Friday, 27 January 2012

A good walk, spoiled

Today was my weekly ramble around Llysyfran dam with Jo. We love this walk, a nice strenuous seven-mile route where we can natter away, have a laugh and a bit of a moan if we need to and get a few things off our chest.

Today though? Disturbing.

We go along at a fair lick, pausing to admire the birds and today was no exception. A small group of black and white wildfowl caught our gaze. What were they? We peered. Then...


Shotgun. Right next to us. We leapt out of our skins. How dare whoever it was do that? Right next to a footpath. Somebody unseen, with a shotgun. We were suddenly very aware that we were in the middle of nowhere on our own. Jo got her phone out of her pocket.

We looked at each other. I said: "I don't want to be tomorrow's headlines." Two more shotgun blasts followed at uneven intervals.

We hurried on.

We rounded the far end of the reservoir and encountered a man and a dog. It's not unusual to meet a man and a dog around here but this was a tall young man with a big spool of blue nylon rope slung across and around his body leading a dog by another long length of the same type of rope. The dog looked like a pitbull (Jo's a vet; she knows a dangerous-looking dog when she sees one).

"Hello ladies," he drawled. The pitbull slobbered on my leg.

We hurried on.

The path at the far side of the reservoir is challenging at the moment. Slick with sucking sticky mud we slid sideways as much as made forwards progress. It wasn't fun but we made it out alive and breasted the hill into the top car park which is usually empty at this time of year.

This was not the day for it to be empty. Today it was full of a white van, which left as we approached, and two powerful pimped up muscle cars.

We hurried on.

We headed down the road and around the hair pin bends in a generally grumpy fashion, only to be passed by the pimped up cars.

Roarrrrrr VROOOOOOM!!!! said the cars.

"Tw@ts," said Jo.

So on our walk we had encountered a shotgun, a man with lots of rope (why?), a pitbull and two muscle cars. Call me paranoid but I spent six years as a reporter covering local courts and inquests and I've met a few murderers on the way. At that time this county had three unsolved double murders, one of which in the village in which I now live. Those murders all involved shotguns and rope. The man responsible for two of the crimes is now behind bars thankfully, but they still haven't solved the one in the village.

Next week we're taking a different, less muddy, less isolated route.


  1. I shall be locking the doors tonight and feeding Topsy up so she gets bigger. Gulp!

  2. A rural idyll. Not. What did the police say?

  3. oriaDon't! Here in Suffolk we're all locking up because of the guy who jumped ship with aid of armed mate from prison via Bury St Edmunds Hospital - just down the road!

  4. If you ever find out please what it was all about or if it was just a lot of scary unrelated incidents, please let us know. Otherwise sounds like the basis for a pretty beefy who-dun nit.

    And please take care.

  5. Sheeesh! I'm so glad you're back in one piece to tell the tale. I always wander alone round here thinking I'm perfectly safe. May have to be a bit more aware now. Hope you're all right in yourself after that. Take care. Cx

  6. Not nice ... There's a rule about shot guns and footpaths. You have to be a certain distance away. Wise to take care and car numberplates if you see them again.

  7. Oh, dear! An unsettling event (to understate the situation), your trip around the dam.

    And here I thought life in the Preseli Hills was calm, and quiet, and safe.

    Blessings and Bear hugs in a strange time and place!

  8. Jeepers! I do hope that you might find out more about all that. Seems like you could report the shotgun proximity, not sure about man with dog and rope.

    Please do take other pathways. xo

  9. Scary, of course here in the States everyone is armed, and I consider them all dangerous. We're careful where we walk.

  10. We had these jokers on Mynachlogddu common a few days before christmas. Two of their pellets hit the roof of the house! They were feet away but legged it when I started shouting. Could hear them shooting all the way up to Caermeini though and guess cars wer eup that way as couldn't spot them in the village. Oiks. Police - Bovvered?


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