Lletty's Blog

Croeso! Welcome to Lletty Cottage a lovely five star holiday cottage for two in Carmarthenshire. www.llettycottage.co.uk

November 4th Llansadwrn, Aberglasney, Gelli Aur Art Day November 4, 2018

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It was autumn and then….

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Winter arrived with a blast of  cold and chilly weather. The garden, although curling up  for the winter took on a magic beauty of its own when Jack Frost touched all the plants with his icy fingers.

The little tomatoes left in the greenhouse looked on in horror as the frost covered the glass and crept slowly towards them!

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October 20 Away Days in England! October 20, 2018

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WARNING: Holiday photos…!

Autumn has always been a favourite time of year to go away for a short holiday. This year we could have chosen a better weekend to leave home as the wind was howling and the rain was slashing down. Only a few miles from home we were diverted off the main road by the police as the road ahead was flooded. The diversion also became totally flood bound but we made it back onto the main road. However, we were stopped further on by flooding  and told that a diversion of many miles would be needed to get us back on a road to Bristol. Undaunted we drove very safely and carefully through the floods and made it safely through! The reason for this risk was the purchase the night before on the internet tickets for entry to the Aerospace Museum in Bristol for £29…I wasn’t going to waste that!

Amazing to see Concorde displayed so magnificently in its own hangar and quite a thrill to board it for a quick walk through.

 

Excellent displays of all things aeronautical  and other surprising ventures too!

             

Later that day, in sunshine, we visited Nuffield Place, the home of Lord (William Morris)  and Lady Nuffield. William Morris became one of the richest men in the world and founded  Morris Motors.

 

The house was modest and very homely. Even though William Morris had this tool cupboard in his bedroom we are not going to follow suit though Jim liked the idea! We enjoyed an evening out with our family in a lovely country pub  before heading off the next morning, in the rain, to Stratford upon Avon. On the way  we called in at Upton Hall  and enjoyed a guided tour of the house. 

Think he was looking for his umbrella!

There were numerous stalls  selling all sorts of wares and all dripping wet lined up through the streets. Many years ago my grandparents used to attend the Mop Fair with their showman’s  traction engine and their bioscope show.

WADBROOK’S and SCARD “PALACE OF LIGHT” BIOSCOPE & VARIETY SHOW – Stratford Mop Fair 1908! 

No exciting things like that on show this year!


The ladies opened the lock gates to let their boat power out but the swans and geese had other ideas and swam in!

The spire isn’t crooked ..it’s me wobbling!

No this isn’t another Shakespearean actor it’s Stanley Matthews…the only footballer that I remember! The statue is in the centre of Hanley, Stoke on Trent, centre of the Potteries.

 

All these exhibits were in Hanley museum. When we saw the this deer exhibit below we thought the strip lighting had fallen down unnoticed by the staff…so we went and told them. However, it appeared that this  ‘accident’  was an “art installation” …I say no more!!

We enjoyed a fresh walk around Rudyard Lake and then fancied a cup of coffee and cake.

These were also tucking into their teatime snack!

 

Biddulph Grange Gardens looked beautiful in their autumn colours.

The Gladstone Pottery is a working museum and it was fascinating to walk through the history of the place and see and talk to  the potters  crafting their skills.

A visit to Cheadle to see St Giles’ Catholic Church is a must for folk who like the work of Pugin…I do!

 

Arriving back home we were relieved to find that locally the floods have receded  but they have left their mark on many places. Hopefully  those homes and businesses will get sorted as promptly as possible.

Home sweet home is definitely best place to be.

( can’t load a new post on WordPress- something to do with ‘cache’- so this version only loads one photo at a time!)

 

 

October 6th Walks in All Weathers! October 6, 2018

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Our recent changeable weather has made for some interesting local visits and walks sometimes wearing T shirts  and daps next  wellies and waterproofs! On Friday it was our Walking Well walk and Philip had chosen Caio as our destination. It’s only ten minutes drive away from home and the forestry walk is a good choice when it’s been raining! The tracks are easy to walk on and no stiles.

The autumn colours although shrouded in mist shone through.

IMG_0283Our figure of eight walk led through the trees, over a little bridge, up some steps through the woods and back round again.

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Philip pointed out the bare larch trees that had died due to the virus that has spread through many forests.

With the mist lifting the autumn colours began to glow.

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Back in Caio   we all returned to the Brunant Pub for a quick refreshment. It is very handily situated across the road from the church.

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Earlier in the week when the sun was shining we visited Llanerchaeron    an 18th-century estate with early John Nash villa, plus a walled garden, ornamental lake and home farm.

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We entered through the ‘back’ door crossing over the beautiful cobblestone courtyard.

We walked through the wonderful house…we were the only people there so it was rather special!

Outside  we ambled through the old farmyard saying hello to the animals,  through the lovely gardens and around the lake feeling that it was our own place as again we saw no other visitors.

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In one of the stables we met a very interesting gentleman  David Evans.  

David was sitting amongst all  his leather tools  and his high quality leather work  working hard hand stitching a harness. He’d even made little shoes for the hooves of a donkey that was on an expedition with its owner around Britain!

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Loved the greenhouses!

and the veggie garden and orchard with friend!

Today after a very wet night that left our pond well filled with water again we set off on a circular walk around Llansadwrn…our village! We walked through country lanes until we came to the forestry  and walked along their tracks. We followed the path down through the fields, passing sheep and bullocks, all safely on the other side of fencing  and then through AberMarlais Caravan Park. The Park has been spruced up and looks fantastic. We continued  on the road for a few hundred metres  and arrived home.

Lots of things to see n our walk!

Neighbours houses to pass and say ‘hello’ !

Trees blown down in recent storms and waterfalls flowing with recent rain!

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Autumn colours everywhere!

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Animals all on the right side of the fences!

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Back home!

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Where the colours are still bright and beautiful!

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September 22nd Llyn Lech Owain September 22, 2018

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Funny  how your memory works isn’t it! It’s so hard to remember those hot and dry days of the summer when  the garden turned brown, the ponds dried up  but everyone seemed to be happy and enjoying the warmth on their backs.  Lately, the water butts are overflowing, the wellies are outside the back door, the plants are face down in the borders and it’s raining again! Not to worry though, the Walking Well group is ready for anything! Philip had other plans for the day so Lewis stepped in  not so much to ‘boldly go where no man has gone before’ …because we had been to Llyn Lech Owain  …but to take us on a very logical walk around the paths. Being Lewis we set off not at ‘warp speed’  but definitely at a swifter pace than usual.

IMG_9464 Driving to Llyn Lech Owen we had passed numerous cars  near Llangadog parked on verges and even on the middle of a roundabout  as the day before we had all suffered from very heavy  down pours of rain . This  meant flooded impassable roads hence the abandoned cars!  At least the heavy rain had stopped when we set off on our walk although it was a bit dark and gloomy!

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Funnily enough in my art group we are starting our new calendar for 2020 and the subject is  local Myths and Legends! There’s a  myth about this lake :

‘There was once a magic well on the mountain Mynydd Mawr, which lies just north of Gorslas.The entrance to this well was protected with a huge flagstone, which was watched over by a local farmer.One day, a thirsty young man named Owain came by the well with his horse. Both parched, Owain removed the stone so he and his steed could drink the water within. The pair fell asleep shortly after without covering the well back up. Masses of flowing water then flooded the land, which was only stopped after Owain galloped around it on horseback, using his magic to contain the perimeter.

The resultant lake on Mynydd Mawr was hence named Llyn Llech Owain (the lake of Owain’s stone slab).

Some versions of this tale assume that this Owain is Owain Llawgoch, others associate it with the perhaps better-known Owain Glyndwr.’ copied from Wales Online.

I think we needed a bit magic  to clear the water as some of the paths were rather damp!

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We passed a number of dogs taking their owners for their walks.

and saw some straight paths  and lots  of bendy trees.

The conditions were just right for  fungi of different sizes and shapes.

We found this stone…thank you Jade!

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The  stream flowing through the woods was the highest I’d seen it  and thankfully the   bridges kept our feet dry above the sodden land.

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The walk ended as all lovely walks do in a cafe with the best coffee and cake! The cakes were served with cream, strawberries and raspberries…a pure treat…totally delicious! I was reliably informed by a fellow walker that we had walked 9000 steps so I didn’t feel too guilty in enjoying the cake! Thanks Lewis.

Back home   when the sun shines  there are   autumn colours  beginning to show amongst the tale enders of summer.

 

Rufus definitely knows it’s autumn and has taken up his favoured place for the next six months!

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September 7th Salem Walk September 7, 2018

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A few weeks have passed since I went on a Walking Well Walk   and today’s walk sounded really interesting .  It was planned by a member of the Group around  Salem area where she lives.  Salem is a lovely village just outside Llandeilo and these ponies were in their paddock ready to great us all as we arrived.

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Setting off through the fields at a steady pace we all admired the beautiful views on every side.

The grass was lush and long and shows that the rain has returned after our summer weeks of drought.

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The first of our animal encounters started in the next field. Luckily the farmer arrived on her quad bike to distract the advancing herd!

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Continuing on over stiles that had recently been mended by the kind husband of our leader we  walked through the next fields  keeping our eyes open for other farm animals.

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We were not disappointed! In the field there was a  herd of cattle with  cows, calves and facing us a rather large and handsome bull. …to the right of the photo. We strode steadily on  trying to look calm  but  some of us felt a bit scared! It was all fine though and all the animals just stared  and stayed put!

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Crossing the next field we had a lovely view of Taliaris Mansion .

Wiki: Plas Taliaris is a Grade I-listed building two miles to the north-east of Salem in Carmarthenshire, west Wales. It was first mentioned in 1336 and has been owned by the Gwynne family until the house was sold in 1787. Most of the estate was sold in the 1950s and the house was restored in around 1989

One could just imagine Jane Austen visiting!

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Sheep and horses filled the next fields and we passed a delightful barn too.

Nearly completing our circular walk we had some rather wet  and muddy paths  to navigate …well Philip was with us and he seems to enjoy wet patches!

Although autumn tinged leaves were blanketing the ground -in the hedgerows it looked quite springlike with fresh fern fronds, strawberry flowers and  campion but they were surrounded by autumn fruits of sloes, hips and haws and huge quantities of sweet blackberries.

With wet feet we arrived at the last field where we were greeted by a flock of sheep and a  very friendly goat.

Back at the farmhouse,  after the lovely walk, we were treated to an amazing array of delicious cakes, coffee and tea, which we all enjoyed to the full.

A rhea egg from the rhea kept on the farm compared to an ostrich egg…no ostriches on this farm though!

A great walk in  brilliant company…thank you.

Just ring my bell!

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September 4th Catch Up Time! September 4, 2018

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Daydream Golden Tail- that’s my unicorn name! What’s yours? ! It sort of sums up the last three amazing and wonderful weeks spent with my family, who have been staying with us  on holiday from Canada.

Visiting all the local places with them has been a delight and seeing our countryside and places of interest through the eyes of two 4 year olds has been rather special.

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Just a few (!) photos of our visits out to local attractions  to show how busy we have been having fun and what a great place to come on holiday.

Enjoying the garden.

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Visiting Dynevor Castle:

Under the  shadow of Llandovery Castle there’s a playground….funny what you discover when there are children around!

 

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Our day at the Botanic Garden of Wales was superb with all the different things to see and do. Top of the list was watching the birds of prey display …it was spectacular!

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Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire  has lions, giraffes, rhinos and lots more protected animals, there are also playgrounds, fair rides  everything for adults and children to love.

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But best of all they have ppppp…penguins!

A visit to Llanstephan is always a pleasure walking on the sands and climbing up to the castle to take in the stunning views of the coast. The children found their pleasure in finding another playground  and of course enjoying the sand to build sand castles.

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Our daughter  and  older grandson also joined the  sand party  and stayed a few days with us all.

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The metal farm statues  of the  dog and goose outside Debenhams in Carmarthen will never look the same to me again after being ridden on !

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I have a fear of being enclosed or locked in so why did I enter the caves at  the  Showcases Centre- Dan Yr Ogof …because I had the children with me! They looked after me very well when we went deep into the long cave system. I survived …just …but left it up  to the parents to take them into the two other cave systems on site which they said were very interesting and quite breathtaking.

On the site there are  also the most amazing dinosaurs …ones I’ve never heard of or could even pronounce their names off their information boards…happily  my  4 year old grandson knew all the names  and told me all about them.

Cantref Adventure Farm set in the most beautiful surroundings in the Brecon Beacons had a rather magic day! Unicorns were offering to give children rides! So who could refuse such an offer. Both children had a great time especially  in the company of  Bella .

Not sure the unicorn liked the colour of his painted hooves!

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Certain animals could also be petted. Bella was the lynch pin in most of the activities and  never stopped smiling …bet she’ll be glad when the school holidays end!

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Stroking a chinchilla was fine but …a rat…a big one too…think I’ll pass on that one!

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The views around were stunning  and another happy day ended at the fish and  chip shop Llandovery!

A holiday here has to include  a visit to Tenby. It was  beautiful with the sea, sand and sky all shining in the sunshine. There was another playground before more sand castles and a walk around the harbour.

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As if we didn’t have enough excitement there was a very kind invitation to watch the Tour of Britain at a friend’s house as the cycles would be passing their front door! The family left for a couple of days in London.  So we enjoyed a fantastic day  out with delicious food included  watching the cycles racing by! It was all huge fun especially all the police motor bikes racing along the lanes sounding their sirens  and then all the cars carrying bikes on their roofs…   it was  just the best day! Bethlehem is now firmly on the map! Couldn’t see Geraint but he was there somewhere!

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Next day we went to London to catch up with the family and enjoyed a visit to Hyde Park, where we had a picnic in the remarkable Diana Memorial …you’ve guessed it…Playground! Such a splendid place …no adult allowed unless accompanied by a child and then it’s a safe and secure place to play.

Being let out of the play area!

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The Natural History Museum was our next stop. Fantastic displays as always.

 

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We left the family outside the museum and headed slowly back through the park  to Paddington station  for the train home.

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Arriving back to a very quiet house after such a  brilliant time of laughs and joy has been hard  but planning for future visits already.

Back to reading my 4 favourite blogs ( missed what you’ve all been up to!) and starting art group again this week will cheer me up no end!

The family have just landed home in Canada …so all’s well.

 

August 10 Painters Visit Botanic Garden of Wales August 10, 2018

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As is customary our art group, Gelli Aur Painters, arrange an outing in the month of August  to visit a place altogether to sketch and chat. The Botanic Garden of Wales is not far away from  where we usually meet for our art sessions but it’s like visiting a different world!

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There are many different aspects   to enjoy  in the Garden and in our group we  are fortunate to have two  Garden volunteers  and they were going to give us more information whilst we had our walk around. Of course no get together can start before everyone had enjoyed a coffee  in the coffee shop. Lots of oohs and aaaahs when our new 2019 Calendar was produced for us all  to see and to do a final proof reading before it is sent off to be printed. It was very exciting to see  the finished calendar with all our paintings displayed so beautifully and  many, many  thanks were made to our ‘leader’ for all her hard work and effort collating  our art, planning the layout, taking photos of all our paintings  and  finally uploading it all  onto a calendar making website…clever stuff!

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Setting off into the Gardens we all walked through these two curving ‘walls’. It was then that one of  our ‘volunteers’ jumped into action explaining that this is the ‘Scaladaqua Tonda’! which means curving water steps which is what they are! They were designed by William Pye.  Standing in the centre on the central stone one can create an echo! I tried and it works!

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We passed the Japanese Garden

‘It is named Sui Ou Tei, a reflection of the national flowers of Japan and Wales – the cherry tree and daffodil.

The Real Japanese Garden was brought here piece by piece from the Chelsea 2001 Flower Show where it won a gold medal and the prestigious ‘Best of Show’ Award It consists of three traditional Japanese gardens – the Stream and Lake Garden, the Gravel Garden and the Tea Garden. Filled with symbolism and guided by Zen philosophy, this is a lovely place to sit and contemplate.’

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Just  checking and looking to see how to make one of the lovely containers!

Following the path around we saw the new maze that has been created this year using hay bales. No time to try it out this time but many will be returning to the Gardens later in the summer when they have family visitors staying and the maze looks a great place to lose some for a short time!

DSC09398Leading off from the Bee Garden where there are 250,000 bees a buzzing  the Group headed up to visit the new amazing British Bird of Prey Centre. We just caught the end of a  wonderful flying display and promised to return at a later date to catch it all.  There are 20 native birds of prey including hawks, falcons, kites and buzzards, as well as eagles!

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A wedding was taking place in the Great Glasshouse.  Such a happy occasion couldn’t have found a better location surrounded by all the  beautiful plants from all over the world and serenaded by all the birds singing!

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One always has to be on the watch out for dragons…it is Wales after all!

 

DSC09425No one in the Group wanted to go and try out these   fun balls but they may return another time!

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Heading towards Plas Pilipala, the Butterfly House we passed glorious wildflower mini meadows, where different seeds are being tested  and butterfly/insect counts taking place.

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Moths seem to have arrived in with the butterflies, they were magnificent  and large! The flowers blooming there were  stunning!
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The dragon seemed to be following us as we enjoyed marvelling at the wonderful sewing work on display.

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After gathering together again for  a tasty lunch it was noted that only one tiny sketch had been made by one person! It was decided that each moment in our lives is a picture, which we’d never seen before so we should just relax and enjoy it  as it happens! Sketching can wait a bit!

Wonder what paintings we’ll do   after being inspired by the best away day in lovely warm sunshine, in  delightful company, in our very own Botanic Garden of Wales!

 

 
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