Saturday, 9 April 2011

Dryslwyn Castle and the Fig Tree

This morning the valley was just clearing of mist and the sun was breaking through when I reached the top of Penlanfos. It is only too easy to take the view for granted. After breakfast I stole the car and took my easel to Dryslwyn while Alex got on painting the garden furniture!

I found a good spot and stood in the sun for an hour or so doing the painting above, which shows Dryslwyn Castle and the Fig Tree restaurant in the mid-distance. Several cars stopped a couple to look at the painting and some asking directions. Brechfa seemed a popular destination for some reason. I think judging from the collection of bicycle wheels and bits on board that they were off mountain biking.

I do have a bicycle but it hasn’t seen the road for a good few years. I am not a fan.

The roads are dangerous and it all seems so much effort. I like walking, which is to my mind safer, okay slower but more enjoyable.

When I was young I made my own bike from parts on the local tip but even then I was never crazy about it. I once had a job working nights cleaning coaches. It wasn’t a very pleasant job as you had to use ammonia for some reason to clean the insides of the coaches and it wasn’t very kind to your chest or eyes. Anyway it was a five-mile journey to work and back. Initially I used the bike although it was hard work pedalling up the hills. One morning going home I got a flat tyre and I hate to admit it but I just put the bicycle over the wall of the first garden I came to and walked home. I never saw it again and wasn’t sorry.

My mother once told me that Billy White taught her to ride a bicycle in the 1920’s. He apparently ended up being a bookies runner (somewhat illegal at the time) taking bets in the neighbourhood.

I never bet and I don’t ride a bike.

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