Farewell to Summer

The river is a strong brown god – sullen, untamed and intractable

T S Eliot

______________________________________________________________________________

About a fortnight ago someone on Twitter was complaining about the amount of rain that had fallen and – foolishly, it now seems – I responded by saying that contrary to our undeserved reputation we’d had very little of the wet stuff in this part of Wales.

I should have known better. Within three hours the skies had darkened, the temperature had dropped and we were clearly In For It. After lashing it down for innumerable days the River Usk ran amok at Crickhowell for the second year in a row. But we were lucky. This wasn’t the type of catastrophe seen in some parts of the world, such as the typhoon that recently hammered Japan; nor was it one of those miserable events that occasionally affect areas of the UK. Nobody died or was injured (I think), there weren’t dozens of homes flooded (although the Bridgend Inn was awash and made the national news), and the event served to distract people from the dire political shenanigans being played out at Westminster. In the absence of any such misery I feel it’s ok to report that the event became a Saturday afternoon entertainment, with residents of each side of the river gazing across at each other as though the Usk was a sort of natural Berlin Wall, separating families, friends and neighbours. Except of course that those of us who’d thought to wear our wellies were able to wade through and cross over the bridge…

The Usk is well known for this, as I pointed out a while ago in Earthshake. The waters rise very quickly, cause some havoc and then, just as quickly, subside again. By the following day things were almost back to normal. The sun was shining, 21st century traffic was abusing the 18th century stone bridge and jolly outdoorsy types were kayaking.

Getting back to normal

As much as I like to get out and do Interesting Things there are times when sitting on a comfy sofa appeal much more. The last few days have been grey and drizzly, Michael is in the throes of a man-cold and there are no great demands on my time. When better than to prune and organize my overloaded Dropbox? I invariably end up with duplicates and unlabelled images, which is pretty annoying, though I’ve only myself to blame. Much worse is when I realize I’ve deleted pictures I really wanted to keep and I have to search through Samsung Cloud and various social media sites to restore the blessed things. Anyway, several sessions later I’m done and here are some that have escaped the cut or been rescued from oblivion.

Llanthony Priory, Monmouthshire, last September

Each October we celebrate Apple Day with a village party where people bring along their bushels of apples to be pressed into juice. Last October the weather was worthy of a day in mid summer


We’ll ignore the winter – that’ll be with us too soon. So, skipping over to spring…

A trip to the Gower Peninsula in March: the wreck of the Helvetia, Rhosili Bay
An April walk in the hills above the village
A visitor to the tree at the bottom of the garden in May
Saundersfoot in early July – my birthday beach picnic with Michael and my sisters
and Cornwall in late July

August is the time for agricultural shows, large and small. From Brecon at the beginning of the month…

Brecon Show

…to Llangynidr on a gorgeous August Bank Holiday weekend


August is also the month of the Greenman music festival, held at the nearby Glanusk Estate. This year Alex went with some friends, valiantly camping out even though there were comfy beds and hot showers (to say nothing of home cooking!) with us, a mere twenty minute walk away..

The Green Man

September means Abergavenny Food Festival, an event we never miss. It goes from strength to strength and is a great opportunity to catch up with friends and enjoy some deliciousness!

Enjoying Abergavenny Food Festival in September with Alex

The weather was still lovely even a month ago, when we walked along the river to the rugby field to support the local team:

On the way to support Crickhowell rugby team

And just before last weekend’s floods we were treated to this:

Walking home from the woodland a week or so ago

Now that I’ve set fingers to keyboard again after a bit of a break I hope I can keep on top of things…the Rugby World Cup has finished so I’m not glued to the TV. There’s quite a bit to look forward to, with our alternative Christmas coming up at the end of the month, but more of that later. For now it just remains for me to stop the automatic upload of images to Dropbox from my phone!

PS – it’s raining again…

The system is that there is no system

Steve Jobs

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