A little over a month ago, we set out on an adventure which culminated in us bringing home a new dog. Somewhat inevitably, I managed to usurp the dog buying jaunt and replace our priorities with visits to as many castles and related historic sites as was possible, in between visits to farms. Taking in Grosmont, Crickhowell, Llangors and others, it made for a busy day!
Just a few images here from the field trip to Chepstow and Raglan castles from last week. This is one of the very last fieldwork sessions that will be run from the History Dept. at Caerleon.
I just wanted to quickly add this video, which was filmed on Saturday night, at the Chepstow Mari Lwyd event. Sorry the quality is so poor, we only had our emergency digi camera on us. Even so, I think the drum dancing Mari Lwyd ensemble is very cool, and gives a flavour of the wonderful evening which the Chepstow Mari Lwyd provides.
So these Red Deer stags keep coming back, and with each visit, I am becoming slightly bolder with my advances. I still have no idea where my longer lenses are, the danger of clearing and sorting a house, but I am now getting close enough to the deer, without them scattering, to be able to take some better photographs. For the most part though, these are just sublime animals to watch. I had a good hour with them this morning, before the cold set into my bones, and I had to retreat for tea. However, being able to sit a stones throw from two rutting stags, is a memory that will live with me for a very long time.
The Red Deer are proving to be near daily visitors to the farm now. Tricky to photograph because I did not want to go outside and disturb them, but here are several long range shots, through a sun washed window. Amazing animals, with one huge stags among them.
Some accidental research tonight, as I found myself rattling around on the People's Collection website. Oddly there seems a bit of a dearth of circus related images in the archive, and that is probably a gap that needs addressing, especially given the wide variety of circus references that can be found in the pages of the Welsh Newspapers Online archive. Anyway, here is a great little sample of images uploaded by the Carmarthenshire Museum services which show some scenes from a circus, and circus parade, making its way around Carmarthenshire in the early part of the 20th century.
I didn't want to post these pictures until we had received some news one way or another - but my very capable, significant other half, has just today secured a job here, so with that very good news, it's time to post! Amazingly I had never visited Greenmeadow Community Farm until a couple of weeks ago, despite it only being about 15 minutes away from home, but I've been missing out on a treat. The farm is akin to a small zoo, but without any of the usual zoo based depression - these animals are happy, bouncy and full of character.
Now, in terms of posting these on the heritage blog, this might be stretching things a little bit, but the farm building around which the community farm it built has been in use for a couple of centuries, so we have some agricultural heritage at the heart of things. They also have a giant, water spewing dragon, something always worth seeing!
What a triumphant day the 26th of April, 2014, proved to be. Cyfarwydd - our heritage organisation, has been doing bits and pieces here and there over the last few weeks, all building up to our official launch in a couple of months time. So far we have been involved in oral history training events, ancient world event days, and burgeoning social media projects. Today we kicked off another one of our many activities, heritage tours in Caerleon. This one is the brain child of Ferg and Verd, and their infectious enthusiasm for the historic landscape certainly seemed to win over our guests from Gloucester today - despite some ridiculously changeable weather. It's great to see this organisation out and about and gradually building a profile, and there was some really positive feedback after the event as well. The images below, and many more related to our wider activities, will be available through the official website next month, but in the short term, here is a taste of how things went in Caerleon today.
Finally had a moment to post images from the walk up the Blorenge last weekend. No challenges here in terms of the climb, but a good walk is to be had working around the landscape overlooking Blaenafon. Really, it is the view from up here which is what makes the climb worthwhile, with great panoramic views to be had of the surrounding range. There is of course the burial of Foxhunter up here - so if you are into your horse racing heritage, there's some of that to be had on top as well.
We have now made the local mountain climbs part of a regular activity - excellent for tiring out the dogs if nothing else! The Skirrid was up this weekend, and while this is usually a pretty leisurely journey, we decided (I say decided, went the wrong way would be a better description - though saying it was a decision just looks better for all involved) to ascend the face of the Skirrid, rather than take the casual stroll up the rear slope of the mountain. This approach made everything far more interesting, challenging and downright dangerous - but that just makes things all the more memorable!
The photos attached are perhaps not what they might have been - our early morning climb did not allow for the morning fog to lift, so only limited views. Then, with warmer, sunny days on their way, we might just have to pop up there again and try for a clearer window.