In the lee of the hill, a small face smiles upwards. Blossoming in the early sunshine. A pale yellow carpet decorates the grassy bank. Primroses have emerged, blinking their way into light.
The stream has overflowed on to the road. Frozen water coats the surface. Gingerly I cross, digging each step into the iron hard ground. Heavy clouds hover over the valley, silver light reflecting from the estuary. The first flakes of snow spiral down, dancing around me as I walk. Despite hat and gloves, the wind nips at my nose, and toes and fingers start to freeze. I turn for home, hoping to arrive before the storm begins in earnest.
The grey slab rears up on top of the mountain, a landmark to focus on. Slowly I pant my way to the top of the track. The dog runs ahead – and back – and ahead again. At last I reach the summit. Relaxing, I rest my back on the sun-warmed stone. Face turned to the winter sunlight. From here Eryri is seen in all its beauty, snow-dusted peaks glowing. Behind me the sea is blue under clear skies. The Great Orme stretches out lazily in all its glory. Dog growing impatient, I shoulder my rucksack and move onwards, savouring the view.
NB: Eryri is the Welsh name for Snowdonia.
The walls of the town march round, no longer a defence but a viewing platform. The streets of the place are quiet today. I perch on my vantage point. People scurrying from cars to shops, huddled against the biting wind. Rain is heading in, sweeping across the bay. The bulk of the castle shields me from the worst of the weather. A shelter in the storm.