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Mindfulness in the Welsh Borders

May 7, 2014

Mary and I spent the recent Bank Holiday weekend at Taraloka Retreat Centre, and have returned refreshed, she to her new home in Gloucester and I to Somerset. Mary’s motorcycle journey took a couple of hours. I spent an hour on a bus, several hours on and off three trains (getting the hang of my I-pod and particularly enjoying Thea Gilmore and the new Elbow CD, and writing a fragmentary account of the journey incorporating words and phrases from the songs), and two and a half hours walking on rather busy roads  (if only I’d taken a map! I could have walked along the tow-path of the Shropshire Union Canal) arriving in time for a very welcome and delicious hot supper.

Iron-work at Bristol Temple Meads Station

Iron-work at Bristol Temple Meads Station

Roof structure reflected in a train window

Roof structure reflected in a train window

Clock factory near Whitchurch station

Clock factory near Whitchurch station

Whitchurch Marina on the Shropshire Union Canal

Whitchurch Marina on the Shropshire Union Canal

The other side of the bridge

The other side of the bridge

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Honesty and Goose-grass

Honesty and Goose-grass

Gorse and birch

Gorse and birch

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Red Campion

Red Campion

Tara

Tara

The village church seen from Taraloka

The village church seen from Taraloka

On Saturday afternoon we went for a walk on a National Nature Reserve right on our doorstep. We heard a cuckoo and a woodpecker and that most evocative of sounds, the call of a curlew.

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Ironwork at the old peat-works

Ironwork at the old peat-works

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Bog-cotton

Bog-cotton

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And back along the tow-path: no roads at all!

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Cowslips

Cowslips

Taraloka was made by women for women. A resident community lives in the farm-house and a range of barns has been converted for use as a retreat centre. The old farm-yard is now a beautiful garden. A great many trees have been planted.

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On Sunday I woke early and went out to listen to the dawn chorus. Once again there was a cuckoo, maybe two. Two cock-pheasants had a disagreement in the garden. A rabbit lolloped across the lawn. Sparrows made a terrific din.

Later Mary and I took another walk along the canal.

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There were lapwings feeding in a ploughed field nearby.

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On Monday I had a couple of hours in Whitchurch before my train, so I explored this very picturesque small town, which boasts many timber-framed buildings and at least one cast-iron shop-front. I can recommend the Oasis Cafe for tea and crumpets!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2014 6:49 pm

    love your pictures, sounds like a fab place and time

  2. May 8, 2014 9:47 pm

    Thanks Jo. Yes, it was a very special experience for both of us.

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