

We had a coffee and a long walk along the sandy coastal path!  When we got back to the bus stop we heard a cuckoo! and we saw the cuckoo!!  Only the second time ever in my life I have heard one and probably the first time sighting one!  Blooming wonderful it was too!  Oddly a friend of mine heard one two days later, here in Wales!  Whats the chances eh!?!

Zoom in on the yellow sign... looked so funny, although very serious of course!!

We walked the length of the pier at WSM, unable to complete the whole journey, a 'No authorized persons beyond....' blah blah blah... so we had to turnabout and walk back the side we had gone up! They charged a pound for the trouble too!  We were working, well two of us... and eating, the four of us!  Far too much, huge breakfasts, three course meals in the evening, entertainment, each night, and the hotel was fine, could not fault the food, the staff, the overall experience, very good.  The hotel was a very old house, two houses I think originally, lots of flights of stairs and corridors going hither and thither!!!

I had never been before, the town is busy and lots going on, it made me think just how very sea side a town it is in comparison with here, Swansea, Port Talbot, here even, in Briton Ferry, beaches all along, we're only a five minute drive to the beach from this house, and no where here do you feel your anywhere near the sea!  No buckets and spades, no candy floss, no floats for kiddies, nothing seaside here whatsoever.... apparently Port Talbots beach area, Aberavon, did have stalls and places to buy all things holidays and beach paraphernalia!  But sadly long gone... what an opportunity to bring in holiday makers, raise the council income at holiday seasons.... I often say things like lets go to beach or how about a trip to the coast.... forgetting we do actually live on the coast!!!

Our journey back here on Monday was also a very long haul, leaving the hotel early ish, we ambled into Bristol for a couple of hours, glad we did though, lots to go back there for... big city, lots going on SS Great Briton in the docks, a great mix of old and new... two hours from here, so we will see...



What haven't I been doing?? Let me think now!  Went up to see my son and his family up in Nottingham two weekends ago... followed by the trip to North Devon, as seen below... then Franco and I went to Llansteffan for the day...

I seem preoccupied with stone walls recently going by the this and the last Blog post!  But well, they are rather nice!  Llansteffan is a very pretty little village, there is a school and probably a shop or two even, there is a small café and a very very nice fish 'n chip van by the beach, where we par took of the meal of our choice, we had to fight off the birds!  Surrounded by crows mostly!  It was like something from a scary movie the way they had us covered from all angles!!

We walked along the coastal path and came to coves we had never seen before, we went from beach to slip road, up stairs and around the path...  At the top of a flight of steps Franco saw an Adder!!!

And this was later confirmed by another walker, I must admit, I had had my doubts... but when a mere bird flew out of the hedgerow and Franco jumped I had to believe him!!

There was a random metal bench out in the woods below the castle, and also a very random dog!! He was wet, and looked at us, looked down the steps and then turned back around the path and ran off, this just being after Franco had seen the Adder!


It really is a very beautiful coastline just there, here...

I think we should have been more wary of were these amazingly huge jelly fish!  There were dozens of them, the poor things were marooned on the beach, and I guess dying, but I was under strict instructions not to tamper with them, back into the water would have been all I wanted to do.... up close they are like aliens... well, my idea of an alien should I say!  Not actually having any further knowledge than this of course!  Our feet on these shots on purpose, to give size reference!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Had a great few days away, firstly a trip up to Nottingham to see my beautiful amazing granddaughter... I fall in love with her more each and every time I see her... She truly is the most audacious baby in the world to me...

I stayed a couple of nights, we walked into the city centre, ate take out and cooked in... talked loads and laughed tonnes....

I left my sons Sunday midday and drove south, and then south some more to North Devon and friends in Saunton... was a good trip down, lucky with weather and traffic, easy trip only two motorways and a couple of A roads! I hadn't seen them for ages... they moved there a year ago, was so good to catch up, could have stayed longer... Actually I suppose I could have! No work until Friday, when two of us will be taking our ladies away for a few days!

These photos are taken in Ilfracombe, I must admit I was left with a bad impression of the town from back in the 80's... stayed there with mom and the boys, we drove out and about every day anyway, Combe Martin, Torquay, lots of interesting places, but locally... Mmmm, wasn't much fun!

So must tell you now it is great!  Lots of quirky little shops, harbor is nice, lots of nice restaurants, bars, cafes, the town looks clean and fresh... the coast there is outstanding... so much like Wales there, I suppose if you just take the Bristol Channel away, it is after all just the one land... and from here to Ilfracombe is about 24 miles only!  Although it took me 5 hours to drive back yesterday by road.... if only I could climb upon a crow and fly with him!

Beautiful examples of wall stoning above.... and below 'Verity' by Damien Hurst, she is there temporarily apparently... I took photos from different sides as you can see, to show her.... fully!

This side... skin intact... Lots of controversy when she was placed here.... Not just naked but pregnant also, the locals weren't happy lot!

I think this is a great shot... the sword, the scales in hand.... and look at the flap of skin peeled back on leg and arm to reveal the sinews.... above and below...

It is a powerful piece of sculpture... the baby, her skull.... but amazing...

We had a good look around the shops, a great art gallery has some very quirky stuff, wish I could have taken photos but the two girls were standing almost in the window and didn't move!!!

We walked up Lantern Hill to St Nicolas chapel, (not the one below), it was very small, and apart from a chapel was a home to a family of a bout 10!! Very pretty, worth the climb, even on a day such as it was.... extremely windy!! Could almost have been blown over!!

We had a lovely drive around to make our way home via Woolacombe bay, Croyde...  I am pretty sure we will back down there soon, Pip incluido!

On my way back to Wales yesterday I did a slight detour... I believe this tiny tiny little village to be where my great great grand father lived.... Hillfarrance... Somerset... The village is idyllic! Beautiful!

I searched around the cemetery, reading all the grave stones I could, there were a lot without stones... But we'll be back to look again further... Glad I went...

Okay work to do... on a book!

Find your road through life and walk it, no matter what. The people that love you will walk that road with you, every step of the way.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Drawing Challenge - The Trickster

Bit of a rough trip for me to get through for our DC today! Veronica, trick is really my key word I'm clutching at here... Am away, in Nottingham, with my son and his family this weekend, and only have use of my phone and photos within! I am posting neither of the pictures I wanted to as I cannot find what I wanted?

So firstly above... The sphere, I took this awhile ago... Been here before if you've been with me through thick 'n thin... Next door neighbour's hot tub had sprung a leak, I think their house, a relatively new build settled into place and internal pipework didn't! So they flooded, from the roof down! Water coming out of every nook and cranny, or cracks and holes! One of which here... I caught a perfect droplet... Perfectly!  So lucky!

And here... A view from the terrace, our mountain looks like an island out there in the fog... very mystical and ethereal....