Monday, 26 September 2011
A Weekend In Wales.
Rain, of course.
Fine, drifting, misty rain that obscures the hills and swirls gently down the valleys.
We can't see very far ahead, but there is always a castle to visit. Where ever you are in Wales, there will be a castle towering into the mist, crumbling into the damp grey earth. The past is always right beside you in Wales.
In this particular castle, which happens to be Raglan, my son and daughter-in-law take refuge on the hearth of a massive, dripping kitchen chimney, where they dance about a bit to keep warm. Then we go down into the undercroft, where there is a roof and a bit of dryness.
Later, back at the cottage, the little garden is green and dripping, and then suddenly diamond-spangled as the sun comes out. The only sounds are the irregular thumps of small hard pears, falling from an ancient tree, the croaking of crows, and the mewing buzzards floating high.
A light breeze bowls along the lane, lifting leaves, and a cascade of pears thuds to the ground.
The outdoor tables and chairs are crunchy with thick grey lichen, and a few autumnal wild-flowers, mallow, coltsfoot, cranesbill and herb robert sprawl in the long wet grass. The grey stone walls are mossed with fat green cushions.
A distant engine; a two-tier trailer of sheep arrives and is clankingly opened, metal ramps lowered. The sheep hesitate, poised between freedom and security. Then one steps out, and a clattering flurry pours down into the little muddy lane. Down the valley, over the stream, into the field. The dog circles, eyes fixed on the slow, the wayward, the hesitant.
In the west the heavy grey clouds come to a slow rolling boil again, and the sun shines white through a haze of mist.
The crows fly away to the east, shouting raucously to one another as they go, and in the trees behind me a squirrel natters and shrieks at a threat that only he can see.
Green and grey, damp, dripping and spangled, unpredictable and timelessly lovely. This was a weekend in Wales.
P.S. Nearby is a wonderful craft gallery, selling the work of talented local artists, like 'this one'