Saturday, 5 March 2016

Coed Ely discovered

More time spent in the office yesterday, then out in the evening to St John's Canton for a concert in aid of Pedal Power, the local cycling charity. Two prolific and popular young Welsh singer songwriters performing under the name 'Brigyn' were the main act, and they were very good. Supporting them, however, was singer Heather Jones, one of the first generation singers of the modern Welsh popular song revival, with a career spanning fifty years. She's about the same age as Clare and I, but looking twenty years younger, with a voice that has the purity and beauty the distinguishes Joan Baez. 

She was rightly hailed as 'legendary' by the compere, with such a distinguished career behind her. She says she's now in semi- retirement. Her songs were all in Welsh but she spoke about her life in music as she introduced songs bilingually. When we spoke with her at the end of the concert she said that it was unusual for her to introduce her music bi-lingually. Raised an English speaker, she learned Welsh and kept Welsh speaking company from her school days onward in her life in music. What a wonderful performer, well known in Wales, but sadly not so well in the English speaking world of popular song.

Today, the weather was sunny if cold, perfect for a nice long walk. We drove out to Llantrisant, to the Ely river valley on the road to Tonyrefail, and then explored the walking paths of the 600ft wooded hill that rises to the west of the river, named Coed Ely, which means Ely wood. I was please to snap this Chiffchaff, just as it was taking off
We walked for a hour on the south side, then went for an excellent pub lunch at 'The Bear' in Llantrisant's main square. The pub is in fine fettle, but it's so sad to see that ancient hill town looking quite down at heel these days, with a number of empty shops - commercial life has drained away downhill to the Talbot Green retail park.

In the afternoon we returned to Coed Ely, having earlier found the north side car park, and we walked the forest trails for an hour or so, which occasionally gave us views north into the Valleys.
We walked right over the top to the south side, where trees give way to fields, with a view across the Severn Estuary fifteen miles away, as far as North Devon. Fortunately the rain didn't overtake us.
We returned home for tea and a nice relaxed evening, just right after some vigorous exercise. With a sermon already prepared yesterday, after cooking, I had time to watch 'Spooks' on catch-up, before it was time for the penultimate double episode of 'Trapped'. Despite its near black and white filmic environment, being shot mostly in extreme snowy weather, it holds the attention well, not only with its engaging plot line, but also with some fine acting on the part of all the principals. Altogether, a refreshing day off.

No comments:

Post a Comment