So I went out walking this lunchtime. I drove out to Moel Famau, it’s in North East Wales, only about 30 minutes drive from home.
It was a glorious day – well in my definition of a glorious day – the wind was blowing ferociously and there was light rain or drizzle in the air all day. Actually by the time I got back to the car it was pouring. But there are times when I love this weather – when I want to get away from reality = the wind blowing through my hair and hopefully blowing all those asylum cobwebs away. This is the time to go to Moel Famau – you should avoid it like anything in the summer when the hordes from the cities arrive, picnics, yappy dogs and yappy kids. Last time I went it was covered in snow
I love to walk and think in this weather – walking has always helped me to concentrate – I remember a long time ago reading Bruce Chatwin’s novel Songlines – which was based on the same premise. Today it took me back to the times in Northumberland when I’d go up on the Roman Wall in midwinter and walk for miles without seeing a soul.
Moel Famau is technically a mountain – but at 1800feet it’s a small one, and I’m sure that from the car park you don’t climb much more than half that. Its big claim to fame is the ruined tower on top. Apparently the loyal Welshmen in 1810 set out to build a tower on the hill top to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of George III. It was never completed, and was partially destroyed by a storm in 1862. A large chunk still remains – a reminder of an amazing feat of strength of 200 years ago. To move those massive stone blocks to the mountain top must have required an incredible degree of dedication.
Opposite Moel Famau stands Moel Arthur – a similar sized mountain with an iron age hill fort on top. The name reminds you that Arthurian legend is all around us in this part of Wales.
So I don’t know if it did me any good or not in the end. On the way down I mentally wrote a 2000 word essay on how to improve the asylum. It will never get written down though. I read Phoe’s post – which really hit a few nails on the head – but later posts suggest that the inevitable is happening. The "keep quiet and it will all blow over crowd" are coming out of the woods. I wrote to Phoe about all those people left in the summer – people we used to respect and who are now virtually forgotten. This is what will happen.
It’s funny, when you’re driving into Liverpool past the old Garden Festival site, you pass a street of new houses called Moel Famau View. I’ve never stopped to check, but I think you’re going to need a pretty good telescope to have any chance of viewing Moel Famau from there – even if there aren’t any buildings in the way. If I climb up the hill behind my house, on a clear day you can see the twin towers of Liverpool’s two cathedrals, I never felt the urge to call my house Liverpool View yet though.