Lletty's Blog

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

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.


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.


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.



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!


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


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.


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


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


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!




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


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



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.





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’ .


Round every corner there were surprise decorations and displays.

Places to post your letters.


Places to hide your secrets.

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.

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!


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.


Even the daffodils were lifting their heads to the sunshine!


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.


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.

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


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.


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




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.



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.





We walked slowly around the base of the quarry.


Looking back up towards some discarded machinery.



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



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!


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!


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!


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!


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


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.


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.



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



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


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



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!


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!



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!



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.


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.



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

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 9:43 pm

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

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


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


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

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

There were many interesting  doors  and entrances.

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


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


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

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


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


I wonder how old these sweet chestnut trees are?

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


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



Tilly has some difficulty choosing the right size of stick!

Newton House looked magnificent in the autumn sunlight.


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


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

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

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

The Gardens looked a picture too!




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


Rufus was sad too!


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




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

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 7:26 pm

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

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

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

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


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




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



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


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

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






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


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


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

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



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

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







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



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


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



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




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





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





September 10 Myddfai Walk and Open Doors September 10, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 10:04 pm

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

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







Further on  were beautiful views over the Beacons.


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


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

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


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


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



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


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

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




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

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


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




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