Tuesday, 4 December 2012

On Black Hill



Between the rains, the floods and the frosts we had one beautiful day a couple of weeks ago and Millie and I drove up to Black Hill, just above Valley’s End. The Hill itself is nothing much, the usual Forestry Commission plantations of conifers, inhabited only by birds and animals, and otherwise used only by walkers, with or without dogs. On its lower slopes,  farmers in flat caps, on ancient tractors, round up sheep and till their fields. It is a very old landscape, hardly changed over the centuries, with stone-age burial mounds dotted about.


This is the landscape where the novelist and travel writer Bruce Chatwin wrote the first chapters of his book On the Black Hill, a tale about twin brothers, living and farming in the Welsh Marches. It is a wonderful novel, spanning eighty years of hard work and life in a small rural community, far removed from the wonders of towns and cities. On The Black Hill was Chatwin’s deepest and darkest book (he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for it in 1982), which was made into a film of the same name in 1987.  Chatwin died of AIDS in 1989.



Three Scots Pines guard a pre-historic burial mound.



Black Hill is surrounded by lonely fields which lose themselves into the blue distance.


This is my contribution to Our World Tuesday.
If you click on the link you will find wonderful entries from bloggers
from all over the world.


59 comments:

  1. Beautiful images. Love your sentence captioning the last one.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a nice contribution...glad you are at last getting a little bit of sunshine.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A great place. I could spend a day or two gazing at the pines.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's a very beautiful place. I haven't read that book but will put it on my list.

    ReplyDelete
  5. the pines are in an amazing spot
    beautiful!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. P.S. I just went to the library and see he traveled to Patagonia and wrote about it too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. wow...some beautiful scenery to write to...i will have to check out that book as well....nice hit...

    ReplyDelete
  8. What beautiful autumnal colours in your photos. It's good to see the sun out and about.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Beautiful images ..... that last one takes my breath away!

    ReplyDelete
  10. o wat mooi wat een ruimte heerlijk.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I must check out that book!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think what I miss most about living over there is the ancientness of so many places. What a beautiful walk you and Millie had. And the men in the flat caps on ancient tractors? I remember them from visits to my grandmother out the country as a child. I'm delighted to hear they are still surviving!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your pastoral images will be with me all this day, Friko. I would never get anything done with such beauty so near. I have not heard of On the Black Hill. You have me intrigued, so, there it goes, onto my every-growing TBR list. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Friko - just beautiful - wonderful shots. I don't remember On The Black Hill - but I was away .. so I need to grab a copy sometime. It's just lovely up there - all the ancients still around watching their land ... Millie must have loved her walk with you - sky is glorious in colour as it touches and caresses the landscape

    Cheers - Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  15. What wonderful colours in your photos - our landscape up north is so grey just now. You are absolutely right to take advantage of the day and get out and about.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm taken by the thought of those trees standing as sentinels over the burial mound. My mind leaps back over centuries to try to imagine life as it was then. I fail miserably.

    ReplyDelete
  17. wonderful pics of your world! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Oh wow - those shots are delicious. What astounding scenery!

    I really must read the book!

    ReplyDelete
  19. You've given me a gift today, Friko. Your photos are sublime. I like hearing about you and Millie going tramping in the hills.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Love the light in each photo and the colors...it looks so beautiful there...such a fun posting...love all the wonderful pictures people are sharing this week. cheers

    ReplyDelete
  21. There's nothing like slow travel through quiet open spaces re-charge the batteries, Friko! Thankyou for the Our World Tuesday link, which I didn't know about.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Beautiful photos and thoughts. Looking at your pictures which remind me of Western Virginia, I can see why so many Welsh and Scots settled in this area. Dianne

    ReplyDelete
  23. Especially the last of these pictures tugs at my heartstrings. I am glad you had your camera with you and were out on that beautiful day!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Love the scot pines guarding. Bleak lonely landscapes are my favourite, though I bet this place is verdant in summer.

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a stunning area. That last shot just draws me in. Beautiful, Friko.

    ReplyDelete
  26. First rate web visit to your magical land!

    "The Welsh landscape is rich in the remains of the past, especially the burial mounds, stone circles, standing stones and chambered tombs of the earlier prehistoric period. "
    http://www.cpat.org.uk/projects/longer/pfr/pfr.htm



    Happy Aloha from Honolulu
    Comfort Spiral

    ~ > < } } ( ° >

    > < 3 3 3 ( ' >

    ReplyDelete
  27. Such a beautiful landscape. I can never get over how green it is. So much of my country is parched brown for much of the year that I find green restful, soothing and exotic. Another beautiful post - thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Love these pics! They really speak of a place!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Friko, thank you so much for this post.

    Truly lovely and, as always, thought provoking, too. xo

    ReplyDelete
  30. What lovely hills. Burial mounds fascinate me. Never heard of that author but he sounds interesting. These are really great pictures, Friko. Very pretty area. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. The last photo nearly took my breath away. The colors of the trees, the fields, and the road, and the composition of the photo itself, are just stunningly beautiful. I also loved the three Scots Pines on the ancient burial mound.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I've read the book and seen the movie - so was intrigued if there was a connection between them and your post (I only get a teaser in my Google reader). What a thrill to be in the same locale - and in such magnificent country that's such a far cry from the downunder outback ...

    ReplyDelete
  33. Why is it that forestry commissions everywhere seem to plant pines? Beautiful none-the-less.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Frico, you could show us how beautiful is the nature around your place. Thank you for sharing!
    I love the last photo, is very professional, the combination of colors, the green and yellow lines of fields that 'lost themselves' in depth. Nice!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Those pictures are wonderful Your eyes have many delightful things to look at where you live.
    Balisha

    ReplyDelete
  36. Such beautiful photos and scenery!! Lovely...I would love to walk with you two for sure.
    Hugs
    SueAnn

    ReplyDelete
  37. Glad to see you and Millie out and about in such a lovely place, Friko. Loved the photos, especially that last one.

    ReplyDelete
  38. The landscape hardly changed over the centuries is so precious. I feel both comfortingly familiar and excitingly different about the landscape. Ours is not the stretching green fields but terraced rice paddies. There are many burial mounds in some regions, but they are mostly from 3-4-5th century and not so old as your stone-age one. I think you can be more tuned in nature at this peaceful pastoral area and in your wonderful garden as well.

    Yoko

    ReplyDelete
  39. Shropshire is so beautiful and you make me want to reread On The Black Hill.

    ReplyDelete
  40. I have bought several books by Chatwin along the years- they are safe on my bookshelf but not read yet…I need to find them. Another writer comes to mind - these hills look like a good place to do “walking meditation” as Thich Nhat Hanh the expatriate Vietnamese Buddhist monk living in France suggests and wrote a book about (http://www.amazon.com/Walking-Meditation-Thich-Nhat-Hanh/dp/1591794730.)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Halo Friko,
    erinnert mich relativ stark an die Eifel (oder andere deutsche Mittelgebirge). Ist wahrscheinlich von der Vegetation her ähnlich, da England feucht ist und es dort wahrscheinlich auch viele Wälder gibt. Mittelgebirge haben mich seit jeher fasziniert, da ich im Flachland aufgewachsen bin (etwa 40 km westlich von Krefeld) und die Eifel usw. viel zu weit weg waren. Wir leben zwar im Flachland, aber Siebengebirge, Westerwald usw. liegen ungefähr vor der Haustüre.

    Gruß Dieter

    ReplyDelete
  42. Such a beautiful place, such a beautiful day. I hope the rains have subsided, your nasty cold is gone, and you have by now been on more such walks. Lovely photographs!

    ReplyDelete
  43. It's a beautiful view and your photos are awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Your photos have truly captured such spectacular views -- the colors, the vast countryside. The prehistoric burial areas prompts my mind to wonder about all those who have tread the hills.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Dear Friko, wonderful photographs that go on and on into the far-ness beyond. I"ll look at the local library's website to see if it has the book. Peace.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I must take a look at that book!

    I do love that area. Beautiful photos! :)

    ReplyDelete
  47. sehr schöne bilder, die mich sehr an unsere landschaft hier erinnern. diese weite und die düster-hellen wolken genauso wie bei uns... deine zeilen über chatwin haben mich sehr interessiert, ich habe das buch bestellt, allerdings auf deutsch...
    ich wünsche dir einen wundervollen warmen abend und hoffe, es geht dir gut!
    renée

    ReplyDelete
  48. It looks like a beautiful place for a walk. Beautiful photographs.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Did you find the chapel mentioned in the book? I have photos of it.
    It is a fantastic book isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Gorgeous! Must check out book and movie :)

    ReplyDelete
  51. I want to go there. Beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Your mention of the brothers has tweaked my mind - about another tale of two bachelor brothers, somewhere, in some time. I can't remember. They'll nag at me until I do.

    Each of the photos has some special qualities, but I'm especially fond of the pines guarding the burial mounds. Though the Kansas prairie (and other prairie graves) aren't nearly so old, they have the same air of patient inevitability. People were on the move, life happened, death came, and after a wistful moment or so, on they went.

    I so love the aura of history that suffuses your posts.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Those lonely fields could have a snorting bay stallion cantering through at any moment.

    3 beautiful Scots Pines are better than any buzz of activity for me. ~Mary

    ReplyDelete
  54. What a beautiful place. I'm so glad you have a grand companion with whom to share it!

    ReplyDelete
  55. One of my favourite books - and places. I once lived not far away, on the Welsh side of the border. I do miss those hills, but pleased they haven't changed!

    ReplyDelete

Comments are good, I like to know what you think of my posts. I know you'll keep it civil.