Rain has made the lane lush, the river rampant, and the swallow-skimmed valley radiant in many shades of green. The landscape is lit from within like a magic lantern. It’s almost like watching slide-film in a theatre but for the deliquescent air – the kiss of cloud on skin.

Tentatively the flowers untremble. Stitchwort, bluebells and violets unfold like new butterfly wings.

The river sluices over shingle-slate. It’s capricious with its waves like rolling porpoises and its cadence of applause. A pair of grey-wagtails flash past, flushed from their nest in a fissure of dripping rock, leaving an impression of yellow in the wet air.


Laundry-steam clouds caress Tarren-y-Gesail, purple slate gleams and Welsh poppies shake off their drops.


It’s the same all the way to the polling station; every wood warbler singing its manifesto, every leaf an incandescent candidate.