Thursday, January 24, 2008


Heavy rain and strong winds have caused chaos in our Principality for what seems like weeks, there have been landslides and roads have been closed due to flooding. However, this is nothing compared to the misery and devastation suffered by the many people who have been flooded out of their homes for the second time in seven months in areas such as the Midlands and north east of England.

During the whole of this month, apart from going into town for the mere necessities, the best place to be was indoors...... then, on Tuesday the day dawned with a clear sky tinted in the prettiest shades of pink...... It had finally stopped raining..... I was so desperate to feel fresh air on my face so, just turned 8am I donned boots and suitable outdoor gear, picked up my walking sticks and set out for a walk....

What is normally a playground for children, the little river that skirts the bank below our garden was flowing fast..... I could hear it from the house thundering along like a train.

A sheep appears to be in a bit of a quandary struggling in the undergrowth of the river bank.

The ground is so saturated.......even walking through the grass on the common a spray of water is kicked up with every step I take.

Two small rivers converge here at the bridge called 'Rivers Meet'

The path climbs on upwards, in places it is all but one foot wide and in parts it is very muddy.... I'm mindful that one false step could easily topple me down the bank to the river below.

Looking down the bank to the river.....

Reaching the top of the hill, in a clearing of the wood, is the site where a cluster of small cottages once stood, probably two hundred years ago or even more. Little remains of the cottages now except the rough stones that formed part of the walls. However, it is easy to make out the rooms of these dwellings and small gaps in the walls indicate where once was a window. Its not hard to imagine the bustle of family life that existed in this remote and peaceful little hamlet.... with the river running down below providing a source of fresh water, these folk would mostly have lived off the land..... a little further on up the hill is the church. I'm sure it was thought that little more was needed to sustain life.....

Today, we have no shop in our village, however, in past years it was a far busier place. The first record of a shop dates back to 1675. I have omitted the shopkeepers names, but below is a list taken from Church records and other parish documents of shops that were once a thriving concern here. There were also many taverns in the parish over these earlier years.... even as far back as 1326 it is recorded that a certain villager was fined two shillings for keeping a tavern without a licence..... a pricey sum in those days

1675 - Grocery shop
1735 - Purveyor of wicks, white bread and nails
1761 - Tobacconist and snuff-monger
1798 - Shopkeeper
1830 - Purveyor of earthenware pots
1833 - Tin maker
1833 - Wine merchant
1835 - Butcher
1842 - Tin maker
1845 - Retailer
1845 - Butcher
1845 - Merchant
1852 - Flour merchant

Now these ancient stones look like mossy banks where maybe fairies dance...

A glimpse of winter sun does nothing to brighten this patch of dead bracken.

I love to see how the moss grows around the tree trunks giving them a green coat

I wonder how many little woodland creatures take shelter in these old tree roots.

I cross the old slate footbridge as the river thunders along beneath. The slab of slate has been renewed in recent years replacing what was the old bridge, however, the old bridge has been left in place and if you look carefully it can be seen. In those days it offered a somewhat precarious crossing in my opinion.

The final climb is up the hill to our beautiful little church which welcomes me with its perfect peace and tranquility and offers a good resting place too.
Finally I make my way back down into the village, daily life stirs in the cottages, the smell of wood fires burning mingles with breakfast cooking. It spurs me on home to make my own and glancing upwards I see that dark clouds are gathering, soon after it was raining again but what a great walk!


chook said...

thank you for the beautiful photos
I just love all the beautiful places you show on your blog

hugs Beth

Betty said...

Dear friend Marion,
What beautiful scenery surrounds you...the mossy rocks, the bridge, the river, the trees...the church...a walk there would certainly be refreshing and calming to the mind...

Thanks for taking me along....what are we having for breakfast? Love, Betty

Hillside Garden said...

Great photos, Marion. The mossy stones are wonderful, the other photos also.


Flip Flop Floozie said...

Thanks for the great walk this morning!! My i feel much better now..Smile!! What beautiful country as i always tell you!! i have missed your postings so glad to see them back. I hope all is well with you and John this year!! We are having our 44th wedding anniversary today!! Many years that Mike and I have been together now. Sandy

Kerri said...

I'm so glad you were able to get out for a refreshing walk Marion, and how thoughtful of you to 'take us along'!
Your village and surrounds are so beautiful! I can never get enough of your photos!
What wonderful history you have there!
I do hope you're feeling much better.

Sara said...

What a lovely walk! I notice many of us these days are taking walks around our environs and posting blogs about it - I just love that! It is so interesting to be given these little glimpses into others' worlds. Thank you for sharing your walk with us. I hope the rain lets up again soon so you can get out and enjoy the fresh air once again.

Here in the Los Angeles area we have had more rain already than during the entire last season, but it only adds up to a little over 7 inches! We actually had a tornado watch warning here last night...for about 45 minutes (very, very unusual) but it dissipated and there were no tornadoes!

I love your narrow lanes and hedgerows and all that beautiful green!

Barbara said...

I do hope that all the rain has stopped now and you'll have some sunny days again. This was a lovely walk in your lovely countryside. I like the pictures with the mossy stones, they really look as if they came out of a fairy tale. How long did it take to do this walk? It seems it must have been a very long one, according to all you have seen (and shown to us. Thank you).
Have a good time and I'm looking forward to seeing further pictures of your countryside.

Wurzerl said...

What a great walk!
I love all pictures in your wonderful post. The mossy rocks are so beautiful, didn' t you see a fairy? Thank you for sharing this all with us.
Have a good Sunday Wurzerl

Barbara said...

I did enjoy my walk in the Welsh countryside today Marion. I an glad the rain has stopped.
We too had so much continuing rain our garden was flooded but these last few days have b een dry and sunny.

Mountain Mama said...

Thank you for the lovely walk in your beautiful countryside.
I just love the moss and rivers. Actually I love the scenery in general.

Pear tree cottage! said...

Marion, As I take a moment to visit you here tody I am always left in wonder of photo's you share and stories you tell. I feel as if I need to reach out and touch the screen of my computer in the hopes that one day one of your photos will show me a path to our past history, our past ancestors, or even their past hopes & dreams.

Geneology touches our lives in so many ways and the hope is to find "a link" to those who walked these paths before us.

Your photos and stories always make me feel this way and for that I am most greatful.

It has be such a pleasure to re-visit you today.


Yolanda Elizabet said...

Thanks for a lovely walk Marion, it was very invigourating. The Welsh countryside is beautiful, loved those old mossy trees and rocks. Here the earth is quite saturated too, as we have had lots of rain.

What a shame that there's no village shop anymore, it usually is the centre of village life!

Willow said...

Thanks for the lovely ivigorating walk! The countryside looks so much like rural western Oregon (in the US Pacific Northwest) where my brother lives. Of course, there are no lovely old churches or stone buildings there, so I enjoyed viewing yours.
Stay dry!

Elizabeth said...

What a treat to discover your blog!
May I add it to my blog roll so I'll remember to visit often?
I loved you talking about water springing up every step you took.........I remember that so well. And the mossy tree trunks. Super pictures.
I was at school in Malvern and the midlands of England are engraved on my heart.
You are making me homesick though there are delights here in Morocco too.
All best wishes

Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

Lovely pictures! I hope it`s dried up a bit for you. Such sweet kittens too!


Allie said...

The moss covered could get lost in those two pictures! Fairies are there indeed!! This is my first visit, but I'll be back. Your commentary along with your photographs are mesmerizing. Makes this Anglophile long for a visit there!!

Pearl said...

Too much rain it's sounds like...Glad your home is safe. Even when the sun isn't shining there your scenery is just gorgeous. Thanks for taking us along on your walk.

Hope you are doing well.

Michael Manning said...

Marion: And yet, here in Phoenix we get 8 inches of rain annually!

Barbara said...

Just to let you know that I am regularly checking in Marion.

Wild Rose said...

Hi Marion

The sight of moss-covered rocks and stone walls always reminds me of the U.K. I love that view of your village as you returned home.

Marie x

Kathleen Marie said...

Wow, I had no idea it was so rainy there...This is of course unusually rainy and we are having more snow than in the past 5 years here. We pray it doesn't flood when the snow thaws.

It is simply gorgeous where you live. So very lovely!

Sara said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Marion.
I hope your day was a good one, and that you are doing well.