Monday, 17 October 2016

Gwaith 6: Visiting The Fairy Glen (7 Oct 2016)

Helo Pawb

When I was last visiting Britain, I sent Jo a postcard of  the Fairy Glen in Betws-y-Coed. She loved the card so much I promised her I would go there when I could and take some photos for her.

So, after I left Dinas Emrys, I followed the directions, parked, paid the small fee for one car and one visitor, and walked to the gorge in clear sunshine, with robin song as an accompaniment.
Robin in a hedge on the way to the Fairy Glen
The path running alongside the gorge

The Fairy Glen (known in Welsh as Ffos Ddofn, 'deep ditch') is as magical as the original postcard suggested. Canopy of berry-ladened rowans, autumning ash, oak and beech, even a single pine tree on an outcrop. Rocks worn through, over, around, streaked with fault lines. A stillness inside the echoing, tumbling, slapping, sluicing water, with its tracery lines of bubbles heading downstream.
Looking upstream to the cascading waters

Looking downstream at the rapids

Behind these weathered, lichened, mossed rocks is the path down into the ravine

View of some of the luxuriant vegetation in the gorge
The one pine tree in the ravine
Unlike my time at Dinas Emrys in the morning, there were no chainsaws and shouting men disturbing the peace. I did have one fellow visitor, who hobbled down the awkward path, a long while after I had taken photos, sat quietly listening to the water spilling over rocks, and watched sunlight speckle moss, oak leaves and rowan berries. He picked my accent (unlike some others over the last few weeks who thought I was a Kiwi) and talked about the time he visited Australia on his way to a walking tour of New Zealand. After taking some photos, he left me to my contemplation of wind, water, sun and rock and made his slow way back to the car park.
The canopy above the gorge

Cliff face on the other side of the ravine, with lichen, ferns, trees
The gorge worked its magic on me in another way, As often happens when you least expect it, something my visitor said prompted a few lines, so before I left I worked on a poem and in the evening completed it.

Down to the Fairy Glen
Betws-Y-Coed, Wales, Oct 2016

Back, hips and knees all gone, yet still he walking-stick’s
His old hill-walking body to the bottom, first time ever,
Shuffles across moss-drenched rocks, two cameras
For the curling, scurrying stream silver-gleaming the gorge.

A closeup of the cascade

Departing view of the Fairy Glen as I climbed back up the path

As always, any comments are appreciated.

Cofion Cynnes


Elizabeth Jane Corbett said...

Lovely pictures and poem. Enjoy your travels.

Lyn Mitchell said...

What a bloody beautiful part of this wonderful world. How lucky are you. I'm going to live long enough to get to see some of it close up.

Earl Livings said...

HI Liz
Thanks for your appreciation of the blogs. I am enjoying the travelling, though I'm doing so much I'm behind in both the novel writing and the blog writing. I'll probably need a rest back at Stiwdio Maelor after five weeks of visiting sites, etc. I hope your own work is going well.
Cheers, Earl

Earl Livings said...

Hi Lyn
I do consider myself well blessed by being allowed to come over here to research and write. Of course, now I have to produce the goods, as they say :)
I'm sure you'll get the chance to get back here yourself. All the best with the studies.
Cheers, Earl

Peter Farrar said...

How great to be immersed in a place like that. I recently walked the iron bark forest near Anglesea. Shapes of the trees and muted colours of the gums stays with you. The other thing that stayed with me was the soreness of joints after over doing it!

Earl Livings said...

Hi Peter
Wonderful to hear from you. I hope your own writing is going well. Will the walk at Angelsea figure in a story at some point? As far as the joints are concerned, they do take a beating with some of the 'immersion activities' I've been doing. The older one gets, the longer the recovery period. Still, the immersion will be valuable for my book--I hope.
Give my best to the family.
Cheers, Earl

Peter Farrar said...

Thanks Earl, I will let them know. Terribly cold here today, you could have researched a Welsh winter from your home here I suspect. I'll let those Ironbark images ferment before they find their way to the page. Hope to return during warmer days to see how it contrasts. Am submitting next week, a publisher agreed to look it over. Made an approach at the Writer's festival. (No Shiraz was involved this time!) Loving your pictures, am sure you have many feelings and observations under your skin. Cheers, Peter

Earl Livings said...

Hi Peter, Fantastic news about making a contact with that publisher and submitting the manuscript. Which publisher? And without having to ply the person with bottles of Shiraz. Must be your charm and, of course, the merit of the project :)
've heard about the cold weather from Jo. Sounds like I could have got some sense of UK temperatures from it, though I'm sure the weather here will get much colder once winter truly sets in. Snow, I hope.
Thanks for the appreciation about the pictures. I take 100s and pick the best ones. In the old days, one had to wait for the right moment to take a shot, but now you could almost have the camera on automatic and be sure to get at least one good shot.
I look forward to reading a story set in the Ironbarks.
All the best, Earl

Peter Farrar said...

Hi Earl, I'm sure it will be much colder there over the next couple of months. How easy it will be getting out and about in that will be interesting. Some signs of warming up here but it's barely stirring. Despite that the test matches are being advertised! Wash out most likely result. When you say about the old days with the camera there was of course that time you had to wait for photos to be printed before knowing if they'd be any good.
The publisher is Inkerman & Blunt. I took the train to the festival, psyching myself up to introduce myself to someone. I started a conversation with one of their writers and he was happy with them. One thing led to another and they'd agreed to look it over. Later I noticed a person from Echo Publishing but by then I'd used up my gumption and as they say in golf, I choked. At the end of the day I went into Beer Deluxe and raised a beer to you and John. I made the toast out loud and one or two people thought who is the old geezer muttering to himself over there. There's an image for you. Look after, Peter

Earl Livings said...

HI Peter, That's fantastic news about Inkerman & Blunt. Your gumption came through. Good on ya! I'm sure you will get a good reception from them.
I had forgotten about the waiting for photos to be developed. If you were lucky, they came out okay, but I can remember when a wrong setting made the whole roll too dark or too light. Ah, the good ol' days :)
Thanks for the toast at the Beer Deluxe. I can imagine the looks you got, but that's their problem. Next time we'll be toasting at your launch!
As for the weather, I've been in Scotland the last two weeks and everyone is saying how mild the autumn is this year. I expect this will all change when I get back to Wales and winter is full bore. It will be interesting to see how I get around in that sort of weather. I'm not too worried, though, because if I can't get out, that means I'll have more time to spend on the novel.
All the best to you and the family. Earl x