Monthly Archives: March 2016

20/03/2016: February ills, March joys, and a walk round RNAD Trecwn

Our last full diary update was two months ago amid the monsoon season of January. Something about that constant rain left us all with rotten colds for much of February. Sybil spent half term constantly vomiting and lying on the sofa all day, but was surprisingly chipper considering.

Once the illnesses shifted (except Fury’s, as she tend to hang on to them longer) kindergarten term began again. Vcitoria has been popping off around the country and we’ve been taking the first steps to properly establishing the business (Velky & Velky). Sybil has been preparing to move on to Ysgol Maenclochog, a state school and therefore her first taste of non-Steiner education. She’s excited about it, but a bit confused so far by how much sitting still is involved. We’ve had carpets put in to the study and the girls’ room. They’ve had a bunk bed put in. Well, I put it in. We’ve been looking around houses with Mum and Keith. We even looked around on without them! A lot can happen in two months. When I’m not finding time to write text entries here I tend to social media the updates as pictures via Instagram (along with stupid miscellaneous stuff like food). At some point I might try to integrate the feed into this website, but until then – and until I find myself more frequently sat at a desk – the updates will be sporadic and jumbled like this.

So, what else has happened??

Victoria’s parents visited, Mum and Keith went on holiday to Los Angeles to see my brother Adam and his family. Sybil practised for her drama club production of Wind in the Willows, and Fury very patiently put up with me taking her for walks in the thick mist and pouring rain. I do try to keep the longer ones for Wednesdays when she was being looked after by Ann.

But together or otherwise we’ve visited many wonderful places in the past couple of months: Gwal-y-Filiast burial chamber, Holgan Camp in Drim wood (where I nearly had to abandon the car in a muddy ditch), Gors Fawr stone circle (an old favourite by now), Dinas Island, the old mill at Welsh Hook, Wallis Moor, Rosebush & Bellstone Quarry, Parc-y-Llyn burial chamber, Rudbaxton Rath, Mynydd Castlebythe. We even went on holiday for V and her sister’s birthday at the end of January. That was ages ago but probably didn’t fall into a diary entry. So, for the record, we went to Llantwit in the Vale of Glamorgan and visited the Welsh heritage park or whatever it’s called, in a relatively posh village on the outskirts of Cardiff. It was cold.

I built a table so I could write a novel. Pretty sure I already mentioned that. I got back to the novel after a month off being ill in February, but have recently been distracted by compiling an arts podcast about fear, which I’m excited about as some of my favourite musicians, poets, etc. have contributed things.

At the risk of this snowballing into a regression-therapy session, the children and their mother are happy and healthy. (They are playing duplo, she is in bed.) We will later build a fence to try to prevent the dog from getting herself killed on the road outside our house. Affairs of state have been slow of late, but I have a few state-sponsored art projects I’m trying to get past the join first minister.

The weather is encouraging. The environment is blooming. The economy is stable.

And with that I will leave you with some pictures from a recent jaunt around the abandoned naval base RNAD Trecwn. The photographs are not in chronological order:


“For the shepherd’s sake” is a polite way of saying “For fuck’s sake”, I think.


Sheep apparently get into the valley, though people are not allowed.


The steep slopes that descend to the valley floor are bare cliff faces in some areas.


Photographing part of the old railway, and a depot or warehouse of some kind. (Engine shed? Is that a thing?)


Suspect graffito on the external wall of a knackered little office.


Probably Billy Bragg did it then.


A view from the desolate platform.


Old signs.


Shed thing. Shooting from the hip with a camera phone. Please excuse the tilt.




One of the most beautiful areas in all of Pembrokeshire. Seized by the state in WW2 then sold to private developers. This land… This land is your land…


When we first arrived I was worried someone would arrive on a manually propelled rail vehicle to tell us to leave. With hindsight, that was unlikely.


One of many bricked-up excavations cut into the side of the valley (in a herringbone formation, so I’m told) years ago to store naval mines. The company the Royal Navy sold to wanted to store low grade radioactive waste in them, but locals complained. Now they’re bricked-up. Wonder what (if anything) was inside when they sealed them?


A little canal that guides the water that flows down the southeast side of the valley.


If you can’t find a footpath, the water will guide you.


At some point this was a matter of state security. Now there are many man-sized holes in the rusted fence, and nothing within worth securing.


A very hirsute form of lichen.


Some kind of pumping station at the top of the river/waterfall. The concrete area outside it was ankle deep in flowing water. Not sure what’s going on, but it ain’t doing what it used to.


At the top of the valley we found a little brick cabin (probably one of many). The door was half-smashed. Within were ladders descending – probably all the way into the tunnels below. We couldn’t get in without causing criminal damage, so we left them be.


WM. Not sure what that signifies.


There are two layers of this surrounding the valley. It seems very unlikely they will be repaired or replaced to protect the business park they keep threatening to build.


The view south toward Puncheston over one of Pembrokeshire’s few dry stone walls.


A Velky