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A Couple of Walks


What with the bleak weather over the winter and the fact that the committee members of the Singleton Allotments have been having to rake their plots to a fine tilth ready for their seed sowing, life has been quite quiet recently on the disorganised walks front. Before I go any further perhaps I should point out that the Singleton Allotments is not a pairing agency for those searching for love, no, Singleton is a district of Swansea and the allotments are plots of land on which they lovingly coax vegetables out of the soil. These people are what used to be called yeomen, the backbone of the country. In these days of equal opportunity I have to add that there are yeowomen too but as yet none of them have expressed any interest in coming walking with us. Myself, well I am a sort of honorary member, my company tolerated because I usually tote a camera and am quite happy taking snaps of the other members posing or pointing. Indeed sometimes they both pose and point at the same time as you will see later.

Anyway last Thursday three of our little gang found ourselves with free space in our diaries and decided to drive to the head of the Swansea valley past Craig y Nos and Dan yr Ogof caves and take a walk to Llyn y Fan Fawr, I think we needed a gentle walk to get us back into the peak condition of which we were once able to boast. So when we got to it we took the left turn and drove to a rough car park which was to be our starting point. We could see our destination in the distance, at least we could see the ridge above it and, not daunted at all, we set off. We had not gone very far when we heard a warning cry from behind and, on turning, saw a lycra clad runner bearing down on us. We stood to the side to let him pass and exchanged pleasantries, as you do. It was not long before he was out of sight.

We hopped over little brooks and generally made good progress until we got to the river but soon found a suitable crossing point. We were now walking up a gentle slope albeit a bit boggy in places marked by large patches of cotton grass and our eyes were convincing us that we were nearly there but there are many false summits when you are walking up slopes. We must have had a good half dozen.



Although, from our elevated position we had a wide view, we could not see our friend the runner and we quietly envied his fitness although we consoled ourselves with the probability that at his age he was still working whilst we had long since cast such inconveniences aside. Yes, it’s good to be retired although I must say that life gets amazingly hectic at times.

Finally we reached the last summit and we were looking down on the lake, this was to be our refreshment stop and where we would have a brief discussion as to whether we would walk up the steep path behind the lake to the top of the escarpment, or not. It looked rather steep to me. We walked down to the lake, this quiet calm lake, when suddenly the waters were broken by a black-clad form beating its way to the opposite bank.

We settled ourselves down, unpacked our sandwiches and munched to the tunes of skylarks singing joyfully high up in the sky and the steady plop, splash of the swimmer, in case you’re confused he was the man formerly known as the runner.

It was really great, I just love exercise – I could watch it all day!

But I sensed that Mike and Allan were getting restless and realised that they were ready for a bit of pointing and posing, there would be no peace until they had had their indulgence. So I took them to the water’s edge and positioned them artistically. I stepped back and put the camera to my eye and in a distinct military fashion their left hands snapped to their hips and their right arms with fingers outstretched pointed to the lake. Their faces opened up in beaming smiles.




Such simple pleasures!

The swimmer had now been reincarnated as a runner once more and was heading towards us, we felt like we knew him by now and indeed I think he felt the same because we exchanged chummy pleasantries as he trotted by. He was aiming for the steep path up the escarpment and we admired his pluck but suddenly he took off on another path and skirted the top of the lake. We watched him get smaller and smaller as he got further away until we could see him no more and we were only able to judge his position from the clouds of sheep rising like a woolly Mexican wave in the distance.

You probably won’t be surprised to know that we unanimously decided to forego the pleasure of climbing the steep path even though the view would have been quite dramatic. You see there were some black clouds in the sky and we successfully convinced ourselves that there was a distinct danger of it precipitating so we gathered up our things and headed back on a different path. I must say we were feeling quite exhilarated.

It had been a good walk and after a bit of an exploratory tour in the car we headed for home.

So now we come to our second walk and the Allotment Committee has increased by 50%, Richard is with us today. He has been globetrotting recently, there was a visit to the US of A which he told me about but I’m not sure he told me the whole story. He mentioned that he spent some time near the Mexican border but didn’t go into great detail. Hmmmm, suspicious! It may be that we shall never know the truth.

Anyway I’m jumping the gun a bit because I haven’t given you details of the walk. The forecast for today promised, or should I say opined because promises really ought to be kept, it opined that we may have a thunderstorm. What were we to do? Well the suggestion came from the depth of Allan’s brain – what about getting the bus to Oystermouth and walking from there to the Marina. Good idea we thought, even better when he capped it by saying we could call in at The Queens and have pie and chips and a pint. Gosh, how does he think of these things?

And that’s what we did, the Queens was almost full but we managed to get the last table, the food was substantial and tasty and the pint of Gower Pride washed it down well.

The clouds were gathering as we made our way home and as we were on the last mile coming out of Singleton Park the wind rustled the trees and heavy spots of rain surged into a deluge, still we were now in our neighbourhood and as we couldn’t get any wetter we squelched on.

A very pleasant and satisfying day!

Thanks to all!

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