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An itinerant observer and thinker about life in general, sharing some moments of wandering and wonderment.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014


Well folks, it is New Years Day. Yesterday was one of looking back at the year gone by which for me was been a sad one in so many ways. I started this blog as a way of showing Dad where we live as I knew he would never be able to make it down here to see it for himself. That was just over two years ago when I wrote my first post in late October, Two years and two months ago. He loved it and so enjoyed sharing my life via the things I wrote and the photographs that I took  (he was also an excellent editor of my posts).
 I miss him greatly. We shared a very similar sense of humour and we were able to laugh a lot. I also miss his witty morning emails that helped me to start the day here with a smile.
He too loved Wales, and his ashes will be scattered in a very scenically beautiful place in North Wales where his and my mothers ashes will overlook where he proposed to her
on a very special day in the Welsh calendar ... St David's Day.
These last few days as we've been wandering about in various locations catching up on the changes in the local landscape whilst we have been away and there have been many.
Even now I think about how I will word things in these posts and what he would think.
 This photograph really caught my mood the other evening when we visited the memorial. the Guardian of the Valleys, how Dad would have loved to have seen it for real, even from a distance with the low lying mist in the valleys, this steel figure stands out in the evening.
That evening matched my mood, the feeling of loss of not just a father but the friendship and laughter that we shared, just as those 45 names on the memorial will also be missed greatly at this time of year and also those all over the world that find it difficult to really celebrate this festive time of year. There are so many who are far worse off than I have been in my life, a sobering thought that helped me gain a sense of perspective. Over the weekend my recalcitrant computer refused to work which left me unable to send or receive email, a minor matter but frustrating. I took the "pooter" to the P.C Doctor and whilst it was having it's innards checked out, we went for a walk.
Time for a trog with the mud loving mutt and after all the rain overnight, mud & puddles were easy to find and oh my ... the winter wind was to say the least very refreshing!
The view was over clouded and the air bitterly cold but the daft dog took no notice of that.
He was loving the chance to visit a place we have not been for quite a long while now and in a way so was I, it was good to be back on tracks that I've not seen for well over a year.
I love the view from up here looking over  Festival Park, now a major shopping centre and the old Corus Steel Works site which only a few years ago now, hosted the famous Welsh Eisteddfod 2010 and before that Ebbw Vale last held this famous celebration of  great Welsh creativity in 1958. Today the view over the old, dismantled steelworks which is in the process of getting rebuilt with the new Aneurin Bevan Hospital being the main completed building down there in the valley and other structures are beginning to appear,
but up here in the wind blown tracks I also had a weather eye on the sky and it was changing, quite dramatically.
It's hard to believe but as a young dog The Keepers Pond above was a place he loved to swim in. Now, this whole area was bought by our local council and is a "Nature Conservancy Project" with cleaned out pond now a designated area for the preservation of newts and other wildlife. To me it seemed muddier water than it was before  and all I saw were four male mallards and one female, only a few years ago I witnessed a much greater diversity of fish and water loving birds than I counted when we walked up there on a more regular basis. Hopefully time will heal this seemingly rather desolate area.
It was lovely to see two of my favourite beech trees, skeletal against the afternoon sky ...
and then as I looked across above Man Moel, which means Bare Place in Welsh, this sky.
We made it back down and I picked up the mended computer, just before the rain began in earnest yet again. It was still pouring down when I awoke yesterday morning but in a much needed break in windy and wet stuff  we headed out to make the most of the last day of the year. A walk spent amusing the mad mutt with a ball through puddles and yes lots of mud and thin skins of ice in the puddles on the moorland but also a reflective one.
As the last of the December sun shone down across this vast expanse of our small corner of Wales I just knew that I was happy to be back again. To be able to view where my collie companion started what turned out to be a rather strange kind of life and me ... ?
As the old saying goes ... "Home is where the heart is." and I am most definitely at home.
All this beautiful scenery with its undulating landscape and all the moods of the weather,
the seasons of field and flock and the changing views of these wonderful expansive skies.
The beauty of nature is that you never see exactly the same thing ever again ...
it is in a perpetual state of change and diversification ... which is quite simply ... magical !!
Thank you to all the regular followers of Dafad's Days ...  may the year ahead be  for you be as full of moments of magic when you look all around you over the months.
My thanks also go out to all those friends, who in various ways were so supportive throughout last year and most of all that lifted even the gloomiest of days with their humour and much laughter. I have been so grateful to  all of you for helping me cope during those long months and made it possible for me to deal with all the various things that I had to face. To friends old and new, I hope you all have an interesting year ahead.
My dearest wish is that world wise ... we can see some peaceful resolutions to conflict.
So folks, wherever you are I wish you all an interesting and loving New Year!


  1. You're Dad would be proud of you Dafad. I wish you well for 2014 - many 'firsts' to face, but I know you'll find the strength to face them and get through them.x

  2. Bless you Shep and the same to you.
    Am looking forward to you restarting your blog again, you are missed by many.
    It's always interesting to know how other farming folk are coping with this weather.
    You too will get through all that life throws at you ...
    and with a good sense of humour too!
    Here's to a better year ahead!