Lletty's Blog

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

October 16 Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk October 16, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 7:49 pm

Can you remember The Great Storm of 1987 -30 years ago today…it happened on my birthday! Well ..guess what… it’s stormy  and windy again  so it must be my birthday!

The day started off with some excellent Happy Birthday singing on the telephone from daughter, grandson, best friend and her husband!  FaceTime  chat with son and family in Canada  just makes one grateful how technology has developed to keep families so in touch when far apart.

After a quick breakfast we headed off to Laugharne, (45 minutes drive away from Lletty Cottage) where poet & writer Dylan Thomas first moved to in 1938. I had seen a good walking programme on TV with our weather forecaster Derek Brockway…Weatherman Walking. One of his walks was called Dylan Thomas Birthday Walk.

Why is it called a “Birthday Walk”?
“Poem in October is written about Dylan’s thirtieth birthday, spent walking the shoulder of Sir John’s Hill, ending with how he hoped to return again in a year’s time. On the last panel, I invite all to do the same as Dylan, and return to that high hill on their own birthday, and read out loud Dylan’s prophetic last verse thereby creating I hope a modern day pilgrimage for all to enjoy.”
Robert Stevens

So I knew where I wanted to spend my birthday this year on a special walk. I hadn’t planned for the weather to be stormy though and for Jim to be full of a cold but onwards and upwards as they say!

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We parked the car right next to the castle  and  set off down the track into the wind!

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We knew we were on the right road when we saw the sign!

There  were lovely  views back across the estuary towards the castle  and Dylan Thomas’s boathouse.

There were wonderful views too across the estuary..I particularly like mud flats!

 

One last view of the castle before we started climbing up through the woodland.

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The first information board about Dylan and his Poem In October placed next to a bench, with quote from poem and  with views across the bay.

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The path was littered with autumn leaves and with the wind gusting quite furiously  every sense was on alert.

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The views from the top of the hill took ones breath away…literally!

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The fork in the lane directed us to The Last Verse, which has to read out loud on  a birthday! So I did!

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The walk continued down hill facing the strengthening winds  and became  a longer harder walk than anticipated!

We had some interested spectators, who wondered if we were lost…so did we!

Eventually we found the Wales Coastal path sign and headed over more stiles,up  through woodland with creaking, groaning trees and falling twigs and  leaves  and climbed higher and higher and reached….another stile!

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Good place for  some wind turbines. Just a few more fields to cross before we reached the road safely after avoiding a friendly, inquisitive herd of cows!

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Back in the town  a birthday photo for me and for Dylan Thomas, whose birthday was 27 October 1914 …a good few years before mine…honest!

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DSC03833A stroll through the town brought us to Browns, the bar frequented by Dylan. Jim enjoyed a very tasty Browns Beer and after a look at the menu, which included many fine choices, best  of which was the topping on the pizza! I enjoyed a delicious toastie  and then headed back through the town trying to stay upright against the storm, which was worsening by the second.

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Arriving back home safely to be greeted by an Interflora delivery  from daughter, grandson, son in law and 3 boys of a stunning autumn flower arrangement …a fantastic ending to a perfect birthday walk.

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October 9th Hello: Dinefwr Aberglasney David Cowdry Bye Bye: BMW 850 October 9, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 9:43 pm

Hello to a sunny start on Friday when the Walking Well group  met up  at Llandeilo station before setting off  for a lovely stride through Dinefwr park.

The  steady pace was set by the front walkers which leaves me  at the back as I’m trying to snap a few sights on the way. Beautiful flowers filled the banks around the station  although the Victorians loved them they are now disliked …aah!

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The blackberries looked very tasty but were bitter -I should have listened to the ‘old wives’  tale and not eaten them after Michaelmas  Day September 29th! The day that  Satan was cast out of Heaven   and landed on a blackberry bush! Ouch!

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The day was turning out to be  perfect   and the farmers had even mowed the fields to get a last cut of silage.

We followed the  track under the railway line and up the hill to  Llandeilo town.

There were many interesting  doors  and entrances.

The most interesting front door opened to  my friend and his family’s new puppy, who will hopefully be joining us on our walks when he has all his jabs…the puppy has the jabs  – not my friend!

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We walked on down the road crossing over Llandeilo bridge into Dinefwr.

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Walking up through the woods is  just one of my favourite places especially at this time of year when one can kick the leaves  and  enjoy the crackle and crunch of the leaves underfoot.

5FdwkThe path led us through the graveyard of Llandyfeisant Church and onward through the parkland  overlooking the River Towy.

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All it needed was a shepherd to complete the idyllic scene of sheep grazing in the meadows.

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I wonder how old these sweet chestnut trees are?

At last I have some photos of some of  my walking companions, who don’t  mind the odd picture or two!

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Philip, an intrepid walker, is our ‘leader’ and plans the walks and  scouts the walks for us checking on the number of stiles and the depths of the muddy  puddles…what would we do without him?  This walk saw the return of Tilly, the dog with the stick fascination!

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Tilly has some difficulty choosing the right size of stick!

Newton House looked magnificent in the autumn sunlight.

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Following the track back across the park to the town we walked through places that I had never visited before: a football pitch, a bowling green, a playground  …it’s amazing what one discovers!

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There were more interesting front doors  to see  before we arrived back at The Works, Llandeilo  for a delicious quiche and salad…we didn’t have the usual cake and coffee  as the quiche looked too tempting!

The weekend saw a visit to Aberglasney Gardens  to volunteer and to see David Cowdry’s exhibition. ‘A mix of landscapes and wildlife, David’s paintings capture the beauty of the area in a way only an artist with a deep love and appreciation of the natural world can.’

( My camera packed up whilst taking photos..sorry David!)

The Gardens looked a picture too!

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Saying goodbye to our  motor bike after 17 years was very sad. It  had become far too heavy and big for us to handle safely   and another younger and fitter  biker wanted it- so now or never! A ‘man with a van’ from Llandovery came and loaded it to take it onwards. Fortunately, we now have a smaller, lighter bike so watch out  ..we’ll be  back on the road soon!

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Rufus was sad too!

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Thank goodness the autumn colours at Aberglasney would cheer anyone up!

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September 24 Walking, Steam and Dome. September 24, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 7:26 pm

DSC03407.jpgAfter a week with troublesome  internet and email problems I’m hoping that this blog stays written and doesn’t disappear before I’ve completed it!

A note from Philip reminding us that a Walking Well walk was set for Friday which would take us around the fields  and lanes of Cwmdu  and then back to Cwmdu pub for a refreshing coffee and  a slice of bara brith and he promised  ‘a bit muddy in one place only.’  Sounded good!

Friday dawned  bright and dry so we set off enjoying the stroll through the  quiet lanes picking a few blackberries on the way and noting the change of season as the autumn equinox began.

Colourful crab apples growing outside a pretty cottage just outside Cwmdu.

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The walk continued up a lane and crossed over a fast flowing stream.

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There we’re some lovely ‘run down’ properties to see all just ready for  some renovation work!

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I suppose  this wasn’t too muddy  and we all passed through it safely without falling over and headed back towards Cwmdu for our refreshments and a chat!

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A visit to Pembrey today for the Autumn Steam Fair turned out very well despite the rain that came down very frequently throughout the day!

There was lots to see and  hear and  the smell of the steam and oil  filled the air..it was wonderful!DSC03359.jpg

 

 

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Although we are fortunate enough to own a Morris Minor soft top I’ve always wanted one of these too. Such sensible lovely cars!

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I have a soft spot for a Morgan as we used to own one but the  very first  car that I really , really wanted when I was in my teens was  the next car along a Triumph Vitesse! I loved the way the headlights sloped upwards and the ‘sharp’ fold in the metal along the bonnet and I wanted a red one! I didn’t get one but I still like them and it’s never too late!

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Mr Toad definitely looks proud and happy to be sitting on the bonnet of this car!

I’d like to get this one for Jim as it has his name on it already and would save time packing it up for Christmas!

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Pembrey is an amazing place as it is a Country Park  with many walks through the beautiful woodland and then paths leading directly to the beach of Cefn Sidan.

An art group that I belong to  in Gelli Aur  has chosen a theme of Water’s Edge for this term’s topic…so I had plenty of inspiration today. The sky was wide and wonderful and the beach with visitors walking was beautiful. I have no excuses now for not having a suitable reference!

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After leaving the beach we headed back to a Model Railway Show also taking place in Pembrey Park….in another part of the park there were numerous horse trailers , horses and riders taking part in an equestrian event ….such a busy place.

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Blimey my knees wouldn’t allow me to drive a train like this!

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This is more my style…laid back and enjoying the scenery! Note the little robin who got in on the act too.

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This excitement was not the end of our day out. The Open Doors events  were continuing this weekend too and we were visiting the Pembrey Gunnery Dome which is only open twice  a year. Pembrey has had military connections through the years and there was a Royal Ordnance Factory here during the war.  There are only 6 gunneries left in the UK  and this   Gunnery  is the only one left in Wales  and is in disrepair  and  the Pembrey Mountain Trust  are  hopefully going to raise money and  renovate it.

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We were given an excellent talk explaining how the gunners from  all the forces were brought here to practice their shooting skills. Images of the planes were projected on the walls and the gunners  were taught  how to  aim  and  fire  and all this  with the sound effects too- it must have been   deafening.

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This lovely young lady dressed in a 1950’s WRAF  uniform  (I think) was  also at the Gunnery  showing items from the war included Morse code signalling equipment. I tapped  out a quick SOS message to  find an umbrella! It was pouring down with rain now  and eating the tastiest carrot cake ever  and drinking a cup of coffee in the wet was not my ideal  ending to a brilliant day out!

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September 10 Myddfai Walk and Open Doors September 10, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 10:04 pm

Walking Well Friday again and the rain held off…just! We’ve had very  watery weather  with blasts of sunshine in between so having a day that looked drier than previous ones the walk was on!

We set off through the village  and spotted some fascinating  ‘begging hands’ outside one of the cottages.

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Further on  were beautiful views over the Beacons.

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Accompanying the walk was Tilly, a black and white collie  dog and she was looking after Philip, our leader. She was very intelligent and took great pride in teaching us all how to pick up sticks and throw them  and  also how to wait on the side of the road listening and looking for traffic.

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When we’d crossed the road safely there was still lots of interest to be found in the hedges.

There was evidence of the mighty rainfall we’ve had as the gulleys were blocked with the early autumn leaves and Pam made a gallant effort clearing all the drains as we went along the road.

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It was a good job that Tilly had given us all  some  road safety tips as it was put to great use!

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Another hint from Tilly was to pick up the  proffered stick and throw it.

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Our walk took us through the  estate of Prince Charles but again he wasn’t home.

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Not wishing to be repetitive but Tilly was insistent that we really did need to concentrate and learn how to pick up those sticks!

Continuing our walk through the estate we saw geese getting ready for Christmas  (11 geese a laying!), trees standing on  guard , postman delivering, autumn colours, Myddfai church, a blue cottage and wild flowers… and the coffee and courgette and lime cake from the Visitor Centre just made for a perfect walk!

 

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The upstairs in Aberglasney  mansion is not usually open to the public but today being Open Doors Day tours were being taken by the Head Gardener/Director Joseph and I was helping…well opening and closing doors!! The event is on next weekend too  so anyone who books and pays normal entrance fees  can go on a tour and see all the magic of upstairs! A few photos to whet your appetite.

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Later in the day I went to a party in a beautiful house with a garden that went right down to the River Towy. This fisherman had all the gear and was striding out with every intention of catching  his supper!

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Arriving home in the rain  I was welcomed by a half rainbow…the other end was in my kitchen…my pot of gold…Jim was making  me a cup of coffee!

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August 25 Walk Around Talley August 25, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 6:54 pm

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

The rain had stopped, the sun was peeping out so all set for a walk with Walking Well. Jane,my pal and I, set off in our car along the country lanes to Talley. These lanes can be a bit of a nightmare  as they are very narrow without  many passing places  but thankfully the only car we met was Paul, in his Post Office van delivering mail. He’s such a gentleman he reversed  back down a hill so we could squeeze past!

Not long after (20 minutes!) we arrived outside Talley church and abbey. The abbey had been home to  monks in the 12th century and the lakes were their fishponds.  The church had been built centuries later using stones from the derelict abbey.

http://www.castlewales.com/talley.html

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After meeting everyone else we set off following Philip, our leader!

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The road swept gradually upwards  as Philip had promised us in his mail…’It’s about a two and a half mile walk on tracks and woodland paths. There are no stiles. There is a steady walk uphill on graded tracks and then a gentle downhill section on a footpath. Stunning views and plenty of exercise.’

We’ll see if he’s correct at the end of the walk!!

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We did pass some lovely properties which had lovely views over the valley below.

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DSC02941.jpgWe walked  through some quite dense undergrowth and then followed what Philip called ‘a steady walk uphill’! Steps can be killers on the legs! But we were promised beautiful views and the climb was certainly worth it.

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Whichever way one looked the view was wonderful. One way in the distance were the Cambrian Mountains and the other way the Carmarthen Fans…just beautiful.

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DSC02976 (1).jpgDSC02985.jpgDSC02978.jpgMany interesting plants, mosses and liverworts were growing on the sides of the paths.DSC02983.jpgStanding like soldiers the conifers lined up by side by side.

DSC02987.jpgThe trig point was at the top of this hill…just a step too far today…but next time!

DSC02991.jpgAfter admiring the view we started off down another hill back to the car park. The buddleia were still in flower and attracting butterflies- it’s a mystery to me why my well looked after buddleia  in the garden has died when these ‘wild’ ones are flourishing!

I think Philip described his walk very well  but I might have used  a different adjective instead of ‘steady’!

Back home  I found that the sun had partly dried out the hay meadow and the kind farmer was giving  the grass a cut!

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He said he’d be back tomorrow to turn the grass twice and hopefully he’ll bale it on Sunday before the rain returns! It’s all go!

 

August 24 Show Time and Showing Off! August 24, 2017

 

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Shows everywhere, in every village and town, at this time of the year- a great meeting place  for everyone. Lots to  look at and enjoy in our local show in Llansadwrn. First there are  the  in hand horse and pony classes, followed swiftly by the sheep classes, dog show, and finally the gymkhana and jumping. Alongside all this activity there’s  the agricultural section (including best bale of hay, best discarded horn, tallest sunflower, tallest nettle  and longest fern) I must remember to enter the tallest nettle next year as there are plenty in my garden!

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The horticultural, art  and craft, domestic produce, handicrafts , photographic  and children’s sections are held in the marquee which is a hive of activity before 11am when all entries have to be in place.  People carrying enormous baskets of finely grown vegetables vie with others who have  one   hand carrying a plate with tasty looking cakes and the other hand carrying a dainty flower arrangement – the hustle and bustle is all delightful.

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11am arrives and peace descends as  the flaps to the marque are closed and all the entries await all  the judges decisions.

 

DSC02785.jpg                                             Showing off my winning herbs!

Continuing on the theme of showing off- I was pleased that my photos did well too!

Off to another show in Bristol this time for the Model Engineer’s Show!

First crossing the beautiful Severn Bridge  and then onwards to Thornbury for the exhibition.

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Amazing models of all things to enjoy  and wonder at. My grandfather used to own a  traction engine which powered  his fairground bioscope show that travelled up and down the country in the early 1900’s. He had a model made of the traction engine  and it was similar to this one…..memories!

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                                       My favourite- I could watch it going round all day! 

Completing the trio of shows visited in the last week  was a drive out to Waunifor in Ceredigion, about an hour away, for their end of summer Art exhibition. This year marks their 10th anniversary.

Thirty- eight local artists  display their recent work in  a lovely building, the Cedar Hall.

David Small, Waunifor’s resident ceramic artist  had some lovely work on display.

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It was wonderful to walk around the exhibition, with a good friend, and enjoy the many styles and techniques  of the artists who had created such an amazing exhibition. This was quickly followed by a coffee and cake before the drive home.

Looking forward to another show/exhibition which opens  soon at Llangathen Hall!

 

August 15 Fat Baby, Veg and Artists Visiting August 15, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 4:44 pm

 

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My Fat Baby is delicious! I have so many Fat Babies to eat I’m not sure what to do with them all! It all started off at art class when chat turns to other things besides paint, paper, vanishing points etc! Wendy (www.wendypowell-jones.me.uk) our tutor told us about some seeds she was planting  that she had bought from http://www.realseeds.co.uk, Of course, that got me looking up the site and buying some Fat Baby seeds, other ACHOCHA seeds, bean seeds and others. The achocha seeds are very easy to grow but be warned they spread everywhere. They taste like green peppers when fried but so much easier to grow!

 

Whilst out in the veg patch and while it wasn’t raining I picked some veg and looked at the few plants that the rabbits, snails and slugs have left! No wonder our hedgehog is getting quite fat with all the slugs he is eating! IMG_8815.jpg

 

 

The land cress is doing well which is a good thing as I eat loads!

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A quick look around the back garden which is still looking quite colourful despite the rain.

 

Thankfully, there are lots of bees and other stripey creatures flying round.

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I do love a nasturtium as do the cabbage white butterflies but share and share alike!

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Plants in pots take a lot of watering when it’s dry but hey…hardly any work this year…there are benefits to having a lot of rain! IMG_8875.jpg

During the summer the house plants are given a bit of fresh air and they are loving it.IMG_8884.jpg

This house plant has positively thrived and grown huge and flowered…who’d have guessed that!

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Through the winter this lily lives in the Ty Bach ( small room…downstairs loo!) but loves the summer light!

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I love my garden and it’s always a pleasure to share it with others. Some of the artists in the art group that I go to   (Gelli Aur Painters on Facebook) came for lunch the other day and the sun shone all day! A magic day with friends!

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No Walking Well news this post…it was too wet for me! Catch up next time when hopefully it won’t be raining so hard!

 

 

 

 
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