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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rhossili pics

Had a rather disappointing trip to Rhossili yesterday. Nothing seemed to go right from the outset. As mentioned in a previous trip, I had appalling travel sickness, so by the time I reached Rhossili, I could barely breathe. I've never been so glad to get off a bus and out into the open air.

The next annoyance occurred when I spotted a large clump of St. John's Wort growing in the hedge near to the bus stop. I turned the camera on to take a shot, and it immediately turned itself off. After messing about with the batteries, it did exactly the same thing again. The batteries were obviously dead, despite having had a full charge. So it looks like I need to invest in some new rechargeables. Luckily, I had a spare set with me, but hate having only one viable set of batteries with me when I'm out and about with my camera. It also meant I couldn't risk taking any video footage, as video eats up battery power. So I contented myself with this shot, once I'd replaced the dead batteries.

It was unseasonably cold for July. More like March or October, in fact. Most people I met were clad in coats, fleeces or sweaters. It felt strange to be walking in autumn temperatures, with none of the autumn colours evident on Rhossili Down.

It was also odd to see summer butterflies, and summer foliage such as this clump of hawkweed, growing on top of the drystone walls. There really was a nip in the air.

Although it was blustery, the sea looked fairly calm. The air must have been less turbulent at sea level.

Large areas of the cliffs were covered in the tiny little purple flowers of wild thyme. Sadly, I don't think this thyme has the aroma or flavour of its culinary cousin. But it's very pretty, all the same.

The rather autumnal weather produced some rather interesting cloud formations. They provided a pleasant change to the usual bland, blue skies of summer.

As I strolled along, I came across this rather peculiar apparition. No, it's not the infamous Gower Gwrach-y-Rhibyn, but a black bin liner impersonating a scarecrow. I wish people would take their litter home with them. Imagine if an animal or bird got tangled up in this?

Parts of the drystone wall were covered in this colourful yellow lichen. Anyone know what it's called?

I sat near the lookout hut for a whole, taking care to position myself a good distance from an old guy I vaguely recognised from previous trips on Gower's buses. He's harmless enough, but he goes on a bit, and I wasn't in the mood. To make matters worse, he often reeks of alcohol and appears to have a slight problem with incontinence. I guess he can't help any of this, but I felt queasy and uncharitable. After sitting here for a while, it started to get even colder, as a big wall of cloud slowly obscured the sun.

As the clouds became dark and ominous, I decided to head back to the village. I didn't fancy being caught in a chilly downpour, as I had no coat with me, and it was too blustery to use my umbrella. As I trudged back, I was surprised to see several clumps of fungi.

I have never seen fungi on Rhossili cliffs at this time of year. I guess even nature is confused by the cold temperatures and wet conditions. I felt a lot better when I got back to the village, and finding myself with almost an hour to kill before the next bus, I got some food from the takeaway. The woman who served me, I can honestly say, was the surliest, grumpiest person I've come across in a long time. How the heck she got a customer-facing job beats me. She put me off my food!

After sharing my dinner with some sparrows and a pied wagtail, it was time to get the bus. The chips from the takeaway were a big mistake. This time, the travel sickness didn't wait half an hour. It kicked in just as the bus took the bend by Rhossili Gallery. I was forced to spend the rest of the journey with my head in my hands, and my eyes tightly shut. I only opened them a couple of times, once when the idiot driving the bus sped down Oxwich hill at such a ridiculous speed, he almost collided with a people carrier coming the other way. I was so relieved to reach town in one piece. Then I realised, because I had a Veolia/Pullman's day ticket, I couldn't hop on a First Cymru bus to get home. I'd either have to walk home, or wait 50 minutes for the Pullman's/Veolia bus that stops by my back gate. So I headed for Tesco for a while and then got that bus home.

So there you have it. A boring, miserable account of a boring, miserable day!


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The Pig's Lip said...

i wish I could get down Gower again soon - its seems like ages since I was last down there.

jams o donnell said...

Still you've got some great pics Siani!

Jeremy said...

Can`t get enough pictures of Rhossili - some nice shots there.
I think the lichen is Xanthoria parietina, or Common Orange Lichen. 47,2000 entries on Google, for further reading on this exciting subject!

Anonymous said...

A case of suffering for your art.
Didn't stop you from producing the goods... great stuff.
Ever since living here, I have maintained Autumn starts in July, you can smell the difference. Doesn't stop it being humid though.I'd swap your sunny coolth for this.