Saturday, 23 September 2023

Finally, Llanarchaeron revisited


There are two cats at Llanarchaeron.  This is the mardy one - an elderly stray who took up residence but hisses at you if you approach . . .

As you can see, the brewing of beer was very important to the Estate.

As was bread making. There would have been several of these dough bins, which sell as decorative items for farmhouses now . . .

Part of the dairy, where cheese making was carried out.  The slate slabs kept everything cool.

For several years I had the top half of one of these butter makers down in our Dairy at Ynyswen.  Many had a Haverfordwest maker.  There's another complete one in Carmarthen museum, if you're down that way.

The loose boxes with hay racks.  Below, an unusual design of hay rack with the back built into the wall.  Not seen that elsewhere.

The tack room, with below, side-saddles.

The kitchen garden, with lots of herbs, flowers for cutting and fruit trees.

The bees absolutely adored this Wall Germander, so it's on my planting list for next year.

Well, this hasn't been the best week here - Keith has a UTI and for the first 4 days the antibiotics he was given didn't work at all.  He's got some different broad-spectrum ones now and they seem to be helping.  Broken nights this week and the previous one haven't helped Keith at all.  I stupidly forgot to give him his lunchtime pills on Thursday and then got the time wrong for his appt. with the PD nurse - she phoned and we got in as last appt. of the day.  Of course, by the time it came to leave, Keith was tottering so much when he stood up from the wheelchair and I don't know how we managed to get him in the car.  They wished me well the other end - and I was dreading it - but we managed it somehow.  Anyway, Keith's sudden worsening of symptoms generally has resulted in being booked in (God knows when that will be) with the Geriatric consultant at Hereford.  I am praying that the appts. with the MSK physio will help his neck and mobility, as that is what has made him find getting around so difficult as it greatly affects his balance for the worse.

PD nurse is also going to get someone out to try and improve on our method of Keith getting up and out of bed in the middle of the night - she didn't seem at all impressed with what we had in place!  (Heath Robinson and all that . . .)

I have just been out in the garden, having a sort out and taking a saw to the Mullein and then the reverted rose.  It's been here many years but just puts out white single-petalled roses now and does nothing for the look of the garden.  I am thinking about planting an apple tree there instead - perhaps a dark red crab apple.

The low wooden fence fronting a rhododendron has started to collapse from rot, so that will need replacing too. Getting someone to do it will cost more than the fencing!  I may have to try and do it myself.

Today I went to St Mary's Church at Clifford near Hay-on-Wye, so will write that up tomorrow.  

Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, 19 September 2023

A More Positive Day


Sloe Gin started.  I used to have a taller plastic container but think that was charity-shopped when we moved.  There is something very comforting at the moment, about making Sloe Gin again.  First time since we've been here I think as the local Sloe harvest had been non-existent in 2021 and 2022.  It's something I've made most years we've lived in Wales and will be bottled as presents at Christmas.

Keith started the day much better and walked a few steps without holding on to anything (but with the rail either side along the top hall in case he needed to grab them).  He doesn't move much during the day though, which doesn't help matters at all.  I'm trying to get him to eat more - I should think he barely hits 1000 calories most days. He's never been a great one for eating, but now he is losing weight but won't try and eat extra.  

I went up into the attic and bought down my late friend Annie's Inkle Loom which I think (husband) Mick made for her.  I need to start from scratch with it as the wools on it are probably 10 years old now and will be brittle.  I watched a couple of You Tube videos this morning, but had to abandon one as the American lady's voice was so annoying!

I also ordered a box with four different British fleece tops.  It's called "Best of British" from Fibrehut and includes Shetland (natural grey); Wensleydale (natural white); BFL (natural dark brown) and Southdown (natural white).  Something to look forward to.  I've bought my bag of old tops down and my drop spindle and will have a little practice after tea. It's been years so I will have to be diligent.

    I had arranged for a local charity to come and collect the leather recliner chair we drove to Shrewsbury to buy for Keith.  But he found it too low for him so it's been taking up a lot of space in the already overcrowded Library.  Also there was the armchair which matches our big sofa, but there is no room for and it was never used.  That went too - I was expecting the collection in the morning, but he came today instead.  I've had a sort out in there now and moved things around, and taken some books Keith will never read (neck too painful) to the charity shop, along with a couple of things from pre-Covid stock which-one has ever shown any interest in at Fairs. At least the Red Cross will benefit.  I will harden my heart and sort out another big pile of novels to go down to them and sort through a box of Lesser Old Stock too, and pass it on.

    Anyone who has known me for any length of time will know that I stay true to the things which have always interested me.  I never made the progress I hoped with spinning - life got in the way - but perhaps now I can try and get back to it.  

Isn't this beautiful?  It's Soapwort and was planted at Tretower Court (in the beds around the fountain area).  It would have been used for washing fabrics in the past and can still be used especially for those vintage pieces which need delicate washing and no harsh detergents.

    Time for tea now.

Monday, 18 September 2023

Thankyou for support

 Bless you all for your comments.  I am tired again as I had a bad night, but hey, I got some reading done, I've spoken to the GP, and Keith (who appears to be brewing a UTI now) is going to have treatment for that (A/B's) and I am off to get Syrup of Figs for him too - don't ask!!  We had an appointment for specialist physio come through the post today too so there is movement on that front.  He desperately needs it as his chin is down on his chest all the time now as it's too painful to hold it up.

Fuzzy photos of the girls escorting next door's hens off the premises!

I am also going to phone Assist, for some help and support, and get Gabby to come up for a few days soon - she was going to come up this week but came back off holiday and developed Covid.  So she's a social pariah here right now. . .  I am going to try to get a couple of days away somewhere.  Perhaps up in North Wales (much as I'd like to go down to Devon).  

Some absolute WHOPPERS of Sloes this year, and so plump and juicy they just screamed at me to steep them in gin, which is what I have done.  Picked from just half a mile up the hill from here.

Off to get Keith's prescription now. Feeling slightly less trampled underfoot now.

Sunday, 17 September 2023

Living History at Tretower Court


I'm sorry, I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself tonight.  Keith was up two hours too early today, and lack of sleep is the worst thing for him - and we've had a few nights of that.  It has taken well over an hour to get him to the bathroom and then bed. Worry-wise, I am back to where I was in January, with knobs on . . . I am hoping tomorrow will be more positive but I will have to write a note to the PD nurse and get help.  Not sure if I will be able to get him to her appointment on Thursday for starters.

Yesterday's calming and pleasant day out is but a memory.  The pretend chicken in the photo below is how hens were sometimes kept - for eggs or for the table!

Close up of a match lock musket, and below, tools for the manufacture of musket balls, plus a pouch for keeping them in.

Sword in scabbard, and powder horn.

Swords, lobster pot helmet and breastplate (hefty!)

The Look!  The dangling leather pouches each hold a single shot of gunpowder.  Great talking to someone with such a good knowledge of the Civil War period, and some brilliant ghost stories too - made shivers run down my spine!

The Apothocary's table.  I had a lovely and very interesting chat with him.

The spinning and weaving tables.  I had a lovely long chat with the girls here and they encouraged me to come and volunteer - how I wish I could.  Perhaps I could manage an afternoon if I had cover to look after Keith.

Prepare guns, take aim, FIRE!  Oh my goodness, it was deafening!