This is the wall high up below Tryfan with National Trust warden Dewi on top of it, placing the coping stones. On the last morning I worked with another ranger lower down in the valley. Iolo was a silent man until you started to talk to him about dry stone walls! I know enough now to have a go at repairing ours, if only I could find it behind the nettles and buttercups, hogweed and bind weed. Might have to be an autumn project when all the weed dies down!
I have been trying to sum up my experience of the dry stone walling holiday which is hard as it was a week of extremes. On the one hand, I loved it. The company was good, the walling was fascinating, being bumped out of my comfort zone and into the sort of communal experience I haven't had for years was interesting and probably good for me. On the other hand, I discovered I was considerably less fit than I was a few years ago when Erica and I walked the Offa's Dyke Path while she was considerably fitter. That was a bit of a shock. And I was astonishingly tired by the physical work. I work hard at home. My stamina is pretty good I think. But I work like a fifty eight year old, not a twenty eight year old. It has made me realise that the amount of time these days which is going into caring for other people must not be used as a reason or excuse for losing my fitness because I am now at the stage where, if it goes, I might not get it back. Salutary warning. Would I do it again? Yes I would and that, I suppose, is the test!
And back home from Devon to a garden overflowing with beauty and weed.
Here is some of the beauty: hardy geraniums and alchemilla, roses and nepeta. The whole garden is an eruption of colour, form and scent.
In all sorts of corners and backwoods the eruptions are nettles and hogweed and bindweed. We are calling this a wildlife garden.
In the field the old hedges offer a beauty that surpasses anything I can create.
There are bees everywhere.
The wall in front of the house has disappeared under flower and foliage.
And the path to the house is drowning in alchemilla. There will be time enough to cut it back in a couple of weeks, but for now, let us just drown in summer.