Living here


February 2010

This is the wild west of Wales and it rains. Often. If it's sunny in the east of the United Kingdom invariably it will be raining here. We have a saying that if you can't see the hills it's raining and if you can see the hills then it's about to rain. This means our farm gets very muddy indeed in the winter but it grows good grass in the spring and summer and there's no such thing as a hosepipe ban in this part of the world. I rarely (never?) need to water the garden.

Driving can be challenging in the winter.

But I do find I need a 4x4 in the winter. We're surrounded by little streams and rivers and after heavy rain these can become almost impassable for an ordinary car. For the last couple of years we've had heavy snow too. I don't think I'll ever forget the Tuesday in January 2010 when school closed at lunchtime and all the children sent home because it was snowing heavily and drifting. The normal route to school was already blocked and on the way back on what we call the top road I came round a corner and crashed through a snow drift which was as high as my Honda CR-V's bonnet.

January 2010

The same view in July 2010

June 2010 - sometimes the sun does shine.


The language of the Preseli area is Welsh and, although this has become diluted by the tide of incoming English over the last 20 years, it's still the first language you'll hear in shops and pubs. The school children are taught in Welsh and the village of Maenclochog holds its eisteddfod every year on the May day bank holiday Monday.


One of the lovely things about living in the Preseli Hills is their remoteness. There are few street lights and little light pollution so when it gets dark, it gets very dark. Great for star gazing! It's very quiet too - no traffic noise save for the occasional tractor or the faint noise from aircraft heading for the USA and Ireland. Not all villages have shops and if you live off the beaten track like we do the nearest big supermarket is 17 miles away. There are a lot of narrow, single track roads and our road, which features the steepest of hills and tightest of hairpin bends, is used for night time car rallying as it's such an exciting route to drive.


Midges are not confined to the west coast of Scotland, we have them here too. This makes it almost impossible for us to be out in the garden on summer evenings. They can be discouraged by barbecue smoke and garden incense sticks but if we try to work in the garden we just get smothered in the tiny biting things and it hurts!