Longtown Valley

We live on the edge of a valley, each night the theatre unfolds its play of light as the shadows lengthen, the light on our side of the valley is fluorescent deep yellow, the suns warmth highlighted in tall grass heads against the dark shadow of deep greens and further blues of the black mountain beyond.

The mouth of the Olchon Valley is right of stage with its depths in light blues. A field of wrestles sheep make a racket and lighten up the left hand side with noise that is echoed occasionally with geese centre stage. Our sheep usually make near munching noises but tonight they are further down the field. Nigel has been bringing the tractor round to collect the willow trunks so their top pitch is unsettled.

At 5 to 9 the deep yellow light of the evening has gone under heavy blue black clouds that cuddle hay bluff and the drama subsides. My damp trying to get up the hill puffing tea shirt clings coldly now and its time to go in. But the peewit and the sheep calling keep me out on the side of this cup of magic.

The valley has a lump among its middle that we walk over to get to the shop, each side with its own stream, the River Monnow and Escely Brook, leads us down to the string of white houses that huddle sometimes two deep against the road. There we chatter in the shop over bread and cake buying and then to the pub for Butty Bach.

The borders have many beautiful valleys but there is a distance and a nearness to the drama in this one, we have walked most of it, all fields are recognisable, all the different lumps traversed or mused on as the light changed through the day. Soon the bats will be replacing the swallows and swifts and soon we will be gone from here.

Something always to remember is to leave time for space.