Olly and I ventured up Rosewall after tea this evening. The sun was still gloriously warm and bright, and I didn't fancy another game of Connect Four. We have been shrouded in mist this week, and it has felt oppressive at times. Rosewall Hill looms up over the top end of town, and is a fabulous place for running, playing, sitting and staring.
We scrambled over the cairn and played hide and seek. There was the gentlest breeze, and no real need for coats. The sun was out over the sea, and I thought how wonderful the sunset would be later. We smelt the gorse, and looked at the tiny wood anemones taking shelter among the crags and gullies of the cairn. There were brightly hued lichens, and teeny tiny sedums eeking out an existence too. We could hear the gentle noises of cows and sheep in the fields that lie tucked into the valley below, and the chatter of birds in the air. Olly spotted a pair of Red Admirals tumbling over each other in a mid-air flight of fancy. I spotted the shiny black beetle scurrying to and fro.
We met Mr Pascoe and his two collies, Fern and Skye. Mr Pascoe's family has farmed the land around Rosewall for many years, and he told me that he walks the hill at least once a day. He was waiting for the sunset, and listening to the sounds of his animals too. He told me that on a really clear day, and with a good pair of binoculars, you could see the coast of Wales from the top of the hill. He told me of the Painted Ladies that sometimes fly over the hill, bought here on the winds from Africa. He told me about the Cuckoo, that should be making a return soon. He gave Olly his crook to play with, and showed him how to call his dogs with a click of the fingers. Olly mentioned the butterflies and the bumblebees we had seen. I felt a soaring pride as Mr Pascoe congratulated him on his knowledge and observation.
I love moments like this. A chance encounter. An introduction. A chat. A sharing of knowledge. A connection. A mini friendship born from shared values, and an appreciation and love of the place that we both proudly call home.
I wish I'd had the guts to ask Mr Pascoe if I could take his picture. I think you would have liked him too.