Tag Archives: Pembrokeshire

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Silent Sunday

Newgale Beach, Pembrokeshire, Wales

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bug handling

Photos taken in July at Dr. Beynon’s Bug Farm, St. Davids, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Bug Farm, St. David's, Wales

We went there for Little Miss M’s 5th birthday treat. After a delicious lunch

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of cooked bugs

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and a fabulous birthday cake

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we all went to the bughandling session

Dr. Beynon's bug farm, Wales

Bug Farm, St. Davids, Wales

bug handling, Bug Farm, Wales

when everyone had to hold the bugs VERY gently

We all loved it! Master R was particularly delighted when one of the insects climbed up his face.

bug handling at the Bug Farm, Wales

The food in Grub Kitchen is truly delicious. There are non-bug options too.

If you are looking for an unusual Christmas gift you can order some Cricket Cookies and other goodies from Bug Farm Foods.

You can keep up to date with what they are up to on their Facebook Page.

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Joining Cathy in our One-a-Week Photo Challenge.

Leave a link to your ‘Gentle’ photo in the comments to join us and be included in the Monthly Round-Up of entries.

Next year we will be meeting up monthly, on the first Tuesday of the month, with a one word photo prompt. Thank you to everyone who has sent me some suggestions for the months ahead. There are still a few months to assign a word to – any suggestions for August, September and October? I’d love to hear from you with your ideas – either leave them in the comments or Contact Me here.

See you next week for ‘WINDOW’.

Fence

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caught my eye

in the fading light

treasure found

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Our ‘One-a-Week’ Photo Challenge Prompt this week is FENCE

Ronovan’s Haiku Prompts are EYE and FADE

The mitten on the post must have been there a while as it was green with algae. Since starting to do beach cleans, I see all litter and dropped items in a new light. They are all potential art materials with a human back story. It did feel slightly weird taking it from it’s post, but I am pretty certain it’s owner is not likely to return for it. It will go with other found clothing I have and see what art work it might inspire.

The top of the fence post is a little world of its own

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The photos were taken on a walk from Nine Wells towards Solva (Pembrokeshire) along the coastal path.dscf0156

 

I was walking from the treehouse as the sun was going down.

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There was no wind and I stood to watch the sunset before returning

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to the cosiness of my nest in the trees.

What fences have you found this week?  Leave a link in the comments below, we’d love to see them.

Gate

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footpath flows along

hard to tear myself away

from this special place

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This is my entry for our ‘One-a-Week’ Photo Challenge: GATE

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Ronovan’s Weekly Haiku Challenge: FLOW and TEAR

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Cee’s Which Way Challenge

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The 10 minute walk down the valley from the treehouse that I was staying in, leads to the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, which you can see making its way towards Solva, going right past that Iron Age Hill Fort. The gate is to keep the grazing ponies in, this side of the gate.

 

More tales from the Treehouse:

To get to the public footpath from the Treehouse one needs to wiggle down through Elizabeth’s garden. The footpath runs from the National Trust car park near the road, straight down to the sea.walk to the sea1

The treehouse can be seen from the path. More agile walkers have obviously chosen a quicker route by sliding down the bank.

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Soon one enters the ancient unmanaged little piece of woodland

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with the music of the stream beside you turning the walk into a dance

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until you get to the ‘bridge’, which is tempting to cross, to follow in the fairies’ footsteps.

Hear the sound of the stream in this post……

Creatures pop out to say hello

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and there are artful lichen arrangements on nearly every branch.

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After passing the serenity of the old Millpond

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you pass through a gate

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and catch your first sight of the sea

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Each time I walked that path, I stopped here and just noticed the change of atmosphere from an enclosed cosy woodland walk to this …….. the promise of that feeling of opening up, of expansion, that the next few steps will bring …… the moment of transition, I find there is power in that moment.

And then …. ooof!

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Breathe deep, what a view.

The GATE in the very first photo lies just to the left, around the curve of the hill.

People used to live in this valley, you can still see the ruins of an old mill, and then further back in time, our ancestors, maybe even my ancestors, lived on the hill fort – what a place to live.

I had the valley more or less to myself for a whole month! what a feeling! I woke each morning with a smile on my face, not quite able to believe I had given myself this wonderful treat.

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Next week’s Photo Prompt is

HAPPY

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I’m really looking forward to your ‘GATE’ photos, please leave a link in the comments.

 

Mini Pilgrimage

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Newgale Beach is just 6 miles from the treehouse. When the tide is out you can walk for 2 – 3 miles from one end to the other – that flat clear space calms my chattering mind and restores a sense of balance.

(Click on any of the photos to see them larger.)

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The first walk is always special, reconnecting with the place. I remember all those happy family times. Each little landmark holds a memory from a different year.

My senses are heightened and I see beauty in every pebble

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every wave and ripple

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every grain of sand

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There is a rock  …. the one with the yellow arrow

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with a huge rock-pool in it, in which my Grandad and I once found an eel. It inspired this poem: Journey Into Now

I make a mini-pilgrimage to it each time I visit Pembrokeshire. As I touch it and climb up to look into the pool I feel closest to my grandfather. He was a rock and a safe haven for me through a stormy childhood.

We are making new memories there  – a photo taken in August 2015 of Miss E and Master R exploring the rock pools in and around that rock.

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The pool indicated by the Blue Arrow features in this post . My daughter discovered it, Miss E swam in it and we all threw in a pebble and made a wish – we call it our Wishing Pool.

I threw in a pebble this time and made a wish for my Mum.

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Here is my favourite photo from that first walk, I have just ordered it to be printed on a large  30″ x 20″ canvas.

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I feel like the figure represents me – it was a man with a child in a carrier on his back, walking with a dog. I don’t have a dog but when I walk I am never alone.

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On the way back to the treehouse I called into Number 35, a great little cafe/restaurant in Solva, for a scrumptious lunch of smoked salmon salad with garlic bread.

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Yummmmm!

 

Treehouse Retreat

On 15th December 2016 I set off, car bulging with craft materials, for 31 days of blissful solitude in a treehouse near the Pembrokeshire sea.

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Click here for the AirBnB link to the Treehouse, where you can see photos and my review.

I was returning to the ‘Land of My Fathers’ – Wales. My Mum was born in Pembrokeshire and she took us there for a week or two every August. When I was old enough, I used to go on my own, to stay with my beloved Grandfather and wonderfully homely step-Grandmother, whom I called Dabbity. They were both teachers and my brother and I used to go and stay with them as teenagers when we were studying for school exams. Although a five-and-a-half hour car journey away from where I live now, the Solva area feels like home. As soon as I cross the Severn Bridge, I get a huge buzz of excitement and sense of belonging.

Every other year I don’t ‘do’ Christmas and this was my year off – sometimes I batten down the hatches at home, but mostly I go off on an adventure, to a place where Christmas doesn’t exist – not always easy to find!

I set off early, so that I would arrive in daylight.

My first impressions of the treehouse were that is was much bigger than I had expected and very warm and cosy. It had radiators in every room and views of trees and fields from every window.

I got there in time to trek backwards and forwards from the car several times unpacking a huge amount of drawing material, sewing and crochet. As the light was fading I walked across the field from the decking and caught my first glimpse of the sea. (this photo was not taken on the first night, but here’s the view that greeted me)dsc_0001

Deep breath!

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My journal entry:

I stood and drank in the sights and sounds. I can see for miles up there. I could hear the sea. There was a star twinkling in the darkening pink and blue sky – Venus possibly, and a raven circled slowly towards me and over my head calling a mellow, two note ‘hello’. The lights on a vessel far out to sea twinkled on the horizon.

I was filled with a supreme sense of connection, peace and joy.

I felt at home and welcomed by the land.

The month stretches ahead and I know it will whizz by, but for now I am luxuriating in a great sense of space and time. It is hard to find the words to describe how wonderfully uplifting and nurturing it feels. It feels like heaven!

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Day One

Setting up a jigsaw – a sensual experience.

I have brought with me a 2000 piece jigsaw (bought in a charity shop). Whilst sorting the pieces (one of my favourite bits) I was enjoying lifting up double handfuls of pieces and letting them fall through my fingers – the sound and sensation – delicious!

Then a walk as the drizzle was clearing along the path to the cliff, to be greeted once more by the friendly raven and nearer the sea I was met by an agitated chough.

Looping back I followed the lower path, through mossy, swampy woodland where fairies and elves are sure to hang out. Next comes the millpond which spills out into a narrow stream in full spate, wriggling its way to the sea.

Back for more jigsaw sorting at the kitchen table, pushed up against the west-facing window, looking out on the field, watching a magpie investigating mole hills and finding tasty morsels.

I am loving the silence.

It is fairly peaceful where I live, but there is very often the sound of neighbours, hammering or mowing. Here there is the wind, the sea and the birds.

My soul feels like it is quenching it’s thirst and enjoying great gulps of solitude in nature, drinking deep and filling its depleted reservoirs. I’m slightly fearful it will be too much of a wrench to return – but thankfully I don’t have to think about that for a long time yet.

 

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Look at the view from my bedroom window …..

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…. cradled in the arms of an ash tree and looking down through her branches to the woodland stream below.

The decking is bordered by trees – it feels like one is sitting right in the hedge, like a wren.

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The view from the door, perched in an old apple tree, looks back at the house….

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….. every morning, from the sitting-room window, I watched the sun rise  over a farm across the valley

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Aaaaaah!

It is such a joy to be remembering those feelings of deep relaxation and to be sharing them with you ……….

To be continued

 

 

Yarn Along: Attic24 Cal

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Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along and Attic24’s Moorland CAL.

I’m using slightly different colours to Lucy’s Moorland palette, as I really could not allow myself to buy more yarn, so am using colours from my stash. I think the result will be more hedgerow than Moorland, but I’m happy with the substitutions so far.

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More details of the colours will follow in another post. They are all from the Stylecraft Special DK Acrylic yarn which I get from Wool Warehouse, but Deramores are also a very good mail order firm. You can find the fabulous Attic24 packs at Wool Warehouse.

When I was in Pembrokeshire (Wales) recently, I found the book, a wonderfully evocative tale of island life with lots of delightful black and white photos.

I’m itching to tell you all about my 31 days retreat to a gorgeous treehouse near Solva.dsc_0183  There is so much to tell you and hundreds of photos to sort through!

It was such a blissful time of beach walks, new friends, family history, sand circles and wild food foraging. It will take a while for me to put it together into some coherent posts but in the meantime pay a virtual visit to the treehouse via its listing on Air BnB which is how I found it – my review is there for you to read as well.

 

 

Photo Challenge Round-Up: DEEP

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Nearby the pool I posted for ‘DEEP’ is another deep rock pool which I found as a child when I was with my Grandfather. It seemed to go down and down forever then and had an eel swimming in it. That memory was enhanced about 20 years ago when I was on a course with Leo Rutherford who founded Eagle’s Wing. During one of meditations to the sound of the drum, I was taken on a magical journey into this pool which inspired my poem

Journey Into Now

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Our DEEP entries this week are

Jane at RainbowJunkie ……………………. Ooops!

Cathy at Nanacathy ………………………..No Bottom!

Me at WildDaffodil …………………………Plop!

Denis at Haiku Hound …………………….Those eyes!

Christina at ALookattheLittleThings……Indigo!

Dorris at DigwithDorris …………………..Magenta and Blue!

Debbie at Curiosity Takes Me ……………Gorge and so much more!

Please welcome Allyse who is joining us for the first time this week

Allyse on Flickr

Have I missed anyone? I hope not, but if I have please leave a link in the comments and I will add you to the list.

To find out more about the Photo Challenge and see all the subjects set out for you in advance, click here.

Thank you to everyone who went DEEP this week.

Next week’s prompt

ABOVE

St Non’s

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Yesterday my friend and I went to visit St. Non’s Well, near St.Davids.dsc_0002

St. Non was the mother of St.David

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Visiting places of pilgrimage gives me a sense of connection with peace, healing and harmony and they are so often in the most spectacular of places.

The well sits close to the ruins of the old chapel – what a spot!dsc_0004

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Close to the Catholic Retreat Centre and the more modern chapeldsc_0007

We walked along the footpath up to the new chapel, and looked back at the shrine which is close to the Well.

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This gate into the Retreat Centre’s Garden. I had emailed the Centre before our visit to check that it was ok to visit the chapel and had a warm welcoming reply. It is clear that many people pop into the chapel whilst walking the coast path.

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Inside has a calm and cosy feel.

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I lit a candle and wrote a prayer for my Mum

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The story of St. David has similar elements to it as the story of the birth of Jesus, so many cultures have similar stories.

The story of the building of Chapel is heartwarming as it still stands in the teeth of nature’s storms.

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In the garden there is a bench – love it!

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Which looks out to sea

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Another (sunnier) day I would love to walk the footpath from Solva and sit here with my crochet and a flask of coffee, then get a bus back from St.Davids. Something to look forward to on another visit.

Thank you to Deb for letting me know about St. Non in her June post.

Deep

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This photo was taken yesterday on my favourite beach, Newgale, Pembrokeshire. I had gone to visit the deep rock pool that my daughter discovered last August. It was deep enough for Miss E, then 8, to immerse herself in. Last year we all threw a pebble in and made a wish. Yesterday I threw the white pebble in to reconnect us all with each other and the place – deep connections.

The other stripy pebble is going to be used for another little ceremony which I hope to share with you later in the week.

A few more photos of Newgale …

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The beach is vast and wide when the tide is out, a perfect place for a long walk to fulfil one of my 16 for 16 Challenges

And joining in with our Photo Challenge, please join us with your DEEP photos by leaving a  link in the comments.

Next week’s prompt is

ABOVE

 

Holiday Snaps: Sand

We have just returned from a wonderfully magical week in Pembrokeshire, S.W.Wales.

I went with my daughter and her 3 children, Miss E, 8, Master R, 5, and Little Miss M, 3. The weather, for the first time EVER ( I have been going there for years!), was brilliant for the whole week! Only raining at night, and although sometimes windy, it was never so cold that we needed jumpers – that in itself was a minor miracle.

So we spent almost all of every day on the gorgeous beaches, building sand castles ….

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just digging …..
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and huge sand dragonssand dragon

and boats, and quad bikes, and even a sand sofa ……..

and doing cartwheels for the sheer joy of itVersion 2

with very little time for crochet, but it still always went with me of coursecrochet whitesands

and then there was the swimming and the rock pools to explore………

 

Travel Theme: Grey

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Linking in with ‘Where’s my Backpack’s Travel Theme

After seeing Cee’s Travel Theme: Grey post

That is my daughter and Miss E you can see in their wet-suits going in for a swim whilst Master R, Little Miss M and I did some exploring around the rocks.

A Walk on Wednesday.

 

Black and White

Looking back at photos of my recent stay in Pembrokeshire I found this photo of a wonderfully vibrant lichen

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found on rocks at Whitesands beach

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where we went for a wonderful paddle one evening when the sun came out after a grey and rainy day.

Looking at the white lichen on the black rock inspired these doodles

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and now I’m thinking of adding some gold and silver – hmm – Christmas cards maybe?

The black and white theme continues with my Cruella Deville Hat Wig selling this week and now speeding it’s way off to be worn for a Halloween Party – must knit another quickly – luckily it only takes a total of 4.5 hours to complete a Hat Wig – a couple of evenings and it’ll be done.

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You can find a pattern in my Etsy Shop  if you too would like to be Cruella.

Bingo and Perennial Plants

Back to more Wales tales.

One of the conditions for Jude joining me on the trip was that on the Tuesday night,  we would go to Tony’s Bingo at the Harbour Inn, which is right next door to Felingog.

 

I first time I went to Tony’s Bingo was with my sister and her son, when he was about 15 and we loved it, so it has become a bit of a tradition on trips to Solva.

Jude was not too sure!! But the evening – although it doesn’t start til way after the publicised time of 9pm, was really good fun, with loads of local fun and banter – “At the end of your foot – 8 – 0……. (a toe) 80”

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and so on – and Jude came home with £22!

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I came home with lots of collage material!

Next day off to the Perennial Garden Centre near St.Davids

zgdncWhere alstroemerias were in flower in the poly tunnels
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does anyone know what it is?

The owner was away for the day and there was no label or price tag.

We sheltered in the cosy cafe

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There is something wonderful about being away from home and sitting in a cafe with knitting or crochet that feels SO good – delightful conversations strike up and meander around all things creative – cafe crochet – can’t beat it. Know what I mean?

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The cafe is also a gallery for local artists and the tablecloths provided doodle inspiration
zdt zddwe checked out the cottage to let for future reference.

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and then out into the mild grey drizzly day and back to the smallest city in Britain, St.Davids.

 

Pembrokeshire Beaches

On our second day in Pembrokeshire, we set off on a drive to visit the little coves and beaches south of Solva. First stop Newgale, where Jude and I had spent many happy summer teenage days with my Grandparents. The sun was not shining but that took nothing away from our enjoyment of wandering along looking in rock pools

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intriguing little worlds of their own

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and reminiscing.

We asked a group of walkers striding by to take a photo before going for a paddle

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Then off to Broadhaven for a coffee and a crochet

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My felt project bag included in the picture to add a bit of ‘sunshine’!

I love it – it was made by a Nepalese women’s collective and I bought it from a stall at the Axminster Plant and Garden Show some years ago (now called the Axe Vale Festival) .

Next stop Marloes – I remembered going to Marloes as a child and we set off to find it.

We found the village, with a delightful pub in it opposite a children’s playground (note for future visits with the grandchildren), The Lobster Pot. Unfortunately it was the manager’s day off so the kitchen was not open for lunch.

We climbed down to where the ferry leaves for Skomer Island. Another thing to do on another trip (about a 40min drive from Solva, down some very wiggly narrow lanes).

zmarloes ztt We never did find the beach of my memories, but a bit of searching on the net when we got back and we found Marloes Sands, just a short distance from where we were as the crow flies but apparently a long walk from the car park. Looks worth it though, another place on the to go list for next time.

We made a brief stop at Little Haven on the way home

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and walked out onto the headland to see this glorious view to the south and the view below to the northzlH

back to Solva for a relaxing crochet session looking out on the harbour

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and supper on the balcony!

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Happiness is …………

3rd time this year

I’m back in Solva again for the third time this year – bliss!

This time I am here with my dear old friend, Jude. We came here together as children, and stayed with my Welsh Grandparents, it is wonderful to go down memory lane as well as discovering new places together.

Jude drove us here and I discovered that I can crochet in the car! This is THRILLING!!!

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Yes thrilling!! I know ….. yes, Jude laughed too!!! if you are not a knitting and crochet addict like me you won’t understand but for those of you who are – these discoveries are, well, thrilling!!!

Anyway I did masses of a new design I am working out, for an elfin tabard for my 6 year old granddaughter, on our 5 and a half hour journey. And arrived to the usual warm welcome at Felingog.

Then a walk along the beach:

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I just can’t get enough of the shapes, angles and designs around each corner

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And the colours and textures of the rocks, weeds and lichens – everything looks beautiful, interesting and like a painting or embroidery waiting to happen

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Bliss bliss blissity bliss!

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Great Aunt Sue (my sister) arrived, full of energy and enthusiasm determined to build ‘the biggest sand castle ever!’.

Unfortunately I don’t have any photos of this magnificent construction as on the evening of her arrival we ordered the very worst Chinese Take-away any of us has ever had and I spent the whole night being very ill indeed – next day I slept.

So thank goodness for GREAT (!) Aunt Sue as they all went off to build enormous castles on Newgale beach and had a lovely day.

Next day there was a raft race across Solva harbour which we went to watch,

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again no photos of the actual race as R got a bit bored waiting for things to happen, and I still wasn’t feeling great so he and I went back to the cafe and shared a bowl of chips.

Sue and E loved the event though and were full of all the antics of the 10 teams who had to build a raft and collect a passenger from the other side of the harbour.

We celebrated what would have been our Dad’s 92nd birthday by eating some delicious, fresh caught crab and lobster – his favourite.

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Sue had gone on a mission to discover locally caught shellfish and found one down a side alley in Upper Solva. This is just what our Dad would do, at home in Dorset, when we were on holiday in UK or in Portugal.  He’d search out local fishermen and often persuade them to take him out fishing with them. He’d come home beaming from ear to ear with a glorious haul of beautiful fresh fish for supper.

For a small village, there are some interesting shops in Solva, my daughter had a great time in Window on Wales and found some really nice clothes and some presents. 

In Simon Swinfield’s Gallery I admired a delightful nightlight burner, and my lovely sister  bought it for me as a gift for inviting her to join us – she was having such a wonderful time reliving happy childhood memories digging on the beach.

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I couldn’t wait to light it when I got home, and surround it with the shells the children had collected. It throws a very romantic light on the little carving of a buddha that I got in Mid-Wales some years ago.

One evening the children were far too lively to go to bed so we took them to another little cove near St. David’s called Caerfai

Here are some pics I took a couple of years ago, in better light

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and when the tide was out00cpo

there is a nice long steep climb down to the beach
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this time, it was windy and the tide was in when we went, with waves crashing on the rocks. It felt a bit spooky, we looked for pebbles for Mamgu (my Mum – Mamgu, pronounced Mam- gee with a hard ‘G’ is the Welsh word for Granny) and found the egg of a dog fish

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We found a picture of a dogfish on the internet later – which looks disappointingly benign

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I’ve no idea if this is the same type of dogfish as the egg layer.

We had a truly wonderful, magical time in Wales and although the journey home took us 8 hours, with exercise stops with the little ones, we all loved it and hope to return together sometime.

 

Just back from a week in Solva

I have just returned from a glorious week in Solva with my daughter and her children. We arrived in a storm but thankfully the weather cleared and we had plenty of peachy beachy days.

There is something magical about introducing a much loved place from my own childhood to my grandchildren and see it all afresh through their eyes. We walked along the beach at low tide and saw masses of small jelly fish …..

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(the shiny discs bottom right of the picture) strewn over the sand.

We made shadow pictures

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collected shells

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and looked at the patterns sand ripples make

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a gentle arrival after a long 7 hour journey, more to come……