After waiting in for the courier to deliver an aircon compressor to replace the one that's just packed up (the alternator went last month), I dropped off my 'work sheets' with my 'boss' and stayed for a good hour having a chat. I then arranged that I wouldn't get any calls for a couple of hours.
I took the opportunity to visit an old friend who has a large hill farm off The Heads Of The Valley road. He farms 5,000 acres over a couple of farms and has 1000 sheep. I've known Brian for a few years. He's a big noise on The Welsh Farmers Union. We met at a Rod Stewart Tribute Charity Concert in Mid Wales and got on really well. I used to pop in to the farm and if he wasn't around, have coffee and toast with his elderly parents who live in a log cabin next to the farmhouse Brian lives in. When I arrived he was having a cuppa with a lovely Italian girl who was staying with him and working on the farm. Brian says he still has 30 pregnant sheep in his barn. I kept them from their work for a good 90 minutes before leaving.
I then drove over the mountain towards Abergavenny, taking a couple of photo's on the way, before popping in to see my brother who lives backing onto the canal in Govilon, for another cuppa and chat.
On leaving his house I took the long route home and ended up travelling from Blackwood across the common trackway home. Just as I came off the common, I saw Gladys Owen who owns a large farm. It was gone 6pm and she was rebuilding a dry stone wall that a couple of trees had grown and pushed over. She's an amazing woman. 81 years old and still doing some hard graft! I've known her many years and used to pop in when I was working the area. She's been widowed 22 years and is always up for a chat. She lives in a farmhouse they bought in 1960 and her daughter and family live in a barn alongside. She used to have 650 sheep but only a 10th of that now. We chatted for 45 minutes when I realised it was 7pm and I needed to get home for supper!
These hill farmers are hardy people; both say they wouldn't have it any other way.
The blip photo is of Gladys who has rebuilt all of that wall from the bottom! 81 years young - I hope I'm that good when that age!!!!