(Some very stunted Yarrow at Mwnt yesterday.)
Sometimes the most insignificant things can evoke distant memories of happy days. Driving along the Cardiganshire lanes yesterday, the sight of Toadflax growing on a field bank took me back 60 years, as along with Yarrow (also in flower at the moment) it grew in the wild parts of the garden of the house where I grew up.
These same field banks were also home to purple Knapweed, various of the Bedstraw family, blue Scabious and the “bluebells of Scotland” - the Harebell. Sadly, the lane was far too narrow for me to stop and take photographs but they are there in my head and reminding me of similar lanes on the way to New Quay, which was one of our favourite beach destinations when the children were small.
There used to be a regular auction in a little parish hall just outside of New Quay, and we would go and bid - or sometimes just check around – and then always drop down into New Quay afterwards for a wander on the beach with the kids and a chip supper to save cooking when we got home late. I shall have to ask them if they remember going there. One thing I recall with absolute horror was going there one busy day in August, not for the auction, but just for the beach, and we lost Tam amongst the crowds of holiday-makers. I went straight into panic mode, imagining her beneath the waves (she was only about 5 then) but fortunately another mum had found her crying and searching for us and we were re-united.
We parked in the Cardigan Car Park behind the Market Hall. These lovely old cottages are on one side of the car park, and I couldn't help wondering what it would be like to live there - would you simply not notice the comings and goings in the car park after a while?
This lovely house was at the top end of the car park, built into the hillside. I looked at the plantings, and wondered what I would have there if it were mine? Climbing roses for certain, and probably a Clematis Montana to scramble over that outshoot roof. I'm not mad on Hostas, so wouldn't have those, but some nice Cottage Garden flowers would look pretty in tubs all the way along. Perhaps an espalier apple grown up the wall too, though that might be a temptation to anyone passing by . . .
Here are a few views around the town. There were some colourful buildings, and I loved the fan light strangely placed above the bay windows of the building above . . .
This HUGE cannon was one of a number captured at the battle of Sebastapol and this one was brought back to Cardigan because it was Lord Cardigan who led the Charge of the Light Brigade. The captured cannons were probably brought back as ballast on the ships returning home, but were distributed to towns around the country - a public relations exercise which underlined Britain's success against terrific odds.
Above and below: examples of Edwardian architecture. I was surprised to find a date of 1916 on the building above (I thought it looked quite Deco) and wondered what workmen were about to construct it in the middle of WW1.
The building below, with its pretty stained glass, dates from 1902 and looks much more Victorian in design.
After having a quick lunch (courtesy of Greggs bakery chain) we went in search of Mwnt, which I had wanted to explore for a long time. Unfortunately, when we got there we discovered it was owned by the National Trust and it cost £4 to park for the day. We got there at 2 p.m. and hadn't intended to stay much over an hour or two, and then discovered we didn't have any change anyway, so I took a few photos, and we are going to go back another time - probably NOT the summer holidays though as the lanes to it were very narrow, with the occasional passing place.
This is the little church at Mwnt, beloved of local artists. I think it was originally a fishermans' Chapel of Ease. Here is a link.
This is Foel-y-Mwnt which gives the area its name. I am looking forward to climbing it when the weather is cooler - it was probably cool enough yesterday, had we been able to park.
Above and below: quick snaps seawards from the car park. We decided we would go a little further on to Aberporth, another place we had never been before (photos from there tomorrow).
Our route home yesterday from Aberporth took us through Beulah. We had been to a busy car boot sale there on a couple of occasions, and then heard they were doing one on a Wednesday evening which “was very good”, so we decided to have a clear out and see if the rumours were true. Were they heck! It was the biggest load of rubbish I've seen in a long time, and half the stalls were market traders trying to offload dodgy batteries, old stock videos (it WAS that long ago), cheap childrens' clothing and the like. We only went the once . . .
Newcastle Emlyn – over the bridge into the town, and memories of my dear friend Kim who was all set to move to Wales to a property near the town, only to have it fall through on the day before contracts were due to be exchanged. I cannot imagine how gutting that must have been. She is happily settled in France now, but it would have been easier to visit her in Newcastle Emlyn!! We drove past the lovely plant nursery, scene of visits to browse, or spend birthday money – one year it was a BIG pot of mixed Auriculas and I still have some of their offspring about the place in pots.
Past the little chippy where I once took my mum for lunch on a day out. Quite a novel experience for her as when I was growing up there was just never any money for anything like that – the very occasional stop at a pub where mum would have a stout and dad a shandy (as he was driving). For some reason it is always one in North Hampshire which springs to mind – I can see it so clearly in my mind's eye, but can't remember the name of the pub. The village name suddenly came to me – Vernham Dean. I've looked it up and the name of the pub was The George and it looks pretty much as I remember it. I can remember we parked on the right of the car park, and I had crisps and then a sip of dad's shandy!
Back tomorrow with photos from Aberporth.
Back tomorrow with photos from Aberporth.