Monday, 16 August 2010

Back from my travels

I've just got back from a family holiday in York and have decided to tidy up my office space ready for writing. As part of this new tidying-up frenzy I've also 'refreshed' the Passengers in Time blog. I hope you like the new look and, as ever, I welcome your comments.
York was my third trip away from home this summer and I've been meaning to bring you up to date on all this travelling.

Early in June, my wife Sue and I spent a weekend on Dartmoor at The Forest Inn, Hexworthy. We joined members of the Malcolm Saville Society on some wonderful country walks , following in the footsteps of characters from Malcolm Saville's Saucers Over the Moor. I should explain I have been a member of the Malcolm Saville Society since 1999. You can find out more about the author, his books and the society at

The Hexworthy weekend involved an eight mile walk from Dousland to Princetown along the route of the old Yelverton to Princetown Railway (me and my disused railway lines again!) It also included a three or four mile walk alongside Wistman's Wood, complete with a dramatic fording of a steam and a march through uninvited fog. All appropriately adventurous. As ever, the members of the Malcolm Saville Society were delightful company.

Later in June, I spent a week in Wales at The Three Rivers Hotel in Ferryside, a quiet little retreat eleven miles from Carmarthen. This was meant to be business not pleasure - I was helping to run a week-long training course - but Ferryside is so peaceful that, in the evenings, I felt as if I were on holiday. Each evening I would walk up the steep lane at the back of the hotel - the only place I could get a mobile phone signal - to phone home. Sometimes, I'd take a moonlit stroll alongside the estuary. It reminded me a lot of the Menai Straits in Bangor where I lived as a young university student.

Ferryside has the feel of a seaside place but actually the expanse of water is not the sea but the Three Rivers Estuary of Carmarthen Bay (the three rivers being the Tywi, the Taff and the Gwendraeth). Walking along the sand, with the tide coming in, I could see Llanstephan's ancient castle across the water. Both Hexworthy and Ferryside gave me plenty of time for walking and reflection - part of the process of writing, long before ideas take shape as words on the page.

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About me

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Tony Gillam is Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Wolverhampton, a freelance writer, trainer and musician. He is the author of 'Reflections on Community Psychiatric Nursing' (2002) and 'Creativity, Wellbeing and Mental Health Practice' (2018).