Saturday, June 05, 2010

Worm's Head

Every summer for years and years I have looked out to sea from the beach at Tenby.

On a clear day, right on the horizon, you can see some strangely shaped rocks in the water. I wondered about them for years and finally discovered that they were Worm's Head on the Gower Peninsula.

I wished that I could see them close up. I wished it for years. On Wednesday this week, a mere forty-four years after I first noticed them, I finally went there.

It was worth the wait.

On a stunning day weather-wise, Silverback and I left his car in the car park (£3 for the day, good value) and walked along the beautiful clifftop path: and here was the view.

Off to the right is the stunning Rhossili Bay, which I wrote about yesterday (okay, Silverback, there is only one l in Rhossili, you were right, I admit it but I may sulk).

Because the tide was high we couldn't get across to Worm's Head itself, but at low tide you can walk across. If you get cut off by the tide though, it's impossible to swim back: the currents are too strong.

The "worm" bit means "serpent" from the Old English "wyrm". The only reason I know that is because of the folk song The Lambton Worm. It's from the North-East of England and written in the Geordie dialect, and I first heard it over twenty years ago. Basically, Lambton finds a little "worm" and can't be bothered to carry it home, because he wants to go off to fight in foreign wars, so he drops it down a well. It grows into a huge serpent with "great big goggly eyes" and eats everything in sight.

So Lambton hears of this and comes back from his foreign wars and "cuts it in three halves, and that soon stopped it eating bairns and sheep and lambs and calves". Here's the song, with occasional subtitles for those not from the North East!

Our Worm's Head was very well-behaved and didn't eat anything at all. We, on the other hand, ate ice-creams in the sunshine and it was absolutely delightful.


Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Such a lovely place to have a name like "Worm's Head"....but I do see the resemblance.

12:42 pm  

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