Lletty's Blog

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

December 2nd December 2, 2019

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Early rising, some mornings lately, have been rewarded by the wonderful sunrises seen over the Carmarthen Fans from our garden. It’s a great way to start a day!

Our Walking Well Walk last week sadly didn’t start off with a bright sunrise but after a morning of damp and chill the sun came out and warmed everyone up.

The walk was in Caio wood, through the forestry and round in a figure of eight back to the carpark. We all set off at a quick rate just to get warm and to keep the body moving. We followed behind Lewis, who as usual set such a pace that he was way out in front before the first corner! Funnily enough he walked so far in front that we could only recognise him by seeing his hat bobbing up and down many yards ahead!

We were walking on the shadow side of the valley and headed as quickly as we could to reach the sunny side!

We crossed over the stream and headed up through the moss covered trees to a higher track, where the dogs had a race to see who could jump into the stream first!

One can just see a hat bobbling along in front…Lewis!

After returning to our cars we headed off down the road to Pumsaint and the lovely pub, Dolaucothi Arms for our hot coffee and cake…well chocolate bar and prawns!!

By this time the sun was out and getting much warmer. The pub is in the centre of the village and across the road there is a National Trust building.

Inside the pub Christmas had arrived! It was very prettily decorated and we were all made very welcome…even though some of us…me….had muddy boots!

Only one walker decided on a mug of prawns…thank goodness…those eyes followed me everywhere! I think I’ll stick to being a veggie!

It was very pleasant in the pub with a good range of other eating options and lots of Christmas menus..it would be lovely to return over Christmas.

Over the weekend it has been Aberglasney Winter Fair. As usual I enjoyed two days of serving mulled wine and mince pies to over 2000 visitors on just one day! It was all brilliant and it really is the best Fair around. The birds on display drew a great deal of attention but Father Christmas was the greatest draw!

The middle two photos are of a boat-billed heron- a really lovely looking bird as are all the others too.

We called into Llangadog, our local village, to post a parcel to our family in Canada. The postage nearly cost more than the items in the parcel…hey ho! I ordered a present for the twins (5) from Amazon Canada, which I thought was very clever of me! I paid for it with my credit card and all was well until I saw the goods were being sent from England and not Canada as I thought so the parcel will take some time to get there!

The garden is still rather waterlogged but some plants keep giving even though the weather keeps changing from wet and windy to dry and frosty!

Our resident pheasant …well we share him with our neighbour…keeps us busy with his calling…I hope nobody catches him for Christmas dinner!

Let’s hope we get more beautiful sunsets and sunrises over the next weeks as we head towards the winter solstice on December 22nd…then we can start looking towards the Spring…Yay!

Thank you for reading and don’t cheat on opening up more doors on your Advent Calendar just to get that little piece of chocolate!

 

November 15 Dinefwr Walk Aberglasney November 16, 2019

Snow, hail, rain, wind, – you name it we’ve had it thrown at us through the week but today dawned bright and dry and just a faint cold blast, so onwards and upwards I set off for Home Farm, Dinefwr to meet up with all the Walking Well gang. We set off through the park at a steady rate, just trying to keep warm, and headed off up an old track. Philip stopped half way along the track and told us that we were walking on the old road that had once connected Carmarthen and Llandeilo.

Following up this lovely bit of history we walked on past the white cattle who were having their lunch in their wonderful sheds.

Just a little way on there was a movement in the field and a herd of deer ran out of cover into the open before they disappeared again under some trees.

The track continued past the ice house, a cold, bleak little building…one, I think, that would have been quite spooky to enter in olden days!

There were a number of old trees that had either fallen in the winds or been cut down purposely to clear an area. Thankfully some of the larger tree trunks were being put to great use and carved into benches.

Taking a detour away from our usual walk around the park we headed off the site and entered Penlan Park, which adjoins the main park. The path curved up the hill towards the bandstand.

Standing in the bandstand offered lovely views over all of Llandeilo and the beautiful hills around. The church that looks large when near it seemed quite small when viewed from above.

Now standing at the top of the hill meant that a downward path had to be followed to enter the park again. This proved to be rather slippy with all the wet autumn leaves but it was fine.

On reaching the bottom we passed by Llandyfeisant church, https://www.llandeilo.org/ch_llandyfeisant.html where there was a large tree growing with shiny black berries which stood out amongst all the autumn colour.

We continued on towards Newton House where we enjoyed a delicious coffee and cake…I loved my chocolate brownie! Thank you Philip for a really lovely walk.

Dinefwr Castle

Earlier in the week I had really enjoyed a workshop with Carole Spackman https://www.carolespackmanceramics.co.uk…making a pottery owl! My owl and others is at this time being fired in Carole’s kiln…looking forward to seeing ‘my heirloom’!

The workshop was held in Llanwrtyd Wells Heritage Centre http://history-arts-wales.org.uk…a unique building with many interesting things to see. Currently it’s decked out for a Victorian Christmas and showing some wonderful art work.

I enjoy visiting Llanwrtyd Wells ( home of bog snorkeling etc!) .

Last weekend a painting group that I belong to held their Open Day in the church hall where we paint. It was a wonderfully happy occasion sharing the fun and enjoyment that we all get out of painting.

My weekly visit to Aberglasney, on Sundays, gives me a chance to walk around the gardens and enjoy the changing seasons. This autumn the colours have been brilliant.

A Bonsai Group has recently started using a room in the Piggeries, in the Gardens, as a working place on a Sunday so it’s another enjoyable addition to visit them too.

Back at home the weather has stopped any gardening as the whole place is sodden! However, the early morning walks with Rufus around the garden are still very enjoyable, even if he is a show off!

Even Rufus couldn’t quite believe his eyes when it snowed the other evening!

Thank you for reading. I hope the weather is improving where ever you are.

 

November 1st Llyn Llech Owain, Llanstephan, Dinefwr November 3, 2019

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Walking Well walkers are a very hardy bunch of folk as a good number turned up today for our walk around Llyn Llech Owain. After working out how to use the car park ticket machine we set off through the drizzle to loop the loop around the woodland paths. The puddles were various in size and all wet!

Lewis, Philip and Pam setting the pace

Photos of our walk are few as the camera lens became damp and photos misty!

Around the area there were parked diggers and the poster gave an explanation of why they were there and what they were doing.

Looks like a haunted house after Halloween
Lots of things to be aware of when walking!
The Tower loomed large through the mist…spooky again!

Spirits were lifted when we all arrived back at the cafe and enjoyed their delicious cakes and coffee. Thank you Philip foe a proper misty autumn walk.

Half term brought our grandson and daughter here on holiday…yay!

They drove down from England through torrential rain and flooded roads but their first morning here was sunny, bright and dry…good old Wales!

A day at Llanstephan beach was in order and I wanted to share with them St Anthony’s Well that I had visited previously with the walking group.

Jellyfish along the high tide mark.
Cockle shells trapped in the rocks- great crunching sound!

The car park was full when we had arrived as everyone wanted to be out in the sunshine after all the rain. Everyone seemed to have a dog. Dogs are only allowed on the beach after the summer.

We walked the full length of the beach and then up the little track to St Anthony’s Well . There is such a lovely feeling there…very calm …just what we all need.

A visit to Dinefwr Castle is always a must when we have visitors as it is only a few miles down the road.

When we arrived the main car park was full and we had to drive to Home Farm to park. This meant a lovely walk along the track back up towards Newton House passing all the trees which were losing their leaves but not showing a great deal of autumn colour.

Sneak preview of the castle

Walking through the woods the leaves had all fallen so the autumn colour was beneath our feet!

Climbing onto the battlements the views over the countryside showed the lasting remains of the floods that had covered the Towy valley the previous week.

After a good walk round we took another path back to the Newton House looking out for any interesting fungi, lichen, creepy crawlies and coloured leaves ( for art!)

All the above were found on this fence. Thanks to Mr T. for opening my eyes!

Arriving back at Newton House we were met by a lovely lady!

There were lots of spooky happenings going on!

I didn’t stop to talk to this gentleman!

Some morning sunrises have been really special over the last weeks and Rufus, our cat, and I have enjoyed our early morning walks around the garden bathed in golden sunlight.

Strange happenings under our yew tree!

The ginger plant flowered the day before the frost came and knocked it sideways!
Beautiful flower and ginger aroma…brilliant!

Thank you for reading.

 

October 19 Cwrt Henri Walk, Elan Valley,Concorde, Aberglasney Visits October 20, 2019

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Not an easy morning to get my ‘get up and go’ feeling started. It was miserable outside with the rain pounding against the window panes, the odd flash of lightning and the wind bending the trees and stripping the autumn coloured leaves down to block our gutters…but hey-ho it was Friday and a Walking Well Walk planned by Philip and Lewis around the byways of Cwrt Henry with the promise of coffee and cake at Juliet’s house at the end.

Fast forward a few hours and we all met outside Juliet’s lovely house to park our cars and start the walk.

A good crowd had turned out for the walk even though the weather hadn’t looked promising. The rain had stopped for a while but the roads and lanes were full of puddles .

There were some surprised onlookers who wondered who was making all that chit chatter down the quiet lane.

We walked past a number of lovely properties with splendid views over the distant hills. Luckily we were right outside an open barn when the heavens opened for a sudden downpour of really large raindrops!! We ran inside for cover and cwtched together till the storm blew over.

Further up the lane we stopped for a check on which road to take and continued onwards on our circular walk.

Campion were still flowering in some hedges alongside some unidentified toadstools.

These are my favourite cow gates. Not only are they not going to chase me but they are safely locked inside a gate!

The rain had stayed away for the latter part of the walk so we arrived back at the house in a very jolly mood which was further enhanced when we saw the super spread that Juliet had prepared for us. Many thanks Philip, Lewis, Juliet and Clive.

Philip had extra plans as he asked if there were any helpers to pick up the windfalls of apples in Juliet’s orchard in readiness for the Apple Day at Cwmdu over the weekend.

Bags and boxes were soon filled with an amazing range of Welsh apples…many tasted when picked…all deliciously different tastes and textures. A number of apples managed to jump into my pockets! Hence the two apple cakes now cooling in the kitchen!

The rest of the garden was also a delight to wander around. The large poly tunnel was a happy home to the chickens, cockerel and pea hens, who as it was the end of the season had the rich pickings all to themselves!

The lovely lake in the garden was home to the geese and one chicken, who was their friend!

The news has been full lately of the horrid treatment of some dogs in puppy farms. Juliet has adopted a labrador from dreadful conditions on a puppy farm and steadily and slowly Molly, the dog, is learning to love again and learn all about kindness. She has started to go out in the garden and has wagged her tail. Juliet, you are a star!

Earlier in the week we had a day out to Elan Valley. The drive through mid Wales was wonderful with fantastic views across mountains and valleys and all this just an hour from home.

In 1893 Elan Valley dams were completed and opened by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra. A further dam was completed in 1952 and
opened by Queen Elizabeth II as one of her first duties as monarch.

I visited the dams in the 1950’s with my grand parents on a very special day out. I remember it being a very long drive!

Nowadays there is a super Visitor’s Centre and many wonderful walks around the area to see all the wildlife and enjoy the views.


First things first …a coffee and cake in the cafe with amazing views over the dam!
Hope there aren’t any leaks!

The scene was very powerful with the water roaring over the dam and through the sluice- all senses were alert!

After a bit of persuasion !! We walked up to a viewing platform at the top of the dam. There were a number of steps to climb first!

But boy was it worth it!

Views over the dam were amazing so too the views across the lake towards all the mountains…wish I’d taken a flask of coffee to sit and enjoy the scene whilst I got my breath back!

Starting back down the hill we took another path with hawthorn trees, ferns and gorse covering the land.

A good variety of lichen was spotted on many rocks….like maps of the world.

Now I do rather like bridges and at the bottom of the valley we came across this metal (wrought iron?) one. I liked it even more when I saw how derelict it was.

A splendid day out and so much to see, do, enjoy and discover- just like this statue to Shelley and his connection with the area.

Of course an area like this with rugged hills and curves and bends in the roads attracts bikers. Jim loves to chat about his bikes and the one we’ve sold!

This weekend we’ve visited Bristol and the Concorde museum. It is thrilling to see the plane in its lovely setting.

This morning, instead of rain clouds, the mist was in the valley and the bright sun peeping over the hills. It was glorious!

The plants were waking up .

Followed by all the flowers opening their petals.

Later in the day a visit to Aberglasney was enjoyed especially seeing the Yew Tunnel, the cloisters and the stalactites on the arches all in sunshine. I think I’ve mentioned it before…I do love the Aberglasney!

Thank you for reading.

 

October 5th Llanstephan Walk, Tenby Visit , David Cowdry Exhibition October 5, 2019

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Twenty one intrepid walkers arrived in Llanstephan carpark, defying the oncoming Lorenzo storm, to start a special autumn Walking Well Walk. Philip had emailed the night before to say the walk might take place …or not…depending on the forecast…which had threatened strong winds and rain. No message in the morning so headed off to the beach, which is about an hour’s drive from home.

Although overcast it was dry as we headed off up the track towards the castle. Bypassing the castle entrance we followed the track which was covered in fallen autumn leaves, over the fields, passing pretty cottages, quiet farms and flocks of black faced sheep.

We followed a lovely path where a large stone wall ran along one side and in the middle of the wall was an unassuming gate. Philip kindly pushed the stiff gate open and revealed steps leading down into a tiny stone alcove . Carefully climbing down the slippery steps we turned and saw St Anthony’s Well in the corner. It was very quiet and calm in this secluded hollow and very still.

On the wall there was a plaque :

St Anthony’s Well: St Anthony of Egypt ( circa 251-356 AD) the first Christian hermit, had a powerful influence on the Celtic Church in South Wales. According to local tradition, a Welsh hermit Antwn (Anthony), who had taken the name of his great Egyptian predecessor, settled near this spot, probably in the sixth century AD. It is likely that he used water from the well to baptise coverts to Christianity.

Rejoining the path a peep over the stone wall revealed a lovely private garden with a stream racing through the green glade.

The bottom of the path brought us to the sea edge where the tide was still racing forwards.

It wasn’t time for a walk along the sands yet as the track led onwards and upwards around the top of the headland.

We skirted round fields where there were more sheep and we passed a most handsome bull who was safely behind an electric fence! Thank goodness!

We reached the top of the headland and had a wonderful view across two estuaries…the Taf and the Towy.

Following the coastal path we headed back down onto the beach where we were going to walk around the headland on the sand. However, the tide had not retreated enough and the sand was very soft so some of us decided to take the high road over some rocks and others the low road across the quicksand! Happily we all met up later without any incidence to anyone.

Some taking the low road!
Some returning from the low road and joining the rock road!

Our planned picnic brought us together back at the carpark. We all had enjoyed our special outing and ate our picnics under the shelter by the sea. Some picnics were very well planned with a stove and kettle brought. Thank you Philip for all the planning and Juliet for the idea.

Earlier in the week we had a day out in Tenby. A day of delight in sunshine and enjoyment and as the majority of summer visitors had left it was quite empty and perfect!

We visited the Tenby museum and saw a number of paintings by Welsh artists.

How Tenby used to be. Many of the walls are still standing.
View from museum window

Leaving the museum we followed the path around to the Lifeboat station and listened to the waves crashing on the rocks below.

After lunch we walked through the town and down into the harbour.

As the tide had gone out we went across the near deserted beach and enjoyed the sunshine on our backs and looked towards the iconic view of Tenby harbour.

On the way home we called into Wiseman’s Bridge, a favourite beach, and had a coffee and cake!

Even earlier in the week the weather was totally different! Rain, rain and even more rain had caused the local roads to flood and animals in the fields left searching for higher ground.

These cows had found a drier spot!

Before the rain we enjoyed some beautiful autumn mornings in our garden with mists in the valley and bright sunrise skies.

My friend invited me to join her at the Botanic Garden of Wales where she is a conservation volunteer. It was a very instructive, interesting and lovely visit seeing all the work they do recording what happens to certain trees through the seasons, the pollinators on different plants in the borders and noting the lichen growth on specific trees. Thank you Marie!

Nothing to do with conservation but very interesting too! A film crew were in the Great Glasshouse preparing to film!

There were some very large fungi..that’s my boot!

Back in the garden things are still growing…it’s all the rain and a bit of sunshine! These two are in the greenhouse!

Last evening it was the opening night of David Cowdry’s exhibition at Aberglasney. It was brilliant. His paintings are wonderful and everyone said it was his best exhibition ever…we say that every time! I had his permission to post these photos. Visit if you can it’s well worth it.

I like bulls behind electric fences and in paintings!
Spot the nuthatch
Spot the kingfisher

Hope you’ve survived this topsy turvy weather! It’s pouring with rain outside as I write this and the heating is on…maybe we’ve missed autumn and gone straight into winter!! Oh No!

Thank you for reading.

 

September 22 Carmel Woods Walk and Early Autumn September 22, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 8:44 pm

Early Autumn in the Towy valley is always beautiful but with the added bonus of sunshine last week everywhere has looked glorious. From the mists rising in the early morning sunshine to the birds singing all around it has been a perfect start to the new season.

View over the Fans from front garden

Friday dawned bright and sunny and was a good omen for our Walking Well Walk around Carmel Woods with Ros as our leader. A fair number of walkers set off across a main road, up through a farm track , through a kissing gate and across a field ….with cows!

The photo taken off the sign showing people from the Wildlife Trust sharpening scythes also shows Ros, our leader! Hope she hasn’t brought any scythes with her today!

Thank fully the cows stayed where they were and thought we were too uninteresting to take much notice.

We followed a path up a steep hill and crossed over the main road again and through a very fine woodland area, although it was rather damp!

Following the path we came to a meadow which still had a number of wild flowers but many had been eaten by the cows…I think!

Don’t look now Ann but I think you are being followed!
Lots of knap weed still around.

After the walk we returned to Llandeilo and the Hangout for a delicious cake and coffee. Thank you Ros for a lovely walk.

The farmer who looks after our field has definitely listened to old sayings and made hay whilst the sun shines as his tractor, cutter, baler have all been in action this week.

The field hedges are full of autumn fruits.

and some fruits getting ready for Christmas as the holly tree berries begin to ripen!

The gunnera on the island has recovered magnificently from the frost damage earlier in the year and is a favourite home of the moorhen family.

Not only has the sunshine made the flowers bloom longer and happier and given great enjoyment to us but the butterflies and insects have loved them as well!

It’s also spider season! We have some HUGE ones – this is a tiny one as the HUGE ones might frighten some readers!!

Together with the sunshine we also had some quite breezy moments which resulted in all the little pears cascading to the ground and all the virginia creeper creeping everywhere!

We have had many wonderful visitors staying in Lletty Cottage over the summer and they all like sitting in the cottage garden which is a suntrap!

They also enjoy looking out of the bedroom window over the garden and field especially when it’s been cut. There’s a seat at the top of the field with views over the Fans- stunning! I think the farmer was very clever to leave the bales so symmetrically for a photo opportunity and pointing up towards the seat! Thank you Colin!

Thank you for reading.

 

September 8th Abergorlech Walk and Aberglasney September 9, 2019

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Well whad’ya know…it’s Walking Well Friday and the forecast through the week has said fine and sunny but what they didn’t know was that Philip wasn’t going to be there!! So it rained and it was wet but never mind Biddy took charge and led us on a lovely, though damp walk, following the blue route around Abergorlech woods.

This week our twin grandchildren started school in Canada…a French immersion school! Hence I’m trying to improve my very basic French …so please bear with me …also improving my Welsh at the same time!

On Friday I went for a walk in the woods and I got wet.

Vendredi, je suis alle me promener dans les bois et je me suis mouille.

Ddydd Gwener es i am dro yn y coed a gwlychu…..Welsh! (Thank you Google for the Welsh!)

We set off at a steady pace as the usual walkers were at the front showing us back markers how to do it!

The streams were running very clear and all the foliage around looked as though a dinosaur would be peering through the ferns at any second!

There were a number of trees that had fallen across our path and one could either scramble over or limbo under….point to remember …when limboing don’t come up too soon or you’ll bang your head!!

We were accompanied , as usual, by the dogs, who really enjoy the freedom of the walk around the wood by chasing up and down and round and round…very energetically!

The heather was blooming but looking decidedly damp and sad and the blackberries along the banks were looking decidedly delicious and tasty…and they were!

After a good 4 mile walk we returned to the carpark and went on to the pub, where an even tastier chocolate brownie with strawberries on top and a hot coffee ended another lovely jaunt in the woods. Thank you Biddy!

I may have mentioned before that I do love Aberglasney! Last weekend they held an Orchid Exhibition which was excellent and very interesting to see all the different varieties of orchids there are…far more than I’ve seen in the local supermarket!!

Most enjoyable!

Earlier in the week we met up with our daughter, hubby and grandson in Bourton on Water for a get together.We thought to meet half way…she drove an hour …we drove three hours… par for the course! Wonderful day out and enjoyed the town and their Car and Toy Museum. There were a large number of visitors in the town so we’ll have to go back to visit when it’s the quiet season…whenever that is!

It’s a very picturesque place.

The museum was absolutely chockablock with old cars, bikes and everything in between! It was great!

Best behaved spectators on the platform..handsome boy and gorgeous girl!

At the weekend a steam train whistled through our local stations…The Sherwood Forester…it whooshed in and out again! The platform at our local station, Llangadog, was packed with sight seers …all good stuff!

Back in Aberglasney at the weekend when the sun came out the visitors came too! There were many beautiful parts to see and enjoy.

The Aberglasney greenhouses are full of winter bedding plants and a large range of succulents. The melons are growing well in the Melon House and the birds and bees are loving it all!

We are still practising our limbo skills at Aberglasney underneath the gunnera!

Back at home the garden still keeps giving a great deal of pleasure.

The caterpillars have loved all the nasturtiums and the birds have loved all the caterpillars…so win- win really!

The Allen scythe I bought is still not working properly so I’ve had to mow the Pond Field with the mower…took ages and I’ve only done about a third! It will keep me busy for a few weeks yet! Huge satisfaction when I do it though!

The canna lilies are bringing a flash of colour to all the dark corners…very superior plants!

Au revoir et merci de lire.

Hwyl fawr a diolch

Thanks for reading!






 

 
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