There will be a continuing of our moving to Wales epic, but I am trying to spread it out a little. We have another viewing tomorrow so today is going to be spent doing a final dust and vacuum and clean and polish (I have just remembered I have not yet got around to cleaning all the paintwork on the ceiling of the porch. I suspect that after that there will be a lot of disgruntled spiders.)
Yesterday as it was dry and sunny on and off, K and I beavered away outside. There was a sill to repair (the price you pay for living somewhere where it rains a lot), and I HAD to get on with the garden. I have managed to weed the first 10 feet or so of the herbaceous border (which sounds grander than it is!) and popped in a few perennials I had sitting around in pots over the winter. So I have added a nice pinky-yellow Achillea which should romp away judging by how pot-bound it was, a lovely soft purple-blue Scabious, and nearby a taller purple Erysimum (sp?) - you know, wallflower-type thingy. I also bagged a lovely peach-coloured Foxglove when we were in Charlies in town last week and that has gone in at the far end. Beyond that all is chaos with the usual garden thugs having taken over but at least they hide the weeds and I can move on to clearing some gaps after the viewing. I finally managed to clear the moss, a pile of brash from pruning dead branches off the rambler roses earlier in the year, weeds, and the earth accumulating beneath all the moss just before teatime last night, so all the David Austin roses in big tubs are now standing on clean concrete again. Poor things - they need to get in the soil properly and so I am praying that THIS will be the year when we finally sell.
Talking of which, we heard back (finally) from the last viewing and unsurprisingly they chose somewhere else on the grounds that the doors were too low here (hubby was 6'2" and folk were shorter in Georgian times which is when most of the doors were put in) - I knew it wasn't a good sign when he brained himself on the low beam down in what was mum's kitchen . . . Also they said that they didn't like the house overlooking the farmyard. A valid point, and NOT something I can paint my way out of BUT since this was the farmhouse belonging to the farm next door, of course it is going to face the farm so they can have easy access - the path used to go from the front of the house straight across the lawn to the farmyard, and it faces East so that they had the sun first thing in the morning when they were up and about. The viewers had mentioned another property they were going to look at in Newcastle Emlyn so I got nosy and am pretty sure I found it as it was VERY them - imposing Victorian house with a gigantic kitchen, imposing staircase, a separate coach-house and Very Grandiose . . . plus it was at an absolutely giveaway price. No way could we compete with that even though it didn't have land for her horses. Ah well.
Anyway, when we were leaving Newport the other day, we did a detour via Nevern Church, famous for its "Bleeding Yew". The trees here are some 700 years old. I first saw it many many years ago (1972 I think) when I was staying with my penpal Sue and her sister and dad, at Ferryside. They pointed out a gravestone to me which was so sad, as the parents had outlived ALL their large brood of children, the final daughter dieing when she was 18 or 20. I've looked for this stone since, but haven't been able to find it.
This is the church of St Brynach, a contemporary of St David, and was founded in the 6th C. although the present ediface has a Norman tower and the rest of the church is late perpendicular (1425 - 1525). It was "restored" by the Victorians, something they were fond of doing.
In the churchyard is the most amazing Cross which dates to the 10th or 11th C. It is very similar in design to the big cross at Carew, which is near the castle there. The dedication is to H/AN/.EH but there is also a smaller one (which I overlooked) nearby, which is dedicated to VITALIANA/EMERITO with an Ogham inscription VITALIAN(o) on one edge.
Part of the key pattern design on one panel of the stone, and below, interlace. If I wasn't half asleep I would look up Romilly Allan's Early Christian Monuments and give you chapter and verse about where such designs are also found!
Inside the church, more Ogham along the edge of the Maglocunusstone, set into the window ledge. The Ogham reads MAGLOCUNUS (MAELGWN) SON OF CLUTORIUS and it dates to about the 5th C. I couldn't get a decent photo of the cutting across the top in Latin.
Here is the Cross Stone. This is executed in a pretty ribbon-like fashion of knot-work. HERE is a link which has some wonderful photos of the Church and crosses, and a bit more information than I have in the little guidebook I bought in the church.
I'll save some more photos for tomorrow.