Tuesday, 25 February 2014

25th February 2014 - Cantre'r Gwaelod & the UPS man

 The storms of the winter seem to have dissipated for a while. The sun is shining today, after a very blustery weekend in North Wales. There are mixed blessings of course. As we drove up through Ceredigian we passed the Borth Bogs  - the large expanses of water logged marshy grounds. But the recent storms have also unearthed far more of the ancient sunken forests of Cantre'r Gwaelod..

A prehistoric forest, an eerie landscape including the trunks of hundreds of oaks that died more than 4,500 years ago, has been revealed by the ferocious storms which stripped thousands of tons of sand from beaches in Cardigan Bay.

The forest of Borth once stretched for miles on boggy land between Borth and Ynyslas, before climate change and rising sea levels buried it under layers of peat, sand and saltwater.

Scientists have identified pine, alder, oak and birch among the stumps which are occasionally exposed in very stormy winters, such as in 2010, when a stretch of tree remains was revealed conveniently opposite the visitor centre.

The skeletal trees are said to have given rise to the local legend of a lost kingdom, Cantre'r Gwaelod, drowned beneath the waves. The trees stopped growing between 4,500 and 6,000 years ago, as the water level rose and a thick blanket of peat formed.

This year a great swath of the lost forest has been revealed. Last month archaeologists also found a timber walkway nearby, exposed by the storms. It was made from short lengths of coppiced branches, held in place with upright posts.

It has been dated to between 3,100 and 4,000 years old, built as the local people found ways to cope with living in an increasingly waterlogged environment.

Two years ago human and animal footprints were found preserved in the hardened top layer of peat, along with scatterings of burnt stones from ancient hearths.

Some things are worth waiting for I suppose.

Meanwhile, I am at home also waiting for a long time for the UPS van to roll up! 
After delays from the guitar company who promised to dispatch my new guitar within two days - which should allow it to arrive on my birthday - or at least a day afterwards, and a heated facebook messaging late in the evening where they explained that the original guitar had some damage so they acquired another one (without mentioning of course)  and finally sent it via UPS. Working all morning yesterday, I cam home relieved to find that it had not been delivered in my absence. However, after sitting in the kitchen having some late breakfast, I passed the front door to find the ubiquitous yellow leaflet saying"We tried to deliver but you were out!"

UPS local branch is in Skewen, a bit of a distance to travel, and a call to the UPS automated reply system tells me that it could not be picked up until next day in any case.....

So - there is a leaflet, neatly stapled to a sheet of paper saying "I AM IN!!" and my phone number in case they do not know how to use the knocker ( the bell does not work and has been gaffa taped over !). It is tioed to the knocker with a piece of bright red string, and waves around just in front of the window, causing the dogs to bark every time they catch sight of it....  I am sitting at my machine in the front window ... with a good view of the street outside...

What could possibly go wrong???
Oh - maybe I should not have said that !!

Maybe the trees in Borth all fossilised as they waited for the UPS man to come.. It is a theory....

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