Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Sewing - and a shy little apple . . .

Wednesday afternoon is my patchwork class, and today I learned how to make an external pocket on my bag,  with gusset.  The bit under the sticky tape is the external fixing for the fastener.  Having spent a frustrating 15 minutes trying to fix in the tiny screws I have bought it home to work further with them - I think I need to make a hole through for the screw and use my optician's screwdriver to fasten it in.  The flap is only pinned on and needs straightening, I can see.

Below, this is the other side to the bag.  As you can see, I have machine-outlined around the flowers and leaves.  It gives them a bit more definition.

Below, Sam, the other side of the Hairy Window!  He is a LOVELY boy, although Theo disagrees with me and lays in wait for him.  I can handle him well now and he sits in the cat basket outside in the porch, so won't be frightened when he goes to be neutered soon.

Below- current reading matter.  I am half way through the Peter James - it's the first one of his I've read and it has no pace . . .

Below - still plenty of apples on our trees.This blurry picture shows the one at the end of the drive - we have already had about 6 boxes of apples from this - half given away.  There is no room in my freezer, no-one eats apple sauce in our family, I don't make jam any more, and though I may make some chutney with a few of these, it won't make much of a dent in the apple mountain!

Below:  this little chap looks like he has sucked a lemon!!

Right, I have the Dentist in the morning for a repair to a filling, and then OH and I have a date with a blocked down-pipe . . .  It promises to be somewhat messy . . .

Monday, 15 October 2018

Almost back to normal

We had a walk down across the bridge yesterday afternoon - the bottom lane was passable both sides of the river, but lots of silt on the road.  Above and below, this is the Bad Boy who started it all - a big old riverbank tree which obviously had the bank dragged away from under and around it.

The river had dropped between 12 and 15 feet. As you can see it had gouged away the side of the bank.

And a neighbour's tarmacced parking area.

The bank on the roadside . . .

The strength of the water (or another passing tree) also bent this galvanised gate post . . .

So, for the meantime, we can walk over the bridge, but not drive over - we have to go out over the top to go to town or onto the A40 in either direction.

Today we had our flu jabs and did a bit of shopping.  The aftermath of the floods was still evident - waterlogged fields, muddy fields, flooding either side of the river on the floodplain and by the main bridge into town, in the yard of a garage, several cars with mud on their roofs and a caravan sideways on top of them . . . Insurance writeoffs I should think.

I was awake early so caught up on a couple of Escape to the Country programmes - these were ones with nice people househunting.  Sometimes they have people I don't take to . . . people who are so incredibly picky over the least little thing or REALLY haven't thought through the whole idea of living in the country.  Makes me wonder why they want to move at all!

I spent the morning doing housework and hope to get back to painting our bedroom again tomorrow - I just want it finished now.

Meanwhile, there are STILL MORE APPLES to pick!!

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Flooding in Carmarthenshire

If you live in the UK (and especially in Wales) then you will have seen television footage of the dreadful flooding in Wales.  Of course, we were not immune in our community.  This is the bridge a the bottom of our hill.  Photo taken this morning, by which time the river had dropped TEN FEET overnight.  Our neighbour down here had flooding in his cottage and nearly in his bungalow too.  I bet he didn't get much sleep last night.  

Storm Callum - this link will show you a report on the flooding further downstream and Storm Callum II at Carmarthen. Hopefully they are differeing reports!  

As you can see, there was a log jam of trees against the bridge and it is no longer usable.  We will have to wait weeks for the Council to come and clear this, and check that the bridge is OK as someone was saying it was moving yesterday, with the weight of water against it, through it, over it . . .

Unfortunately we chose to go out yesterday morning and got caught up in all this when we came to try and get home, and every road to cross the river was blocked.  We tried to get home on the back road to Carmarthen after finding our usual route along Station Road under water . . .  Carmarthen road also under water.  Turning around and driving in the opposite direction, all crossings over the Towy under water and then the Llandeilo road ditto.  We had to drive up to Carmel and to Llandeilo that way, managing to cross on the Ffairfach bridge, but on the A40 home, a council vehicle blocked the road and we were told the A40 was blocked at our nearest village to home - bridge crosses the Cothi . . .

We tried every which way, finding the lanes with standing water nearly a foot deep in places (no good when your exhaust stands at 9"!) and eventually every route home was blocked.  We ended up the other side of our bridge (having had to turn around on the lane to Brechfa) with neighbours, surveying the flood water hurtling through and over the bridge, with a worried neighbour the other side who already had one property flooded and was stacking up furniture in his bungalow . . .

We had offers of a bed overnight, but as I had left my asthma inhalers at home, we HAD to get back.  Fortunately one neighbour was able to tell us that the A40 was actually still passable at Pontargothi and so we were able to get home along there and then "over the top."  Believe me I have NEVER been so glad to get home in all my life. . . 

This stretch of the lane is often welly-deep in standing water, and my dear husband suggested he could wade through to go and get my inhalers, in case we really couldn't get back.  However, yesterday it was a whole different ball game and the river had breached it here and it was 5 feet deep (as you can see from the debris caught in the hedge).

More debris caught up in the fencing.

The river this morning - remember - levels have dropped 10 feet overnight.   I wish I'd had the camera with me yesterday but that said, I just wanted us  to get home safely - rather than take photos of our predicament!  I feel so sorry for the people who have lost vehicles and had homes flooded from this storm.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Making the most of that sunshine - Llansteffan beach

A lucky photo - I couldn't see WHAT I was taking (hence it's not quite level) - but love the stripey layers of beach and sand and rocks and shadow.

It was a really stunning Autumn day yesterday - so warm that we were soon down to t-shirts whilst we picked yet MORE apples.  We have barely made a dent in the crop, and are ten boxes up already, PLUS lots I've given away.  

Anyway, it was my patchwork class in the afternoon and although I did think about missing in favour of the beach all afternoon, my OH had Things that needed Doing, so I just came back half an hour early from my class and then we headed for Llansteffan for some sea air.

You will, I know, be familiar with the scenery, but it always looks a little different depending on the weather and the time of day/year.

The very end of Pendine beach in the far distance.

A fissure in the rocks, worn away by the sea, and a rocky jumble at the edge of the beach.

Looking out across Carmarthen Bay, with the tide coming in very quickly.  When we arrived that post was surrounded by mud.

Remember these vehicles which we had spotted and photographed recently when we were the other side of the Estuary at Ferryside?

Yesterday we discovered what they were doing . . .

Coming home quickly to beat the tide.

This was the harvest - lifted from the boats onto the trailer by the JCB.  Cockles we think - collected from along the coast at Pembrey.  The cockle beds here must be resting.  One day's harvest - and I am sure going to Spain as us Brits aren't too keen on cockles in these quantities.

We came home on the cliff path below the castle - as you can see, looking Autumnal already.  Those are Bryony berries below.

Light amongst the trees.

A final view across the estuary for us - the derelict Picton House, which was auctioned recently.  Don't know who bought it or for how much . . .

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

A lovely old cookery book

Firstly, the new header is a photo taken across the lake at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales at the weekend.  So pretty.  One of these days we will go and explore properly, but it was very busy both days this time and hard to get away.

Morning all.  I was up early and baking Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins to take to a meet-up with friends this morning.  They look SO good and I have had to walk myself away from them for fear of checking to see if they turned out well (my excuse anyway!!)  It is nice not to be racing around today.  We're going to go and harvest some more apples shortly - the smallest ones will go to friends who have smallholdings with pigs on.  

I have torn myself away from the Elly Griffiths novel I found in a Cardigan charity shop yesterday - one of only two of hers I've not read: "Smoke and Mirrors" which is a departure from her archaeologist heroine, and set in Brighton in 1951.  Good so far.

On Sunday morning, before our Fair opened, we popped down to have a mooch around the car boot sale as we usually do.  On a friend's stall, I found a lovely little cookery book from the Edwardian period.  ELAINE - this is right up your street!!  

The boy's suit below really dates the book (though I thought they were Norfolk Jackets and not Suffolk ones).

The Phillipine pudding sounds tasty.

I chose this page for the Devonshire Apple Cake - which is pretty well the same as a Dorset Apple Cake.

This final entry has me smiling : )  What a wag Mr A.W.S. was!!  As for cosy socks from old felt hats, if I had any old felt hats I'd be tempted to make a pair!

Monday, 8 October 2018

Another Fair over - but feeling my age today : (

Evening all.  We had a VERY busy weekend - setting up our stand on Friday and early Saturday morning, and meeting customers old and new and chatting to fellow traders in the Dome, where temperatures were Just Right this time - unlike the 120 deg F we had back in June when we were last here!  The star of our show was this replica of a suit of Civil War armour, on stand.  There was a photo of it in last Friday's Western Mail, for posterity!

This is my Military Adviser's side of things - various blades, knobkerries, axes, old pistols, muskets and helmets.

My Ethnic corner, with items from Africa, Groote Eyland in Australia, and Indonesia whilst the black-faced dance-mask on the right is from Northern India.

I am a bit low on studio pots and glass at the moment, but there was a selection to check out in the middle section of the tables.  The Rye Pottery Mr Badger found a new home and I had one VERY happy customer (who had persuaded her husband to turn round and come back for it when they were in sight of the gate to go home!) I love the blue Bretby pot on the middle shelf, and the Jaguar pot to the right of it is by a Guatamalan potter.  That was overlooked this time so I will have to give it centre stage on its next outing.

Some Poole pottery on the bottom, and an unusual 1950s Ewenny jug with a thumb stop, ringed body and a nod to the Jack in the Pulpit design.  It has a particularly good Autumn glaze.

The big burr Walnut bowl drew everyone in to stroke it, as it is so tactile.  Beside it is a lovely Indian domestic cooking pot which called out to me at a recent Fair.  I have put some Autumnal pot-pourri inside it.  Smiling here at the sight of my nearly-empty can of Diet Coke (NOT for sale!!)  The little 1950s felt donkey and his rabbit companion both found a new home together.

A lovely little Victorian spice box, beside a wee cast iron stove, and a French ship's lamp, plus a most unusual Victorian/Edwardian Bog Spavin Truss for a horse . . . a specialist market that one!!

The little ship sold to the trader next door, who fell in love with it.

Finally, the furniture end, which I would have liked to have more room to lay out.  Anyway, people were absolutely fascinated by the spikey scythe cradle.  No one had ever seen one before, and nor had I until I bought it.

Hidden away are a lovely Victorian Dairy bowl in Sycamore, and an oak Bushel Measure from the same period.  You can see the Flail and the Pig Gambrel though. . .  The beautiful rush-seated chair also found a new home with holidaymakers from North Devon, who fell in love with it (we had too).  It's "eared" style back-bar and the lovely bold turning on the front rail tied it to Lancashire/Cheshire probably around Mobberly/Macclesfield.

I was very gratified when a young man complimented me on my display and said I had a good eye, and asked to take photos.  Then another dealer also said my stand was so interesting and with unusual unique items, and we were asked if we would be interested in standing at an Antiques Fair in Cardiff in December, so the answer is yes.  Deciding what to take and fitting it all in a 12 foot stand will be a challenge!

Anyway, today was unpacking the car, then putting more stuff back in to go and have a change-round at our new Unit in Cardigan.  Another long day and now time to rest!