Saturday, 24 March 2012

Writing Update

Plodding along with Markan Sword.  Now up to Chapter 15...  OK, these are large chapters, but one a week isn't really going to get the book finished quickly!  In my defence, I must point out that I'm re-editing Throne and Empire, but I'll be trying to increase my word output again...

I'll be blogging a little more about Sword in the near future.

On the writing front, that's about all I have to report this week!

Walk: Lledr Horseshoe

A pleasant and long circular walk from Blaenau Dolwyddelan, following the hills that surround this secret gem of a valley.  Definitely one of Snowdonia's best kept secrets, this walk falls across two OS maps, which is probably one reason why so few people bother with it.

A long walk, thankfully most of the climbing was over in the early stages of the walk.

Pictures below:

A very chilly start - well, just above freezing.  Just before 6am and here's Moel Siabod in the strengthening daylight.

Walking through the scattered hamlet of Blaenau Dolwyddelan, and I found this mix of vapour trails, mist and the sunrise impossible to resist.

Mist in the valley, which is one of Snowdonia's hidden gems.  Most people whizz past along the A470 and never realise what's tucked away...

Snowdon Range, snapped during a quick breather.  I had hoped to get this strenuous part out of the way before the sun got too strong, but it warms up quickly this time of year.

A look back into the valley I've just left.  Dolwyddelan Castle is in the centre, part of its keep peeping over the shoulder of the hill.

The Glyderau from Yr Arddu.

Moel Siabod, also from Yr Arddu.

Looking ahead to my next objective: the long hill of Ysgafell Wen.

Another retrospective, this time from Ysgafell Wen's first summit.  This lucky hill has three tops.  More of Dolwyddelan Castle is showing in the centre of the picture - I've gained more height!

 Llyn Edno with the Glyderau behind.

Looking east from the furthest (and I think highest) of Ysgafell Wen's three tops.

 A glimpse of the distant Cardigan Bay.

Cnicht from Moel Druman.

Slate workings at Blaenau Ffestiniog, taken from Allt Fawr.  If your roof has blue slate tiles, there's a good chance they came from here.

Descending Allt Fawr's long east ridge.

Is it an old Welsh fortress?  No.  A keep built by Edward I to oppress the Welsh?  No.  It is in fact... an air vent!  The Blaenau railway tunnel passes under here.  This is still the longest railway tunnel in the UK. (excluding the Channel Tunnel, but half of that is, technically speaking, French.  And not the far half, but half of all of it!)

As I mentioned in the previous posting, I now have to post higher quality pictures elsewhere.  For lots more pixels in the oblong, these pictures are also posted on my new blog: Nick's Wicked Walks.

Until the next walk, be well all.

New blog

It's OK, I'm not abandoning this blog!  Foolishly, I've allowed my pictures folder to overflow, which means the kind people at Google will reduce the size of any further photos.  Of course, this means that picture quality is devalued.  Annoyingly, I can't get into the folder in question to delete some of the older pictures, so I've decided to set up a new blog.

I'll still be posting my walks here as well as at the new place, but if you want to see the photos in higher quality, it's to the new blog you must go!

There will be a link in each blog posting to its cousin, but the link to the new blog, if you want to have a nose around it, is here.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Writing Update 10th March

Sorry for not keeping you informed for the past couple of weeks. Things were a little hectic getting Gifted Hunter up and running!

The only writing project on the go at the moment is Markan Sword, third and final book of the Markan Empire trilogy.  I've fallen a way behind schedule with this, unfortunately.  Twelve chapters are down and rewritten, so perhaps I can claim I've worked a second draft on those chapters!  I certainly hope to bring you news of faster progress over the next few weeks.

Beyond the trilogy, I'm looking to write a third "Gifted" novella and begin work on the next ilvenworld trilogy.  The next trilogy will be set on another part of the Markan continent, though I fully intend returning to the characters you already know after that.

Now, you are as up to date as I am!

Today's Misty Walk Above Barmouth

This walk is always a good fallback for less clement weather - it's one I can find my way around in the dark, so mist is not a problem.  I'm hoping the cycle of good weeks and awful weekends will break soon, which will let me and the camera go high.

Despite the mist, managed to get a few good shots in this morning.  Results are below:

Sheep stranded on an ever-shrinking island. If they must, sheep can swim, but these can safely paddle to dry land!

Cormorants waiting for the tide to turn, when they will probably enjoy a hearty breakfast!

Barmouth Bridge (or viaduct, as some insist on calling it).  That cloud is low!

 Looking up the Mawddach estuary.  Don't be fooled by the huge expanse of water, when the tide is out, most of it is mud, and a haven for an amazing variety of bird- and wildlife.

 Cloud already breaking up over Barmouth.  It didn't get much higher than this during my walk.

Perhaps I should have walked on *that* side of the river!  The cloud did try to rise, but came back down again before I left.

Low cloud does add a certain something to photographs though.  Another shot looking inland along the Mawddach estuary.

Cloud temporarily breaking up.

Shot of Barmouth from Fegla Fawr.  This was about the highest point that remained cloud free during my entire walk.  Notice how the cloud has lifted above Barmouth, now I've returned to this side of the river!

Looking inland from Fegla Fawr.

OK, so not quite as good as I expected from the point of view of the weather, but I enjoyed the walk for all that.  Cloud that low usually brings rain with it, and thankfully that didn't happen today.

Until the next walk, be well all.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Wet Walk: Moel Famau

A rather wet walk this morning.  Only had a quickie, as I've got other engagements this afternoon.  The weather, though cloudy, held until my descent, when it gave me a good soaking.  I'd brought my waterproof jacket, but hadn't bothered with waterproof trousers.  Self-inflicted, even for a short walk!  Pictures below:

Looking north from a misty summit.

And looking down the Cilcain Path.

The summit pyramid, built to celebrate King George III's Golden Jubilee in 1810.

 Looking down my descent path, just before the rain really came on.

Peering back towards the summit.  It's in that mist somewhere...

Looking across to Foel Fenlli, one of my favourite early morning haunts - steep but beautifully short!

How quickly you can lose visibility.  Thankfully, this is a very clear path, but imagine what might happen if wandering across pathless terrain.

 And almost as quickly, the rain passed.  Clouds breaking up on Moel Famau's lower slopes.

Looking back up my descent path.  The photo looking into the mist was taken just where the path disappears from view.

 Now the walk is over, blue skies.  Typical :-))

Sunshine at Pen Y Barras car park.

Until the next walk, be well all.

Oh, and on the location below, Google reckons Moel Famau is in Flintshire.  It isn't.  Mold is in Flintshire, but Moel Famau is in Denbighshire.  Please direct all complaints to Google ;-)