My visit to The Magical Town of Crickadoon….(AKA Crickhowell Wales) turned out to be particularly special. It also happened to coincide with my 10th anniversary of blogging and involvement with social media. I write about both these events together as they are connected…..
The view from my bedroom window on the first morning. My first impression – a river of mist floating across the Usk Valley. Magical, and even more so to observe the mist lifting, slowly revealing the beauty beneath.
watercolour/gouache sketch – The Usk Valley where the Black Mountains meet the Brecon Beacons. This visit was the first time since I left Crickhowell, twelve years ago, that I was able to completely relax and allow myself the joy of visiting old haunts and connecting with dear friends.
The 16th century bridge spanning the River Usk. I have walked over this bridge so many times….and like the surrounding hills and landscape the colours and atmosphere constantly change.
The market Town of Crickhowell has a population of approx 3,000. It still has the butcher, baker and candlestick maker and much much more. A manageable and vibrant community.
High Street Crickhowell
When I lived there in my little cottage on Mill Street I was able to walk everywhere, including to twelve (or was it thirteen) pubs? – all of which served good food – from pub grub to fine dining and everything in between. That is still the case.
This little watercolour sketch looking over the town up towards Brecon was painted shortly after I arrived in Crickhowell (1994) from the Castle Motte. So why you might ask did I leave. In 1999 I began working on a project for children which used the power of art and colour to teach about environment, homelessness and many other social issues. Had it been successful, it would have solved long term financial issues. After what looked like a very promising beginning, in 2003 it was clear that the project was not going to work. A very sad moment for me.
However – ‘None of us is ever creative enough to know how things will actually work out…..’
This precipitated a move to London, my base for the past twelve years. France was to be my next permanent move….but once again circumstances and personal responsibilities caused my plans to be changed.
From my sketch book on this trip…The light over the Brecon Beacons changes by the second. All of which brings me to ten years of blogging and social media…………
Ten years ago in the midst of this change, I had heard about blogs, but didn’t have a clue of what they were. I knew nothing about social media, until my daughter suggested that I join something called Facebook. My response – Why not?
As it happens, my decision to get involved was a life saver. Given that this period has been somewhat fragmented, blogging and social media have allowed me to continue working, and at the same time meet many new and interesting people. I would recommend anyone who is going through a time of change and upheaval to use consistent blogging as a way to bring a sense of stability into life.
I also believe that had social media been in play when I began my project in 1999, things might have worked out differently. No regrets – simply an observation.
Having a base in London has also been very good for my work and again I have met wonderful people….
Watercolour from sketch book.
However, I am now free of personal responsibilities and can move forward unencumbered, which is why my trip to Crickhowell this time around was so special.
I have no idea what the future will bring….I am one of those people that tries to live in the moment and take each day as it comes…..however, we do have to make plans, and it is my hope that I will now spend longer periods of time in places liked Crickhowell, Saorge France, Portugal etc.
As I continue to work and travel, I plan to do much more plein air work and of course record the people who I encounter along the way.
Ella sketching. – pen and wash
I wish one and all a beautiful beginning of Autumn.
Magical hummingbird symbolise for me the ‘unseen magic’ in our world.