Out exploring my new surroundings this morning. Not quite as many autumn colours as I’d hoped for so I may have to retrace my steps in a few days!
One thing about living in this part of Wales is that you can find a castle around nearly every turn in the road! This Sunday’s stroll is around Carew Castle, although now more the ruins of a fortified manor house than a defensive castle. The site dates back to the Iron Age but the building is Norman in origin, as are many of the ancient buildings here in an area that has been called ‘Little England Beyond Wales’. Not so many of the unpronounceable string of Welsh consonants, but place names such as Red Roses, Stepaside, Wooden, Ludchurch and so on…. each with their own Welsh language equivalent of course!
Anyway, back to Carew…… a tranquil spot built on a branch of the estuary that snakes inland from Milford Haven and overlooking the mill pond, the building was heavily damaged during the English Civil War, being held by Royalists in a predominantly Parliamentarian area. The mill itself is open to the public and the only tidal mill in Wales. The circular walk takes you across the causeway (popular for crab fishing on this particular afternoon), round the outskirts of the castle grounds and over the narrow, medieval bridge crossing the River Carew passing a very fine 11thC Celtic cross on the way. It’s a good flat walk so one I can do easily with plenty of places to stop and catch the castle from different angles!
Last September I (and friend) visited the ‘Houghton Revisited’ exhibition at Houghton Hall in Norfolk. As we walked around the Sculpture Park in the grounds afterwards we were intrigued, along with many others, by this ‘Fire and Water’ piece. The flame appeared to burn at the top of a jet of water and there was much discussion amongst the people standing around it as to how it worked. At one point the flame went out and the water jet dropped to the pool below, giving us a chance to watch the gas jet reignite at the bottom followed by the water jet which carried the flame to the top with the gas rising inside the fountain.
Very clever and quite mesmerising!
Wells is one of my favourite places to visit. I love wandering around the market and then into the grounds of the cathedral. I’ve pulled this out from a collection of photos I took the last time I was there, earlier last year. There is a solitude to be found inside the walls of cathedral grounds that cannot be found elsewhere. That, coupled with the stunning architecture, makes them sanctuaries of peace and beauty within our cities and I never pass up an opportunity to explore a new one, especially with camera in hand!
It was such a beautiful day today that, after a brief work meeting, I decided to go for a walk with my camera. It was a toss-up between a childhood park or the cemetery – the park won. This is one of the two parks that my Mum used to take me to when I was small. This was the ‘Sunday’ park, because she liked to listen to the band playing in the bandstand on a Sunday afternoon.
It’s a huge place and it was good to see that plenty of Mums are still walking there with their buggies and toddlers. There are two ornamental ponds – one used to have fish and water lilies in – it looks as though the lilies are still there but I suspect the fish are long gone, certainly none in evidence today. The second is a boating lake and when my sons were small their grandparents used to take them there to sail their boats. The eldest had a yacht but, as I remember, it frequently capsized!
The tennis courts are where I learned to play, attending a series of evening coaching sessions one summer. I don’t remember the courts being in such good condition – more like hard grey clay with grass growing around the edges as I recall!!
By the end of this year I hope to have moved west, to be closer to my family – my camera is helping me to record the places I remember before I leave. So far three generations of our family have passed time there – I’m hoping I can take my granddaughter next time she visits.