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

November 30 Dinefwr Walk and Picton Castle Visit November 30, 2018

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How does he do it?? Amazingly Philip organised this week’s  Walking Well Walk around Dinefwr in the dry …again! All week we have endured rain and gusty winds and today’s forecast was none too good -that is until we all met up with Philip IMG_1353IMG_1354 at Home Farm, Dinefwr in Llandeilo and the sun came out and shone brightly to greet us all!

We set off at a steady pace  and came to the winter quarters of the white cattle, who had just been fed their breakfast and all seemed very happy. Across the fields  we could  see the rest of the herd in a field. These were the youngsters and there isn’t enough room for them in the winter quarters so they have to stay out in the open. Seems a bit unfair when Christmas time usually means  there is a home in a stable somewhere for them!

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We followed the path  through the woods but there was no sign of the deer.

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Passing Newton House we noticed the ‘turrets’. Apparently the National Trust has replaced them after they had been removed years before….I like them!

Slowly but surely the fairies and elves  that reside in Dinefwr  seem to be growing in numbers and their homes are becoming more prominent and numerous. Elf and safety inspectors are watching the situation carefully!

Outside Newton House there’s a new member of the staff and she looked magnificent in her willowy way.

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Our circular walk continued …in a circle! We walked  through the fields  with views of the distant castle  and followed the path down to the water meadows.

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We were accompanied as usual on our walks  by some very friendly  dogs, who are always welcome at Dinefwr when kept on leads. Their owners are very pleasant too!

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Set by the church wall is a well used watering place for all the animals  and views over the fields can see why they are called the ‘water meadows’ .

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Our walk took us past the beautiful church which needs  lots of care and renovation work…let’s hope it gets all the support it needs.

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Spotted by my friend in the corner of the graveyard was this  amazingly beautiful tree in full blossom… which season is it?!

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After crossing the newly built bridge which replaced the old one we crossed the fields back to Home Farm.

The weather gods congratulated us all  by adding a beautiful rainbow in the sky to end our walk…thank you Philip !

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Earlier in the week I visited Picton Castle, near Haverfordwest for a day out with the gardening group. Sadly, the weather gods weren’t with us…(where were you Philip?)… and on arrival at Picton we were informed that no-one was allowed in the gardens due to the wind and danger of falling branches! However, we were booked in for a tour of the castle, which was all decked out in lovely Christmas decorations reflecting the theme of ‘The Nutcracker’.

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After the tour we enjoyed a tasty lunch  before we left for home…earlier than anticipated!

Back home the birds continue to enjoy all their meals and the sheep continue to enjoy eating all the grass!

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Very noticeable this year is the large amount of Christmas  events going on locally. It’s very hard to support them all but do you know…I’m going to give it a try!! Enjoy the fun!

 

November 18 Abergolech, Aberglasney and Arborists ! November 18, 2018

Amazingly  the weather stayed bright but chilly for our Walking Well Walk in Brechfa Forest, Abergolech. Driving through the narrow back lanes,  which were covered in fallen autumn leaves, was a lovely   way to get to Brechfa. It’s always a tricky decision around here…take the  main road  or go  cross country  and fingers crossed that you don’t meet a tractor coming towards you. Luckily, fortune was on our side and we followed a car in front and when we did meet an oncoming car pulling a  trailer  – it had to reverse as there were two of us and no  pull ins behind us!

A good crowd had turned up for the walk and we followed the leaders  up into the forest at a swift pace…kicking  up  all the leaves  on the way and enjoying the company of friends and their dogs.

Walking alongside the river  we  remarked how clear the water was as every  river stone was visible.   It looked so inviting…maybe a paddle if we come back in the summer!

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The walk was delightful  with the footpath threading through all the  trees  with their autumn leaves sailing to the ground, the river gurgling alongside and a Monet bridge just  inviting one to cross and play Pooh sticks!

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The path took a sharp turn up the hillside which was a bit strenuous  but we all made it to the top …some breathing more heavily than others!

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Some had even brought their dogs  to assist with the pulling!

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One could tell it was quite a damp area with the amount of moss growing on the trees and underfoot.

We crossed over the river again  to begin our trek back to the cars  and complete our circular walk.

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The paths through the forest are mainly for mountain bikes and runners  but we only saw one bike and no runners!

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At the end of the trail there was a wonderfully carved tree trunk.

As usual after our walk we headed for refreshments! The Black Lion in Llansawel was our destination where we were welcomed by a lovely landlady  and we  all enjoyed a drink …some had  small alcoholic ones but  we had delicious  large hot cappuccinos…yum!

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The village is obviously very proud of all its rugby players  and had a lovely display of photos of the players over the fireplace.

Not only does one have to cope with narrow lanes around here the villages also have traffic problems too!

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One can always rely that there will be a tractor in the mix somewhere!

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As I may have mentioned in my blog before we live near Aberglasney Gardens  and I visit there every Sunday as a volunteer but I also visit   other times in a week too…as I love it! After Art class this week my friend and I went there for lunch. Where else could you sit and get a view like that and a delicious meal too?

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After lunch we strolled through the garden and enjoyed the autumn colours.

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In the gardens there are many special aspects to enjoy: the Pool Garden

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The Yew Tunnel

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and now an oak tree that grows there has been found to be unique so  it has been named  Quercus ‘Aberglasney’!

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Over the last weeks we have had very varied weather to say the least! This included lots of heavy rain and wind. Sadly the wind caused problems with some trees in our garden  so we had to call on the professionals to help us out! Pro Climber from Llangadog are the ones to call if any work is needed on trees. They duly arrived and sorted our problems out straight away and left everywhere looking spick and span!

Before!

 

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After:

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Of course this meant lots of wood chippings…hurrah …I can use mountainfuls (not sure that’s a word!) …I should be careful what I wish for!!! Steaming away in the morning mist!

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We also have a lots of logs  and Rufus was very interested in counting them all! We can now use the wood store again as I’d banned Jim from putting anything in there whilst the swallows had their nests in the eaves!

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It’s not long until the Aberglasney Winter Fair November 30-December 2. Their holly trees are getting in the spirit already!

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Christmas is coming! Our grandchildren have their stockings up already!!!!!!

 

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

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http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

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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http://www.llettycottage.co.uk

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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Lletty Cottage

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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