Tag Archives: Black Mountains

Wild and strong…

Nature’s nurture … meeting the wild and strong…

Grey Stallion Cat's Back, Black Mountains

Mountain Stallion on The Cat’s Back, Black Mountains

… the wild and cute…

Cute Montain Pony Hay Bluff

Mountain Pony, Hay Bluff

… the wild and deeply contented…
Mountain Pony rolling

… and the wild and grinning madly 😀

Mountain pony funny face


Soothed, healed, in tune

With magnificent views, teeny details, layers of sounds, seasonal scents, the feel of the wind, sun and ground beneath your feet …. out in nature, everything that wants to be soothed or healed seems to do so very gently and naturally.

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more –John Burroughs

Capel-y-ffin summer afternoon

Sunny August afternoon in the Black Mountains

Definitely nurturing 😀

Sunny view looking towards Gospel Pass



Sunset! Gawping at a sunset is definitely nurturing!!!!

I was already in an advanced state of well-nurtured bliss yesterday simply from driving back to this beautiful valley, and having a lovely leisurely amble on the sunny hillside… Then there was a gorgeous sunset too.

So here it is, a beautiful peaceful evening in a beautiful, nurturing valley 😀

August 11th 20:55

August 11th 20:56




Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky – Rabindranath Tagore

Today’s Nurture: The Story of A Very Special Cat

I love mountains. In particular, the Black Mountains on the eastern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park grabbed my heart strings in about 2001.

I often stayed at the Capel-y-ffin Youth Hostel, in the beautiful Ewyas valley, looking out at the Offa’s Dyke footpath and the border between England and Wales.

Offa's Dyke Path seen from Capel-y-ffin

Looking out onto Offa’s Dyke from the farm

I visited for a walking weekend, and from that visit ended up running guided walks and navigation training courses at the youth hostel. As a bonus (and as a cat-lover) the hostel had two cats, black and white Gypsy and distinguished grey and white Bertie.

Years later, after the hostel was sold into private ownership, I returned there to host the mountain retreats that encompass every aspect of what I love doing most. This work reflects the deepest nurture for me and, I think, the deepest, most gentle and respectful nurture for those that visit.

And when I returned in 2009, there was Bertie, happily voting with his paws, staying with the place he’d chosen to live.

Bertie Cat at his farm

Bertie Cat in his element, July 2009

With smiles from his previous owner, I now care for him and pay his few vet and food bills. As I don’t live at the farm, I also found myself hating leaving him… I’d have a fabulous week with my guests and then blub extensively as I left the mountains, cat and farm that I love so much.

So after a few years, thinking about the bit that I could do, I went looking for a Bertie look-a-like. (A first step…!)

Through a great friend, I heard of a grey and white kitten on a farm in Exmoor. I drove down without hesitation, and met what became Bertie Junior. She’s a girl… but she’s called Bertie anyway.

Grey White Farm Cat, Bertie Junior, first meeting

Love at first sight… Bertie Junior

Even more amazingly, I took a punt and brought her with me to the farm in Wales for the first retreat after I’d got her. As a kitten, she took to the spacious farm rooms and scampered around happily. And as soon as she had had all her inoculations, she met Bertie Cat. It was instant friendship.

Two grey and white farm cats meet

September 2011 – First meeting of the two Berties

Little Bertie loved Bertie Cat to bits, followed him everywhere. Dear Bertie Cat had the patience of a Saint and put up with her pouncing and bouncing about. They are – and continue to be – the best of friends.

Bertie Cats share and armchair

May I share your armchair please?

They are not related, they see each other for only one week a month, and Bertie Junior happily naps her way through a 3 hour commute to get to the farm… in short, they are utterly not cat like. If you are a cat person, you will understand that they nurture in a way that I could never have conceived!

I made this film in August 2012, whilst enjoying a quiet and restful few days at the farm for myself. Watching it nurtures me on many levels. Maybe it will for some of you too.

Either way, these two cats prove that whatever you assume… you may get waaaay more than you’d ever imagined!!

Daily Nurture – Remember What You Can Do!

Mountains are a key source of nurture to me, the mountains of Wales in particular. I have turned to them for support during stressful times, done my adult growing up with them, loved them, been inspired by them.

Beautiful Capel-y-ffin

Beautiful Capel-y-ffin

Today I sat out out in the garden reflecting on various ways the mountains have nurtured me over the years. My trademark grin appeared in seconds.

The ever nurturing Ewyas Valley, from Gospel Pass

The ever nurturing Ewyas Valley, from Gospel Pass

Remembering the ways in which I have been nurtured reconnected me with skills and positive thoughts from those times. It’s not that those experiences had swanned off anywhere, they just weren’t front of mind today – until I sat still and revisited them.

Hay Bluff

Bright summer walking on Hay Bluff

It feels a bit like visiting my personal mountain nurture library… selecting a few books I love off the shelf… remembering and refreshing the wise tips that were vivid at the time and then got a bit tucked away…

Nice 😀

Beautiful summer evening stroll in the Black Mountains

Beautiful summer evening stroll in the Black Mountains

Whatever place feels special for you, or whatever hobby makes you grin most – I think there’s probably some nurture tucked away in there.

We already have a rich source of nurture within us from our most vivid, positive experiences

What have you forgotten that you can do?!

Navigating mountain ponies in cloud ..

Mountain Ponies in the cloud

Maesglase, Snowdonia  :)

Maesglase, Snowdonia 🙂