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I work a 10 am-2 pm shift today. I’m on the till closest to the entrance and through the glass I can see the weather changing by the minute — heavy rain, followed by spots of sun, and then more rain. I’ve decided that whatever the weather, I’m heading out once I’ve finished work — first to Kidwelly, and then on to Ferryside. The A48 to Carmarthen is pretty quiet. I figure the vast majority of the nation are watching Wales play Scotland at rugby. I wish them the best, but as I’m not the biggest sports fan I’m happy to take advantage of the relative quiet this brings. The weather is

Posted on February 03, 2018 by Chris in Blog

Another full day off with no plans. I had a late one after a social last night, so don’t rise early. January is nearly over, though it’s still putting up a fight — gifting us with rain and cloud, but the weather forecast says it will clear up after noon. I crack on with a load of odd jobs in the morning, and when the sun actually does come out in the early afternoon, I’m running over the whole ‘should I, shouldn’t I’ routine when it comes to the question of venturing out. I’m thinking of visiting Crychan Forest pretty soon, but with few hours of daylight left today, I figure that’s not

Posted on January 30, 2018 by Chris in Blog

I’m awake ten minutes before my alarm is due to go off. It’s one of the benefits of being gently awoken by a sunrise simulator alarm clock, rather than being jarred out of sleep by an audible alarm. The cold and dark of a January morning versus the comfort of my bed seems like an unfair fight. The warmth of my duvet is like a siren call luring me to dash against the rocks of sleep. But no, I can’t. It’s 4.50am and this morning I need to get up and get going because for once I actually have a plan. I leave the house at 6.30 am. Not a crazy hour of the morning by any stretch, but the

Posted on January 26, 2018 by Chris in Blog

It’s a grey Monday. After a photographically disappointing previous week of foul weather and indecisiveness (including a drive up to Carn Goch hill-fort before deciding that I just couldn’t be bothered that day), around lunchtime, I’m parked up at Pen Arthur forest putting my walking boots on. Compared to some of last week’s low temperatures, it’s a relatively mild 10°c. The forecast says there’s a 1% chance of precipitation and the skies are set to be mostly cloudy with sunny intervals. Aside from not having made any excursions over the last few days, one of the biggest drivers to

Posted on January 22, 2018 by Chris in Blog

My new photographic rucksack arrived yesterday. I spent a bit of time packing it with all my kit. Today I’m taking it on a field test. I don’t want to go too far with it, I just want a feel for it, to gauge whether it’s packed optimally, and get used to carrying it. I choose somewhere close to home and head out in the early morning sunshine to Gwenlais Quarry. Gwenlais Quarry is an abandoned quarry that is now part of Carmel Nature Reserve, close to the small village of Llandybie. I first stumbled across it while out exploring a few months after I first relocated to Wales, and it’s a

Posted on January 10, 2018 by Chris in Blog

I’ve got Sunday off work, and multiple forecasts say it’s going to be a day of sunshine. What has been bugging me for most of the week, is figuring out where I’m going to go. I still haven’t got the hang of planning ahead. Should I return to Brechfa Forest? Hit the coast in Pembrokeshire? I just can’t decide. At 6 am on Sunday morning, half an hour after I’ve woken, I look at my Natural Resources Wales leaflet that a kind employee left under my windscreen wipers on my visit to Halfway Forest about a month ago. I spot Cwm Berwyn and am intrigued. It’s pretty understated on the map, but

Posted on January 07, 2018 by Chris in Blog

I’m cruising northbound along the A40, just past Manordeilo. The music’s loud and I feel good. I round a bend in the road and lo and behold, there’s a tractor ahead of me. He’s doing 30 mph, bouncing around in the cab with what looks to be an unruly child with him. I can't help but think of Lee Evans’ stand up shows at this point. I’m not feeling the whole ‘I’m happy going slower because I can appreciate the scenery’ vibe today. It’s overcast, and I can’t even see the usual peaks of the Carmarthen Fans to the east — they’re shrouded in haze. Thankfully, the A40 is mostly straight along

Posted on January 03, 2018 by Chris in Blog

I’m up at 5.30am. It’s still dark outside and Storm Eleanor is still buffeting my bedroom windows. I check my news and article apps and read for a bit. Maybe heading out to photograph Carreg Cennen isn’t such a good idea this morning — after all, it’s pretty damn windy out. After a while, the wind appears to subside. I realise I’m probably procrastinating. I’m going to go, I’m going to do this! I’m a little stressed when I leave the house. Whilst my pack is loaded with my Nikon DSLR and a selection of lenses, I can’t for the life of me find my Lumix compact camera. I know I had it the

Posted on January 03, 2018 by Chris in Blog

New Year’s Day 2018. For the past few years, I’ve had a tradition of not drinking on New Year’s Eve. It spawned from spending too many New Year’s Days hungover, and I found that I actually preferred being up and about to create a positive start to the new year. However, this New Year’s Eve I decided to drink. Thankfully, I limited myself, and on New Year’s Day 2018, I wake feeling fine, and eager to go on an adventure. I’ve already decided where I’m going to go — The Lliw Reservoirs, near the village of Felindre, Swansea. My bag is already packed, I’ve checked the rain radar, and it

Posted on January 01, 2018 by Chris in Blog

It’s Sunday 10th December, the first of my two consecutive days off from the day job. I lie reading in my bedroom, watching snowflakes flutter down onto the front gardens and carefully manicured lawns in my cul-de-sac. It’s a snow day. Having planned to travel out on both my days off, as the snow turns to sleet, and the sleet turns to rain from gloomy grey skies, I decide not to go out. My ‘should monster’ starts barking, and I feel guilt for a while, but then figure it’s okay not to go out, there will be other days. Browsing the news and Instagram later that day, I see that whilst a

Posted on December 11, 2017 by Chris in Blog