Snapshot Sunday: Relaxing on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

A moment of relaxation on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.
A moment of relaxation on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.

It’s said that if you walk every inch of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, all 186 miles of it, you’ll have climbed the equivalent of Mount Everest.  I can believe it.  No sooner have you climbed one limestone cliff than you’re plunging down towards a bay; up again to a volcanic headland; down again to an estuary, or to a beach frequented only by seals and seabirds.

We didn’t do all 186 miles when we were there two summers ago.  But we did enough to know that after a hard climb in bright sunshine with the wind behind us, we’d truly relax when we threw ourselves onto the springy turf to catch our breath and enjoy the seascape spread before us.

This week’s challenge is to respond to the word ‘relax’.  Look here to see more posts.

British summer time: the final days

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We’re more than half way through August.  It ought to be high summer, but autumn’s on its way.  As we walked down the road yesterday, a few crisp brown leaves blew across our path.  Mornings start later, night comes sooner.  The combine harvesters trundling round the fields seem almost to have completed their work.  The shops are full of neat school uniforms and bright pencil cases ready for the new academic year.

Before it’s too late, here are some summer time views, from Moelfre in Anglesey.  And because it’s British Summer time, the sea isn’t always blue and nor is the sky. But that’s fine: we expect that here in the UK.

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Welsh as she is spoke

Wales is only along just to the left of England.  We don’t need a passport to get here.  And I’ve visited quite often.  But until this time, never been so aware of the Welsh language.  It’s not just that all signage comes first in Welsh, then English.  But people – ordinary, everyday sort of people speak it – all the time.  I hadn’t really realised that this is a living language, a day-to-day reality for many many people, and not one simply preserved by well-meaning traditionalists and academics, in the way that Occitan seems to be encouraged in parts of France and elsewhere. I wish I could understand more than ‘dim parcio’ (‘no parking’).

Hir fyw y gwahaniaeth. (‘Vive la difference!’ to you.  And you can’t say that in English, either)


Even Waitrose supermarket says it in Welsh before English.
Even Waitrose supermarket says it in Welsh before English.


Of course this isn’t written on my smartphone.  I tried.  I’m allowed to comment on other WP bloggers’ posts by being logged into my account, but if I try to post myself, it continues to say I can’t be verified.  Oh grrr.

Parys Mountain

Once, a century ago, Parys Mountain was alive with people: men, women and children hacking deep clefts and canyons into the earth, in search of copper-bearing rock.  Now the area is bleak, desolate, abandoned.  The poisoned sulphurous soil supports little but odd clumps of hardy heather.  Yet this large site, with just a single set of abandoned winding gear, a single ruined mill is strangely beautiful, and we fell under its atmospheric spell.

Alex inspects a man-made crater at Parys Mountain


PS.  This post was written on a borrowed laptop.  As far as my phone goes, I can access my WordPress site, write and illustrate a post, then it tells me I can’t publish, as  I don’t exist.

PPS.  To add insult to injury, the borrowed laptop automatically spellchecked ‘Parys’ to ‘Paris’.  Grrr

Wales and its Amazing Technicolour Housing

I’m used to brick houses.  And stone houses.  And even houses whose facades have been rendered and painted, as our home in Laroque was.  But house paints generally come in a very limited palette.  White, of course, and a range of neutral or earthy tones such as ochre.  That’s what I thought until I went to Wales, anyway.  Now I know differently.  Come on a very quick tour with me to see what colour you could paint your home. Click on an image to see it full size: I’m only sorry not to have included an example of my own particular favourite: crushed raspberry.

House with matching car.  Note also the purple house next door..
House with matching car. Note also the purple house next door..