Saturday, May 16, 2009

... just one more...

I have to add just one more...
... the wind was so strong i fought to keep the camera still... didn't quite succeed but they make me smile.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The last of the Gower...

Here is my last blog about the Gower... for the moment!

On the Thursday, Tim and I went out to Rhossili at low tide so that Tim could walk out on Worms Head and I could go to the far end of the beach in search of Bluepool and walk on Burry Holms.

Worms Head

The weather was wonderful - sunny and quite windy, with a rain storm coming in later as it did when Meriel and I were there.

Tim enjoyed his clamber over the rocks to the Worm and got right out on to the end.

I sped across the 3 mile beach watching fishermen and surfers, but got side-tracked three-quarters of the way along - I spotted this...

... I thought it was a surfer about to catch a wave. It was very difficult to get close to, and the wind and sun were so strong that it made your eyes water. I walked as close as I could and eventually decided it must be a sculpture because it was bigger than lifesize and simply didn't move.I wondered at the concept - someone casting a surfer catching a wave and then carting it here at low tide, erecting it, then waiting for peoples reactions - only visible at low tides :-). Amazing!

But something niggled at me... could that really be the explanation?

I finished the walk across the beach and walked out on my headland, Burry Holms and also along the cliff path with views across the bay to Pembrey, but didn't find the Bluepool.

As I retraced my steps across the beach... literally at times, I hunted for my 'surfer' but he had disappeared; the tide had come in enough to hide him.

I talked to Tim and showed him the pictures; I was bemused and hooked. The elusive Bluepool and 'Surfer' had got under my skin and I determined I must go back the next day to try and find them again.

The flat we were staying in is Katy's, so I spoke to her and her Mum on the phone that evening and asked them about my Llangennith surfer - but they knew nothing of him.

Tim was returning to Cornwall the next day so the next morning saw us enjoying lattes at Verdi's (and a delicious custard slice for me!), then he set off to walk along the bay to Swansea to catch the train, and I headed for Rhossili again.

The weather had turned very windy with squally showers being whipped in across the sea. I parked in the little Church car park at Rhossili and headed up on to the spine which runs parallel to the beach. It was so windy at the top of the ridge that I had to walk on the leeward side - it knocked me over otherwise. I'm putting in a video for you to see how rough it was.

It turned out that it was almost impossible to see in the wind and my 'surfer' was more elusive then before, although I did find him eventually!

I also found Bluepool which is an amazing natural pool cut in the rocks - although it reflected green rather than blue on that stormy day! I would like to see it on a summer's day.

When I got back to Rhossili, I was a bit in need of refreshment and decided to test out Joe's icecream - I'm not usually one for icecream but decided to give it a go and get it from the National Trust shop. Whilst I was there I asked about my sculpture ... no they knew nothing of one... but then the girl disappeared and, after a few minutes, returned holding a book open to a picture...

... and all was revealed.

What I had spotted (though from a different angle) was part of the wreck of The City of Bristol, a paddle steamer which had gone down in 1840, 22 crew and 7 passengers with only two survivors. The wreck, which is now more deeply buried in the sand, is only visible at the lowest of tides. I was pleased to have my mystery resolved, but saddened that it marked the loss of so much life.

Needless to say I bought the book...

and Joe's ice cream was delicious.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Even more of the week by the sea!

Meriel and I also had glimpses of Three Cliffs Bay,

and had such dramatic weather at Rhossili. As we stood out on the headland we could look inland and see the rain falling on the hills!

Even more of the week by the sea!

Here are some more pictures from the week Meriel and I had at the Gower. The flowers were so beautiful, and when Tim and I returned to Clyne Gardens the following week, after it had rained, the scent from the flowers was gorgeous.

This was one of my favourites and had a particularly lovely, scent.

As we walked around the gardens we came across three wooden animals for the children to play on - Meriel couldn't resist!

Returning to Caswell Beach, we explored the wonderful rock formations and caves including this wonderful little area where the rocks were so smooth.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The pigs.

This is what the slope looks like before the pigs are on it - a tangled mass of gorse etc

And after they've been on it a while... this one taken from the bottom of the slope looking back up the hill. It really is amazing!

The pigs.

One of the highlights of our visit to John's was meeting the pigs... and the piglets. The pigs do an amazing job of clearing the land and are clearly very content with their lot. I'm including a quick video of John with Louise (I think!).

John has them on a steepish gorse covered slope, which they happily rooted about in, and it is stunning to see how effective they are at clearing the thicket of gorse etc, leaving John free to move them on and then seed the area they've cleared.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Week two by the sea!

One of the things I got very excited about was using John's rotovator, and with some help managed to turn over the soil ready for planting potatoes. I am keen to come back and stay here to help with some of the jobs. John has a wonderful vision for his land.

Week two by the sea!

We met up with John at a restaurant (couldn't resist the banoffee pie - the best ever!) and drove on up to his land.

They have worked so hard and are doing an amazing job, building this barn etc etc.

John still has the same sense of humour!

Week two by the sea!

This unfurling bracken reminded me of seahorses.
Meriel returned to York and then Tim came to join me for the second week. We had some lovely walks, visited John and Chris, and had some excellent food in Verdi's.

This wood is full of wild garlic, and smelt wonderful.
(ok... I haven't moved these within the blog and they open up... so maybe I'm on to something!)

More of the week by the sea!

Walking across the sands brings many delights... here are just two of them (taken on my phone camera).

This beautiful piece of seaweed seemed specially arranged for us!


We watched surfers, kite surfers, kite fliers, dog walkers, walkers, and people writing messages in the sand!


I am very confused! Other than my first ones, all my photos won't enlarge when clicked on, so last evening I experimented... did nothing different and they seemed ok each time... so this morning I write a proper blog entry, and it doesn't work again. Ahhh!
So, I'm trying again with this pic of Meriel and I.
... and it seems to have worked...!

A week by the sea

Meriel and I walked on the beach and watched the 'sinking sands' where a natural spring wells up on the beach - stand in it and you disappear up to your knees in a flash!

'Sinking sands'

We roamed the winding paths of Clyne Gardens amongst the 'rhodiodos' which were amazing.

We visited Rhossili and walked out on the headland just before the rain came! It was wonderful.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

May 10th


I know it's ages since my last post but I've been away for a couple or weeks in South Wales on the Gower Peninsula in a little flat with a big view!
View from inside the flat.

I took Tim back to Sheffield on the Friday and went on up to Meriel's where I stayed overnight. Her water-leak nightmare is over, and the bedroom looks lovely with new carpet and redecorated walls and ceiling, and the kitchen too.

The newly decorated bedroom.

When you open the front door there is that lovely smell of new carpet.

After a visit to Thomas the bakers (excellent fruit loaf and ham and pineapple ciabatta breads), we set off for Caswell - 270 miles away. We stopped a few times and arrived about 5 o'clock to a high tide and really stormy seas.

The view from the flat is amazing, hours disappear as you sit and absorb the comings and goings of tide and people on the beach. It is a very special place.

It has one of the biggest tidal ranges in the world, and is a gorgeous beach when the tide is out with masses of space to play!

Caswell Bay