Tom’s school friend, Mick, and his family have come for a visit. It’s a glorious day and west Wales is at its breathtaking best. Mick’s thirteen-year-old daughter lights up at the mention of dolphins and harbour porpoises in the bay. ‘Can we see dolphins?’ she asks. Now, the best time to see dolphins is probably not on a hot holiday afternoon when Mwnt is swarming with staycationers, but it’s our local beach so we brave the gridlock of folks trying not to scrape their expensive city cars in the narrow, twisting lane and find ourselves a quiet spot on the cliffs. With sun on their faces and spectacular views, our visitors are perfectly happy, but only Mick’s daughter really believes that dolphins will appear. And suddenly, exactly in the spot where we’ve told them to look, the miracle happens. One black fin appears and then another as two harbour porpoises break the surface. It doesn’t always work like that, but it’s a great feeling when it does.
The weekend brings my lovely Lily and her partner, Russ and – amazingly – more sunshine (it always seems to rain when Lily stays). We take the path along the banks of the Teifi, through the marshes looking for kingfishers. A short detour takes us to a secluded glade with a shallow pool where Tom and I have watched pondskaters and waterboatmen and jewel-bright dragonflies spangling the sunny air. Today presents a very different scene. A submerged ring of empty beer bottles encircles the pool, a cardboard crate is torn up and abandoned in the grass and, on the picnic table, the graphic remains of someone’s sexfest. Pretty it ain’t. We withdraw and I feel faintly murderous towards the selfish idiots who’ve desecrated this lovely spot.
By Monday I have a new concern; the Western Mail is sending up a photographer to take some pictures for a short piece I have written. Some coaching from cyber-friends and professional photographers Westerwitch and Dave Hunt has given me an idea of what to expect, but I’m still a bag of nerves. James, who has been up since the crack of doom photographing the Ospreys, is a very gentle and patient man who must feel as if he’s wandered into Wallace and Gromit territory with me since so much of his time is spent putting me in position. After posing on my sofa, in my porch and in my front garden (‘Just like a Timotei advert’ James tells me, not too convincingly) we’re done. I don’t know which of us is most tired, but I feel that James has certainly earned his money!
Cardiff Half Marathon Training
Runner’s World SmartCoach Programme Week 7 = 21 miles. A fairly smooth and uneventful week except for a near-disastrous attack of Runner’s Trots on my long run, (believe me, that’s all you need to know!).
Painting is 'High Preseli - Mist' by Tom Tomos