Island View

A weekend visit to Wales. Time to take it easy in favourite places across the Llyn peninsula after so many months of lockdown.

Acquired from an Inverness charity shop many years ago, this much loved picnic rug in the clip below has since enjoyed adventures day and night, far and wide! Today it served to line a a deep sheltered dune hollow where the summer sun warmed soft sea air.

The view was magnificent across a vast bay littered with shipwrecks, known as Hell’s Mouth, or Porth Neigwl. Here the Atlantic Ocean bellows on tempestuous days, the roar is spine tingling. Skilled surfers ride risky waves and coastal path walkers battle hard to remain upright.

Yet today the great deep was serene, perhaps wearied by stormy winter or maybe its calm was a generous gift to soothe souls who have been much locked away during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The opportunity to daydream in a dune nest to the accompaniment of whispering waves was heavenly!

Stirring ourselves, we tracked through country lanes, thick with wildflowers, to Tafarn Yr Haul or The Sun Inn, a popular hostelry in a snug of cottages around a country church.

The historic place of worship is dedicated to Saint Engan, a sixth century soul who gave his name to the village – LLanengan. The church has long been a staging post on the pilgrim route to sacred Bardsey Island.

By night, the beam of the holy island’s light house flashes warning across Hell’s Mouth, telling of the treacherous currents that swirl around the isle. The beam is broadcast by solar power from the tallest square tower lighthouse in the UK. The stocky beacon sports stripes of red and white and reminds me of socks on a footballer’s chunky calves!

I saw this lovely doorway in the village and appreciated the smart simplicity of paint, bare wood and an open heart.

One of my favourite Welsh verses is a romantic and anonymous promise:

Mi gerddaf gyda thi dros lwybrau maith
A blodau can a breuddwyd ar ein taith,
I'th lygaid syllaf a dal dy law,
Mi gerddaf gyda thi beth bynnag ddaw.

I will walk with you across distant paths,
Flowers and dreams will bless our journey,
Into your eyes I will gaze and hold your hand,
I will walk with you whatever may come.

Winter Wonder!

Dark night    Dazzling colours    Sea Shore    Magical Creatures    

‘Out of the Blue’ in New Brighton

There was bright light and magic in the wintry salty air last night.

On the seashore at New Brighton, where the Irish Sea and River Mersey wash the coast of the Wirral peninsula, an extraordinary lantern parade. Fantastical glowing creatures were conjured out of darkness by a lighthouse keeper giant, sweeping his huge lantern over the waves. There was eerie music as a curious company processed through excited crowds,  adults and children huddling together for warmth, gasped with delight at the dazzling sea creatures that came to visit New Brighton  ‘Out of the Blue’.

As ever, all the pictures are taken with the camera of my mobile phone.

Making magic: performers prepare the wonderful bird for the seashore spectacle

Making magic: performers prepare the wonderful bird for the seashore spectacle

Before darkness falls a sea mist rolls in around the lighthouse on the Mersey estuary

Before darkness falls a sea mist rolls in around the lighthouse on the Mersey estuary

Battling the wind, the giant lighthouse on stilts keep sweeps the shore with his lantern

Battling the wind, the giant lighthouse keeper on stilts sweeps the shore with his lantern

And ‘Out of the Blue‘ to the sound of deep sea music comes the weirdly wonderful company of creatures, led by the magnificent bird.

The dazzling magical company of weird and wonderful creatures

Dazzling magic

Little fishes from the deep

Little fishes from the deep

fish2

And the strangest birdy couple; clothed in lights and feathers dancing and entrancing their way through the crowd.

Bird people

Bird people

birdman

And the underwater world of spinning fish that looked spectacular at dusk became hypnotic in the dark.

Fish world at dusk

Fish world at dusk

Fish world in the black of night

Fish world in the black of night

There were ships too, tossed on the oceans of a seamaiden’s swaying arms.

All at sea, the magical ship

All at sea, the magical ship

And there was a silvery shimmery mermaid, the sweetest creature – when children rushed to stroke her tail she giggled with delight.

'Come tickle my tail!"

‘Come tickle my tail!”

Exploring the seaside town, the bird strutted along the prom

Exploring the seaside town, the bird strutted along the prom

The spectacle ended with the thrill of fireworks and a huge lighthouse sculpture set alight in the middle of the marine lake; seawater reflecting fiery colours.

fireworks

Tired and happy the big bird wandered to its nest – ‘Going to lay an egg now’ the performers told me!

nest

To discover the beautiful diversity of the shores of the Wirral peninsula in northwest England, read Weekend 14 of my award winning book 52 Weekends by the Sea