Tag Archives: Wales

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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’.

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!

~

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.

 

 

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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

Yarn Along in Solva

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This morning starts on the best window seat in Solva, with ‘The President’s Hat’ and the start of a new crochet project. Couldn’t be happier!

I am making another version of my Woodland Hoodie pattern, planning to adjust and improve slightly. Master R loves it so much and is still wearing it – now in it’s third year.

Joining in with Ginny’s Yarn Along

Yesterday I went in search of the yarn bombed footpath sign I’d seen on Coastal Crochet

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from a certain angle it looks like a bird or a llama don’t you think?

I climbed down the slipway (centre bottom of the pic) and set off across the beach following this man who walked all the way to the sea, swam and walked all the way back again, no towel, not a hot day – brrrrrrrr!

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the tide was right out at 4.30pm

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so I could walk round the headland to St.Elvis Bay

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and do a bit of Beach Cleaning

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and then meandering back

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amongst families, artists

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dog walkers and fishermen all enjoying the late afternoon and early evening…..

….. before a fabulous meal at the Harbour Inn, followed by our must-do-when-in-Solva – Tony’s Tuesday Bingo – “seven and six, was he worth it”, “Theresa’s Den, number ten”, “two little ducks, quack quack…..”

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With a chance to do a few rows between the rounds and the banter.

Perfect day!

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 ……..

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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………

 

WednesdayWalkAlong in a Walled Garden

In a Walled Garden in Manorowen, West Wales (a walk I did a few weeks ago).

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A wonderfully magical air of neglect mixed with love of place, fantasy and forgotten dreams.

And you can walk along with Crafternoon Treats around Scarborough, and have a Weekend Wander in Australia, and explore with Alisa Burke in Oregon; and Melissa in Ireland

Also joining in with Wordless Wednesday.

Please feel free to put a link to one of your walks so that we can walk along with you.

Welsh Wednesday Walk-Along

The drive from St.David’s to Aberaeron is spectacular! On my way I took a little detour to find Mwnt. (this was a few weeks ago) My cousin had recommended this beach (thank you H!) otherwise I would never have ventured the 3 miles off the main road. It was well worth it.

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I did not see any dolphins but did see a Red Kite being chased by what looked to me like crows. Blissful to be able to sit, looking out to sea, and crochet, whilst sipping a hot cuppa from the excellent little kiosk, and munching on homemade Welsh cakes. 8

The sand is just asking to be drawn on ….

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…. a cool waterfall for washing the sand from between your toes as you leave the beach8b

And thank you so much to Linda for letting me know about this spectacular Sand Artist – watch this!

Where have you been walking? I’d love to see your part of the world, please leave a link to one of your favourite walks so that we can walk along with you.

Wednesday Walks continued

Wow! I’m delighted to post some photos of a Walk in Wales sent to me by my good friend Linda – Thank you so much Linda – I’m even more excited that you included a Haiku – fabulous! thank you SO much!

The Dwarf's Island

Linda writes: On Monday we walked along the Ceredigion Coastal Path, north from Llangrannog, remember driving there?

Three dimensional
Wiggly and wriggly roads that
turned your insides out.

Beautiful, dramatic views of beach, cliffs and sky and a distant glimpse of the Lleyn PeninsulaCoastal Path 1

There is a legend that the Giant Bica (perhaps the Devil himself?), who lived in Ceredigion, had a raging toothache. As he stamped about in pain, the tremendous noise disturbed a Dwarf called Lochtyn, who advised him to go to the coast, where his tooth would fall out. In return for his advice, the Dwarf wanted a small island where he could live quietly by himself. The Giant set off and as he reached the coast, one of his footsteps created Llangrannog beach and his tooth fell out, creating a rock stack called Carreg Bica. He reached out his finger and drew it across a rocky peninsula, separating off a tiny island for the Dwarf – Ynys Lochtyn.White Clouds

Stunning!

You can see my Wednesday Walk here.

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.

 

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!

St David’s Cathedral

Last Saturday was a drizzly day, just right for visiting St. David’s Cathedral, and looking at all the different patterns in the stone work

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in the stained glass windows, on the painted ceilings and the wonderful use of recycled tiles on the floor

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the children lit candles and made wishes for people they thought of who were poorly

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and I had a little chat with St. David on behalf of my Mum who is 85 and no longer well enough to travel back to her beloved Wales. We always take her back a pebble from Newgale Beach which she puts in her garden next to a cheeky little stone dragon.

Then back to the flat to wash shells

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and use them to inspire pictures

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Six year old E and 3 year old R are always full of creative ideas, after drawing pictures they wanted to make a book to keep them in, so we folded some scrap paper in half and sewed the pages together.

Then they decided they wanted little books to hang round their necks and we decorated them each with a limpet shell

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Lucky that Granny always has a needle and thread wherever she goes

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……