Step Away From The Credit Card! Finding My Wand.

 Why is it that whenever you have purposefully set out to find something, it always escapes you? And the second you stop looking, is when you inevitably find it. This was the case for my wand.

We are very lucky in the UK to have an extensive Cycle Network, here in Wales we have an illustrious network, which includes the Taff Trail. The Taff Trail is a popular walking and cycle path that runs for 55 miles between Cardiff Bay and Brecon in Wales, so called because it follows the course of the River Taff.

During my Niece and Nephew’s half term break from school, I had planned a 10mile cycle trip along the Trail from Llandaff to Tongwynlais and then on up to Castell Coch. The Trail is known for meandering through untamed but beautiful landscapes and then later through the Brecon Beacons National Park, the perfect situation to come across fallen trees and branches, I thought.

I am not much of an athlete in fact, you could I was unhealthy. But one of the things I do enjoy is cycling. I have to say that it was a perfect day for it, we had glorious sunshine, lovely company, stimulating views but not one single bloody fallen tree anywhere! (Or at least not one that was accessible.) Wow, the trail is certainly well maintained, I’ll give them that!

Anyhow, we had made to Tongwynlais and so it was on up to Castell Coch. Castell Coch (Red Castle) is a 19th century folly castle built on the remains of a 13th century fortification. The Castle has also been used as a location in many films as it is nestled into the side of a picturesque leafy hillside, a hillside we now had to cycle up. When I say cycle I mean get off your bike and push it up a 40° slope! I don’t know if you have been to Wales but a lot of it is like this, hilly. Lol, more like one big hill but I love it.

We had made it! (I had made it, core blimey!)

What a fantastic journey! I will never forget it, it was beautiful one of those memory-making days you had when you were a kid and I am glad I shared it with my Niece and Nephew. But, I was sill wandless

When we got home, we rinsed off our mud-caked bikes, peeled off all of our mud-caked clothes, left our mud-caked shoes by the front door and trudged rosy faced into the kitchen where we discovered my Mum had laid on a magnificent feast of pizza and pop for us. May the Goddess bless all Mums everywhere!

Later that evening, gorged and feeling considerably more cheerful, I strolled outside with a cup of tea and inspected the garden for further signs of spring (I swear it gets later ever year.) I turned the corner and sitting on the table by the pond was a mass of willow branches, still attached to the top of a small willow tree.

“Mum,” I shouted. “What’s with all these branches?”

“Your father cut down that willow at the bottom of the garden, it was interfering with the shed. Hey, weren’t you after some nice branches for a new wand, you had better take some now before you father puts in the compost bin.”

Thanks again Mum! Now I could pick and choose.

Willow is brilliant stuff you can chop it down carry a bundle of withies across the country and jam the branches into the ground in any patch of earth and they we grow into a new tree. So to say thank you to the willow, I chopped off a nice looking branch and planted into the ground next to, but a little further to the side of the original stump. After all, I wouldn’t want this one to interfere with the shed.

There you have it, the second you stop looking, is when you inevitably find what you are looking for.

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4 Responses to “Step Away From The Credit Card! Finding My Wand.”


  1. 1 smoo March 7, 2007 at 11:28 pm

    The Taff Trail website→

    http://www.tafftrail.org.uk/

    If you would like a virtual tour of Castell Coch check out this link→

    http://www.castellcoch.info/

    An article with pictures of Castell Coch→

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/2202747.stm

  2. 2 caffeinetooth April 28, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Dont tell people to go on the taff trail Lucy, people get beaten up and stabbed that way.

  3. 3 smoo May 3, 2007 at 3:06 am

    lol, only at the town end…at night…in the areas without street lights. So, I think I am OK during the day and I am not going to post my itinerary or anything. But thanks for the concern 🙂


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