My first piece of writing on here for a while, I have stopped travelling so much, and time is full of work and commute. I am trying to keep all my time together and use it well.
What happens when we use up all the names
for storms that whipcrack race to us
across the Atlantic?
Ready to lift trees, roots and most of our life.
We weather the storm, the ground opened
and the push pull vacuum.
We weather the clawing at the windows,
scoured walls, pock-marked by debris
as the dust settles to a silence, a wait.
Here now the milk moon is clear sky bright
and full to drag the tides high, to drag us all
into pitiless grayscale light.
We are such poor shadows without the sun,
in the new silence of un-named storms.
We stand and watch on opened ground,
waiting for rain that clears the sky,
breaks the shadow hold on watchers
hidden in the doorways. Waiting for spring
and the tidal race we find the world
has turned her back on us. The weather is coming,
and the world turns with the coming storm.
I finally went and took some snow images, just before the thaw. A stroll with my wife to find the best local ideas.
We went for a walk once the weather was a bit quieter, took some shots of the remaining snow. It turns out we got out just in time, it was gone by Sunday. So now everything is getting back to normal and we all get back to work.
Whatever the weather where you are enjoy the view.
Hilltop weather, you need to enjoy it all when you walk in the UK. We have a special affinity here with the forecast, and often visit the wet places of our country, mainly because they are also the most beautiful. You appreciate it more after a good downpour, and enjoy a beer and food to talk about how it was not as bad as the last time, maybe. Revisiting older work today, trying out an even more pared back version than the original, I think it still counts a part of my Thirty.
Tendrils of low cloudy fingers
caress the arching back of the hills.
The mist reaches out, stretching,
reaching for a lovers touch.
Under a tree rain water scatters
through the leaves, distilling sun light,
and softens the view to hide
the truth of the way back home.
It will continue to be wet
until the latter half of the century
when we expect it to be cold also,
maybe freezing, but definitely cold.
Just back from Wales, where the weather was windy and wet. Very windy, with added rain, sleet, hail and wet snow. An exhilarating trip to Mount Snowdon with Pete. Photos are limited, because the weather just made it impossible. You can’t see the wind but there was a lot of it.
Not quite the trip we had planned but then you can’t expect it to work every time. It’s never personal with nature, everybody gets rained on once in a while.
Last Thursday Pete, a good friend of mine, called. Did I fancy heading off for a walk in Wales to celebrate the New Year. He had a plan, leave early on the 1st, get to Wales and walk to Crieglyn Dyfi below Aran Fawddwy, wild camp and the following morning climb to Aran Fawddwy and walk the Aran ridge back to the car. On the face of it, staying up till 3am was probably not the best preparation, but I got some sleep in the car. Pete and Kath did the driving, I supported them all the way. Coffee on route started the recovery, and discussing the details of his plan helped with the headache.
I have been out on the mountains many times with Pete and his wife Kath, so when we arrived to high winds and heavy rain we quickly shifted to plan B, Cadair Idris. After all there is a mountain hut at the top, we could stay there overnight walk to the far side and back in the morning.
We choose the pony track on the northern side, joining a couple of others braving the weather to get out and about. As we reached the large rock marking the summit plateau we caught up with one of the Snowdonia national park wardens. He was getting into wet weather gear and dressing for the worst, “Gets windy after here” he said, smiling happily. Not just windy it turns out, wet as well. Welsh weather at its best, sideways rain, low cloud, and wind. Combining to make an interesting time of it for us, after strolling through the rock fields and over the last rocky outcrops to the summit we were ready for coffee and food. There are not many pictures of Cadair Idris as my camera is not waterproof, sorry, just some low cloud.
Cadair Idris at the southern end of Snowdonia boasts some great views across Barmouth, North to Snowdon, or, as an alternative you can sit in the hut listening to the wind and rain clatter across the rocks and roof, while you hang dripping waterproofs etc up to see if you can prepare for the rest of the day. The floor was a puddle, the roof was leaking, and the benches narrow, all the while we contemplated waiting 17hours for sunrise tomorrow.
After chatting with some friendly locals who came out for a stroll, and eating and drinking coffee, then looking outside to confirm it was still getting wetter out there, we listened to our inner sane alter egos and decided to forego what was going to be a cold and windswept night and head for lower ground, and at worst a Bed and Breakfast. The trip down was, apart from the slope going down, like the trip up. Wet, windy and little in the way of a view.
Next morning after listening to the wind from the comfort of a warm bed, while eating a full English, we made plans for the day. The Aran ridge, plan A, modified. The forecast for the day was winds with wintry showers, much like yesterday. Arriving at the car park though the cloud was high and breaking with wind ragging the tops of the trees. Kitted for anything we set off up the zig-zag path to our first summit of the day, Glaswyn with its small Tarn. It’s a long pull to the col, and the sight of a road at the top makes you wonder what you’re doing sometimes. But it was worth the walk. The cloud had stayed high although the wind still meant shouting at each other.
We stopped for lunch half way down Glaswyn on the way to Aran Forddwy. In a small hollow out of the wind. There is something quite primeval about the battering from a really good bit of windy weather. Hard work but satisfying to compete and win. There was some mixed snow and hail around, but not enough to worry about. As we took in the views today we could see Cadair Idris in the distance, white at the summit. And streamers of sleet and rain passing into the valleys around us. Today we were smiled upon by the walking gods, and only had a few hail showers to deal with.
The summit of Aron Forddwy was icy and the wind picked up to make sure we didn’t stay too long. Just a Mars bar and a biscuit in the shelter at the side of the trig point. The footpath down was more a muddy stream, making our balletic skills shine, pirouetting gracefully back down to the car. Two completely different days, changed plans, but up and down safe both times. Maybe next year we’ll get the right weather to camp in the wild.
Thanks to Pete and Kath, who once again let me tag along on their trip. It makes a pleasant change for me to be walking with others, and these two always make good company.