Sunday, 17 January 2016

Shotguns

Walking up the lane above the village on a Sunday morning in winter always feels a tad apocalyptic.
It's the distant " putt putt" sound of shotguns being fired off with gay abandon beyond the next village of Trelogan . The sounds echo around the small basin of hills which lay around Trelawnyd and provide an uneasy backdrop for a peaceful walk.
I'm not sure it is a wild bird shoot or a shooting range which is at the centre of it all, but it always reminds me of those BBC reports from the Bosnia Conflict of 1992.....the reports always reminded me of rural wales in winter.
Beyond the village there is a small 18th century house. I often see the homeowner sitting quietly at the front window. Often in the darkness of this winter's daytime, she will sit in gloom without any light to lift the muggy weather , but she will wave back when I initiate a greeting of a nod or wave.
Trellis ( the artist known formally as Mrs Trellis)  told me she is suffering from early dementia, yet still lives alone despite a few episodes " upset" where neighbours had been involved to reassure her that intruders had not entered her home and were hiding.
I saw the lady today, standing at her garage door. She was holding the collar of her dog, an old collie who had been bitten by Maddie our ageing Scottish terrier a few years back ( I tell you this only as a bit of background colour)
I waved and she waved back just as flurry of shotgun " putts" bounced around the hillside and I called out a slightly mock exasperated " there's no peace is there! " almost in what I hoped was a reassuring way.
The woman raised a finger to her lips to shush me  and said nothing before closing the garage door slowly.
The whole thing slightly unnerved me

52 comments:

  1. I used to meet her on walks in the Gop woods with her faithful dog .....It only dawned on me that something was amiss with her when I began to realise we were having the same conversation on each walk ...its very sad to see but hopefully the world she currently lives in is a happy and peaceful one

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    1. Jace, i was glad you commented, sometimes, I am accused of making village life up

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    2. I hope her world is happy and peaceful too.

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    3. You couldn't make this village up John ....

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    4. The dog is called ' Gellert ' .....a lovely old guy .....can't believe he is still alive , he looked at deaths door two years ago

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  2. I like the way you told this John. You are very sensitive to the things you see around you. Nonetheless, one day - before too long - you and indeed Jason will enter the netherworld - where the lady at the window has already gone. It's just a matter of time.

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    1. You're a cheerful bunny YP

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    2. Don't worry. Chris will sponge away the drool.

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  3. Changes in the mind and memory later in life are complicated, my mother can't tell you what day it is, where she is, or what she wants for lunch, but she still reminds my father of every upcoming turn when they are out in the car.

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    1. I guess thats why this lady copes asshe does, mrstrelis has genuine concerns and has, as far ,as I know voiced them to family

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  4. That's a surreal image. Guns are a part of the Autumn countryside scene I think, but it's a shame when the dogs don't like it.

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  5. This desciption of your walk really put me there in a sense John...I felt I could smell woodsmoke and feel the grass under my feet...that doesn't always happen with most writing. As for the Lady...well that incident was slightly spooky.

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  6. Wonder what she knows...............

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  7. My dog Bok hates gunfire. My little neighbour, Sara, has just come by to take him for a walk, and I've heard a few shots; I think she'll be having difficulty controlling him.

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  8. My dog would come straight to me and sit at attention at my feet, looking out ..
    I hear gunfire where I live too. And I always worry that some knucklehead will send a stray bullet my way.
    So I close the drapes and stay away from the back garden.
    ( yeah, I know, like drapes can stop a bullet :)

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  9. Cycling around the hills on the Shropshire/Hereford border a couple of weeks ago we were surrounded by gunfire. The local guns were out and about shooting pheasant. It was quite disconcerting, especially as the large population of pheasants were just sitting ducks. (I can imagine being like that lady in not too many years.)

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  10. Great descriptive writing John. Was a dog attached to the collar or was she just holding the collar? I ask this as you mentioned she was suffering from dementia.

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    1. She was holding its collar, usually the old dog sits in the window

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  11. When my mum got muddled she would often put her finger to her lips and whisper "shush" to me and whisper that somebody was listening even when we were totally alone.

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    1. I wondered about its significence

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  12. Poor dear. That is slightly unsettling isn't it? I hope someone near or dear to her comes to look in on her. As for the gunshots, that's just wrong.

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  13. Never having lived in the deep country, I'm not familiar with the sounds of hunting. Gun shots can only be fear inducing in the city. When I was a kid in the suburbs we used to collect spent shells from an area at the bottom of a steep, overgrown hill. I never put together the shells and the popping sound I sometimes heard coming from the woods. At a recent class reunion I learned that there had been a police practice range down there.

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    1. Here its ignored, ifI was in the city however and heard one shot, I would be running for my hotel

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  14. Shotguns? The very word makes me nervous. I hope they've gone by the time I get to Coed Y Brenin.

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    1. Do you mountain bike Gwil?
      There is a big centre there

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  15. Gunshots are quite common here. I don't think anything is in season here and I often wonder if some poacher is getting dinner or someone is getting shot. It happens out here, on occasion. My dogs run and hide.
    Perhaps the old lady is content, as she rounds the bend. One can only hope.

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  16. Oh John - sad story.
    Gunshots - sounds like clay pigeon shooting if it is so regular.

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  17. There's always a shoot going on somewhere round here during the winter and then we have the bird scarer gas guns that are as LOUD as a cannon

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  18. It's sad. We lost Dad inch by memory to Alzheimer's. It's never pretty. I can't image how they feel.

    Have a blessed day.

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  19. OMGosh John you gave me goosebumps when you described her putting her finger to her lips and slowly slipping back in side.. It was like a scene from a creepy movie....Hugs! deb

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  20. I've helped with caring for family and friends with Alzheimer's or dementia and learned to dread their more lucid moments. The fear in their eyes was heartbreaking.

    You're always aware of the emotional climate around you, aren't you... and a pretty good egg. Definitely soft-boiled, however.

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  21. Poor lady. Is anyone checking in on her and her dog? I hate thinking of her sitting alone in the gloom, possibly frightened, with no one to make sure she's eating properly and the dog is cared for.

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    1. There is family involved

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  22. No offense but Trelawnyd just went from peaceful village to Twilight Zone!

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  23. What is truly heartbreaking about Alzheimer's is you say goodbye to that person long before they actually die.

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  24. Sadly that is A progression of Alzheimer's fear of everything and everyone around you having gone through it with my dear aunt, during the last year of her life we had to put her in an Alzheimers home because she would beat up her daughter for no reason it's a sad sad disease.

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  25. Sadly that is A progression of Alzheimer's fear of everything and everyone around you having gone through it with my dear aunt, during the last year of her life we had to put her in an Alzheimers home because she would beat up her daughter for no reason it's a sad sad disease.

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  26. Sitting here with goosebumps as well ...

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  27. We had a nice Wintery walk yesterday before the snow came, as usual there was lots of shooting to be heard in the woods x

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  28. Sounds like they are shooting pheasants at Gyrn Castle. It's usually every weekend from about October until February-ish!

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    1. Not on a Sunday. More like a gun club shooting clays.

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    1. Years ago I read about a young woman, going out to the back where her clothesline was, leaving her toddler in the house .. hanging up wet laundry. Some brain dead idiot with a rifle, saw her little white gloves she was wearing because it was so cold out, and shot her .. thinking she was a deer ( white tailed)..
      Since that happened, I just take it for granted that no one knows what they are doing and I make sure I am not where a bullet can hit me or anyone near me.
      Miles of land around my home is owned by one family. So if I hear shooting there, I at least know who it is .. but that doesn't make me feel safer.

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    2. I worry about that when we drive by the hunting areas here in NJ. Even though they are not shooting near the road, still freaks me out.

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  30. I hope there are friends and family near for her especially with an old dog to keep her company and care for.

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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  31. I wonder what was going on in her mind when she shushed you and slipped away. Spooky indeed. Thank goodness she has family checking on her...as well as yourself and the artist known as Trellis.

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  32. A weirdly interesting day in the village.

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  33. A family acquaintance survived her husband by several years. She stayed physically strong into her late 80s, but her mind slowly deteriorated. When my aunt had not heard from this lady for a while, she went to check on her and found her living in only 2 rooms of a very spacious house. The lady had nailed the interior doors shut because, she said, "those people" had taken over her house and she had to keep them away.

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  34. At least those guns were not taking aim at your house, like poor old me.
    http://wisewebwoman.blogspot.ca/2016/01/the-wild-east.html
    XO
    WWW

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  35. Oh golly, would unnerve me too! My poor old neighbour at our last place had more advanced dementia. She thought the people the other side were going to burn her house down. Bugger me if they didn't do a burn off and go out, only to have the bloody thing start up again and come through the fence into her place and up into a massive gum tree. I had to call the fire brigade. Maybe it wasn't dementia but a premonition!

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  36. another interesting day in the village John -hells teeth :) x

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  37. And then trying to make sense of an exchange that probably had no sense. It can be very disconcerting. As for the sounds of gunfire, how close are you to the United States border?

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