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

March 8th Bethlehem Walk & St David’s Day March 8, 2019

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Triplets!

Earlier in the week I had a dry and pleasant walk up the hill to Llansadwrn passing many new born lambs skipping and hopping about in the fields.

Just twins!

Whilst walking I checked out all the gates that I passed some hidden and abandoned in the hedges.

Of course I really liked our own gate! The sign was painted by a dear friend and it is really treasured by us.

Also in the hedges there were many signs of spring.

Up in the village there was some activity as a new house is being built and a new driveway being laid. I had a look round and admired the view from the site over towards the church and the Carmarthen Fans in the distance sadly hidden by mist!

Back home again the signs of spring were everywhere in the garden and it all looks quite colourful. This was pleasing as we had the first visitors of the year staying in the cottage. I had thought it was a good idea to put wood chips from all the trees we have had cut down around the plants. It did look better when I had done it but the birds peck away to find the worms and the squirrels dig to find their nuts and they spread the chips everywhere!

St David’s Day was celebrated by eating our leeks from the garden and picking bunches of daffodils for the table…a happy day indeed!

Our Walking Well Walk today was a new walk! Sadly Philip couldn’t wave his magic wand and make it shine so it rained and hailed –but he had found a circular walk starting up a long -abandoned public road through a dingle with wild garlic and fast flowing streams and back through farmland. The bluebells were just showing and we will return when they are in full bloom- it will be fantastic!

We drove down the narrow road only to find a neglected chapel but one full of charm.

Through a broken window…I did not break it! I could see the interior and it wasn’t as bad as expected.

In the graveyard there were some old gravestones from the 1800’s many with lovely carvings.

We began our walk up a quite steep hill with the smell of garlic filling the air and the sound of the stream rushing over the stones at the side of the raod.

The hill was steep, wet and rocky and when the hail came it was cold too!

Eventually we reached the top of the hill and admired the stone walls on either side of the road showing that it had indeed been a public road many years ago.

We continued on through muddy lanes, over horsy fields, and wobbly stiles and through woods which were wet but showed that in a few weeks time with the bluebells coming out they would be the prettiest woods around.

We found dells of elf caps and they looked so pretty they took our minds off having to get our feet wet crossing the stream!

We finished our walk by coming full circle and found ourselves outside the chapel again.

A fascinating, wonderful walk and one to look forward to doing again. We headed off back to Llandeilo where we all went to 139 cafe for a well deserved bara brith and coffee. Thank you Philip!

 

February 23 Talley Walk and Lots of Visits February 23, 2019

http://www.llettycottage.co.uk.

All the walks and visits in this post are all within one hour from the cottage and all make a great day out when staying here.

I’m feeling very buoyant after just watching the rugby match on TV…well done Wales! In fact I’ve felt very chippy over the last few weeks as I’ve been on quite a few visits to beautiful places with the family who have been on holiday here from England (half term!)

First though an absolutely wonderful walk with Walking Well around Talley in glorious sunshine!

Talley Abbey

The walk was a bit strenuous as we had to climb up the steep hill behind the abbey. We all know…no pain no gain! It wasn’t too long before we had all reached the top and stopped …to catch our breaths… and to admire the stunning views over the hills and valleys. Some of the hillsides have been cleared of trees which made the views more interesting.

We enjoyed the views and then slowly made our way back down the tracks through the remaining tree plantations. Our refreshments were taken in the local church hall which had kindly been offered to the group for their use.

Thank you Philip for the lovely walk. Congratulations on your news!

Earlier in the week I had been on a visit to the Botanic Garden of Wales with a friend. She is involved in all sorts of voluntary work and one of her special interests is the Conservation Group at the Garden. She showed me some of the trees that the Group is taking a special interest in.

Goat Willow Tree with 27 different lichen growing on its trunk

This tree has had tree lungwort transplanted onto its trunk. It is believed to be the first ‘rescue’ of this type in any botanic garden in Europe. If it grows well it can be ‘transplanted’ back onto other suitable trees in Wales, where once it grew. There are many potential medical uses for it.

Mallard looking for his lunch

Returning from the Gardens and after looking at all the birds on their lake I was thrilled to see the return of the seven Canadian Goslings that hatched on our Pond Field Island last year. Every year the returning ‘goslings’ fly back in with a day or two of the year before.There they all were circling the pond as if they hadn’t been away. I do wonder if they are the seven from last year and I do wonder where they have been for Christmas! I’m just pleased to see them again and hope that two remain and make a nest on the island so we can enjoy the spring and summer watching them grow up.

A day visit to the seaside was next up so we could enjoy the sunshine that we were having. Over the Black Mountain and a short drive along the M4 though Port Talbot and we were in Porthcawl. We sat in the new cafe on the promenade sheltered from the wind drinking our coffee and eating hot cross buns….idyllic! We could have been in the South of France with the sun shining through the glass windows with the sea just a few metres away but reality was we were just South of Port Talbot and it couldn’t have been better!

We had a lovely walk along the promenade and then through the town with all its independent little shops, along the harbour wall to see all the boats, past the lock gate which was winched open to let a boat out and then along the pier to the lifeboat station. A real treat and a great day out.

A castle visit was next on the agenda for the family visit and Dinefwr Castle just fits the bill. Only 10 minutes drive away the whole of the park is a delight to wander through in any season but with the sun shining …again… we headed up the hill to the Castle and then back over the Boardwalk before circling the pond and heading back to Newton House for refreshments.

Last day of family visit and another visit to the beach…one of my favourites…mind you they all are…Llanstephan!

A walk along the sand and trying carefully not to stand on too many shells was rather tricky!

After climbing up the cliff (not me) over some mighty large rocks and a circular walk past the castle, through lanes filled with the scent of gorse and back to the beach brought a lovely end to another sunny day and a great half term holiday.

 

February 8 Llansadwrn Walk Visit to Cardiff February 8, 2019

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http://www.llettycottage.co.uk Five star holiday cottage for two

Looking out the back door this morning the weather didn’t look too bright at all especially when it was a Walking Well Walk day! However, the walkers are a very hardy band and nine arrived at Llansadwrn Church clad in their waterproofs all set for a tramp around the village where I live.

It was quite exhilarating to be walking in the pouring rain with the wind blowing hard against us but we persevered and splashed through puddles, wiped our glasses and kept chatting!

Lots of gates and doors to admire along the road.

The roads were flooded in many places and the ditches had been cleared out to make the drainage better as the water tumbled out of the fields.

Philip did a grand job of clearing out a blocked drain ….or he may have just been playing!

Outside many of the farms there are the remains of the milk churn stands where the churns would have been placed full of fresh milk for collection by lorry.

Although these are quiet country lanes a great deal seems to happen on them! The postman passed us six times…I don’t think he was lost but just enjoyed having a chat with us every time he whizzed through. It is wonderful how fortunate we all are to have such an efficient postal service in the UK and especially our local friendly postmen.

Keeping eyes open for all things of interest along the banks, fields and farms- lichen, fungi, horses, sheep were all spotted and lots more too!

Unknown ‘pretty fungus like a Christmas rose!

The old chapel Libanus was on our route. It is ‘maintained’ by the Welsh Historic Buildings . Inside there are stencilled wall paintings that are being preserved and in the grounds there are magnificent monkey puzzle trees.

Further down the road where the river runs under the road and was in fast flow there is a short path leading to the river which was used many years ago by the chapel for baptisms…none today or one would be washed away and all your sins too…forever!

Nearly at the end of our circular walk we popped into the lovely Llansadwrn church. On the wall there is a potted history of Llansadwrn and I particularly like this line: ‘It must be said Llansadwrn has never been over- respectable.’

After the walk it was back home for everyone for coffee and cake after a really enjoyable walk …thank you Philip.

A week ago Llansadwrn was icy and snowy and views from our garden over the Carmarthen Fans from first light were beautiful.

In the week I enjoyed a quick visit to Aberglasney Gardens for a coffee and to see how the new bridge being built was coming along.

Felt really guilty eating a cake whilst being watched!

A visit to Cardiff in the week, by train. to see Tim Peake’s space capsule and parachute and the Leonardo exhibition was hugely enjoyable. The museum also has a wonderful collection of art not to be missed. The train station, Llangadog, is only 5 minutes drive away from Lletty Cottage http://www.llettycottage.co.uk and it takes two and a half hours to reach Cardiff. A great day out!

The birds in the garden have eaten a huge amount of sunflower hearts , peanuts and kibble this week just trying to keep warm. Pleased that we have a lovely and regular visit to the bird table by this little chappy, a Willow Tit ( I think!) . I saw a photo of these tits in the paper on the endangered species list so delighted that we have some around here!

Willow tit?


 

January 26th Llandeilo and Aberglasney January 27, 2019

It’s to be expected at this time of year that aches, pains, coughs, colds and other unpleasantnesses(!) abound and sadly I succumbed to one of these bugs which made me an unsuitable walker for the Walking WELL group this week! However, during the week I visited Aberglasney Gardens  with a friend and enjoyed seeing the hosts of daffodils, the drifts of snowdrops and the hidden gems like this little iris-(not sure what it is!)

There was a great deal of activity in the wood with some of the larger trees being removed. Maybe to make way for more woodland planting…we’ll have to wait and see!

No fairy doors here thank goodness but ‘proper’ doors into the heart of the tree. Some roots looked as though they could take the tree off at any moment if a chain saw came too close!

The week also brought a variety of weather. I took some photos of the moon rising on the evening of the eclipse just to get my hand in but by the time the eclipse started it had all clouded over.

Considering the range of weather we have had it’s been amazing that the plants in the garden have survived and are continuing to give pleasure.



Being stuck in the house is never a good idea for me and the borders in the garden are either too wet or too frozen to work on. Decorating! That’s what the winter weather is for! Llandeilo has a wonderful variety of independent shops and one of my favourites is The Little Welsh Dresser which won the Best Bespoke Retailer of the Year Award.

They sell all things Welsh plus are stockists for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! That is the best paint ever! No preparing of wood or whatever you are painting and voila! just brush it on and it covers beautifully. I painted all my kitchen cupboards with the paint two years ago and then waxed them ( Jim did that- it’s the hard bit!) so they needed a repaint along with the cottage doors too.

Inside the shop there is everything you could ever wish for…..if you are looking for handles, cards, cushions, presents etc.

Finishing my purchases of paint I went on a short walk around the town looking in all the windows and visiting another friend in Toast.

Llandeilo has a lot of lovely shops and no one is allowed to park outside them!

Great place for a coffee, cake, lunch and chat! MaryEllens


Continuing the quick tour of the town including a visit to the library led us back to the carpark and then home to start painting!

This post has used the new WordPress editor and I can’t find out how to change the size of the gallery photos along with other things that I didn’t understand …so sorry if they are too large!

 

January 12th 2019 Happy New Year! January 12, 2019

http://www.llettycottage.com       5star holiday cottage for two

Happy New Year…maybe you’ve made some new resolutions for the start of  the year…if so I hope they last longer than mine! I’m trying to finish one job before I get distracted on to another and then another….! It definitely makes life interesting though to have new interests all the time.

Our first Walking Well walk of the year was in the Botanic Garden of Wales. It was  cloudy and chilly and rather than walking at a swift pace to get warm we were taking  part in an interesting tour of the garden with a guide. He  told us all about the restoration of the lakes project  which was very informative  but  standing listening rather than walking meant a few of us beat a hasty retreat to the Great Glass house  for coffee earlier than expected.

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The land has been cleared  and the new lakes will be restored by 2020. This lake will be connected to the ‘new’ lake and apparently it will only take 3 days to fill!

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Hope the mallards will enjoy their extra space.

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Views of Paxton’s Tower can be seen  in one direction over the lake bed.

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We crossed the lake over the bridge and headed up the hill towards the Tower.

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Looking back to where we had been we could see the Great Glasshouse …coffee began to call!!

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Leaving the tour we returned to the Glasshouse and enjoyed our coffee sitting amongst the beautiful flowers and plants.

Walking back to the car we could see  the gardens  are beginning to spring into life with snowdrops and daffodils in the borders.

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Earlier in the week I had a walk up to to our village. Although  small  it has a vibrant  community spirit and packs a punch with lots of things happening there . A new village website has just been uploaded detailing all the activities that are available and importantly the bus timetable and when the bins are collected and plenty more! http://www.llansadwrn.org.uk

Tuesday is Vestry Venture. A gathering  of anyone who would like a chat, coffee and cake! Perfect!  The church is set right at the top of the village with beautiful views over the countryside.

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Winnie the Pooh welcomes all visitors and is dressed in suitable clothing  for all weather conditions.

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Walking home later in the afternoon I was watched every step of the way by the sheep in all the fields.

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I wouldn’t like to meet this ram on the road!

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The views  are just beautiful.

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Dusk still  falls very quickly and it was good to get home before the lights all went out!

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Saturday is a visit to the Reading Room for a newly started Knit and Knatter, a browse of the library and another coffee and cake!

I’m just starting  with tiny needles and hope to make a square by Christmas! However, some knitters have splendidly huge needles and balls of wool that are fantastic!

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Some knitters are very talented!

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It was good to read in the papers this week that the younger generation are starting to enjoy house plants.  They realise they look good in a house and they have health benefits too. I thought I’d share some of my house plants here!

Rufus getting in on the act…again!

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At the start of this post I wrote that I get distracted and jump from one thing to another…..here’s another interest…my garden birds!

 

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Well now I’ve written this I shall jump to Facetime to sing Happy Birthday to our grandchildren in Canada. They are 5 today! We have given Esme a set of ballet dance wear  and Ellis  a  toy spinosaurus, which he tells me was larger than a Tyrannosaurus Rex! Afterwards I’m trying acrylic painting to add to my watercolour painting…then what…who knows…but it’s  good to keep learning!

 

December 29th Brecon and Llyn Lech Owain Walk December 29, 2018

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Well that went quickly didn’t it!  Can’t believe it’s all over for another year…next Christmas I’m going to get prepared much earlier…mind you I say that every year! Before Christmas we  had a quick visit to Brecon and a walk around the cathedral  and the town.

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There was a bright Christmas market to enjoy.

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Afterwards a walk up to the cathedral where they’d obviously had a visit from Santa as the stables were all labelled with the  names of the reindeers.

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Fortified by a delicious   lunch in The Pilgrims Tearooms we enjoyed a look around the cathedral.

The old gravestones on the floors make  for some interesting reading and historical insight  into the history of the town.

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There are also  some beautiful celtic patterns to admire.

There is a regimental chapel inside the cathedral which is dedicated to the 24th Regiment famous for Rorke’s Drift  and for all those awarded the Victoria Cross.

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There are some very elegant  front doors in Brecon

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and a very patient heron, who was sitting waiting on the riverbank when we passed to go up the hill to the cathedral and was still there when we came down!

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After Christmas it was time again…time flies…for our Walking Well Walk. Just what I needed to get rid of some of the calories I’d picked up over the previous few days!

We met up at Llyn Lech Owain but we took a new route around the reserve which was enjoyable except for the bit on the road, where fast cars came too close! It was good to see the Canada Geese on the lake.

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Being a damp and cloudy day it felt right to see lots of moss and  fungi dripping with dew covering the landscape all around. Unexpectedly, there was a derelict house hidden by all the foliage…wonder who had lived there?

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It’s a very primeval setting and one somehow expects a dinosaur to come looming out of the mists!

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However, there were no dinosaurs just fairy doors…these fairies seem to be getting everywhere!!

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Back home again after a hot drink in the cafe a quick walk around the garden to capture the many plants that are in flower or budding! Let’s hope the New Year brings everyone good health and happiness and continued good weather for all the plants and  creatures in our gardens.

Happy New Year!

 

December 14 Cwmdu Christmas walk, Haverfordwest & Kyffin Willams December 14, 2018

Today was a wonderful day for a winter walk. The sky was bright, the wind had dropped and although very chilly it was refreshingly bracing! Philip had magicked up this perfect weather for our Christmas walk around Cmwdu  and a large group of walkers met outside the Cwmdu pub to begin our walk along country lanes and over fields and streams. Maybe it was the promise of our Christmas lunch in the pub,  which was on offer after our walk, which set the walkers off at a brisk pace….or maybe it was just to get warm!

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The road followed the stream  which didn’t look to be too full even after all the rain we have had!

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The derelict building  we passed  looked just right for renovation…we all agreed they would make excellent holiday cottages!

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Strange fungi was spotted amongst the mossy banks and pennywort  was seen growing up trees which was very unusual!

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We crossed over tracks that used to be drover’s roads that wended  through the countryside many years ago. The drover’s used to drive their sheep, geese or other animals  to market along these ancient tracks taking their ‘produce’  even as far as London.

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It wouldn’t be a normal walk if we didn’t walk through a field without some cows looking interested in us or if we didn’t have a splash through some water…it all makes for a great time!

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We headed back to the village avoiding when possible all the icy patches on the road. Back in the pub we settled down to enjoy our  tasty  cawl ( lamb broth) made by Philip. Veggie version  cawl for me was totally delicious! Another kind walker had made  all the home made loaves of bread and rolls accompanied by  butter and cheese…heaven!

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Following the cawl came the puddings made by some walkers…the choice was too difficult  to make so I had some of each!! This was followed by mince pies and coffee…I’ll have to go on a lot of walks now to get those calories sorted! Thank you Philip and everyone for a brilliant day.

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Earlier in the week we had a day out to Haverfordwest…my childhood town! A new library ‘Glan Yr Avon’ has just opened there   so it was worth a visit. The entrance was  very promising.

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Looking back over the River Cleddau to the opposite side from the library.  The little  pedestrian bridges weren’t there when I was a child so it was a long walk round!

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A lovely view of a very old bridge from inside the library  which had all the books and computers needed these days  to  make up a modern day library.

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The frieze around the children’s book area was painted by Jackie Morris…I wish I could have it around my room!

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Surprisingly there was also a  very interesting exhibition by Kyffin Williams  showing  a range of his paintings of Wales and Patagonia.

 

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There were  single paintings by Claudia Williams and Gwilym Pritchard too.

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It was a delightful exhibition showing Welsh artists  especially those with a link to Pembrokeshire. Also on display  a diary and sketches of those who had lived on Skokholm  and Skomer islands recording the wildlife there!

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After enjoying a tasty lunch in the library cafe…yes they have a cafe too…we went for a walkabout! This was the bridge for cars when I lived there now it’s pedestrianised! It was built in 1726 so maybe it deserves a rest from all the cars and lorries that used to cross it!

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Further down the river is this bridge  that is used by all the traffic …hope someone knows about that tree!

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Lots to see and do in lovely Haverfordwest, especially the castle!

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Back home in  the evening in Llansadwrn it was the turning on of the Christmas lights and the arrival of Father Christmas. There was a very happy buzz amongst those attending…maybe it was the mulled wine…but the carols were sung very heartily and right on time FC arrived  not on a sleigh but in a prettily lit motor van! How exciting for all the children…well actually for everyone!

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Back in the garden I was wondering which tree to brighten up by decorating it…I have a good choice as I always plant a new tree every year! I’m supposed to dig the previous Christmas  tree up and bring it in the house  but it always seems to rain so I go and get another one!

Anyway they’ve all grown too big so I’ve bought another new one…tiny! I’ve also decided not to decorate an outside tree as the plants in the borders are decorating the garden beautifully themselves!

 

 

Best of all though is my little tree which gives pleasure throughout the year especially at Christmas when it is covered in red berries!

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Happy Christmas  to you all.

 

 

 
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