Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Blog Cymraeg_2

Sunday 12th – Saturday 18th November 2017

I started off so well and then ground to a halt!  So it is catch up time.
Sunday we woke to torrential rain, so a leisurely start was called for.  Even just nipping down the garden meant some time for Monty in his drying coat!

The weather improved and mid morning we headed out to explore the local area - thankfully we got the dry part of the 'rainbow weather'.

Opposite the cottage is a mill

Just round the corner is what looked like a great walk

With some great views

It was all very leafy, but the biggest issue was

mud! The other other down side was that it does not go far before it reaches the road to the Y’sn Hir (RSPB reserve), so it would be beach walks for the rest of the week.

We had to put this to good use when we got back to the cottage

 Our friends arrived Sunday mid afternoon.  Monty and Kiera have known each other since they were very young and are really great pals.  They play very well together.

We almost immediately headed down to Ynyslas where the dogs literally had a ball!

Well if truth be told - 2 balls!

There was a lot of running around

and even Monty had a paddle.  It really is dog heaven

It was quite late in the day, so the sun was going down when we left

Did this bode well for Monday - not particularly, but it was a lovely sky over the cottage when we got back

and we had two suitably tired dogs!

Tuesday we headed off to Aberdovey – one of our favourite places.  It was reasonably clear when we got there despite constant drizzle.  So what does one do when it is too wet to walk – go for a coffee of course!

It did clear enough for us to be able to admire the houses 

and get down onto the beach where children were doing things children should be doing

This boat kept going back and forth across the bay, but we never did find out what it was doing

The dogs, of course, had a great time

and yes, sand really is better than mud - well for us at least.

The biggest advantage at this time of year is there is no problem with crowds!

Sadly the weather clamped in again, so we retired to a pub for lunch.

The market town in this area is Machynellth and that was our destination on Wednesday.  The market is rather spread out, but it is worth a visit.  Behind the main part of the town is a park area with a small vege/herb garden provided for locals to go and 'pick their own'.  Such a great idea

There are, in fact, other sites dotted around the town

Probably the most iconic feature of Machynellth is The Town Clock. It sits at a crossroads. This impressive town clock has been keeping time and keeping watch over the small mid Wales town since the 1870's. The 78-foot (23.7m) tall Victorian timepiece clock continues to overlook the popular weekly street markets into the 21st Century. The clock was built to mark the coming of age of Charles Stuart Vane-Tempest, Viscount Castlereagh, the eldest son of the Fifth Marquess of Londonderry. The foundation stone was laid during festivities that took place on 15 July 1874. By the 21st century the stonework was looking a bit worse for wear and the long road to refurbish the historic town clock began. In 2010 a grant of £49,700 was awarded to Machynlleth Town Council by the Heritage Lottery Fund to fund the final phase of the project.  It is certainly looking sound, but in need of a clean.
Chris has been coming to Mach since he was very young and my first visit was in 1972, however, to date, neither of us have ever been to the Owain Glyndŵr Centre which is built on the site of the famous parliament held in 1404 at which Owain was crowned Prince of Wales. This Grade 1 listed building was given to the town of Machynlleth by Lord Davies of Llandinam in February, 1912.
The Centre hosts a new interactive and informative exhibition on the life, times and vision of Owain Glyndŵr - rebel leader, national hero and self appointed prince of Wales at the beginning of the fifteenth century.  Something we must rectify next time we visit.

Ah I guess we will have to wait a few years as we are boating in the season and tend to only visit in the winter!

Jane, Chris and Kiera went home on Thursday - it was wonderful to share some quality time with you in between our family visits.  We managed to see 13 different family members and some, on several occasions.  The age range is from 1 to 91.  Sadly the 91 year old is not too well and is in the local hospital, so we were especially glad that we had managed to visit her a few times whilst we were there.

Before we left on Saturday we went back to Ynyslas for one final walk and this time headed away from the beach towards the visitor centre

It is, as you would expect, shut until Easter, but you can still admire this rather stunning artwork

We then went out along the dunes rather than onto the beach - a bit less sand to take home and as it was tipping it down, it was also a bit more sheltered.

All in all it was a great week away despite the weather and we will certainly try to book the same cottage again when we next visit.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Blog Cymraeg

Saturday 11 November 2017
Bromsgrove to Furnace, Mid Wales

A few weeks ago we booked a cottage in mid Wales for a week.  I guess this is an odd time of year to visit the seaside, however Chris has relatives in this area, so we are visiting as well as enjoying a break from our normal 'winter life'.

First stop was Morrisons for a newspaper and air in the tyres and then a very convoluted wriggle through Bromsgrove, made even worse by the road we wanted to take being closed.  To make matters worse  we were behind a range rover towing a horse box through narrow streets with parked cars to negotiate.  When faced with a choice of cross country or motorway the former one the day. We only got stuck once behind a slow vehicle - another horse box, but this time it was a big one belonging to Massey Equine Transport.  Remember the name - it is significant!

Sadly it was grey and 'mizzly', so the scenery was not as stunning as it might have been.  A quick stop in Newtown to 'ease springs' for all three of us and we arrived at our destination before 13:00.  We were deliberately early so we could head to one of our favourite places - the beach at Ynyslas

with a view of Aberdovey across the estuary

  A quick sandwich was eaten in the car and then Monty was free to experience real dog heaven -a fitting reward for being 'packed' into the boot for 3 hours.

A much needed release of energy and it certainly blew the cobwebs away.  The weather was even a bit brighter, but no rain is all we hope for.

We just had to be careful of these beached jelly fish.

Just after 15:00 we arrived at our home for of the next week in Furnace, and what a home it is.  We were met by Glenda who made us very welcome and showed us around.  It is a single storey building that
just goes on and on.  Come with me on a tour....

In through the utility area with washing machine, tumble dryer, a huge fridge freezer and a box of towels and other things for cleaning dogs!

Into a large 'farmhouse' kitchen with all mod cons and a few more besides.

Into a hall - the door at the end is bedroom 2

Then into a large sitting room

No excuse not to see this TV!

Monty surveying his new territory

and what a view it is

One of the first things I did was to remove those lovely cream throws and replace them with a large red one we brought with us.  I carefully folded them and popped them under a table for safe keeping, not realising that Monty would decide that the table would be a good hidey hole and the throw a good cushion for his head!  Needless to say they have been moved again.

Off the sitting room is the master bedroom

and another corridor with not one but two

shower rooms

All in all it is a fabulous property that is squeaky clean and furnished to a very high standard.  You may wonder why we need such a big property for just the two of us and Monty?  Well tomorrow our friends Jane and Chris and their black Labrador, Kiera are coming to join us until Thursday.  We are looking forward to some quality time with them, some great walks with the dogs and we will also visit family as and when over the week.  And their surname?  Well think back to the second horse box - yes it is Massey.  It must have been meant!