Liquid sunshine they call it here. We thought we’d make a brave dash for some decent weather but the weather didn’t read the forecast as usual, and instead of drifting over Swindon it hung about here for the sole purpose of testing our resilience; but if you listen very carefully you can hear the sheep on the hill, coughing. We’re immediately alongside the Monmouth and Brecon canal, which is the first place I ever saw a kingfisher – like watching a jewel burst out of the bank. The canal is well known for its red colouration – I’ll take a photo later on the way to the pub. Today when we crossed at Talybont and the water was the colour of a robin’s breast. All due, apparently, to the puddling clay they used in construction.
The rain has been continuous here in the Bannau Brycheiniog (it gives me great pleasure to give the Brecon Beacons their proper Welsh name; all the more because it’s described as some kind of woke thing and Rishi Sunak doesn’t agree with it at all.) All together now – “Bannau, Bannau, Bannau” – doesn’t that feel good?
I’ve been wondering – being interested in words – what the fine line is between ‘Inhumane’; ‘Inhuman’ and ‘subhuman’. – I mean how many virtues would you have to lack to become subhuman or even non human? Or are virtues like the magnetic field of the earth’s core, flipping from time to time. I mean honesty and compassion – they’re so yesterday. Anyway the glory of Pen y Fan is concealed behind a curtain of cloud today so if someone reading this feels able to pop up to the top and bring the real ten commandments down, because the ones that Moses brought were obviously fake; all that woke leftist claptrap about loving your neighbour and not killing people – even lying through your teeth which is an artform gets banned. Good old Boris could break all ten commandments in half a day without breaking a sweat.
Tomorrow is going to be grey but dry, and Thursday is going to be hot. I’m hedging my bets by bringing plant and fungus books. The canal is a great place for wildlife and we decided to risk a high-season break at the last minute, but we had to buy time to come here by working overtime at the stove, preserving the fruits of the allotment.
Tomas Dadford, who built the canal, took the cheapest route, following the River Usk and reducing locks to a minimum. So there’s the main road, the river and the canal, all following the same contour at different heights. There are places along the towpath where you can get lovely views over the Usk valley, and when we camped here a couple of winters ago there were also stupendous views of Pen y Fan. All very elemental.