This weekend just gone, Sam and I went back to our little enclave in the Brecon Beacons. For a part of the country supposedly characterised by “weather that is often cloudy, wet and windy but mild”, we seem to have had a remarkably good run of it on our visits. This picture was taken enjoying breakfast on the balcony on Sunday!
We decided to amuse ourselves on day 1 with a walk in the hills around Brecon. Thankfully the man in the tourist office on this occasion was far more helpful than the lady who last time announced to a forlorn Sam that “there is no road cycling in the Beacons”. (A patent “I can’t be bothered to help you” lie.) The walk was delightful, incorporating woodland paths meandering alongside the river, a stiff climb up to a trig point with spectacular views and fields of newborn lambs merrily hopping and skipping about.
Another highlight of the walk was a further unexpected pleasure – we finally worked out how to use the garmin! Anyone that’s had the pleasure of investing in the Garmin Oregon will appreciate that it’s not the most user-friendly of devices. Add to this a pair as technically challenged and generally incapable of any form of successful navigation as Sam and I, and you don’t have a match made in heaven. However, good karma, like the weather, appeared to be on our side that day.
Day 2 and time to test out my cycling legs. The nice man in the bike shop had given us a ‘flat route’ to amuse ourselves with the promise of a great café at the start/ finish point, Trecastle. Although it turned out that the famed café was shut and there is patently no such thing as a flat route in the Brecon Beacons, we had lovely spin taking in the splendid vistas that the area has in ample supply. The photo below doesn’t do the scenery justice but you can see from my smile how much I’m enjoying myself.
With our original cafe plans foiled, there was only one thing for it. We packed our bikes up in the car and the afternoon was rounded off with a pot of tea and a couple of fine carrot cakes in one of the national park visitors centre. This was however no ordinary visitors centre. It happens to be located just by a certain spot where a certain gentleman popped a certain question two months’ past. With the CDs generously compiled by Emily and Les, now referred as the “soundtracks to our wedding”, playing on the car stereo we sat enjoying the beauty of the views and the moment before we made our merry way back to Brecon. This excellent day was rounded off with the best fish and chips we’ve ever sampled (slowly but surely I’m getting into this low fibre diet thing!) and a roaring fire back at the cottage.
Day 3 and it was time for a new activity. We hired a canoe and spent our day paddling down the river from the unfortunately named “Three Cocks” village (yes we may be in our thirties but we still found this rather amusing!) to the very twee Hay on Wye. The current was such that we could enjoy a picnic lunch whilst drifting effortlessly a good mile or so down the river. Another great day, made all the more special by the exceptionally balmy weather. Roll on spring, yippee!
Continuing the theme of ‘threes’, today was my third chemo drip session and the start of my third cycle. The good news is that I’m going to get scanned after the fourth, so we’re eagerly awaiting April 19 when we find out how the aliens are faring after twelve weeks of the “good poisons”. Hopefully they are cowering in their wake. Certainly with the swelling having gone down so much Sam, myself and the consultant are feeling positie I’ll most likely have eight cycles of chemo in total, so a way to go yet, but I’m almost halfway now. Getting there, slowly but surely, or indeed – to quote part of our wedding vows – “with strength and happiness”.