Over the Ofer

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Ofer: Old English word for border or edge

As I have mentioned here before, I have been working on a book project for some time. A book about a walk – a sort of pagan pilgrimage – made across England and Wales, from Great Yarmouth to Aberystwyth. A book that you might find filed under Travel/Memoir in all good bookshops… well, once I find a publisher that is. Anyway, the book is nearly complete and to give a taste I will not post text but instead a series of photographs taken during the last stretch of my journey across central Wales.

Converted into stark monochrome by the wonders of Photoshop, these might be considered to be embedded images that have been temporarily exiled from their place in the narrative. They depict scenes from the road (or track, or footpath) between the Welsh border (Kerry Pole) to the Irish Sea (Aberystwyth). I have also juxtaposed a few apposite quotes  but am working on the assumption that each picture paints a thousand words. So, here are 17,000 words on Wales. Or, if you prefer, 17 stories.

For more on the Ystwyth Valley you might also want to look here or here.

 

Kerry Ridgeway

You cannot live in the present.                                                                                                          At least not in Wales                                                                                                                             

R S Thomas Welsh Landscape

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Llanidloes to Llangurig

Where was it he was born, Ianto? Llanidloes, was it?                                                                  Nah, Llangurig.                                                                                                                                    Well that area anyway. Inland like. Farms and mountains, fuck all else. That’s all there is yer, just farms and mountains.

 Niall Griffiths Sheepshagger

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Llangurig – Powys to Ceredigion

Hush, not a word. When we’ve finished milking                                                                         And the stars go quiet, we’ll get out the car                                                                                  And go to Llangurig

R S Thomas Border Blues

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Ystwyth River

ystwyth (Welsh) adjective:  supple, flexible, pliable

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Aberystwyth

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.                                                    

Isak Dinesen Seven Gothic Tales

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About East of Elveden

Hidden places, secret histories and unsung geography from the east of England and beyond
This entry was posted in Literature, Travel, Walking and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Over the Ofer

  1. Clare Pooley says:

    I love the photographs, Laurence. Best of luck with your book (and with finding a publisher!).

  2. Great photographs Laurence. A taster hopefully for the words to come.

  3. Alan Nance says:

    Marvellous! Keep at it, Laurence. We’re out there waiting for this and more to emerge in print.

  4. Chris says:

    Good luck with the book! I’m interested in what made you choose black and white for the images?

    • Thank you, Chris. Good question about the choice of B&W for the images. Several reasons I suppose – I am going for mood rather than information, so something a little more abstract is perhaps more suitable. The images are/will be very much secondary to the text, just a bit of seasoning to flavour the meal if you will. Also, it makes it cheaper to print using monochrome rather than full colour.

  5. Lovely photos and quotes. Really hope you find a publisher and that we’ll see more of this project. I always love a bit of moody B&W but amused by the practical lower cost angle as well. Makes sense.

    • Many thanks, Alex. Nice of you to say so. Thank you too for sharing on Twitter. As you suggest, B&W is always nicely moody. At one time, pre-digital decades ago, I only took monochrome pics. You certainly see the world differently in full colour, although I should add that these shots were seen and taken in colour in the first place.

  6. Pingback: Blogbummel Oktober 2019 – buchpost

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