‘On the Edge of the Kingdom’ – Cwm-Sanaham Hill Sunday

The Rain Comes

Or Schadenfreude Strikes, Soul Peace and Powered by Ribs…

It rains all night but by morning it has stopped and a mist rolls over the hills. We look at pictures of Cornwall totally swamped by tourists with roads gridlocked and with standing room only on the beaches. Schadenfreude strikes…

We take our time about getting up this morning and lie in bed listening to the crows, buzzards and sheep. Millie looks to be about a hundred years old.

We have brunch in the awning and then sit out under cloudy skies. A buzzard attacks a heron perched on the top of a tree and the sky is full of swallows. This isn’t the most spectacular place we have ever been to or even the remotest but it is where we immediately feel the most peaceful and at home. There is just something about this border country that feeds our souls. We love it here.

We finally summon the energy to put our boots on and despite a fair degree of canine reluctance we amble up the road and pick up a footpath to Selley Cross. We head uphill and onto the Dyke which we follow to the top of Cwym-Sanaham Hill. Millie stands nose to nose with a large sheep who won’t allow her lamb to get too near. Horned cattle watch us but are obviously so alarmed by Darrell’s anti cow stick they don’t approach us.

The Black Mountains give the first warning of the approaching rain by disappearing into cloud. The rain rolls up the valley and we are dampened but not chilled as it is still very humid. A ‘Selwyn lookalike’ cutting branches in the hedgerow asks if we got caught in the rain and says “oh, well done”, gives us a thumbs up and a huge beaming smile when I say “only for five minutes or so”. Millie regards him suspiciously but refrains from rumbling at him. Probably too tired. Her progress back gets slower and slower until it stops altogether by the sheep’s head. A few stolen and hurriedly crunched lamb’s ribs then give just enough energy to get her through the last half mile. We arrive back just before the rain and then it is heaven to be in the camper, drowsy with warmth, listening to it beat down.

Millie gives a huge sigh, flattens herself on the bed with her back legs sticking out and falls into a deep, deep sleep. It doesn’t rain for long and we eat chicken pilaf with sundried tomatoes outside on a warm, still evening under a sky of simply biblical proportions. A buzzard pursued by a flight of swallows passes overhead and into clouds of a dangerously bruised plum colour. Do they know something we don’t? A tsunami perhaps? Lightning crosses the sky above Knighton followed by thunder. As we watch, the rain barrels up the valley, the hills vanish and we beat a very hasty retreat.​

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