Old trees and water.

With a history spanning a centuary Carr Mill dam has hardly changed at all.
It offered the residents of the estates surrounding it a consistent link generation to generation .
There were of course natural changes. Trees had matured, dirt paths had worn around the edge of the water and been made safe shored up and covered in chippings.

The block of shops and minature railway line built in early 1960s has long since disappeared in it’s place the back of a hotel famous for cheap beer and Sunday lunches.

The boating club and beautiful ninteen arches bridge still stand proudly. Speed boat races on a sunday the familiar wizzing noise of the boats could be heard from my bedroom window Generations of ducks.like generations of the same families breed there and never leave.

But for the most part the Dams gentle evolution had gone unnoticed.
In a sheltered spot on the far end of the Dam where most walkers tend not to bother walking the passage of time has been noticed the least. It’s here should you look you would find an old oak tree growing between a steep enbankment and the Waters edge.
The bottom of this huge tree is hollow an arched almost door shape big enough if you should want to you would fit. Why? It’s a fab place to sit to think, hide or read.. It was a huge tree then when I sat there wondering it’s age as a child and my children sat there too whilst I sat on the bank wondering what it was about this place that seemed to pull me back to visit.

That huge old tree I knew each curve and knot as my children climbed and hid around it I remembered sunny days spent here with a favorite book or sneeking into the farm in the next field to.stroke the old black mare. It was quite a magical place. It was my go to place for decisions I was there the night I decided to move to Wales I haven’t been back there for over seven years now but I’m pretty sure nothing has changed since I lived opposite.

The road down to the the dam is full of pot holes not unlike the canal path I now live on in wales
I’ve always lived by water and woodland and I’m sure it was Carr Mill dam that sparked my passion and love for solitude and nature. My go to tree is now on a canal bank.
One day maybe I’ll go back to the estate and the Dam
If you ever find yourself there before me go sit by the oak tree. Take in the view and the quiet.
sit on the moss by the water you may see a dragonfly or two. Say hi from me

I need a plan.

pexels-photo-38136.jpegPregnant, Id took a sample of urine down to the chemist at the bottom shops. I waited as pensioners came in with prescriptions chatted with each other about the weather and the new pebble dashing the council were putting on the houses. What a bloody mess little pebbles everywhere.

I picked up some nail varnish, it was in the sale fifty pence jet black I put it on the counter and stood rattling the change in my hand.

The assistant came through from the back I reached out with the nail varnish and the change. ‘Positive’ she smiled taking the fifty pence. ‘Do you want it in a bag?’

‘No I stuttered it can go in my pocket’ the huge old cash register rang out. As she dropped the change into the drawer.   Signifying the massive change in my life.

I had to go home and pack. ‘Positive’ she said didn’t she?

I have to pack and find somewhere to live. I’m going to be a Mammy.

This time it will be different.

I walked slowly up the hill and through the woods home. It was March it wasn’t cold but I shivered. The woods were just coming alive again trees and bushes squirrels I sat on a log by the stream.

A million thoughts racing through my head.

I cant let Dad find out

Who should I tell?

Should I tell anyone?

I’d tell Mike we were best mates he’d know what to say.

I walked over towards his house he was half way down his street walking towards me I stood and waited for him to get to me.

“Where you going?” he smiled

“I’m just on my way over to yours to pick up my washing.”

Mikes Mam had died a few years ago and my mam had started doing his washing he was working in Fine fare supermarket instore carpet shop and she made sure his shirts were ironed he had to look the part.

We walked back towards the woods. ‘Come and sit by the big oak for a bit.’ I asked.

‘You okay?’ I didn’t answer and we walked along the path towards the big oak tree,

It was like my huge big forever friend, always there I’d climb up sit in the branches with a book hanging from the branch was the rope swing id fell of more times than I can remember.

Mike grabbed the rope and swung out over the bomb hole.

Jet black hair blowing in the breeze whoo whoo he shouted ‘come on jump on as he swung back towards me.

I grabbed the rope and straddled across his legs holding the rope and tilting my head back to feel the breeze. Closing my eyes. The rope creaked.

Birds song distant sound of a lawn mower I loved it here in the woods I lifted my head looked at Mikes smiling face he didn’t look old enough to have a job such a baby face we’d been friends for years we shared a paper round.

He bought me a gold fish for the pond in mams back garden Dad had joked and said we were now engaged as he’d given me a goldfish.

But Mike had more girl friends than any other lad I knew he was so handsome but he was my friend. Best friend.

‘I’m pregnant’ I heard myself say.

Shit it was out there I’d said it.

I jumped off the swing and he jumped off landing awkwardly beside me.

‘Fuck Boo” He yelled.

I looked at him as he sat on the old log at the top of the bank. I watched the rope swing still sway in the breeze.

‘My bloody ankle’

‘What did you just say, pregnant’?

‘SHHHHH!’

‘There’s only us bloody here fucking hell Boo Your Dad is going to kill you!’

I sat beside him, I felt numb. He was right he’d go spare.

Especially if he knew I’d told someone.

‘Can I feel he looked at me and I felt myself smile as he gently put his hand on my belly.

I laughed ‘nothing to feel yet I think I’m about four months’ ‘But it’s still in there he didn’t move his hand’

I stood up

‘Well what are you going to do?’

‘Have a baby Dad can fuck right off, I’m leaving home so don’t say anything yet.’

‘I’m saying nothing!’ he said with an exaggerated scared look on his face

‘Does anyone else know?

‘No and No I don’t have a plan!’

I need a plan’

“You need a fucking plane ticket he joked”

We walked back to the house and through the back gate Dad was in the back garden sawing wood with a band saw, ‘Alright Mr H?’ Dad grunted and carried on sawing Mike looked at me and did that face again running his finger across his neck. I kicked him as he opened the back door.

Mam was in the living room knitting I put the kettle on and Mam came in fussing around Mike and folding up his washing for him and asking him about his job, I sat by the coal fire waiting for the kettle to boil listening to Mike sweet talk my Mam.

Fuck I really do need a plan now!

Through a gateway.

She had never ‘needed’ him.
She had spent her life being fiercely independent.
A warrior single mother.
Worked hard to provide all her children
Any job, many jobs she had lost count.
The children grew she watched and listened for their call.
She went to university had many acquaintances few ‘friends’
He had come along a friend of a friend.
Poker faced, hard to read, quiet and unassuming.
The complete opposite of all she had ever known.
He would smile raise an eyebrow at her fiery temper.
something about him tugged at a piece of her that lay buried, lost.
Kind deeds and few words, They fell into step with each other
An unlikely match she wasn’t looking for and hadn’t expected.
On a Sunny afternoon in April. Friday the thirteenth
He turned smiled as she walked towards him down the isle.
She still didn’t need him.
She wanted him wasn’t that better?
A small welsh cottage on a canal bank.
A dog, a cat, ducks and geese
A garden filled with fox gloves herbs and roses.
Their children never far away.
The years passed they worked hard.
Fifteen years since they met.
He still raised one eyebrow at her and smiled
Today on a sunny day in June
She follows him through a small gateway into the lane and the cottage garden he has made for her.
They sit side by side she rests her head on his chest closes her eyes and listens to the steady beat of his heart.
She knows it belongs to her, and hers to him.
Through this gateway he has cast his spell.
She had fallen into this magic.
She needs him

Village Girl

I’m just a village girl
Walking with my dog saffie by my canal.
Taking in the seasons.
I don’t need a weather man.
I can feel when thunder is approaching
Smell the rain drops in the air.
I’m just a village girl
I take my time to stop and share,
To smile and greet other walkers.
Lovers of this isle so fair
As we watch the beauty of a sunset
Or watch the dance of magestic march hares.
I’m just a village girl.
Following secret mountain paths unseen.
By folk who rush along life’s road
Who miss simple things a walk outside can glean
The beauty of our waterfalls
Feeling the rushing mighty power in the air.
Watching red kite soaring on the wing
Hidden valleys mysterious caves
Are pleasures that money can’t bring.
I’m just a village girl.
Two up to down cottage life for me.
Sitting by a fire pit
Star gazing cloud watching hot cup of tea.
Foraging in hedgerows herbs nuts and berries to find.
Making time for magic.
dancing in stone circles and douse for lay lines.
I’m just a village girl
I honour the old gods of this land.
Ever grateful for the beauty of isles of Albion our precious magical land.
So as i look out from my mountain
neath town below me looks so small.
My heart is filled with love for this place.
This village girl has it all

Earth Guardians

I see you standing there my friends
Magnificent guardians of the trees.
Tall giant and proud before me.
Gently swaying in the breeze.
You gaze out across the churchyard
How many changes have you seen?
Staring up to behold your greatness
Woodland creatures secret shelter held within your branches a secret place unseen.
You stand throughout each season.
Ever changing.
Yet staying the same.
Solid grounded storing knowledge.
As above so below you silently proclaim