It is becoming quite a tradition to celebrate my birthday by going out on a 'Birthday Walk'. This year I wanted to rediscover the hills and lanes of my childhood.
Bwlch-y-sarnau translates to 'pass in the hill' and is a tiny hamlet consisting of a handful of farms and cottages high up in the Radnorshire hills. We moved here in the 1970's from the Midlands and were one of the few English families to move to the area. We embraced rural life here - a way of life that has barely changed over the centuries. My sister and I attended the local school (see a celebration of the school here) and went to Sunday School at the chapel at the top of the hill.
As a family we helped out on the neighbouring farms at shearing time and to bring in the hay. We roamed the hills, collected wood from the forests and picked berries along the lanes - a wild and free childhood! It was these hills that helped to shape me into who I am today and to share them with my family and dear friends now was very special.
While searching for the correct footpath (they are rarely waymarked!) we stumbled across this wonderful old farmhouse. A new farmhouse had been built next to it. The original house was hauntingly beautiful in its slow decay. The front door was ajar, almost inviting you in...
Back on the right path, past lichen covered trees and posts and up to the top of the hill. The skies up here are huge - this is why I love big skies...
And here is the house where I lived... how blessed I was to of ever lived here!
I think a return visit is needed with a sketchbook as I'm feeling very inspired to rediscover and record this area further - the hedgerows, the wildlife, the farmhouses, the chapel.