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Monday, June 05, 2006

Pennard Cliffs, cat pics and flowers

One day last week [don't ask me which, I keep losing track of time], I had a number of places to visit, and after getting essential business out of the way, I found myself in the bus station with a £2.50 run-around ticket burning a hole in my pocket. It was too late in the day to head to deepest, darkest Gower, plus Pullman's won't take the £2.50 tickets unless you pay a surcharge, so I hopped on a First Cymru bus to Pennard.

When I got off the bus at Southgate, I intended heading west along the cliffs, to try to photograph Three Cliffs Bay, from above.

However, no sooner had I started along the path, than I got menaced by a big, ugly, orange dog. Think Cujo-got-Tangoed, and you'll get an idea of what I mean. An old man accompanied the hound, but seemed utterly unaware of its aggressive behaviour. Every time I took a step along that path, the poxy thing came pounding towards me snarling, tail between its legs. It only gave up its nasty behaviour when I backed off and headed east instead. It then had a celebratory crap on the path, which its owner saw, but chose not to clean up, so I hope he skidded in it on his walk back.

Anyway, determined not to let the orange defaecator ruin my day, I strolled along Eastcliff for a while, and took a few pics - although I would have preferred a few of Three Cliffs, as I took some shots similar to these, a few weeks ago.

Although I've been to Pennard Cliffs a few times before, it only really struck me just how high the cliffs are, on this most recent trip. Yet I'm aware of no warning signs about the potential perils. Even though the perils are pretty obvious, I constantly see people taking stupid risks with their own safety, on Gower's cliffs. Don't do it!

Does anyone have a clue what this pretty little yellow flower is? It was literally growing out of a stone. The leaves look quite thyme-like, but I'm sure the flowers of most thyme varieties are pinkish or purplish.

When I returned to wait for the bus, I sat on a stone at the edge of the car park. There's very little point in waiting at the bus stop itself, because people tend to obstruct it with their cars. I looked up and spotted a couple strolling off the cliffs and straight towards me. To my horror, I realised one of them was someone I used to know a number of years ago, a right royal pain in the arse to put it bluntly. I hadn't seen this person in about eleven or twelve years - when I moved house, I conveniently forgot to write and give them my address. As they live overseas, they were hardly in a position to try to track me down, so I breathed a huge sigh of relief - until that fateful day at Pennard. Having nowhere to hide, I did the only thing I could. I pulled my hood over my head, popped my shades on, turned my back and legged it as far away as I dared, with a bus due any minute. I stole a sly look behind me, and the awful person had disappeared, presumably either into a car, or the nearby coffee shop. I've never been so glad to see a bus in my life. Luckily, the nightmare scenario that had been running through my head, of that person boarding the bus and cornering me, never materialised.

When I got home, I discovered some flowers had burst into bloom in my back garden, although there had been none earlier in the day. This first one is a hardy geranium or cranesbill - one of my favourite garden perennials. The pink's a bit wishy washy, but I hope to get some blue ones for next year.

This has to be one of my all time favourite garden plants - it thrives in rockeries and on old walls. I believe it's called campanula carpathica, and originates from the Carpathian mountains.

The next one was a real surprise. I bought this African Daisy in the market last year, and the label said it was a tender annual. However, it survived our coldest winter in years, and I've managed to take a few cuttings from it which now have tiny little roots developing.

What is it about cats and cameras? Why do they always have to scowl and glower when you try to photograph them? Look at this guy, Leo. As soon as I got the camera out, it was the case of 'not bloody likely, Ma, I'm off', and he headed into the neighbouring garden and hid.

As for my other cat, Liberty - her face says it all, i.e. 'what the f*** do you want with that thing in my face?'

Oh well, that's all for now. I might have some new pics later, but I need to check my bank account first to see if I can afford a trip to Rhossili today - the joys of being rich, eh?

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