Lletty's Blog

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

January 12th 2018 Hair Ice and Bubble Doughnuts on Walk around Botanic Garden of Wales January 13, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 4:34 pm

Today,  all the elements  pulled together to make our walk  a really happy, successful and exciting one!  A larger number than usual joined the group today- it must have been the sunshine- to enjoy a walk  around the Botanic Garden of Wales. Although the sun was out it was jolly cold as we set off up the Broadwalk  towards the Great Glasshouse .DSC05490It was rather icy and slippery underfoot but the fountain wasn’t frozen…wish it had been  as it would make a lovely photo!

DSC05488

Following the footpath around the Glasshouse we entered the Fairy Wood. Sadly. it was too cold for any fairies to be around but they had left some of their belongings  behind.

DSC05494

It’s exciting times in the Gardens as there is a huge restoration project taking place. A grant from the Lottery Fund has made it possible for work to begin on  restoring a Regency waterpark. There will be seven lakes, cascades, falls and weirs   recreating the Garden as it was in the 19th century.  Work  has already taken place  and large areas are revealed where the lakes will be.

DSC05500

DSC05505

Many of the trees alongside the path were ominously marked with red paint!

 

What a surprise to see areas of white on some of the tree branches up ahead! I earned top Brownie marks for knowing what they were! Thanks to another blogger that I follow, who sees the same on his walks…it was hair ice! Not seen in these parts before!

 

DSC05519

 

The path followed  by the side of the river and  led us through some muddy patches ( it wouldn’t be a walk with Philip if we didn’t get a bit muddy!). We    saw some   interesting steps leading down… to a sluice maybe!

 

DSC05532DSC05533

DSC05529

Taking a photo of a bridge from another bridge before we headed back up the other side of the river to the waterfall,

DSC05531

At the waterfall we spied the next phenomena …the bubble doughnut!

DSC05540

The waterfall with the doughnut  swirling at its base!DSC05542

After so much excitement for the day we headed back towards the Glasshouse. Paxton’s Tower in the distance on one hill and the Glasshouse on the opposite side.

 

Passing across the bridge over the established  lakes  the ‘new’ lakes that are being recreated  could be seen   on the other side.

 

 

DSC05564

DSC05568

A visit to  the Gardens isn’t complete without a visit to the Butterfly House- Plas Pilipala.

 

So hot and steamy today it misted all the lens up!

On the way to get our sugar intake for the day  we  saw the birds of prey flying free- a wonderful sight!

 

 

DSC05585

Drifts of white seen through the trees turned out to be beautiful snowdrops and not more hair ice!

DSC05588

The mallards put on an excellent display of synchronised diving to end our walk.

DSC05590

Back home  a quick look round the garden to photo a flock of long tailed tits on the feeder but Holly get there first! I’m sure she’s laughing!

DSC05638

It’s great to see lots of colour returning to the borders now- spring is arriving…slowly but surely!

DSC05608

 

How can one top an excellent day which had a wonderful walk, with lovely people,  many interesting finds…well..you have a double yolk in your egg  for your tea!

DSC05665

 

December 30 Cwmdu Walk Talk and Eat December 30, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 1:19 pm
Tags: , ,

A lovely walk,organised by Philip, through the back lanes of Cwmdu and ending with a superb Christmas lunch in the pub is a great way to prolong the Christmas celebrations.

We set off from outside the pub, where there was an amazing willow reindeer and through the village over the little bridge admiring some of the lovely houses along the way.

DSC05308

As it’s Christmas I want to be kind to Philip and not mention the muddy lane and deep puddles…but there were a few! After the mud we headed up a farm  track into the very bright morning sunshine. Again one shouldn’t complain about the sun after the miserable weather we’ve had but boy was it bright?!

DSC05313

It was worth the climb to see the views that were being lit up by the blue skies and sunshine.

DSC05315

DSC05317

After another fairly long climb we ‘dived’ back down into the valley  through  very wet fields passing some very wet sheep!

DSC05320

It’s amazing how a blue sky cheers everyone up. It might have been the thought of the delicious spread that awaited us at the pub that made  everyone speed up on their way back!

DSC05324DSC05326DSC05327

Back at the cosy pub we settled down and enjoyed the tastiest  bowl of lamb cawl (veggie option too!) and  home baked  flavourful sour dough  and crusty bread rolls. No photos of the cawl I ate it all up before I remembered!

DSC05328

DSC05342

DSC05331

The desserts were equally scrumptious:    blackcurrant and vanilla bakewell tart  topped with banana ice-cream..(Lewis is a star baker!)  and   fairy tale meringue (Biddy baker!)

To finish the gourmet lunch off Bundt cake was served- totally yummy!

DSC05347

We all had a brilliant time and Pip, the dog enjoyed herself too, keeping warm in front of the fire!

Thank you all!

Christmas at home is colourful ! It has been shared with the family and cats, Rufus is not usually allowed on the table but he enjoys having his photo taken!

DSC05245

As we have only just discovered the joys of visiting Cynghordy viaduct we returned on Boxing Day with the family for another look!

Pooh sticks was played off the bridge and stones thrown into the ford…all good games for a boy!

We continued our trip out to the Sugar Loaf,  one of the many hills given that name  in Wales! It’s a short drive from the viaduct.

A short hike up a steep slope and one reaches the summit! Better views when the rain isn’t approaching!

Heading for home the rain, sleet and cold arrived so it was  declared we’d had  a great Boxing Day outing.  Sitting in front of the kitchen fire eating more mince pies  brought our day to an end  and another family Christmas over.

DSC05249

Best wishes and Happy New Year everyone!

Thank you for reading, liking  and commenting through 2017. Roll on 2018!

 

 

December 22 Walk to Cynghordy Viaduct December 22, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 6:04 pm

As the Winter Solstice has now been, come and gone and the evenings will now start getting lighter ( I know it’s  very early days but I’m an optimist at heart!)  an afternoon walk in the countryside to test the extra milli seconds of light available  was arranged! Just 15 minutes drive from home is the little village of Cynghordy. We had never visited  the place  before  in the car or on foot but we have passed over it many times! The Heart of Wales railway line runs from Swansea to Shrewsbury  crossing over the village via a Viaduct!

DSC05101

We parked in front of the railway station and headed off down the lane.

DSC05099

I follow a very interesting blogger who captures wonderful photos of his landscape  every day of the year. He also loves the tops of fence posts  with their huge variety of lichen and life! He’s started me looking now! 

Further along the windy road we passed a large manor house with a perimeter wall and a lovely secret gate!

DSC05104

The road cut through the very middle of a farm. Very interesting machinery, lovely old barns, animal noises  and a huge pile of turnips   got my attention – so we moved swiftly on!

DSC05109

DSC05110

DSC05190

We crossed a  bridge over a racing river and continued  along the road.

DSC05116

At last, there in the distance we spied the viaduct!

DSC05113

We quickened our pace   but stopped to admire a little farm nestling away in the trees.

DSC05117

Rounding another corner  a further glimpse of the ….viaduct loomed through the mist and the woodland. (I hope I’m building  up the suspense for you!)

DSC05118

Then…gasp…there it was in full view and a truly magnificent sight it was too!  Cwtched down underneath the arches is an old chapel  and graveyard- just amazing!

DSC05120

DSC05122

Can you spot Jim at the bottom ?

 

DSC05126

We walked under the arches and looked back towards the chapel from the other side.

DSC05132

DSC05139

DSC05142

DSC05153

DSC05164

Heading back to the car we met a  flock of sheep  coming along the road!

DSC05194

 

DSC05195

 

We had made full use of our extra daylight  and vow to return later next year when the trees are in leaf to  enjoy the sight of the viaduct once more.

DSC05196

 

 

 

November 26 Christmas at Dinefwr and Pumsaint November 26, 2017

Another weekend  so  more expeditions to see Christmas Fayres! Every notice board  one sees there are adverts for fairs, fayres,  festivals, market  and galas  all with the obligatory free mulled wine and mince pie thrown in! Not sure why we have visited a couple this year maybe it’s something to do with the weather! Waking up to sunny, bright, dry, freezing cold days and going out to a venue decked out in Christmas jollifications with the offer of a hot toddy seems  to be  a good way to spend  a couple of hours.

First stop was Pumsaint, a village just 20 minutes drive away and home to a  lovely pub and wonderful  Coronation hall and just round the corner from Dolaucothi Gold mines.

A Christmas Craft Fair in aid of Breast Cancer Wales was being held in the hall which is a corrugated iron village hall dating from 1903 when it  was  built to commemorate the coronation  of Edward VII.

The railings and archway in front date from 1925 and were erected as a war memorial. They are  both  grade II listed.

DSC04419

There were many lovely and interesting stalls to enjoy.  On the wall hung a splendid portrait of James Hills- Johnes who gained the Victoria Cross for gallantry in 1857.DSC04416

Also commemorative photo and medal of a local resident.

DSC04421

After enjoying a tasty coffee and mince pie we set off on a circular walk through the Dolaucothi estate. As we hadn’t any ponies with us to tie up  we had no need for this rail.

DSC04433

 

We kept our eyes open for red squirrels  which we were informed where in the woods but sadly didn’t see any.

We passed some very interested  and nosy customers on our path!

DSC04455

Arriving back at the carpark just in time before the sun set over the hills.

DSC04466

Another day dawned bright and beautiful and  a visit to Llandovery in the morning  where they were holding an amnesty  for rubbish! The powers that be have closed our fantastic Recycling Centre in Llangadog!! The council have decided to have these ‘amnesty’ mornings so electrical goods,  etc can be recycled  using all the dustbin lorries. There was a long line of these lorries, in the cattle market,  lined up ready to devour all the gubbins that everyone brought!

The afternoon was still cold and dry when we drove to Dinefwr for their Christmas Fayre. We are very fortunate to have the park, castle and house very near to home.

 

Newton House looked  very special with all the stalls inside the rooms.

The piano had been moved to make way for the exhibits  and we found it hidden  under the ornate staircase.

DSC04484

The famous White Cattle of Dinefwr were not allowed entry into the house but this one didn’t want to miss the fun!

DSC04498

Outside in the gathering dusk the deer could be seen and heard! Clashing of antlers filled the air.

DSC04493

It was definitely time to go home  and we’d saved the best till last…mulled wine and mince pie to see us safely on the road!

 

DSC04531

DSC04536

Today a rather cold, damp and dreary one  brightened up by my weekly visit to Aberglasney, where the plants in the Ninfarium were stars of colour.

Outside the gunneras are all wrapped up against the cold and snuggled warmly under their covering of leaves. DSC04543

DSC04544

I wish I could include smelly vision  as the perfume from this tiny flower filled the woods..aah!

 

DSC04547

Next weekend another Winter Fair  this time  at Aberglasney! I’m  helping in the Grotto with Santa…poor thing! I’ll still slip away from my duties though to have a wander around the gardens .

 

 

November 19 Christmas atPicton Castle Aberglasney and Home November 19, 2017

I know! I know! There are still five weeks to go before Christmas but I do so enjoy visiting a good Christmas Fair, especially when they are held in glorious castles and mansions! This weekend the first of the BIG fairs was held in Picton Castle. Now this is a wonderful place to visit at any time of year but Christmas it is truly special. Every room downstairs is beautifully decorated with a Christmas tree and garlands galore.

 

DSC04330

DSC04336

DSC04347

The dining room table was laid out in preparation for dinner using beautiful Swansea pottery. Sadly we  had not received an invitation to dine!

The roaring fire in the fireplace had a wonderful marble surround and everyone sat on comfy sofas  enjoying the chamber orchestra playing sweet Christmas melodies. Also in the room was the much talked about Renoir painting which had been featured on ‘Fake or Fortune’ .

DSC04345

Round every corner there were surprise decorations and displays.

Places to post your letters.

DSC04359

Places to hide your secrets.
DSC04357

Outside in the courtyard more melodies were being played by the Salvation Army brass band and very good they were too.

After a walk around the rest of the Victorian Fair  and visiting my cousin John Dooner,   who was exhibiting his wonderful art at the Fair, we decided to return home as it was pouring with rain! On the way out we said farewell to this European Owl (I think) who was at the exit.
DSC04364

Today  dawned bright and dry with a stunning red sky at 7am. This heralded some low mist over the valley which meant a quick photo through the windscreen of the car when I went to collect the Sunday newspapers! I did stop the car to take the photos! Honest!

DSC04368

Later in the day at Aberglasney the sun continued to shine and visitors arrived to enjoy a  Sunday roast dinner in the most beautiful of settings ever.

DSC04377

Even the daffodils were lifting their heads to the sunshine!

DSC04412

Back at home during the week we have had some very frosty mornings . All the annuals which have given of their best through the summer and filled the garden with colour and joy are now on top of the enormous compost heap! The sun has shone through some of the frost and rain and brought more pleasing sights around the garden. A garden gives pleasure whatever the weather to birds, animals and people alike.

DSC04295

Frosty, bright mornings are a great way to start any day! Let’s hope we have some more!

DSC04300(The photos are blurry as I changed them all to small to make it quicker to upload them. How does one upload ‘bigger’ photos  to WordPress quicker?)

 

November 3 Walk around Carmel November 3, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 8:25 pm

No sign of rain so the walk around Carmel Woods was on! On the last walk I unfortunately slipped over with wellies that had lost their tread. My wrists  were bruised  so  I couldn’t take any photos. This time much better prepared for slippy and muddy lanes with proper boots  and camera at the ready!

Carmel Woods has many interesting paths leading through them and on the skyline is a tall television receiver that can be seen from  nearly all points of the wood.  It is home to the only turlough …a seasonal lake… in Britain! There is a beautiful wood, a heathland bog, limestone quarry and caves so lots of interest. Leaving the carpark we followed the carved signs into the wood before heading off down a country lane.

DSC03947 (1)

There had  been a great deal of activity with chain saws as many of the trees had been cut down or thinned out.

DSC03949

Mother Nature was already decorating her hedges in preparation for the festivities ahead!

Leaving the track we headed off  deeper into the wood.  The trees had lost many of their leaves in the storms that we have had and although the leaves weren’t crisp and crackly beneath our feet it was a good time to scuff and scramble through them.

Molly, the little dashund, has to take care not to get trodden on as she is easily camouflaged in the leaves.

dsc03964.jpg

Rounding a corner we saw the first of the lime kilns dating from early last century.

dsc03966.jpg

 

DSC03975

They are eerily spooky! It’s all so quiet in the woods with only the birds singing and leaves rustling but one imagines what it used to be like with the noise of people working and machines roaring- very strange. Nature has taken over and tied the machines up in knots of roots and ivy.

With all the work she has to do Mother Nature seems to have mixed up her seasons  a bit! There were catkins, rose hips, blackberries and blackberry  flowers all blooming or fruiting at the same time.

 

DSC04002

Some happy chaps greeted us as we continued our walk.

We climbed some wobbly stiles and passed through some ornament gates  as we headed to the climax of our walk!

The quarry was awesome! I dislike the word but the power of the quarry was there for all to see. It was magnificent  and quite threatening as it loomed so large above us.

DSC04042

 

DSC04058

DSC04056

We walked slowly around the base of the quarry.

DSC04062

Looking back up towards some discarded machinery.

 

DSC04066

It wouldn’t be the same on one of Philip’s walks if we didn’t have a puddle or two to splash through!

DSC04070

DSC04076

Remains of the old industries that went on here could be seen  with the  railway tracks now leading to nowhere.

Following the country lane again we came to a pretty bridge with an unusual sign! Why did the frog cross the road? To see what the chicken was doing!

dsc04088.jpg

Trekking back up another lane was quite hard work and we were all looking forward to our coffee that was promised at the end of our nearly 4 mile figure of eight walk!

DSC04115

There was  still plenty of interest  to see and enjoy in the verges as we reached the carpark.

Especially this lovely violet. I didn’t have the heart to tell it that winter is approaching not the spring!

DSC04116

Energy was swiftly restored after the most delicious chocolate brownie and coffee at The Hangout,  Llandeilo. Thanks Philip for a brilliant walk and I didn’t trip once!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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!

DSC03760

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

DSC03761

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.

DSC03783

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.

DSC03785

DSC03786

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

DSC03790

DSC03791

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

DSC03794

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

DSC03797

DSC03800

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!

DSC03808

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!

DSC03819

DSC03821

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!

DSC03834

 

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.

DSC03844

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.

IMG_8996

 

 
%d bloggers like this: