A bit of a gap in the diary! This one is 17th August to 3rd September
Well the nicest of reasons for not blogging for the last couple of weekends: some time spent with younger son and his family. They have three children under seven and two dogs, all pretty well behaved but nevertheless life was suddenly very full with all moments spoken for and "Grandma! Grandma!" the rallying cry. These are days you have to make the most of. Our oldest grandchild is now a young man of fourteen, lovely and loving but living his own life with his own friends and enthusiasms, just as it should be. It seems no time since he was three and insisting on sitting next to Grandma at the table, having Grandma put him to bed and read him stories. So while there are stories to be read and games to play and children pursuing you around the garden - "Grandma, where are you?" - these are the days that lay the foundations for a life long relationship.
So there is hair to be brushed and plaited and ribbons to be tied. The youngest is a two year old little boy, always at the back but determinedly and cheerily in touch. He doesn't have enough hair for a ribbon!
And in the same week we seem to be making progress with selling the house. It is early days yet and I swing between pleasure and excitement at the adventure ahead and the knowledge that there is much that I will miss about this beautiful place. It has been a real privilege to live here. One of the pleasures of living in such an old house, and this one is over four hundred years old, is that there is a genuine sense of being a temporary custodian. Our fifteen years here is a long time for us but the house has stood for centuries and will stand for more. The idea of being a custodian is often expressed by landowners living in great houses. I had not realised that it also holds true for a modest little house like ours.
And look out across the valley and up to Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau. People were living up on these Iron Age hill forts more than two thousand years ago, long before the fields were worked and the house was built. I like that. I like to feel my own small place in the scheme of things. I like the way my imagination is brought up short against the drift of time.
And in the same period I decided to do something a bit daunting. I have been pleased that I have kept up my running over lockdown but I have found it hard to focus without a weekly parkrun or a longer distance to train for, as all large group running events remain cancelled due to the coronavirus. I started to read about people doing a virtual run, from Lands End to John o'Groats, a distance of 877 miles. You have a year to complete it in, logging every run or walk. It seemed very daunting to me. That is just about seventeen miles a week. I never run that far. For some reason I measure my running in kilometres and I tend to do perhaps ten or twelve kilometres which is round about seven and a half miles a week. So to do the challenge I would have to more than double my mileage. Maybe not. Then I discovered that the same organisers ran a virtual run of the Wales Coastal Path, which runs 870 miles along the entire coast of Wales. That really appealed to me. I read a bit more. I thought that if I could run or walk I might be able to manage it and quickly, before I could change my mind, I signed up.
I have been going for ten days now and have run or walked twenty three miles, only eight hundred and forty seven to go! I am perversely enjoying it. It makes me go out when I might not feel like it, a bit like having a dog! And it is good to have something to focus on which is not the news, domestic politics, the coronavirus statistics or the American presidential election.
The heather is in bloom on Moel y Parc.
The cyclamen are flowering in the side garden.
Am I just distracting myself? I don't think so. Sometimes you just have to choose where you look and what you do. Do you do something like this? And if so, what do you choose?