Monday, 14 November 2011

A little bit of adventure

Crossing into Wales
We are back from a week of wandering: a double assignment - assessing a new motorhome and, alongside that, a circular tour from Bristol to Wales and back again through Shropshire, Herefordshire and Somerset. Four campsites in seven nights; a workout of the not-yet-on-the-market m'home (the Bailey Approach 620SE launched at the NEC last month, and loaned to us for the week by the manufacturer), plus route description, photos, where to go and what to do in Carmarthen, Knighton, Hereford and Bath.

This is not a full account of the week - for that will appear in 'Discover Touring' magazine issue no 3 in February 2012, but more a taster for what I will be posting over the weeks ahead in my other blogs. There was something of everything for us in these seven days, and hopefully also, for readers of blog and magazine pages. History, gardening, mapping, art, journaling, and at the end, a link with where I began my life 74 years ago.

Climbing the steep and somewhat muddy path on Knucklas Castle 'mound'
It rained for much of the time, which was good for testing the vehicle, though there was much mud to contend with. We seem to favour campsites in fields near rivers; and even with the rain, managed some photos and brief strolls in watery conditions: the rivers Towy, Teme, Wye, and a tributary of the Somerset Avon. The motorhome was luxurious but most of the trip was spent driving between venues, and report-writing - hardly the holiday we so needed. We managed a morning in Aberglasney - the gardens are restful no matter what the time of year, with a delicious lunch on the covered terrace, despite the rain sweeping in sheets across the valley onto our table! And another day in Knighton, eating again (!) in our favourite tearoom. We climbed to the top of Knucklas Castle hill - spectacular views - and enjoyed the poem trail through the new community orchard; I was minded to whisper my own (never go anywhere without paper and pen); but they are for another time. And so via Presteigne (yet another tea-room), Hereford for an overnight stop, and on to Bath for a publisher's book launch - a scholarly and entertaining book covering three hundred years of the Pump Room Orchestra. We'd been invited because I had supplied some material relating to my father's time there conducting; the year I was born, 1937. 

The week was not without its heartache, which had nothing to do with what we did or where we went, but has affected my future outlook on all I attempt to do. I need to think hard and deep as to how I can continue, and without my dear husband's love and continuing support, I would not be writing this now. Life is all about decisions, and this last year has seen me needing to make more than usual; and I am so weary.

I'll never forget this monument to the past, on the top of  the Knucklas Castle site. Looking north up the Teme valley towards its source. I can forget weariness and troubles when remembering the climb, and descent, and just being there for a few brief hours.


  1. long may you continue to do what you love.

  2. Decisions, heartache and weariness - they do seem to be swamping more than one at the moment. Wish you strength.

  3. I enjoyed hearing about your trip - you travelled in my part of the world. I wish you all the very best in your decision making and trust all will be well.

  4. It seems impertinent to send you a hug, but I do anyway. Hope you soon see a light in this fog.

  5. I am sorry that there is heartache and difficulty along with your otherwise rich and creative days.

    Your tour around Wales and the Borders must have been lovely, despite the wet weather. Such a beautiful area of Britain.