Wednesday 25 June 2014

A quick nip round Hay-on-Wye again

Whilst our food was being cooked in the Sandwich Cellar in Backfold, I took the camera back a few paces and photographed the nearby shops.  Here is one selling some nice collectables.

This is the flower shop next door, which always has a beautiful selection of cut flowers and things in pots.

A gorgeous selection of sock yarn is always on offer and I usually get tempted.  I have a stash now . . .

Of course, they have other tempting things too - nice stout shopping bags, a lacy green top and the star of the show for me, this turkey on what my late m-in-law would have called a "clippy rug".  Those generally had more random patterns, or were worked with whatever came to hand.  I still want to learn to do this, perhaps this winter I may?

The view from where we were sat (outside as it was sunny).  There is a dark grey cat who lives here, and I am pretty sure this little cottage was the main scene of action in the latest Phil Rickman novel, which was set in Hay.  (The Magus of Hay.  Perhaps PR knows differently though!)

A colourful corner in Hay with all sorts for sale.  For some reason, I didn't think to go in there, but might do next time.

It was market day in Hay, and there were some tempting plants on offer.  This lady has her stall down by the Clock Tower.  The stall you can see in the background was selling bread.

A last glimpse through the yard of the ironmongers.

Pen-y-Fan seen from the wrong lay-by (the next one had a convenient gateway and better views without a hedge in the way!)

Looking Westwards, beyond Brecon.

A last glimpse, with clouds billowing up behind Pen-y-Fan.

Another project, which cost me £2 in the Charity shop.  Something to while away the winter evenings.

It seems a shame to leave it unfinished, when this lady had started so well with it.

I bought just one book this time, and it was about Herefordshire villages, written and photographed by members of various branches of Herefordshire WI.

Monday 23 June 2014

Enjoying these summer days and photos from Poppit Sands

After the long slow cold spring, I was hoping we would get SOME sunshine.  My hopes are rewarded.  We are so busy at the moment, hence the lack of postings.  I will try and catch up this week, promise.

Back to the Thursday before last (oh dear . . .)  Poppit Sands in Cardiganshire.

What a lovely place to have a house . . .

This looks a bit like Scurvy Grass, but the leaves are wrong.  Marjory Blamey is not as good as Roger Phillips for ID when you don't know what the plant is, but all I have upstairs at the moment.

The dunes were a mass of Common Spotted  and Early Purple Orchids.

Hare's-Foot Clover.

Sea Spurge

Lastly, Valerian growing from a barn wall, in a little back street of Cardigan.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Visit to St Dogmael's Abbey and the Sacranus Stone

I hope you can read this.  It's in the little visitor centre at St Dogmael's, which we visited a week ago.  It was obviously a seat of monastic learning from early times.  Two of the early christian monuments marked boundaries, and are now in Cardiff, at the National Museum of Wales.  These date from the 9th - 11th C.

As you can see, some of these stones had new incarnations as gateposts . . . or the infill in a wall.

The remains of St Dogmael's Abbey, which must have been splendid before the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

Ivy-leafed Toadflax growing across a bit of old wall.

This stone was at the back of the church and is doubtless Romano-British in ancestry.  It had quite a strong . . . energy.  It is chanelling something (hah!  Damp, judging by the wall behind it!)  I will presume that it is  Dolerite stone from the Preseli Mountains, as are the other early Christian monuments on this site, but it has something the others don't.  Either the exact position it is in, or some quartz inside the stone, seem to give it the ability to chanel energy - and it was a somewhat negative energy too.  Strange.

Another portion of a wheel cross monument in the church.

Just to lighten the atmosphere, here are some beautiful roses growing over a garden wall just outside the Abbey grounds.

Here, for Suffolk Smallholder, is the Old Mill and the Miller's House, which have this amazing deep pink rose growing up them.  I wish I knew which one it was.

Gorgeous isn't it?

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Laburnums and Foxgloves and a walk up the hill

When I drove over the mynydd to see my friend last week, the Laburnums were out in full flower and absolutely STUNNING.

Originally - around WW1 I think, when ALL wood was in such demand for the trenches in France - farmers needing fencing post had to take what they were given. Laburnum was one of the few woods available, and duly put in as fencing.  However, it began growing and now countless fences hereabouts have grown into beautiful rows of Laburnum which is in full bloom at the present.

How beautiful is that?

Coming home - the top end of our beautiful wild valley.

A little cottage in the woods, with access only on foot.  OK until you have a week's shopping to carry there!  Or coal!

Today I went out for a slow walk up the hill (my legs were feeling tired, but I forced them to do some work.)  Here are some Foxgloves on the first bend.  There's an old saying about summer lasting as long as the Foxgloves flower (and the ones up in the mountains start much later).  Judging by these, autumn would be upon us in about 3 weeks!

Looking across the valley towards Llanfynydd.  You can just see the Italianate tower which is all that remains of the "Big House" there (now a holiday complex) - Pantglas.

Looking across the valley to the Towy Valley beyond.  I think the trees under the horizon are probably Grongar Hill, made famous in the poem by John Dyer.

Distant view of Dryslwyn castle from the steep stretch of hill.  I must have an evening walk up there again - the views along the Towy valley are stupendous.

The summer lands.  Wales is so beautiful at this time of year.  But then ALL countryside is beautiful in summer.

Top of the hill, by the bend, looking across to the Black Mountains.

The best of a walk UPHILL is that the lane home is DOWNHILL all the way!

And finally, my new walking jacket.  Foxglove-coloured.  Now you know why I was drawn to it!