It’s easy to forget there is a beautiful world out there sometimes, especially if you live in a city where the seasons can sometimes pass you by. Reuben and I had a few days in Pembrokeshire this Easter, visiting family, hanging out together and damming a few streams. It was a heavenly.
For me, spring time in West Wales is hard to beat if the weather is with you. The birds are going crazy. The sun is just warm enough to warrant only a jumper. Viewed from a distance the trees gives a pointillist impression of vivid green as the buds open and the flowers – the bright yellow celandines, the pale lemon primroses and the pure white snowdrops – carpet the ground, drawing the eye to the low patches of colour, amongst the last of the winter leaves and new grass.
When we first moved to Wales, the land was surrounded on all four sides by rivers – the most substantial one being the Berian which gives the little hamlet up the road its name of Brynberian. I spent hours in this river as child. Swimming, fishing, skimming and generally lazing on its banks whilst watching the dippers and brown trout.
On the opposite boundary of our land was a smaller, rockier stream which we dammed to make a pool to allow our short-lived ducks a chance to swim in, before the fox decided to make a meal of them one day whilst my back was turned. A few years ago the council decided to return this dip of land between properties to its former purpose of a bridle way. They cleared away the rocks and stones and laid a drainage channel below ground to take away the surface water. The ground was levelled a little and the trees cut back. And now every now and then we hear the sound of hooves as we sit in the garden and see helmeted heads bobbing above the hedge row as riders and horses make their leisurely way past. I rather like it but I miss the water marigolds that used to the dot the way along the small stream.
I hope these brief moments in Reuben’s child hood will be enough to help him appreciate the beauty of nature and encourage him to seek it out for himself. You don’t find too many Scarlet Elf Cups in London.