About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
My fourth poetry collection, The Shadow Factory, was published in 2019 by Indigo Dreams. I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy. https://theleapingword.com

Friday, 22 February 2019

Fossilling at Kilve

Another day, another beach. But first lunch at the reopened Hood Arms in Kilve, which still sells Rich's cider, hooray!


And then on to Kilve beach.


This is Kilve Pill. I like the fact that the word for a creek or small river emptying off the flood plain into the Bristol Channel is still in use all the way down here in West Somerset.


The last time I was here was two and a half years ago with my niece and my parents. 


Right at the end of his life, my father became obsessed with fossils. It started on a day trip to Lulworth, and intensified at Kilve, which is just about the best place for finding fossils that I know. 


When he saw the photos I took of my niece with a particularly large fossil, it became the most desirable thing in the world. 

Back home he asked and asked me to get it for him. No matter that it was attached to a thick slab of rock that probably weighed several hundredweight. 


'I would need a small crane, Dad,' I'd say. 'Or a couple of teams of rugby players.'


He suggested I go down early one morning when no one was about, and to take my partner with me. 'He's a big enough bloke.' 


'Even if we could lift it,' I said, 'there's no way we'd be able to carry it over the rocks.' 


'You could use your mother's shopping trolley,' he said. 'She wouldn't mind.'




I think he'd have liked this fossil Son the Younger found, which is portable on account of being only six inches long, but still hefty for all that. 






This one, however, stayed put ...


... as did these. 




High time for an ice cream at Kilve Chantry. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Traeth Yr Afon and Merthyr Mawr Warren

We had a few hours to fill across the bridge, so we drove through squalls of rain to Porthcawl.


Were we deterred? NO! Not one little bit.


And it did brighten up quite quickly. 


Traeth yr Afon is a lovely, dog-friendly beach. We decided to wander along to its end, where the River Ogmore enters the sea.


The tide was out and the sand pristine. There were really interesting ripple patterns left by the receding tide ...





... and extensive honeycomb worm reefs, which were new to me. 




They're spongy and intricate and the humans amongst us tried to avoid stepping on them.
Ted, meanwhile, was having a literal ball. 


Right down at the water's edge, the tide was coming in fast. 


Just time to chase a few gulls.


By now we were at the mouth of the river, looking across to Ogmore-by-sea, which I last (and first) visited about 35 years ago. 



We decided to climb up onto the sand dunes, which are part of the Merthyr Mawr warren.




This is the River Ogmore from the dunes.

As at Kenfig and Rhossili, there's a story about a village lost under the sand dunes. Here it's Treganlaw, the 'town of a hundred hands'.  


I was also reminded of John Betjeman's 'sinkininny church' at Trebetherick in Cornwall. 

We needed to be heading back, however ...  





... taking with us a somewhat squitty dog who, for some unfathomable reason, had decided to revive his pupster habit of drinking sea water. 

You love me really, says Ted.