The View from Here: thoughts in the June rain

And perhaps today – when it is indeed much improved outside, though maybe not quite scintillating – perhaps all of that was still in my head …

With June has come summer.  With June has come rain.  It rained relentlessly yesterday.  Thus, I was surprised to experience a delightful happiness and contentment driving along the drizzly road in the morning, gazing at the subdued greenery and grey skies.  I thought of the beauty of the countryside even on this dark, damp and drab day.  I thought of cosiness and warmth and how fortunate I am to have a dry home to return to.  And how fortunate I am to be traveling through this verdant and ever-changing landscape.  Today hushed and muted; tomorrow perhaps, scintillating and radiant. Continue reading “The View from Here: thoughts in the June rain”

The View from Here: in nature’s cathedral

I shall try to remember the message of the trees.

bluebells“Yes, the estate remains open until dusk.  But I’m afraid the bluebells are almost over.”  The National Trust staff member looked genuinely crestfallen that we had perhaps made a futile journey.  I wondered too.  Had we left it too late?  Not in the time of day – I had deliberately chosen late afternoon just as the main house and gardens were closing – but in waiting so late into the spring?  The bluebells have been magnificent this year; we still had plenty at home.  But had I left it too late to see them in their true glory – massed amidst spring woodlands? Continue reading “The View from Here: in nature’s cathedral”

The Green Hollow by Owen Sheers: How to talk about it

As I researched the details of what happened at Aberfan, I realised this was a historical story with a deeply urgent contemporary resonance: a story of what can happen when a community is run by a corporation.
(Owen Sheers)

On Friday 21st October 1966 a slag heap shifted.  It slid inexorably towards a small mining village in South Wales, destroying several houses and at least one farm.  The worst hit building was Pantglas Junior School.  In total, 144 people were killed.  116 of them were children.  The name of the village was Aberfan.

I remember this disaster; I was a contemporary of the children in that school.  I remember the shock waves and the disbelief and later, the country’s sadness.  I would have been nine years old. Continue reading “The Green Hollow by Owen Sheers: How to talk about it”

Dewithon Diary ii: Welsh Tracery

My Welsh spider’s lattice trembles with the passion of those fighting to preserve a native tongue.

Margaret’s weekly prompt for ragtag Saturday is ‘tracery’.  In words and photographs, she offers us nature, pared back to the bones.  Like Margaret, I take much from the skeletal branches of winter trees.  When I think of tracery I think of intricate and often irregular pathways: interlocking, overlaying.  Tracery is embodied by the slumbering arterials of naked branches against a winter sky. Continue reading “Dewithon Diary ii: Welsh Tracery”

The View from Here: a tentative return

And in making her choice, the squirrel – generous squirrel – has granted me the opportunity to join her at her table.

This morning I watched a squirrel, sleek and plump.  The squirrel and I are at eye level. We are each intent upon breakfast: I, dallying safe in my warm kitchen in our inverted home built from bricks and glass, cocooned and disconnected from what it really means to be in the throes of life, and he, moving freely in a habitat more suited to his wild and precious nature where every sight, sound and smell weaves a story in his brain about how to survive.  He is intent on his task and seemingly oblivious to my silent presence, tidied away behind the glass and safely distanced from those sensory signals that shout ‘danger’. Continue reading “The View from Here: a tentative return”

“You reading this, Be ready”

Turning away, I returned to the robins in the sunshine and pondered for a while on the lives playing out around me… We intersect, but how rarely we connect.

We parked away from the main car park on our last visit to Lanhydrock, opting instead for the smaller and nearer car park at Respryn.

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It was a sparkling bright winter’s day.  The holly was polished to perfection and there were robins in abundance.  This bold little fellow caught my eye. Continue reading ““You reading this, Be ready””