Verandah Life in Maentwrog

March 28, 2020 Features, Travel Blogger Jane Lovatt's Holiday Memoir

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Four years ago, when I smashed up my leg while out walking here in Maentwrog, I spent hours and hours and hours and hours sitting on the verandah looking at the scenery.

I was lucky. We have a beautiful view of Moelwyn Bach, the mountain which appears and disappears according to the weather. The Ffestiniog Railway train usually chugs across the hillside regularly, hooting poignantly. I watched trees lose their leaves, one by one, as the sky changed from blue, to grey to pink.

Now I am back on the verandah. This time I am observing the Spring emerge as the days grow longer. The railway has been suspended for the moment but the birds begin to sing around 5.30am. We can hear woodpeckers enthusiastically tapping and blackbirds chirruping in the most cheerful way.

Despite many years of spending time here I am still pretty ignorant about the local wildlife. If I don’t learn more now, I never will. We can’t go too far and I have no intention of climbing Snowdon. But there are many lovely walks within a few minutes of here. And social distancing is not a problem. I rarely see another person when I am out and about usually and now there is no-one but me.

I have always loved this area and have visited all my life. We are very fortunate to be here in this precious place. Every day there is a tiny change in the landscape. I will not attempt to be a nature expert, but to make small observations, relevant to me.

Each morning I wake up at dawn and stand on the verandah to check on Moelwyn
Bach. Is it there? Is it clear or shrouded in cloud? What will the day bring?
How many cups of coffee will I drink? How much cheese can I eat without anyone noticing? And at night, before I go to sleep I go outside and look at the stars. They are dazzling bright and rather reassuring.

Life on the verandah promises much entertainment over the coming months At least this time I can get off it and walk around and for that I am truly grateful.