The Man on the Mountain

In the inky winter darkness

A rough track from the lane

Leads upward onto the mountain:

                A small glimmer hints at life

                and we wonder where we are being led.

Out of the blackness, a dark shape shows in the slight mist

                The lights in a window flicker dimly yellow

                and the smell of peat smoke drifts down in the still air

As we reach a door, light from the window shows a bucket darkly filled

                'Blood', he says, 'use it to attract snipe.'

                He bangs at the door and we enter


A small room is lit by oil lamps dimmed by more peat smoke

                A dozen men in oilskins and waders

                each with a shotgun held or leaning against a near wall

                fill the room and face a small man sitting near the fire.

                It is like a scene from an old film!

This is my first meeting with Dai Morris


He prods the peat and greets us and there is a rumble of assent

                although there is obvious discomfort at my wife's presence here:

                this is not a gathering expecting women:

                there are frequent apologies for swearing

Not from Dai Morris who speaks  softly and carefully

                we learn something of their syndicate's care for the land

                and of its regular shoots.


Someone tells me that Dai often shoots with Lord somebody

                and is invited to fine estates all round the country.

                Someone else says, 'Show him your guns, Dai.'

From an unremarkable and unlocked cupboard  built into the hearth

                are produced  a pair of Purdey shotguns worth thousands of pounds

                and the gathering admires aspects of their crafted beauty for our benefit


In this humble cottage in the heart of Mynydd Bach lived this remarkable gentleman

                who lived simply off the land and dined with earls

1970sCeredigionCottageMynydd BachPeatPurdeyshotgunsWales

◄ Gower

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Martin Elder

Sat 3rd Feb 2018 20:07

This is a great story well told. Almost feels as if it should be told around a winter's open fire.
Love it

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