A particular type of madness

How lovely is it when you count your siblings amongst your best friends…

fionaMy brother came to stay recently from London, along with his trusted hound who is adept at negotiating the Underground as well as main line trains and, of course, is always a great starting point of conversations with total strangers.

I haven’t had a huge amount of contact with my brother over the years (in honesty, I am not very good at the ‘family’ thing) but I have always felt very close to Dave as well as my sister, and adore them both. I have had more contact with my sister as I have generally lived nearer to her and her family but since I have been in Wales, Dave has come to stay a few times and is a dab hand at decorating and DIY – marvellous!

As I’ve got to know him better I have discovered how similar we are in lots of ways. Things we have in common include a love of good eating and simple cooking, the countryside and the elements, the simple things in life as well as business, film and sport. We also have similar aesthetic taste, for instance, in décor.

Like me, my brother has had his share of life’s sophistication and has, more recently, gone ‘feral’, at least in part. His gets his total contrast fix by travelling several times a year to davesome of the world’s remotest spots on his own, or with guides and living out. He’s also into extreme sport, so we have this in common too. He does ultra distance runs, sometimes for several days in the desert. That particular type of endurance madness must run in the family!

So, we headed off for a run on the ridge 500 feet above my house, so at some 1200 feet. I was gutted it wasn’t a clear day as the view on the top is breathtaking – you can see several counties running either side of the ridge. At my house it was pea-soup fog but amazingly, as we drove higher, it turned into a winter wonder-land with the freezing fog making everything white; it was quite magical.

It was also bloody cold! I have never run anywhere before where I have to wear at least four layers but the ridge is always bone-chilling at this time of the year, whether from the wind, rain or sub-zero temperatures. We ran for about half an hour, the cold burning our chests (Dave with bare legs and he likes to feel the weather on his skin – crazy man!) and were completely invigorated.

I was reminded, once again, in my magical corner of Wales, that nature is really the most perfect art!


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