Sunday, 14 November 2010
I have recently been on a week's writing course with the excellent Jan Fortune-Wood of Cinnamon Press (and other) fame. She is not only a very good tutor but also a brilliant cook, turning out super, comforting winter meals - moussakas, curries, stews - of great flavour and deliciousness. We assisted her, but only with rudimentary chopping of veg and general clearing up.
These good meals were even more welcome as every day broke with rain, fog and tearing winds. Daphne Gloag and I set off one afternoon for Harlech Castle and tried to ascend one of the towers, not for the view since there would not be one on account of thick mist, but merely for the hell of it. We were very nearly blown right out of it!
When it rains and rains and rains you either stay in or you brave it. I badly wanted to get to Morfa Harlech, the nature reserve, so again Daphne and I, together with Becky Gethin, set off in my car for an expedition thereto. We didn't get there. There is no road access at all. Tough on us, but perfect for the wading birds!
However we did get to Ynys to find this wonderful tiny church set behind an avenue of irish yew trees that were showering the path with red beries. Ynys mean "island" and this church, set on a high hill with three foot paths leading off it in different directions, probably once was an island. Becky took this great photo of the church and its open bell tower.
During the week we all benefitted from a great deal of personal one-to-one mentoring, and I'd like to thank Jan very much for this, and also to thank all the other poets and novelists who were sharing the week both for their company and for their helpful comments`on my work in progress.
And one day I'd like to see Harlech in the sunshine. Or at least see it without impenetrable mist...