A Sense of Place…?

A Sense of Place…?

Strange times. Arguably the most common understatement of the current crisis. I use this expression a lot, to summarise my own sense of unreality at this time of lock down. Of course, there are other expressions… The coronavirus outbreak has anchored many of us to our home: the place we ‘live’ in, the place where we must stay, for now, and where many of us find new ways to organise our days, ways to mark and pass the time. For…

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Americana 2: A Tale of New York….

Americana 2: A Tale of New York….

After a few days on the Jersey Shore (see previous blog), we drove back to Newark and caught the train into New York City. This extraordinary city does not, or should not, disappoint. It is hard to define, despite the imprint of colonialism, immigration, opportunity, industrialisation, poverty, politics, and more. It occupies a space neither old or new. New York really is a place of ‘other’. Since my last visit ten years ago, there are many differences: Time Square is…

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Americana 1. The Race of Gentlemen

Americana 1. The Race of Gentlemen

Last month we crossed the ocean to witness a new tradition, The Race of Gentlemen, held every year in Wildwood, New Jersey since 2012. This is Americana at it’s finest! The Race Of Gentlemen or TROG, is held on the East coast on the Jersey Shore under a very fine backdrop of retro America…. Wildwood is where Bill Hayley first performed Rock Around the Clock in 1954 and the town still has examples of over 200 beautiful motels from the…

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Of Swallows & Pilgrims…a walk in the Clettwr Valley

Of Swallows & Pilgrims…a walk in the Clettwr Valley

A sunny morning in early September, a perfect day for walking and gently easing myself back into my ramblings. Thank goodness that my broken leg had healed in time to join the local singer and song collector, Owen Shiers, for a pilgrimage along the beautiful Clettwr Valley in Ceredigion. Owen is founder of Cynefin, http://cynefinmusic.wales/en/home-page , a musical journey of discovery and remembrance of the songs and stories of this beautiful part of west Wales. A Welsh speaker, Owen grew…

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Ringing the changes – the bell of Aberdovey…

Ringing the changes – the bell of Aberdovey…

Many of us have a ‘go to place’ and one of ours is the lovely beach just north of Aberdovey, overlooking the lost Cantre r Gwaelod, the drowned lowland hundred of Cardigan Bay. This huge expanse of land was lost long ago swallowed up by a deluge according to legend and song. As you can see, I have shed the boot and crutch for a stylish stick. We spent a few pleasant hours looking at the horizon, imaging the lost…

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5. Jumping Off…

5. Jumping Off…

This is my first official blog entry, despite lots of notes and intended submissions over the last two or three years. So, I am jumping off into the World of Blog, despite my inept IT skills before more times passes. A major set back a few weeks ago was the fracturing of my fibula in an attempt to rescue some ducklings and their mother for the local wildlife rescue. Hopefully they were able to resolve their problems getting to the…

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Abbots Bromley Horn Dance.

Abbots Bromley Horn Dance.

September 2017 It was 5.30am, dark, a chill in the air. I had to force myself out of bed. Dan looked at me in horror as I herded him out into the car in the drizzle and half light (he is not a morning dog). It was either now or wait another year. I have wanted to attend the Horn Dance at Abbots Bromley in the Forest of Needwood for over 30 years. This was the day! The horn dance…

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4. Bandits, mammoths along the Afon Dyfi…..

4. Bandits, mammoths along the Afon Dyfi…..

September 2017 It was our new Barefoot caravan, Mollie’s, maiden voyage and we had driven through pouring rain up into the wet Welsh mountains of Snowdonia to find that the pitch we thought had been reserved for us was no longer available! It was getting dark and folk were coming down off the mountains due to the awful weather and we were feeling dejected and wet. Then the blessed sat-nav took us down a blind lane and I had to…

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3. Five go down to the Cotswolds….or…. Of Lemonade and Kings Men.

3. Five go down to the Cotswolds….or…. Of Lemonade and Kings Men.

September 2017 ‘In the Oxford country there are great stones, arranged as it were in some connection by the hand of man. But at what time this was done, or by what people, or for what memorial or significance, is unknown. Though by the inhabitants that place is called Rollendrith’ 14th century With Chris, David and two dogs, I made the long(ish) journey down to the Cotwolds to pick up my new Barefoot caravan – how excited was I? This…

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2. The House Martin & the Holy Well

2. The House Martin & the Holy Well

August 2017       After a drizzly start the sky was clearing as myself and Dan, the dog,started up Titterstone Clee Hill or, according to one seventeenthcentury map, Stitterstone Hill, one of the Clee Hills, (Housman’s‘Blue Remembered Hills’ of Shropshire). Shropshire is blessedwith a number of Holy Wells and I wanted to visit John the Baptist’sWell at Hope Bagot, on the other side of the hill. But, as the carstarted to climb up the hill we came across a…

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1. On Merbach Hill

1. On Merbach Hill

Welcome to my new blog! I have uploaded a few earlier pieces I never got round to posting partly because they are favorites but also because my ramblings have been curtailed this summer due to a broken ankle! So here is the first from August 2017…. Mix a few old tales, some archaeology and a dash of pre-history and you’ve got my attention! A warm and sultry morning in early August seemed like a good day to drive over to…

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