|"Brief Flash of Pink"|
Anyway, I am allowing my anger to diffuse, to seep away into the great winds of Welsh fresh air, to allow myself to once again reconnect to my memories of stunning landscapes and invigorating outdoor escapes. I will not try and recreate my old post, I will write as if new.
A friend of ours asked me the other day, if I had any images of Aberdesach for sale. As it happens I haven't taken any images there since I lived in Penygroes maybe 15 years ago, but as this friend is an attractive young lady I bore her request in mind and early this week I found myself heading down that way instead of Llanddwyn Island on my beach bike :-)
I wound my way down amongst the tight packed hamlet and parked up on the scrappy earth car park overlooking the long pebbly beach. There was only one fisheries Land Rover parked up there, it was almost deserted and there was not a soul on the beach itself. It was very, very strange being here 15 years later. I can't use the cliché of "It only seemed like yesterday" because it didn't. It seemed like an eternity ago BUT everything was intimately familiar. Hardly anything had changed except that the little old couple who ran the tiniest café in the world from their back porch were no longer there. The shacks remained the same, the profile of the beach was the same, even the bare earth car park was the same. Fifteen years ago however, I had a dog called Tuppy who adored this beach, who spent hours chasing stones on this beach and diving in and out of waves. I also had a wife, Penny, the original owner of the dog, Penny, Tuppence, you know. She never chased stones but she did dive in and out of waves, and sunbathed, and read, and barbecued and laughed and played and loved. Today, there was no one here, but in my mind there were spirits of friends and loved ones all about.
The tide was outgoing, the light clear, intense and bright. Though the sea was windless, clean two foot waves peeled towards shore on small submerged reefs and their walls splashed sunlight straight towards me. I'd forgotten how pebbly, no bouldery the beach was and I staggered down to the waters-edge where I could contain the full sweep of the cove. I had considered shooting a few frames then heading for Llanddwyn Island but I found myself ankle snapping my way along the length of the beach to the small nose of land around which you are unseen, by everything except the expanse of the Irish Sea. Three Choughs sat on a line of barbed wire, motionless and fearless. I was within 10 foot of them before they relented and cackled into the distance. I came across a burial mound, well it looked like one, I'm not sure as it was comprised of many small stones not a few large standing and capstones. Lush green grass grew over the gentle bump and I took my boots off just to feel the grass beneath my feet. Out of nowhere someone appeared at the small cliff top and I suddenly felt a bit weird standing there barefoot on a grassy knoll :-) They didn't stop. Quite sensible I thought!
|"A Line of Bright Sheep"|
I used the same track to exit the beach and found myself walking alongside a large field where a line of sheep formed a sideways shifting lawnmower of white wool, casting strong angular shadows over a now rich and warmly lit landscape. The sun was dropping, the air was chilling but the clarity was captivating. I left the quiet of relative solitude and found myself walking alongside the fast new bypass back towards the beach. A funny road this Welsh bypass, fast and furious one minute totally deserted another, orange evening sunlight bouncing off the tarmac making it temporarily a farm track not a trunk road. Along it's sides lay ancient fields, old farms, rural hillsides and peaceful sheep, just munching, endlessly munching.
|"The Line Up"|
I'd anticipated reaching the van and simply heading for home but on arrival back at the beach, large swathes of perfect virginal sand had now appeared, broken by large pools of crystal clear reflections of the sky. As I walked to the shoreline it kept retreating, small pool streams forced their way down the beach, anxious not to be forgotten. This beach is unforgettable I mused, always there, reliable, comforting, unchangeable, always welcoming.
|"We Chased Here"|
Clouds built over the horizon but in the last of the sun they looked beautifully dramatic, textural and crisp. In fact there was so much texture in front of me that it was hard to find the minimalist simplicity I've been drawn to recently. For maybe ten minutes the world turned pink, the hue washed over the sky and infused in the gentle waves, even the wet sand threw it back skyward. A small line of beach huts nestled into the Marram grass covered embankment and shrunk to the size of Lego building blocks during this vast rose coloured event.
|"Awash in Pink"|
I stood in the sea, in my walking boots, wave after wave lapping at my shins but amazingly my feet stayed as warm as the sunset colours. I studied the waves smoothing and cleansing the beach before me, back to perfection. Within minutes only the sea itself was able to reflect the gentle colours and minutes later it was almost dark, the colours diminished to the darkest of blues and I felt the cold. Even the streams had no light to reflect so I made for the comfort of the tiny halogen in the van cabin and poured myself several cups of hot sweet coffee from my little flask.
Fifteen years, many changes to my life and loves but the landscape, the huge perfectly smooth mountains of Bwlch Mawr, Gyrn Goch and Gyrn Ddu remain dominant in the background, the sea continues to charge the shore, the boulders continue to roll and the sun continues to warm and comfort. Aberdesach will never ever leave my dreams.
|"Washes of Memory"|
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