Tag Archives: Wales

Nature’s nurture: The beauty of rain

After a brief pause to take stock of the whole blogging malarkey, Daily Nurture is back with more ponderings and explorings.

To help provide a bit of focus for September’s blogs, this month I’m going to be exploring some of the many ways in which nature provides us with nurture… Something that many of you related to last month, from flowers to rivers to mountains, oceans and the myriad of critters that make us smile.

Fresh back from a weekend on holiday with a couple of great walking friends (NURTURE!!), I am currently well topped up with nature’s nuture! Pootling along a couple of sections of the Offa’s Dyke path, along the Welsh border north of Hay-on-Wye, we were outside all day for 2 days. That is my idea of heaven 😀

Offa's Dyke near Kington

Spacious landscape along Offa’s Dyke near Kington

We could see for miles. The views were crazy clear, like the air was freshly washed. The colours were technicolour vibrant, Mountain Ash berries hanging in heavy red clusters on the trees, yellow gorse shining, lush grass full of green-ness. Colours fed by rain, sustained by rain!

Yellow gorse flowers

Vibrant yellow gorse

Rain was falling in patches, and as it turned out, the wet forecast translated to a sunny dry walk for us, whilst we mostly watched rain falling elsewhere around us. Billowing rolls of water-carrying clouds added drama to the skies, their particular warm grey softness such a contrast to the vibrant greens, reds, golds and yellows on the ground.

Grey clouds behind River Wye

Sunshine by the River Wye, rainclouds over the northern hills

Rainy field, Offa's Dyke Knighton

Vibrant green fields getting a light watering drizzle, above Knighton

Bright walking

Freshly washed sky & lush bracken

Bracken and Gorse near Kington

A bit of weather coming in over bright moorland near Kington

Fact: Rain is wet. Yep, it’s true. If you want to stay dry it’s an excellent idea to have an umbrella, good waterproofs, or some kind of shelter.

Also Fact: Rain makes for a landscape full of thoroughly stunning colours, full of delight, full of nurture!

Rainbow over Hay-on-Wye

Rainbow over Hay-on-Wye

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Sunset

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

20:58

21:02

21:03

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!!