Waiting for Rain – in Wales!

At 3am this morning I opened the window to find it was raining – I nearly did a dance!

This Wales – Carmarthenshire in Mid Wales – where it rains so much that we often yearn for a few days of dry weather.  But this year, as many of you will know, we have just had 8 weeks without any rain, and the hottest weather I can ever remember – often over 30 degrees C.

The first few days were great, especially as they were in May, when despite everyone’s idea of summer being August – the end of May is usually the hottest time of the year.  Just when all the exams are going on!

It’s got boring having hot weather for nearly two months, and really – no rain at all!  I had lots of work to do in my relatively new garden – it has been too hot to do any digging, and anyway, there was no point in planting anything without being able to water it copiously every day – so most of the plants I bought are in large plant pots for the duration. In other parts of the garden, the soil is so dry that it’s just powder.

I’m wondering about what is left of my old garden in Ystalyfera – half of which went down the hill during a period of heavy rain in February 2017.  It’s been just as dry in the Swansea Valley, and any heavy rain could create new landslips.

There have been a few false hopes – weather forecasts were showing some showers – but they never came here – I’ve felt a few rain drops once in a while, but they soon disappeared, and there have been grey skies for a couple of days – but no rain!

I’m not expecting much today either – the rain at 3 am was a light shower, but its gone now!

Being rural Wales, the real problem is not my garden, but the farms not being able to grow food, and the hay having to be harvested now, because the grass is so dry that nothing is growing.  Expect the price of food to go up as a result.

So I am still Waiting for Rain – and so is half the country!  Hose pipe bans are threatened.


Settle, Lancliffe, Stainforth, Yorkshire Dales.

this is such a well put together set of instructions for an absolutely beautiful walk in the Yorkshire Dales


Magnificent Limestone Scenery.Magnificent Limestone Scenery. (Left click all images to increase in size)

This is a beautiful walk that includes the Ribbles loveliest bridge, Cravens finest waterfall, and spectacular limestone scenery. Setting off from Settle market place, follow the uphill road to the left Constitution Hill. The road takes a sharp left turn at the top,  just a short distance ahead take the right turn following the stony uphill lane. Go through the gate at the top and follow the footpath straight ahead, in the direction of Winskill.




A few hundred yards ahead after passing through the second gate (above Photo) cross the wooden stile as seen in the lower photograph above. From here follow the footpath across the field and alongside the small area of woodland ahead, then down to the village of Langcliffe clearly seen to your left down below. The footpath brings you out to the church gates, cross…

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a special place

The last few lines of Robert Frost’s famous poem, and one of my all time favourites,  “The Road Not Taken” are :-

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — 

I took the one less traveled by, 

And that has made all the difference.

I should be showing a picture of a track in the forest here, but I don’t have one to fit – instead, this is one of my all time favourite places – at the southern end of the Brecon Beacons.

The road is just at the bottom edge of this picture, you park your car then take to the hills, crossing a river and follow a path that runs besides a tributary stream, full of small waterfalls. (This is said to be the start of the River Tawe, that runs into Swansea and then into the sea.)  Just under the ridge, that’s covered in snow in this picture, there is a lake.  Its stunning!  I’ve taken my swimming costume up there in summers past, and swum in it, with my dog!

As its not too far from me, I have the luxury of being able to come up here whenever I feel the need – for solitude – for contemplation – and sometimes, when there is no one around, to sing at the top of my voice!

In the summer months its a popular place for family picnics, as the river runs beside the road, and there are many pools to paddle in!

The Robert Frost poem – to be honest that came from the original version of this post, and isn’t all that relevant here, but I like it, so I’m leaving it up – smile.

I wrote a poem about this place many years ago, I’m not sure where it is, if I find it again, maybe I’ll put it up, but it ended something like this:-

“scatter my ashes by the rushing water

beneath magic Llyn y Fan Fach, so

I may travel past places loved

and along the river,

into the sea”