Lletty's Blog

Croeso! Welcome to Lletty Cottage a lovely five star holiday cottage for two in Carmarthenshire

November 21 Walks and Out and Abouts November 21, 2016

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Another beautiful day for a walk. We have been so fortunate to have dry, bright but cold  days for gadding about on our local walks. The recent walk was near home and just a couple of miles drive away in Llangadog. We parked up on the bridge, next to  the common overlooking the Sawdde river.

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DSC06823.jpgWe started our walk crossing the common and followed one of the many tracks  to get to the river Towy, passing some lovely properties on the way.

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When we reached the Towy , after ploughing our way through some very muddy, sticky goo, we could see the railway bridge not far away which also has a pedestrian footpath. This walk though we took the other direction  after enjoying the views of the river and apparently the old ford crossing.

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We said, `Hello’  to some fine and interested horses who I’m sure would have accompanied us on our walk if there wasn’t a fence in the way!

DSC06864.jpg                                                Another ‘friend’ we had to leave behind!

DSC06860.jpgThese hips are just right for Christmas decorations or as a subject for a painted Christmas card- I left them untouched, although  I would have loved a few branches!

DSC06870 (2).jpgWe continued down a new track passing  some beautiful old buildings   until we came to another farm with more ‘friends’. One playing hide and seek!

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Many of the trees have lost their leaves by now as some days we have had quite strong winds and frosty nights but some oak trees have held onto their foliage and look beautiful in the autumn light.

DSC06880.jpgOur circular walk was nearly over except for a walk through a field with a herd of cows. Every walk has to have a bit of excitement and the cows nearly provided that! They were very interested in us   and started trotting but we all managed to cross the field safely before their interest was satisfied!

DSC06888.jpgThe lovely walk ended at our house with coffee and biscuits and a general chat  about putting the world to right!

 

Jim and I  enjoyed our annual visit to Picton Castle for their  fantastic Victorian Christmas weekend. There is a food marquee and many stalls in the castle itself  and outside to wander around and enjoy and spend those pennies! The castle is brilliantly decorated with every room having a superb Christmas tree in it and with the  accompanying sound of the violins playing in the background – it really is the start of the festivities.

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Nothing induces Jim to come  shopping with me but a No VAT Sunday at Machine Mart in Swansea is a sure way to galvanise some  shopping action! After we had purchased  some VIP tools we could set off for my treat! My mum and dad lived in the Mumbles so I love visiting and remembering happy times spent there. Its an idyllic seaside village which is now a thriving busy place for shoppers, visitors  and all who enjoy the sea views, the lighthouse, the RNLI station, the walks and  the food!

This  view of Mumbles is  from the  coastal walk  which was the  route  of the Mumbles Railway which closed in the last century.

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DSC06762.jpgDSC06770.jpgA visit to the life boat station is a must   when visiting Mumbles. The walk along the pier to reach the station has become rather tricky with just a small path allowed with barriers either side  to keep you walking  along the middle of the pier where the planks look firmer!  Don’t look down or to the side!! The walk is well worth it though when you see the magnificent lifeboat on call at all times to save  everyone in trouble at sea.

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The views from  the pier over the lighthouse  are just beautiful.

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To end our Mumbles day out we enjoyed  a meal at Verdi’s Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant- Italian cooking and hospitality at its best!

I’m missing the next walk as it’s the same day as the Aberglasney Winter Fair ( December 2, 3 and 4)  and I’m helping on the mulled wine! I love it!

 

 

 

November 9 Dryslwyn Castle Walk November 9, 2016

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On a day when the USA Presidential election result has been announced it’s good to reflect on the simple things in life like enjoying walking  through beautiful countryside with friends  and forgetting  opinion polls and politics.

Our walk started at Dryslwyn carpark on a stunning autumn day with a clear blue sky and a chilly wind. There were lovely  views across the Towy valley and in the distance there were numerous birds to be seen flying in and around the river. Camera on  full zoom could only catch  a glimpse  of the birds  so not sure what they are- maybe greylag?

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Also a great number of magnificent  huge fungi were around the carpark  and looking  quite special in the sunlight.

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Dryslwyn Castle is the only place that I ‘feel’ some connection with the past occupants of the site. One can imagine the township that was situated on the top of the hill by the castle and all the life going on there with children playing and families  carrying on  their day to day lives. There is certainly an ‘atmosphere’ here!  It was politics again that brought the castle walls tumbling down!

We didn’t immediately  climb up to the castle but walked along the road until  we came to a small lane bordered by some   fine trees.

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We followed the lane round and came to a hamlet  called Felindre that I had never visited before. It’s amazing how some places get hidden away and stay quite secluded!

There are many Felindre’s in Wales as it means ‘mill town’ in English. There was no evidence to be seen of the mill but there was a village pump in what could have been the village pound long ago.

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We followed the lane along  passing some lovely houses  with very friendly ‘ guard’ dogs outside.

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This particular collie took such a fancy to us all that he joined the gang and accompanied us all the way back to the carpark!

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Every way one looked there were interesting things to see. The sheep looked very comfy and cosy nestling in the dry autumn leaves and the view of Paxton’s Tower  on the distant hill seemed to follow us around. Paxton’s Tower is a folly which was erected in honour of Lord Nelson. We had nearly completed our circular walk  and the last part was the hardest climbing to the top of the hill to see the castle. It was well worth the effort with the wonderful views all around and the vision of the Towy river meandering its way slowly across the valley on its way passing  through Carmarthen  and on to its estuary by Llanstephan Castle.

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A rather ‘naff’ photo of Paxton’s Tower but I just had to take it!!

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Back to the carpark and a last kick around in the autumn leaves before a coffee and delicious cake at The Hangout, Llandeilo…our new favourite place. Best place to relax to forget politics and anything else that may be troubling the soul!

 

Two Walks and a Paddle November 2, 2016

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Two lovely local walks recently have kept the fitness levels up!

Carreg Cennen Castle is as all the tourist books say “spectacular’!  The castle sits on  top of a mountainous ridge with views all around of beautiful Carmarthenshire.

“Carreg Cennen Castle never ceases to amaze. There are few castles in Wales which can boast a more spectacular location. Its stout, weatherbeaten ruins crown a sheer limestone crag overlooking the remote Black Mountain (Mynydd Du) and the River Cennen in the western corner of the Brecon Beacons National Park, around four miles southeast of Llandeilo.’ copied from Brecon Beacons

Anyway- this is where we set off on a misty morning to circumnavigate the   castle. We walked up to the entrance of the castle and then descended to the bottom of the hill…a long way  down!

DSC06354.jpgDSC06361.jpg At the bottom we had to cross the river Cennen.

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Looking back we had a lovely view of the castle perched on the top of the hill.

DSC06371.jpgDSC06380.jpg We kept on walking  and each time we paused for breath  another amazing view of the castle appeared. Can’t imagine any invader trying to climb up that rocky face!

DSC06401.jpgWe stopped for a breather and a Welsh cake ( kindly supplied by the leader!)  where we were watched by numerous eyes!

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We crossed over the river again and thank goodness we had a leader who knew where we were going as  I would have been totally confused by this signpost!

 

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Crossing the river yet again via a ford we were nearly there…just one more hill to go down and then one more hill to go up again!  Rather like the Grand Old Duke of York!

 

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I loved this farmhouse perched on the hill facing the castle.

DSC06434.jpg Delighted to know that a large coffee and cake were waiting for us at the castle cafe. What a walk, what a  treat!

LlynLech Owen is a nearby Country Park with numerous routes through it. I was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to a new pathway where there are  bird hides …sadly no birds to hide from this day but pretty all the same.

DSC06539.jpgDSC06547.jpgDSC06548.jpgDSC06560.jpgThe visitor centre is a wonderful place to climb up  and view the water and spot the birds. There was a very handy chart to help identification but the birds were extremely shy  or  just didn’t want to be identified as I didn’t spot one!

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Rufus doesn’t seem to have many problems spotting birds in the garden but he is an excellent cat and  doesn’t catch them.He is too busy watching mice and improving his climbing skills.

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Clearing the garden today has been hard work   as the weather has seemed to encourage the plants to keep growing and I don’t like cutting down flowers when they are still flowering. However, I have massacred this clematis montana ( I know it’s the wrong season to cut it!) as it is a thug and I need to have a little bit of control in my garden! IMG_6653.jpg

The view across the Pond Field was very pretty today with the leaves turning  into their autumn colours. Trouble  with trees is their leaves….raking them all up!

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Also on the Pond Field Jim was being a star and helping with the gardening!! He took the boat out to the island and started cutting down the Gunnera. It was only  after he’d reached the island that he remembered that he’d left his gloves on the  other bank! Ow!

The moorhens were not amused that their home base was being disturbed   and swam off to the lower pond!

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After  a good day’s hard work it’s always rewarding to have a beautiful sunset  to enjoy.

IMG_6573.jpgAnother walk this Friday if I have enough energy after all the gardening!

 

October 22 Lletty Cottage Poem October 22, 2016

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We always have lovely visitors to Lletty Cottage and we  enjoy meeting them and welcoming them to this beautiful part of Wales. Our latest visitor turned out to be a poet  and he has very kindly written a beautiful poem about Lletty Cottage. He  has allowed it to be shared in this post and elsewhere.  We love it and the poem will be displayed in a frame in the cottage for all to enjoy.

 

Lletty
Two steps from the mainstream,
But a world away;
Is a place to be away from the world.
Built on shale and soul amongst the green and rolling hills
Under trees that you can hear grow and sing,
Amongst the tamed but wild garden,
Tended with all the capability of Brown himself;
Stitched seamlessly to Yew Tree
Symbiotic, but fiercely independent,
Sits Lletty.
 
Walls created of stone and imagination;
It is both coy and resolute.
A stoic structure gazing out inscrutably at its surroundings,
Modernity engineered out of antiquity.
 
Inside, is a place for peace.
Stairs ascend;
A mezzanine for dreams.
Calmness descends
from amongst the beams.
Painted wood and gnarled oak trace history
Across the rough drawn plaster walls.
Infinite corners and nooks
Jostle with the current,
To create a silence that is more golden
Than all the precious minerals in Dolaucothi.
 
Morning brings a feathered fluttering;
Frantic feeding amongst the shrubs and trees
That hold the building to its roots.
Colourful slashes across a green and pleasant land,
As finches jabber and chatter,
Crowding for the prized seeds;
The nearest to any rush hour you will get here.
 
This is a place for contemplation
For reflection and recuperation
A spot to find a different world
And discover…. yourself.

Ian Williams

 

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October 18 Back from Holiday! October 20, 2016

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What a romp we have had! Fantastic visit to Scotland on the train   and boy we were fortunate with the weather as the sun shone daily.

After a very early start from our local railway station we arrived in Glasgow in time for tea. We did try to wave to Mr and Mrs Tootlepedal as we hurtled  by near  their town.

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The next morning we loved visiting the Kelvingrove art gallery and museum  and we spent most of the day enjoying the excellent range of exhibits  including the Mucha exhibitionIMG_6229.jpg

 

We also  sampled some delicious lunch time snacks- Scottish smoked cheese on crusty seeded bread- very, very tasty!

 

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The Riverside museum was equally excellent with a tall ship to explore and numerous vehicles to reminisce over.

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I remember our family had a car like this in the 1950’s and we were all so proud of it!

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We have had a similar one of these too in the past!

Trouble with museums you see things that are still in your loft!

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Our journey took us on to Fort William, which is a delightful town set in the most stunning of locations with the mountains,  including Ben Nevis, surrounding the still waters of Loch Eil.

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A special day out was a trip on the steam train to Mallaig.

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Such scenery! The Glenfinnan Viaduct is stunning . No wonder it has been used so many times as a location for films. I’m sure I saw Harry Potter fly by!

More days were spent visiting lovely places and  seeing beautiful scenery. We will definitely return to Scotland and visit some other areas   as we just fell in love with all that we saw and there is so much left to explore!

Returning to England  we visited Carlisle  and its cathedral with its interesting history, wonderful windows and  Treasury full of artefacts.

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In the cathedral grounds there were some lovely large trees  covered in red berries. I’ve brought some berries home! Maybe I can grow one of these trees from seed  …don’t know what they are…for myself!

Travelling further through England we stopped at Leamington Spa station for  a change over  and I just loved the waiting room!

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A very happy day was spent with our family at Waddesdon Manor celebrating my special birthday  again in sunny sunshine! IMG_6494.jpg

Kate Malone’s ceramic exhibition was showing and her  ceramic squash looked better than the ones I’ve grown! IMG_6525.jpg

One of our best holidays yet and it makes getting a year older less worrying- in fact I’ve gone totally over the top and had my ears pierced to celebrate that I am now of an age when I don’t care and I can do ANYTHING I WANT!

 

October 1st Visit to Hereford October 6, 2016

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This is just an experimental post as I’m trying to sort out our new computer before it sorts me out! Parts of the computer are brilliant like the pictures on the screen they are amazing but understanding how it all works   is rather baffling!

Anyway we had to drive to Hereford today to collect a new radiator for an old car…don’t ask!

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It is now October 6th and I have taken this long to find out how to put this picture of a bull into this post! As I’ve experienced  being close to a bull in  walks lately this bull in the centre of Hereford was magnificent  and safe to walk round!

We visited the Old House in the centre of Hereford which is an historic and distinctive black and white half-timbered house  built in 1621.

Hereford Cathedral, a superb Norman cathedral on a Saxon foundation, dating from 1079. was the  next awe inspiring place to see . We headed towards the area of the cathedral that houses the Mappa Mundi, a mediaeval map of the world dating from the 13th century. The information boards and explanations about the map were excellent and before long we entered the dimly lit room to see the map itself.

The photo is a copy of the map  and it was fascinating to find St Davids in Wales marked with other towns  and of course no  North or South America.

‘Mappa Mundi

Hereford Cathedral is home to the Hereford Mappa Mundi, one of the world’s unique medieval treasures. Measuring 1.59 x 1.34 metres (5’2” by 4’4”), the map is constructed on a single sheet of vellum (calf skin). Scholars believe it was made around the year 1300 and shows the history, geography and destiny of humanity as it was understood in Christian Europe in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.

The inhabited part of the world as it was known then, roughly equivalent to Europe, Asia and North Africa, is mapped within a Christian framework. Jerusalem is in the centre, and East is at the top. East, where the sun rises, was where medieval Christians looked for the second coming of Christ. The British Isles is at the bottom on the left. ‘copied from :  themappamundi.co.uk

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The Chained Library is also found in the cathedral and it was wonderful just to be able to walk through and see all these chained books in rows and finding out how ancient many of them were. The spines are not facing outwards as they could tangle up the chains holding the books in place.

Chained Library

‘The Hereford Cathedral Chained Library is the largest surviving chained library in the world. In the early 17th century, chained libraries could be found in universities and cathedrals, but this is the only one still to be chained. It contains about 1,500 books, dating from around 800AD to the early 19th century, including 227 medieval manuscript books. The books are still read by scholars who come from all over the world to study them.’  copied from the mappamumdi.co.uk

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We were interested in seeing where the proposed new stained glass window to celebrate the SAS will be placed.

‘To honour and celebrate this relationship, the SAS Regimental Association has commissioned artist John Maine RA to create an inspirational new sculpture and stained-glass window for Hereford Cathedral, which will be installed over the winter and unveiled in April 2017.

The installation will be called Ascension and will be a focus for reflection, pilgrimage and worship. It will act as a memorial and tribute to all who serve in and support the SAS – past, present and future – along with their families and friends. Ascension will also provide a spiritual place for reflection for all visitors to the cathedral, where people can reflect on their own lives and look forward with hope.

Ascension is one of the most important pieces of new cathedral art in the world. Its bold colours, striking stonework and thought-provoking message will be a breathtaking addition to the cathedral, marking the historic and modern link between Hereford and the SAS.’

Copied from:herefordcathedral.org

A great day out visiting a vibrant city and only one and a half hours drive away.

As I explained at the start of this post I am trying to learn how to use our new computer. This post has taken me days but I have found a way ( probably not the correct way) to put photos on the post  and I have found how to open other sites whilst on WordPress  e.g. Wikipedia but I can’t add a website address yet! That’s for next time! New computer is part of birthday present for special  birthday …so please be patient as I’m not as young as I used to be!!

 

September 23 Cwmdu Walk September 23, 2016

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Another Friday, another walk with Walking Well….another adventure!

An unexpected return to Cwmdu,  just a week later after the Bike Show, for the start of our walk  was a very pleasant surprise. We set off at a brisk pace through the village  and  took one of the tracks  to head uphill passing a delightful old garage…just  another  subject …maybe…for a painting!!

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Just then the heavens opened and we all ran for shelter under  a large tree, next to a pretty stream and an even prettier cottage. It always amazes me how many surprises one can have on a walk in Wales!

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The  hedgerows were glistening with the rain  and covered in every kind of lichen, liverwort and moss- heaven knows how many creepy crawlies too- but they stayed covered away from the rain.

We crossed a rather modern  bridge  over a tumbling stream which had recently replaced a characterful one.

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Another bull! A fiercely, handsome chappy with magnificent horns. Thankfully, we didn’t have to cross  his field and we continued up the track.

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More picturesque,  derelict properties to the left and right. Such a shame to think of happier days in the farmhouse and mill  when they would have been buzzing with life and activity- now all was quiet except for the robin singing in the trees.

The track led us further up the hill passed other lovely buildings and homes.

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Crossing  a field with two horses grazing quietly in a corner  seemed to pose no problems at all until half the group reached the exit gate and the other half…   my half… were  still some way from escaping the field. The horses decided  to have a game of tag and a frolicking match with a bit of high jinks thrown in!!!

All’s well that ends well  and soon we were all one group again and patting the horses on their noses with the gate in between us!

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Soon we had returned to a track and continued back into Cwmdu, just in time to catch the post, and  where we enjoyed a coffee in the pub  and put the world to rights with a bit of chat!

 

 

 

 
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