Hubby’s drawings

It’s great to see his drawings, he doesn’t draw very often and definitely has his own style. He bought himself a drawing kit with a drawing board, (a piece of card) some different harnesses of pencils, an eraser and a pencil sharpener. The pictures were his own ideas, the mountainous one is from the cover of a book about the lake district, and the train drawing is taken from a picture on the cover of a leaflet from the Apedale railway. I hope he does more. I’m going to buy him a sketch pad.

If anyone wants to watch some drawing techniques go over to my friend Martha Kennedy’s WordPress pages. Sorry I don’t have a link, I will try and find one. She has done some drawing tutorials over on YouTube.

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Trees

The roots of trees penetrate the ground, anchoring the tree in place. Sometimes in windy conditions a tree can be shaped. Especially if there is a prevailing wind, like at the coast, where the wind blows mostly in one direction. Then the tree is sculpted and sometimes stunted, growing horizontal, pushed inwards towards the land. Like someone’s long hair blown back by the wind. Wild looking. The same can happen on high moors and mountains. Shaped and transformed.

January sky

And January sea, up in North Wales. Wide views looking far away to the Snowdonia range of mountains. How I miss driving along the A55 west, climbing past Chester and Queensferry. Then coming out high above Prestatyn and Rhyl, looking over to the mountains. Swooping down the road to St Asaph, then right over the flat ground towards the coast. I first saw that view when I was about ten or eleven when we took a coach trip to a caravan park near Rhyl. I remember catching a crab on the beach and putting it in my plastic bucket. The crab crawled out and nipped my toe when I put my shoe on in the morning.

We were at the back of the caravan site where the trains from Chester raced past on their way to the station. Holidays were walking along the back and paddling in the sea. Collecting razor shells and other classic shell type shells (still don’t know what they are called), strange how a single view of the sea can drag up so many memories.

I want to go to Wales!

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The foreign country on our doorstep. With wonderful singing, beautiful landscapes, sandy beaches, castles, neolithic artifacts, mountains, pleasant green hills, and narrow guage railways.

Home of authors like Dylan Thomas, R.S Thomas, O.M Edwards, Vernon Watkins from Swansea or Eric Madden who has written stories based on Snowdonia folk tales.

I would love to go back and have Bara Brith, a type of friuty bread, or Welsh cakes full of butter, and a nice cup of tea. Other delicacies include lava bread made with seaweed.

Driving through the country is sometimes slow. A lot of the roads are ‘scenic’, narrow and twisting. But they are beautiful. Driving over a pass and into a new valley with different field patterns, or plantations of trees is a pleasure.

There are waterfalls like swallow falls near Betwys Coed, the wooded hillsides which gradually become moorland,  covered in slate as you drive into Snowdonia.

Snowdon is the tallest mountain in Wales. There is a footpath to the top, or you can take the mountain railway. Great for views, except on the day we went up when everything was enveloped in fog.

North Wales is closest to where I live, but there is a lot to see in Mid and South Wales too. In Mid Wales there are places like the national centre for alternative technology at Machynlleth and towns like Aberystwyth where there is a funicular railway and a narrow gauge line up to the Devils bridge waterfall. In the south you can visit Tenby which is a tourist attraction, Laugharne where Dylan Thomas wrote, and the capital of the principality which is Cardiff.

I’ve only included places we have visited. There is so much more to see.

The strangest thing, as you drive into Wales the signs on the roads are in Welsh and English. I find myself trying to pronounce them!

Hill and fence

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Driving through Wales last Year. My sister took us out into Snowdonia, past lakes and mountains. Along streams. Through wooded valleys, over mountain passes. Seeing the scree tumbling down. Sheep climbing jumbled piles of broken slate. Then down steep hills back to the coast, along  tunnels bored through the mountains, back to the flatter lands of North Wales (flatter not flat, its not Cheshire!)

The beauty of the country of Wales is amazing. I’ve only really explored the North of the principality, I would love to visit Cardiff for instance, which is in the very South of the country.

Welsh mountains (2)

We drove out of Betws y Coed along the A5, up past Swallow Falls and on into the Ogwen Valley. Past the Ugliest House on the right hand side of the road. Out of the woods into mountains covered on scree and huge waterfalls. Past llyn Igwen then down into Bethesda. There are forests again and then you reach the main A55 again looking out over Anglesey and heading towards Llandudno. Its a large loop of north Wales that we had travelled. Such an enjoyable day.

Dragons

Found these three cuties in a shop in Llandudno. Well the red dragon is the symbol for Wales. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿. And the country is full of mountains and valleys where they could be lurking, strangely England’s patron Saint is St George, although he was Turkish as far as I know. By the way, Scotland has Nessie (the Loch Ness monster) that could be of dragon like proportions. I’m not sure about Northern Ireland, perhaps they have their own myth. Although snakes never made it to Ireland and dragons seem to be a distant relation to snakes and lizards.

Being mythological doesn’t mean they may never exist. Maybe a bit of gene slicing could bring about something similar to fire lizards described wonderfully by the fantasy and sci-fi author Anne McCaffrey. She is a splendid author and I would recommend her books. Hopefully though they would not include breathing fire!