Saturday, 26 November 2011

From Penmaenpool

Today's walk was a short low one, mostly thanks to the pretty dire weather forecast.  Despite that, I managed to avoid the worst of the rain and explored a path I'd never taken before.  Will certainly be back for further exploration soon!

Pictures below:

 Penmaenpool Bridge.  Tide is higher than usual partly because the strong wind is behind it.

Another shot of Penmaenpool Bridge, this time looking upstream.

Looking downriver towards Barmouth.  Hard to believe this river estuary is mostly mud!

A clearer shot looking downriver to Barmouth.

Yes, a very high tide.  So high that my path inland is swamped!  I could take my boots and socks off for a wade, but it is November...

What the path should be like (picture taken on my return when the tide had ebbed somewhat).

...and the swamped path from the other side.  No, I didn't paddle, but took the other path that leads around.  I know, cheater!!

 And how the path should be. Took this one on the way back.

Some very bored-looking horses.  Perhaps these miss the riders they get through the summer months.

Foliage hanging from the bridge leading to Abergwynant Farm.

Part of the Cadair Idris range - pretty much the only part not in cloud.

Looking east shortly before I began my return.

A short, but very relaxing walk, despite walking against the wind most of the way.  Until the next walk, be well all.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Writing Update

This naughty writer forgot to post his update last week.  Though in my defence I must point out that there is not a great deal to report.

Gifted Hunter.  The artwork for the sequel to "Gifted Apprentice" is now on order.  I'm a little more than halfway through the first draft of this novella.  The plot has been tweaked a wee bit and I've begun the second draft to work the new bits in.  This saves on any embarrassing continuity errors further in the book.  A lot of people are asking me when (and I'm very grateful so many of you care): I hope to have this one out at the end of January 2012.  Revised sample chapters will be posted before Christmas.

Markan Sword.  All the initial chapters (the beginning of each plotline) are now complete.  That's four plotlines and eight chapters.  Work is progressing steadily and surely through this book.  While I'm concentrating more on "Gifted Hunter", writing this book is not being neglected, only slowed.  I hope to have a better idea concerning publishing date in the New Year.

I trust my readers in the United States are enjoying their Thanksgiving weekend.

That's pretty much all I have to report this week!

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Walk Above Barmouth

Despite having posted this one before, this is a favourite walk of mine and fits easily into a part day when other commitments impose themselves on the available time.  Being autumn makes a pleasant difference.

Weather: fine, fresh and windy

Distance: roughly 6 miles/10 km

Pictures below:

Mawddach Estuary, looking inland from Barmouth Bridge.

From the same place, Diffwys in cloud.

Tasty looking mushrooms beside the path.  Have no idea what variety they are, so best left alone.

Holly tree with a fine crop of berries.  Usually a sign of a hard winter ahead.  Where did I put those snow chains?

The light at this time of year is superb for photography.  Looking across the river to Cyfrwy (The Saddle), with Cadair Idris in cloud beyond.

View inland on the ascent path, with a glimpse of the estuary below.

Retrospective view of Barmouth Bridge.

View across Cardigan Bay, just before descending to Barmouth.

A short walk, but certainly a relaxing one.  My only regret for today was that there was not enough time for a longer walk, but that's life.  Until the next walk, be well all!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Today's Walk - A Meander Through the Gwydyr Forest

Given a somewhat mixed weather forecast, decided to take a long-ish walk through the Gwydyr Forest.  There was no walk plan as such (are those gasps of horror I hear?) and, even worse, no map or compass. 

Before people start slavering over fools risking their lives, etc, I'll just point out that the Gwydyr Forest is an old friend to me and I know it well.  It's rare I do this, and it usually gives me time to think and mull things over.  A total chill-out, if you like.

Like anywhere else that's unknown, there is always a risk of getting lost, but the part of the forest I was walking in is bounded by Llyn Geirionydd, the A5 and the back road to Conwy.

Weather: showery, improving as the morning progressed

Route: mostly forestry road, but some nice paths and a little bit of roadwork at start and end

Distance: roughly 10 miles

Pictures below:

 Forestry road leading into Gwydyr Forest from Betws-y-Coed.

 The path used by miners for their daily trudge to work.

 A small but pretty waterfall near Aberllyn Cottage.

Llyn Parc in a reflective mood.

Rainbow between showers.

Llyn Sarnau

Moel Siabod (the actual summit is in cloud beyond the apparent summit).

The forecast gave an 80% chance of cloud-free summits by mid-afternoon.  Despite the temptation to go high, I resisted.  On the drive home, I noted the summits were still shrouded, so looks like a good call to stay low!

Until the next walk, be well all.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Weekly Writing Update

I'm early this week!

Surprising how much of a holiday you need after having been away.  I think I've caught up with myself now.  Always seems to be twice the housework and twice the washing...

Anyway, my writing this week.  I took Gifted Hunter away with me and even managed to get words down.  I'm now roughly halfway through the first draft (aiming for roughly 25 thousand words for this novella) and behind my original schedule.  With luck, this will be ready before the end of January next year.  Which reminds me, I'd best get that artwork for the cover ordered...

Markan Sword did not go away on holiday with me, but I will be continuing work on it this week.  I know many authors recoil in horror at the thought of having two projects on the go at once, but even though Sword is a full-length novel (about 175 thousand words), Hunter is a novella.  I hope to have the first draft for Sword ready by the end of January.  Of course, this is when the real work begins!

My shift pattern has changed for the next few weeks, which has thrown my routine a little.  But I am if nothing adaptable and my normal output of words has already been reached again.

That's about it for this week!

Friday, 4 November 2011

Daily Postcard From The Lake District #19

Weather was not too friendly today.  After an endless wait for the rain to clear, and reading lots of chapters from "Game of Thrones", the penny finally dropped that the rain was not about to pass and also once noon was passed, I was also running out of daylight.  So today's walk was a short but highly enjoyable round of Buttermere.  Had hoped to end the week with a high one, but if it's not to be, then it's not to be.

Weather: wet - even the ducks were sheltering under trees. (honest!)

Terrain: good paths, a short piece of roadwork.

Distance: a paltry 4 miles.

Thanks to the weather not many pictures, but those I did take are below:

 View down Buttermere towards Melbreak.

Fleetwith Pike shrouded in mist during one of the few lulls between rain showers.

The distinctive shape of Hay Stacks.

Looking towards Rannerdale Knotts, with the fells I'd rather be on shrouded in cloud to the right.

Return path to Buttermere village.

This is the last postcard, not just for this week, but also for 2011.  I'll be starting afresh with the dailies next Easter, but my usual weekly walk postings will resume next weekend.

Until the next walk, be well all!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Daily Postcard From The Lake District #18

Today's walk was a comparatively short ramble from Elterwater village, into Little Langdale and a return via Skelwith Bridge.  Basically to dodge the rain showers.

Weather: sunny intervals, rain later in the day

Terrain: almost all on good paths, some roadwork involved.

Pictures below:

The bridleway leading up from Elterwater village.

Birk Fell, on the far side of Little Langdale.

Lingmoor Fell.

Colwith Force.

Hens making the most of the autumn sunshine.  Or maybe waiting to be served tea and biscuits?

Looking across to a distant Loughrigg Fell.

Peaceful scene, with the River Brathay meandering below.

Skelwith Force.  It's certainly forcing its way here, I needed to dry the camera lens a couple of times!

A knoll near Elterwater.

Autumn reflections.

Echoes of "Children of the Corn", spotted near Little Langdale.  Surely the kids aren't that vicious up here... are they?

Until the next walk, be well all.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Weekly Writing Update

Not a lot for you this week.  Most of you know that I'm away on holiday.  Markan Sword has stayed at home, so has not progressed since my last report.  Gifted Hunter has come away with me, and I've even managed a couple of chapters, but I think it's safe to say that my usual output will wait until I return!

Daily Postcard From The Lake District #17

Today's walk was another belter.  From Brother's Water, up to Place Fell, down to Sandwick, then a return along a delightful path beside Ullswater.

Weather: better than expected.  Bright and blustery, but winds not as strong as forecast.  At least, not here.

Distance: eight or so miles, plus a bit of height gain.

Terrain: mostly good paths, but some boggy sections between Place Fell and High Dodd.

Pictures below:

 Looking towards the Kirkstone Pass.  Brother's Water in the middle distance.

Glimpse of Ullswater from the path leading up to Boredale Hause.

A walking party headed for Angle Tarn from Boredale Hause.  I'm going the other way, onto Place Fell.

 Rest Dodd and Deer Forest, with High Raise (part of the Roman route leading onto High Street) rising beyond.

Brother's Water, taken during one of my (several) breathers while ascending Place Fell.

Place Fell from Round How.

Looking down at Patterdale from the ridge.

View to the end of Ullswater from Place Fell.

Glenridding, far below.

A retrospective of Place Fell during my descent.

First view into Boredale, during my descent.

Local smallholding.  I'm all in favour of using subsidies to help small farmers... Hang on, is that a *satellite* dish outside the barn?  The cattle have got Sky?  Maybe this one doesn't need the subsidy...

 My lunch spot during my return along Ullswater.  Some of the undulations in this path were unwelcome, but this is a delightful ramble back to Patterdale.

 Ullswater from the path.

Ullswater steamer.

Part of the path, which some believe is the finest in the Lake District.

One of the many tree-covered promontories along Ullswater's shore.

Until the next walk, be well all.