Lletty's Blog

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

March 18 All in a Day March 18, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 3:30 pm


Don’t know where I bought this ‘daffodil’ bulb but it is so pretty and a bright way to start a snowy day! What a difference a day makes!

5.39am is not a time that I am usually acquainted with but yesterday there we were on Llangadog station awaiting the train to zoom us off to Birmingham. The train didn’t exactly ‘zoom’ us it was more of a diddly- dum sort of ride but it was on time, it was nearly empty and it was taking us through the beautiful countryside of Wales on the Heart of Wales line.

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The first part of the journey was in the dark but as  the countryside awoke R L Stevenson’s poem just became alive!

‘Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.’


We arrived at Birmingham International right on time at 10 and set off to the Education Show  where we were meeting our daughter, who had a stand.

To say we felt  as though we were in a parallel universe  surrounded by people from another planet is an under statement! One forgets  how we used to live  before our retirement to the countryside when crowds and noise were part of our daily routine. At the NEC not only were there hundreds of people going to the various exhibitions but one of the exhibitions  was  the MCM Birmingham Comic Con! We were surrounded by many people dressed as characters from all the comics  etc…very surreal!


The storm troopers let us pass and we found our daughter and her stand.


Not sure where she gets her computer genius from …but it sure isn’t me and  she has such amazing ideas.              is wonderful!

After   one and a half hours at the exhibition it was time to head back to the station to  catch the train home.

Couldn’t wait to get back to seeing the countryside again!   Interesting brickwork and castle silhouette  to see from  Shrewsbury station, where we waited when we changed trains.

The snow had gone from much of the countryside so there was time to keep up to date on  my iPad with the rugby matches and to stop taking photos! Well I did take a few!

But the rugby was excellent too! Well done Scotland, Wales and Ireland on their special St Patrick’s Day.


We crossed over the Knucklas  (Welsh:  Cnwclas, meaning “green hillock”) viaduct with its spectacular 13-arch span which  was completed  in 1865.


We arrived back at Llangadog safe and sound and on time  just as the snow fall became heavier!


Through the night the snow continued to fall and the wind to blow. This morning everywhere   looked beautiful  but the birds were annoyed that their feeders had been  empty yesterday!  After filling the feeders and putting seed on the table it was soon gone and had to be replenished frequently. I think Senior Citizens should be given  a bird pension to help feed the birds as it is a very costly hobby …but one that gives the greatest enjoyment and pleasure.

Hey…go away …I’m not feeding squirrels too! Well just this once then!



March 2nd Mystery Garden Bird and Pro Climbers March 2, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 8:35 pm

Just a quick post to wish everyone a belated Happy St David’s Day. We were going to celebrate with Leek soup for lunch  and Welsh cakes for tea but the weather intervened! The bitterly cold wind blew and blew and the temperatures dropped  and dropped and our pipes froze! The house is warm and toasty  but no water meant cooking was  a bit of a waste when there wasn’t enough water to wash up…. and I’m a VERY messy cook!

Anyway,  we have  fortunately missed the really bad snowstorms  but the wind has caused real problems for all the little birds. They have found it difficult to land on the feeders!

Today we have had an assortment of different birds  and I’d like to know what this one is. It’s the size of a puffed up song thrush and sat for a long time outside the kitchen window. There have been redwings in the garden today  but this one looks different …any ideas?


These are the redwings today.


The wagtails were busy finding worms in the frozen ground and staying well camouflaged on the  snowy grass.


Just on the branch under our mystery bird hopped  the tree creeper usually seen running up and down the fence or tree trunk.


The nuthatches were out in force today with at least four fighting for food at the same time.


Blue tits, Great tits, Marsh tits, long tailed tits and coal tits all visit the table but not when my camera is handy or when I can get them all in focus !!




No bird table would be complete without our robin.



tel:01550779245   Proclimbers







February 23rd Caio and Cilycwm Walks February 23, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 9:28 pm

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Thought I’d start  with a daffodil flowering in the garden as next week it’s St David’s Day.  With the forecast being freezing cold, windy and maybe snow maybe the flowers won’t be standing so upright on March1st! However, today although it was  windy, blowing  from the East  and the temperatures at 0 it was beautifully sunny and dry. Of course it was…it’s our Walking group day and with Philip in charge  he’d worked his magic yet again to make the day perfect for a march around Caio forestry. I say march as he set off at a good pace to keep everyone warm!

In the gaps where the sun shone through the trees there was even some warmth in the sun but in the shadows there was ice and frosty paths- all beautiful.


The trees were still bare and no sign yet of buds breaking   but moss covering the ground and up  over the tree trunks  showed how wet everywhere had been.


Signs of autumn cones still lay around on the broken branches that lay across the verges. Storms though the winter had whistled through the forest snapping many branches off   but today all quiet  and special.



A short drive after the walk to the Brunant Arms  in Caio  gave us our much needed hot refreshments of coffee and crisps.

Caio is a village of charm and history, with a  church and an old school  building that is being modernised. Modern and ancient sit well together  when they are planned  carefully.


Funny how one always plays Pooh sticks  when you are with a  friend and crossing a bridge!

Little ‘barnacles’ on the bridge and  navelwort growing up in the cracks and crevices! Amazing!



Taking my friend home after the walk I met her three Exmoor ponies. Iris  showed her best side to have a pic taken! My friend knows EVERYTHING one needs to know about this wonderful horse breed which is native to Britain.  The Exmoor has been given “endangered” status.  It has the perfect coat  for keeping warm in these cold conditions.


Earlier in the week making the most of the dry and sunny weather Jim and I went for a walk around Cilycwn- a village not far away.In the centre of the village is the lovely early  14th century church St Michael’s.


Inside the church there’s a beautiful barrel- vaulted roof and huge stone arcades.

One of the pillars has been cut away to form a font.


We followed a  circular trail around the village  with splendid views over the countryside.


We passed a pound where in the past  they would have kept lost animals. I nearly lost Jim inside!


Further up the track we passed Soar chapel, where William Williams Pantycelyn, who wrote ‘Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer’, was  a member. The chapel was built in 1786.


The track led over an old bailey bridge where Pooh sticks were played once more! I won!


The path led us over some very wet and boggy fields and at the end the path became too overgrown to continue.


Leaving the fields we  found the road that led back into the village passing the now closed and empty school building  and the empty and closed Post office. The pub is open but sadly only on certain days so no end of walk drinks  this time!

Running at the side of the road, at the edge of the pavements, were gulleys. In previous times food had been put in them   for the  livestock  to eat that were being driven to London by the drovers.  So much history in a street that can be missed when driving through in a car!


Back home the garden is really showing signs of things to come.

Even our very own…fungus looking like seaweed! We have lots!


Lots of hellebores too. Hooray for the sunshine and spring coming….that is after the forecasted coldest week  ahead  this  winter. They may have got it wrong…hope so!

Happy St David’s Day!

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February 9 Walk Around Dinefwr and Coffee at The Works Vintage Cafe Llandeilo February 9, 2018

Woke up this morning  and looked out  the window over our garden  towards the   snow clad Carmarthenshire Fans  and saw  and heard the  …  wind, rain, sleet and noisy hail. After  a phone call from a walking pal  we were undecided whether to attempt our Walking Well walk around Dinefwr Park as everywhere looked bleak. My pal lives a few miles up the hill  from us where it’s  colder and  in her garden there was lying snow and potentially more to come. With black clouds overhead and dressed in full waterproofs I decided to have a go and see what it was like at Dinefwr Park and whether Philip’s remarkable run of ‘good’ walking weather would hold true today!

Honestly, how does he do it? Cold and damp it may have been but the sun came out, the blue sky appeared   and off we went! DSC05979

We all set off  from the carpark at a steady pace getting warmer by the second. It was noticeable as we went though the woodland area how may trees had recently been uprooted.

After climbing up a number of steps  it was lovely to see a mat  of snowdrops ( not enough to call it a carpet) flowering amongst the curled autumn leaves. Even some daffodils  were peeping through too.   Taking a photo of anything interesting is always handy and a great excuse to catch one’s breath!


As we emerged from the woodland we saw Newton House in the distance. We followed the pathway over the fields towards the castle and kept up our steady walking speed. I think we were all loving the walk, the views and the company but were mindful of the fact that all that horrid weather wasn’t far away!

DSC05997DSC05987DSC05999DSC06002We overtook a group of nordic walkers…to be fair…they were standing still and doing their pre-walk warm ups. We decided that although it is good to have a warm up before any exercise to get joints and muscles moving, doing warm ups  as well as a walk  might just  be too much exercise for us!

Hope these tree roots are strong and hold these wonderful trees in place for many more years




Stopping to take photos of Newton House, Paxton’s Tower on the hill  and the deer meant that I fell behind the group so I had a bit of a jog to add to my exercise to catch up with the others!


Carefully avoiding a tractor carrying a load of turnips I caught up with everyone just in time to see the White Cattle being fed in their winter quarters.



You could  hear them nomnomming  away and  see them enjoying their treat with their head and horns buried in their hay.


The kites and buzzards were also enjoying the sunny spell and were heard calling in the blue sky above.  The black spot is a kite not a fly on my lens!

Following the potholed muddy track …well it wouldn’t be a proper walk without some mud… we  made our way back  to ours cars. A  3 mile walk …well nearly…in dry conditions…don’t know how you do it Philip but thank you again. DSC06026DSC06027DSC06031DSC06032The Vintage Cafe, next  to the garden centre in Llandeilo was todays choice for our  after walk refreshments. The coffee and cake were all delicious  and the icing on the cake was enjoying seeing all the beautiful  plants that are  for sale in The Works Garden Centre.

DSC06034DSC06036DSC06037DSC06039Now this is what my photo of a kite should  have looked like! This print is  by artist Kathryn Harvey  for sale in The Vintage Cafe. DSC06044


January 26 Botanic Garden of Wales Walk…Again! January 26, 2018


One can never have too many visits to the Botanic Garden of Wales,  especially in January, when entrance is free during the week!  Weekend entry in January is only £4 and tomorrow 27th and Sunday 28th  there is an Antiques Fair to enjoy too!

Anyway back to my visit today with the Walking Well group led by Philip. Somehow or other he manages to arrange these walks when it is dry and sunny! The weather over the last week has seen our garden flooded!  Today, however,  with the sun shining brightly a large group assembled in the Botanic Garden carpark to begin a figure of eight walk around the parkland.


The track led us around the perimeter of  the first lake with the Great Glasshouse,

The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world houses the largest collection of Mediterranean plants in the Northern Hemisphere

looking like something from Stars Wars ( I enjoyed The Last of the Jedi..last week!)  set  up high on the opposite bank.  Wonderful reflections of the trees in the water- good enough to paint!


Brilliant coloured cornus bushes  shone in the sunshine and the aroma from the fountain of green Sarcococca confuse bushes filled the air…everyone stopped  to catch a closer sniff!


Passing a desolate farmhouse we walked up quite a steep incline until we reached the top. Here  Philip explained there was a spring  hidden behind a locked door and a pump room.

It was well worth carrying on up the hill as looking back we had the most marvellous view over the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside, including Paxton’s Tower.


We walked along the ridge of the hill until we dropped down again  from the Parkland towards the Gardens.  We didn’t take a detour into the woods as we were uncertain what we’d find there!


It wouldn’t be one of Philip’s walks if it didn’t entail some mud walking and some nature spotting. There’s an excellent exhibition on at the present in the Gardens by Julie Sheridan of the Last Gallery, Llangadog . Her  series of paintings depict the symbiotic nature and pattern of lichen.  She may have been able to identify some of our findings!


The Ghost Forest was our next stop!

‘This display of tropical tree roots is one of the most significant environmental art installations to come to Wales

The Ghost Forest has come from the tropical rainforests of Ghana .The oldest tree root is 300 years old, the heaviest weighs 19 tonnes

They’re the inspiration of UK based artist Angela Palmer. She was horrified to learn that a tropical forest the size of a rugby pitch is destroyed every four seconds. Just think how much is lost every minute, every hour………every year.
Apart from the huge loss of species, rainforest loss is contributing to climate change.

Angela Palmer made world ambassadors out of these tree roots. She chose Ghana as it now sustainably manages its rainforests. She brought the tree roots to Trafalgar Square, to the Earth Summit in Copenhagen, to Oxford University and now here, their final resting place.’

Lots of photos as they were amazing  especially against the blue, blue sky!

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Time for coffee and cake in the Glasshouse surrounded by exotic  and some recognisable lovely flowers.


Also to view were the antiques. The Rupert annual…one of my favourites  as a child… now classed as an antique!! Help!

The view going down the Broadwalk back to the carpark was  far different from last week when everywhere was coated with shiny icy crystals- this week shiny bright sunshine. I do love our changeable Carmarthenshire climate!!


Thank you Philip for another happy, enjoyable walk.




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

Filed under: Uncategorized — lletty @ 4:34 pm

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


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


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



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


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




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




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


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


The waterfall with the doughnut  swirling at its base!DSC05542

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


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





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


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

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




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


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


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


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



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



December 30 Cwmdu Walk Talk and Eat December 30, 2017

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

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


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


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



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


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


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




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

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


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

Thank you all!

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


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

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

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

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

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


Best wishes and Happy New Year everyone!

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



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