Rummaging Through Bookmarks

Remember when bookmarks were something slipped between two paper pages? I have a bookmarks folder for names in the world, and another one of cool things rummaged while writing, often on the way to something else. This is one of them

The Black Book of Carmarthen, digitized by The National Library of Wales (which is where I saw it), “A collection of Welsh poetry compiled by one scribe during the mid-13th century, and containing verse composed at various times during the period between the eighth and thirteenth centuries. The volume includes triads (p. 27), religious and vaticinatory poetry, eulogies, elegies and numerous poems relating to the Myrddin Legend.”

Rummaging Through Bookmarks

Enter the Sheep, Watching

Threw a little bit of Wales under the sky I’d started the other day. The foreground is as it was but I probably would leave it out on a do-over.

Going to a peaceful place?

I guess when you can’t deal with current events making a peaceful place for a little while is a good thing

My palette when it was all said and done:

One of those old white tshirts I’d cut up to use for painting:

And now, waiting for it to dry.

Mid-December, where’ve you been MB?

I have realized that I haven’t been posting here since my return from Wales. I think this happened after my NZ trip too. It seems to take e me time to recover from the jet lag (and after NZ, the bronchitis), settle back into the routine and this time, throw myself into the madness that is holiday in retail. Yeah.

The trip was marvelous. I’m still looking through the photos and thinking about the things I saw and did. It was my first solo trip planning and doing and it certainly taught me a lot. It also taught me that things can and will go wrong and there are always ways to fix or get through it… as long as you don’t keep spinning your wheels about what went wrong. For example – I could not find a place to drop off my car in Cardiff. I missed my first train connection and then had to give up on the rescheduled one but my choice was to keep trying to find a place to bring the car and then how to get to manchester OR drive to my next scheduled bed near the airport and call it a super-long day. Arrived at the B&B very late but that was better than no sleep at all and I was within range of the airport WITH a drop off.

Landscapes were great everywhere. Rolling hills, stone walls and sheep. Just enough autumn color, mostly from poplar and oak. Old there is much older than what is considered ancient at home. In the UK there is a legal right to walk from point A to B, even across privatete land. These paths are marked and mapped and often involved stiles across stone fences or revolving stiles through wire fences or gates that you have to open and close securely behind you to keep the sheep and or cattle where they should be. Sheep poo on your boots, no extra charge. Went to an exhibit at a castle and had money out for entrance fee and the man at the ticket booth looked a little surprised – there’s no charge ma’am!

So many days of wonderful skies. I saw so many rainbows! Rain was often very localized so it might be raining just over there and sunny behind you – the perfect makings of a colorful moment. It poured down rain only a few times. One day, when I chose St. David’s Cathedral as my “good day for an indoor activity” place, it was so windy that it literally blew the water out of the road puddles. I got wet but I didn’t fall over!

Local folks were always ready and enthusiastic in telling you all about their local church or historic fort or whatever. There were enough people standing by to tell you stuff that it made me a little embarrassed on how little I probably know about my own historic stuff.

Had meaningful and considered conversations with folks, everyone from the car rental person to a fellow-hostel-guest about current events. This always started with “so we had this big surprise here (in the UK) recently about the Brexit vote and now you…” and once I’d nodded or given the appropriate sign of dismay, they’d tell me all their fears and worries about the newly elected president and ask all kinds of good questions about our election system and why people don’t vote and … well yeah. All those questions.

I did do a little painting while I was there – darn it I brought all these supplies and I’m going to use them or else! – and you might have noticed that I took quite a few photos.

So will I go back? Yes. And I won’t worry about seeing everything – maybe I’ll spend more time in just one place. Maybe I’ll do Scotland or Ireland too!

Wednesday

And it wasn’t a bad day, my second day back to work. I do feel rusty at work but that will pass. It’s nice to feel missed. Towards the end of the day I found a lady sitting and watching people while her husband and son were doing something. She said I’d sold her an iPhone and we were chatting. Somehow I mentioned I’d just come back from Wales and she was so excited so I pulled up the flickr.com album and let her go through some of the photos while I went here and there looking after customers. She was very interested and her husband was amazed that I’d gotten her to use a mac computer! I told him I used the right carrot.

Got an extra charger for the new laptop so I can leave one in the car. Might seem like a frivolous expense but I found over the last few years that it was well worth it. One less thing to carry around, and one less worry about forgetting it when going off to NaNoWriMo group etc. It’s in the trunk!

At lunch time today I wrote a poem that I’d started in the car the other day. Turned out pretty good on first pass I think. This is the first year that I haven’t strictly won NaNoWriMo, but I knew I’d be doing a “rebel” year, going off to Wales for two weeks in the month. I did go to a writer’s workshop while there AND I visited some of the places in my on-going story so RESEARCH people, RESEARCH!

A few people asked about the writing workshop which I’ll write more about in another post.

Oooh Passport Excitement!

Turns out that the nice man at the Manchester Airport Entry Point must have stamped my passport while chatting me up about my novel! How very exciting!

The Beginning of the End of the Journey

all good things eventually come to an end. I’m out of clothes and the ability to navigate so it must be time to go home. Here’s the last couple days of photos. Commentary later.

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Quiet evening, waiting for paint to dry

Yup. Taking a break to let some paint dry. Also have a little hand wash drying (turns out I was unexpectedly and pretty dirty one day. So I fixed that.

Had a little dinner: some good wensleydale cheese with apricots, some olives, some fruit, (forgot the crackers…) and some red wine I picked up in the Lampeter Cooperative grocery store. You could also buy whiskey and other things there but I refrained. It’s still raining and windy out – I hear it on my windows.

Anyway, this is probably dry enough but I’m trying to be patient. It’s bigger, so it’s taking a little longer. In the photo it seems a little yellow to me – no doubt the room lighting.

How rainy and windy was it?

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Greetings from Penmachno, Wales

Using some wifi to upload photos from the past few days to the Flickr album. I can’t say I was distraught over unplugging from all the news and happenings across the pond and there’s something to be said for immersing yourself in what you’re doing especially when it’s vacation.

The workshop was just great – wonderful people and good teachers, stretching exercises and feedback from the two who run the course and from the other students. So much talk about writing, and writers and politics and everything else you can imagine. Some wine. A lot of good food. A long walk on the first free afternoon and a walk to see an old (iron age) church and then a walk along the walls of the Conwys Castle on the next. The latter was followed by a nice field trip to a “pub” – actually a bar in a hotel where I sampled a very nice flat, darker cider. 7.5% I think. I got dissuaded from having a pint but ended up having two halves so…

It was sad leaving but everyone seemed ready to go out there and not only get writing but get down to the business of submitting things. Charge! Make it so!

This is a pretty big dump of photos, beginning with Caernafon Castle and the Weeping Window exhibit.

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