Posts tagged ‘Carmarthenshire’

November 4, 2011

Botanical Musings

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Yesterday we visited the amazing National Botanical Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire. It is such a great place for all ages and levels of gardening interest. As you can see from the above picture the vast glass dome is very impressive, it holds a rich variety of plant life that wouldn’t last very long unprotected in this particular climate!

We’ve had a good few days off and are now on the ferry home as I write this (on my phone). Looking at the picture now (and the one below) I am struck by the unreality of it all, (albeit a welcome one), like a kind of zoo for plants…

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Then as I let my mind wander further I’m awed by the contrasts; it was warm and still inside, with exotic plant life and strange tropical sights and smells all around, yet once outside we were blasted by a cold decidedly untropical Welsh wind and that special sideways rain that is the proud preserve of the west coast of the British Isles :-/

But maybe it’s not just plants that can live in an unreal world; the question of what’s really real has been a question on people’s minds at least since Plato’s Cave.  It’s perhaps a question that many of us try to avoid because it can make us feel uncomfortable: “Why am I here?” “What is the meaning of life?” “How should I live my life?” “Did the Universe come about by chance and if so where did the concept of chance come from?” “How do I know that I know things?” … And so on! But of course it is good to think about and consider such things and then to realise that above all other life we humans hold such a lofty and privileged position – one of great responsibility, which – it is stating the obvious – we have not (on the whole) done a very good job with…

Fueled by too much coffee I could waffle on for ages, but the sea is getting rougher so I need to stop looking at this small screen!

… I struggle to imagine how anyone can consider these things and exclude God from the equation. In some ways I admire the Atheists, they require a depth of faith for their world to hold together that is staggering, far more faith than I could ever claim to have…

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May 10, 2010

Carmarthenshire

The Beach at Amroth
Olympus OM-1, G. Zuiko 35mm, Ilford FP4 plus (pushed to ISO 400)
Aberaeron
Olympus OM-1, G. Zuiko 35mm, Ilford FP4 plus (pushed to ISO 400)

It’s probably the Welsh blood in my veins but there is just something about the Carmarthenshire coast.  It’s not especially spectacular when compared to say the West Coasts of Ireland or Scotland but it has its very own beauty.  The beach rambler would never tire of the sheer variety of coastline, vast sandy beaches, small rocky coves, cliffs and dunes, the abundant wildlife (and even the good ol’ tacky amusement arcade here and there).  Many childhood memories are brought to mind in these places – lemonade in glass bottles, sandwiches with more sand in them than ham or cheese, Granddad with a knotted handkerchief on his head, huddled in a bus shelter in the rain whilst eating salty chips, my grandparents Morris Minor. Ah yes what a wonderful place and what special memories.

Now as we occasionally get to travel across we witness a new generation of grandchildren accumulating wonderful memories, as plentiful as the shells gathered into their seaside buckets.  The world might be a slightly different place – lemonade is now called different things and comes in a plastic bottle, chips no longer come packaged in yesterdays newspaper and many other changes which on their own are tiny but when put together represent a subtly different world.  The new generation of Grandparents though are just the same, just as loving and doting and instrumental in passing on to their grandchildren that love and kindness which will still be there when their turn comes, as it surely will, when they will watch their own grandchildren run about in frenzied joy in a world that is the same but different.