Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Where the wind blows

We are still awaiting the return of of our telephone connection, storm Doris seems such a long time ago now.  We’ve all been juggling with our mobile data quota, I have a long to-do list on my desk.  Mr Uphilldowndale has spent a lot of time listening to the  ‘music’ whilst awaiting a conversation with Plusnet. Their service isn’t what it once was.

We left it all behind and went to south Wales to see Joe, and spent a couple of nights on the Gower, we’ve been there before.

Looks like they get proper windy weather, all the time.

Where the wind blows_

We had a lovely walk along the coast path to Rhossili 

Coast path Rhossili

and enjoyed a welcome beer over looking the bay. I thought it might be a bit cool sat outside with Spud the dog, but the wind dropped and the sun broke through warming our backs. It was delightful.

beer_


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Time and Tide Part II (and a little bit)

Yesterday Gerry asked what the view was like looking inland, from the site of the wreck of the Helevita, ‘would it be this isolated or would it show a cheerful holiday destination?’

I don’t think much can have changed since the night of the wreck, although there might be more bracken (which is what is being burnt off, left of shot)

Rhosilli Bay 2

The house, the Old Rectory, is  owned by The National Trust and is available for holiday lets.

Rhosilli Bay_


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Pipe Dream

We went to Wales last weekend, after Mr Uphilldowndale had gallantly dug a route out of the rather localised dump of snow that arrived with us on Friday.

He wanted to take part in the Pipe Dream fell race at Dalgarrog .  Here are the pipes, running up there looks more like a nightmare than a dream to me, but fellrunners think differently than the rest, we know that .  The pipes are part of a hydro electricity scheme, they were originaly built to supply an aluminium plant*

Pipe Dream 2

 

We took the van and parked up at The Mynydd Climbing Club hut at the head of the Crafnant valley, and enjoyed a very pleasant evening in the company of some of the Pennine Fell Runners.

Blaen y nant_

The next day, Mr Uphilldowndale went out on his bike, I had a nice mooch around with my camera, the club ‘hut’ is the white building on the left.

MTB

 

 Crafnant valley

I found a friendly sheep

Crafnant

I think if you came back a little later in the spring, you’ll find the slopes covered with blue bells.

Bluebell bulbs_

As ever in Wales, gorgeous lichens and moss

moss and lichen wales_

I found some fungi, well I think that’s what they are, I’ve asked a man who knows, I’ll report back.

 

Fungi 3Fungi 1

* The site of the aluminium plant is now home to Surf Snowdonia, the photo is as dull as dishwater

Surf Snowdonia_

The video is far more exciting (sorry Gerry, you’ll need to go to the library).


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Turning water into snow

We zipped over to Bangor in Wales to visit Tom yesterday. Spud  the dog came too, of course. 

Tom is the epitome of the hungry student, so we took him for a suitably large fry-up at Pete’s Eats in Llanberis, before  a stroll by the lake it was a damper day than the weather forecast would have us believe.

Tom told us the autumn colours have been very vibrant, and even after a spell of stormy weather, there are leaves still to be found, there is a bit of of a chocolate lime vibe going on here.  .

Wet wales_

Of course you can’t get such lush moss without a water laden climate

Wet wales 2

Or reflections without pools

Wet wales 3

So we don’t mind the rain too much, that said it was less fun on the M56 on the way home during the rush hour.

Today the temperature has dropped like a stone, it has been so wet and gloomy the chickens retreated to their run by about two thirty.  Tonight we expect the first snowflakes of the season. Watch this space.


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Sun Store

I wish I could keep a box of sunshine on my desk. So that on grey, driech days like today, I could lift the lid and let it spill out. 

It seems churlish to complain really, as this time last week, I was in south Wales and we had the most glorious weather; whilst ‘up north’ was shrouded in mist and fog.

This is Marloes Sands

Marloes Sands

 

As we strolled down the path, I think I was expecting a little bay,  but the size and beauty  of this beach catches your breath. If you’d ask me what my favourite UK beach was, I’d probably have said, Laig on the Isle of Eigg, I’m now ranking them joint first. 

Spud the dog loved it too.

Spud Marloes Sand_

I pondered on the powers of nature, looking at the mighty upheavals of rock and near vertical bedding planes,

bedding planes Marloes Sand_

I didn’t discover until later that it is a great place for a spot of fossil hunting


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Visiting Time

We are off to Wales to see Tom tomorrow. It is rare for us to venture out on the roads on a bank holiday weekend, but Tom hasn’t been home over the Easter holidays as he’s been to Greece climbing, and we are keen to see him (Spud the dog is coming too).

I’ve a heap of photos I’ve not published from our last visit (I hasten to add Tom is living in student accommodation at Bangor, not as this photo might suggest a cave).

Tom Wales_

He took us to Dinorwic slate quarries,  the second largest slate quarry in the world, where part of Clash of the Titans  was filmed, it is certainly has an other worldly feel about it.

Tom Wales 2

The scale of the place is mind blowing.

Tom taught me, his techiphobe mother to take a panorama shot on my phone.

Look, see.

20140307_152057

Of course we had to make a visit to Pete’s Eats’ as students are always hungry and keen for parents to buy them food.

 

I’m sad and shocked to report another of Mr Uphilldowndale’s running/cycling  friends has landed in hospital, following an incident with a heard of cows; very nasty indeed. (And  I’m afraid to report ‘G’ remains  still very poorly in hospital).