The last week or so has been a time of brain-stretching writers’ workshops, entertaining conversation and rotating legs. I’d cycled the 150 miles via drovers’ roads and minor roads from Chester to Carmarthenshire to attend the UKAuthors Away week at PenyBanc Farm, Ceridwen Centre near Llandysul. Now in my 60s I take my time with the cycling and stayed at Crewgreen near Oswestry and the next night at Lloyd’s Hotel in Llanidloes. I would have stayed at youth hostels but there are none on my route. That route included almost all of the National Cycle Network 81 and 82 from Shrewsbury to Fishguard. A feel for some of the marvellous scenery en route is presented in the two photographs. The first is from the Welsh Marches Heldre Hill (364m above sea level) looking south. The second is from the highest point of the route 81 (530m) looking west towards Devil’s Bridge over the horizon. As you can see from the skies, the weather on the way down was showery. On the way back – same route in reverse – the weather was diabolical. I now know how it is to cycle in a waterfall for 7 hours. (I am the world’s slowest cyclist).
PenyBanc Farm is part of the Ceridwen Centre but our writing group was too small to justify the larger building. So we stayed at the Farmhouse. Wonderful ecological-friendly environment where Roger and Simone did a splendid job looking after my vegan diet and more than satisfied the non-veggies too. I was obliged to learn some forms of poetry and here is a sample of a Cinquain from non-poet me:
A Cinquain Sinking Feeling
Zone is within
These words as long as I
Try not to outwit myself or
There will be a chapbook produced of our combined efforts of short stories, poems and photographs. I went for lots of short walks, which were as healthy as longer walks in other parts of the country because of the steep gradients everywhere. David Gardiner of the marvellous Rainbow Man hiked with me along the River Teifi for inspiration and to admire the scenery. When the chapbook is published I’ll put the link here.
A highlight of the week was an open mike session in a Carmarthen pub organised by Scribes R Us. I didn’t sell many of my own books to the writers I met during the week. In fact I bought from them just one book short of the books I sold. Hey ho. Few writers make a living from our craft but we glow from the creativity.
Here’s David Gardiner being inspired by the River Teifi: