Time away . . . .

The Torrent – Dolserau ©pm


A rather up and down week.  A couple of days before I went away we had to take the old terrier into the vet to be put “to sleep”.  She had a stroke, I am afraid,  and started fitting.  In hind sight I think she may have been having little strokes for a while.  I miss her dreadfully as she been under my feet for 17 years. We haven’t been without a dog for over 30 years.

Otherwise, I have had a very satisfying few days and met some very interesting and diverse people from all over the UK and one very eccentric woman from Canada who comes over to walk in this country on a regular basis.   I had four glorious days in north Wales, based not far from Dolgellau,  to do a few days guided, group walking.

The weather couldn’t have been better for walking,   quite sunny, bright and clear for the views.  Only thing was we were all putting layers of clothing on and off all the time as it was really warm in the valleys and when exerting ourselves climbing, but was quite chilly at height in the wind or if having a break and standing taking in the views for a few moments.  The last day there 12 of us tackled the circular walk round the heights of Cadair Idris; a climb of some 2700 feet.  I find the “downs” more challenging as my poor old knees protest at the strain of a constant decent these days.  I must say it’s rather good to abdicate all responsibility of finding the route to someone else and then at the end of the day, after a hot bath, be treated to a lovely meal!  A very beautiful part of the UK.  Pity the paths on all these more popular places are getting worn away by everyone wanting to do the same thing.  Our first day’s walking was a bit more “off piste” and we only saw one person, a local farmer, all day.  The scenery is stunning; craggy mountains running down to the sea.  The drive up to Dolgellau was worthwhile on it’s own.

We had such a full itineray I didn’t real have anytime to paint other than the last day when I did the “Torrent” walk (above) and when I had a couple of hours in Barmouth before booking into my accommodation.

(Quite hurried watercolour sketches – it was far too cold to sit around painting.)

The last evening at the hotel a local, working falconer came in with a couple of birds to talk about the birds of prey of north Wales.  It was fascinating and he did say there is one golden eagle in Wales that travels between the Beacons and Snowdonia.  I am convinced now that I have seen it – at the time I really thought I was imagining things!

Since I arrived home we have had fairly frenetic messaging backwards and forwards to Switzerland.  Son in law did an “extreme” ski race.  In teams of three, the racers ski (and climb) overnight from Zermatt to Verbier.  It’s done overnight to minimise the avalanche risk!  Our old mobile phones can’t cope with the available app, so daughter was giving us position up dates.  She was able to track his progress on her phone. Anyway the team got in, having completed the gruelling 53k,  in under twelve hours.  Awaiting the official results to come in.

At the time of writing this I am struggling a bit as the only pictures I can post are on my phone as the PC has had to go in for a bit of a “fix”.  Typing with one fingers pretty boring too.  Will publish this, but may add more later. . .








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