Friday, 31 July 2009

Ynys Gwelltog

Ynys Gwelltog, Ramsey

One of the islands in Bay Dillyn is Ynys Gwelltog. You might just be able to make out it's deep, eye shaped scar through the rain. You can't help but look at it and contemplate time, the ages that have passed in the creation of that gouged mark, until your mind can no longer forget just how soaking wet you are.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Bay Dillyn

View of Bay Dillyn through the rain on the southern tip of Ramsey
On the southern tip of Ramsey lies an attractive clutch of islands forming Bay Dillyn. Just as we reached this point the rain absolutely clattered down. We struggled on before giving in and returning to the tea room. It was closed. We settled for the hut on the jetty with all the other visitors but it seemed such a waste. We headed out again to get a better look at these islands. We got soaked, even through the waterproofs, but the rain abated just as we got there to give us a grand second viewing.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Lost Leader by Mick Imlah

I took Mick Imlah's last book of poetry The Lost Leader with me on our trip to Mull and the ensuing islands earlier in the year, thinking it would be perfect to dip into while we were up there. It was, but somehow I didn't have enough time to read it all. The first poem of the collection was one that I couldn't stop re-reading, it was entitled Muck. As it turns out, we're hoping to get to Muck in October as part of our next batch of islands in Scotland. The poem as a whole is so complete but these three verses and one line offer a flavour of what we might expect from Muck.

So we did go, in wash-tub coracles,

and hauled ashore for an hour or so, on a
black upturned platter of rock, stained
with sea-lichen and scummy pools
of barge flies and crab water.

No trees, then. No welcoming men
or women either. But out on a spur's end
we spotted a sham temple - being a few
upright poles fashioned from driftwood, which

when we straggled over to them, seemed,
without a text or rune to vent their purpose,
to have their say in fish.

Listen to the whole poem at The Poetry Archive

Interview at Oxford Poetry
Review at TLS

Monday, 20 July 2009

Pembrokeshire - day 9 - Hometime

Tent imprint
Dark clouds - homeward bound - missed train - unfortunate breakfast - comforted by Bill Bryson's Notes From A Small Island - busy train with pet rat on board - thank God for pillows!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Pembrokeshire - day 8 - Milford Haven to Neyland

Oil refinery, Milford Haven
Rain - boat trip no.1 cancelled - feel like going home - friendly gesture from a fellow walker - walk coastal path from Milford Haven to Neyland - Gaelic football in Irish pub - unexpected taxi ride - news of sunshine back home - boat trip no.2 cancelled - glorious Musselwick Sands

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Pembrokeshire - day 7 - Herbrandston to Milford Haven - Gateholm Island

Night ascent of Gateholm Island
Sleep at last - boat trip cancelled - walk the coastal path from Herbrandston to Milford Haven - refinery - lunch by the marina - woolly mammoth exhibit - second attempt on Gateholm - success! - shipwreck and 400 pigs

Friday, 17 July 2009

Pembrokeshire - day 6 - Herbrandston to Dale

Towards Great Castle Head
Rough night - tent whipped from side to side - clothes soaked through - boat cancelled - cheered by bacon sandwich - walk coastal path from Herbrandston to Marloes - frustration - idyllic Musselwick - exhausted - delicious chorizo stew

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Pembrokeshire - day 5 - Marloes

Walking above Marloes Sands
Wet - move camp to Marloes - fax machine that doesn't fax - severe weather warning for Wales - baguette in a bucket - failed attempt to reach Gateholm island - rain - fed up - hot shower - wind - fear of power lines

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Pembrokeshire - day 4 - North Bishop

North Bishop
Sunny day - coffee from the billycan - free milk from a friendly neighbour - skipper is quietly confident - dip our toes in the sea at Whitesands - lifeboat launch - military guide - porpoises - puffins - manx sheerwaters - sea swell - North Bishop

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Pembrokeshire - day 3 - St Non's to Whitesands

Porth Clais
Hard rain - lunch at the visitors' centre - boat trip to North Bishop cancelled - walk coastal path from St Non's to Whitesands - fields of corn - butterflies dart from the grass - thunder rumbles - choughs dig the ground - howling wind - sleep in waterproofs

Monday, 13 July 2009

Pembrokeshire - day 2 - Ramsey Island

Aber Mawr, Ramsey
Coffee in The Bench - bus to St Justinians - sleepy-eyed surfer dude - lifeboat station - boat over Ramsey Sound to Ramsey - compost toilet - bell heather coming into bloom - three peregrine falcons close enough to touch - weather takes a turn - rain - hail - wind - soaked to the bone - tearoom closed

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Pembrokeshire - day 1 - St David's

Caerfai Organic Farm, St David's

Broken down train - glinting sands, green hills and hedgerows - farmer in wellies on an electric bike - discount for being car free! - sea view - warning of wind - St Non's chapel by candlelight - chicken pie on a picnic bench

Friday, 10 July 2009


Thanks to Nina (again), we have a tent for our trip to Wales. We're off to Pembrokeshire to visit Skomer, Ramsey etc and hopefully see our first Puffin.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Canon EOS 500D

Read T's latest review of the Canon EOS 500D in the August 2009, issue 116 of Outdoor Photography.