Thursday, 20 December 2012

Christmas with bells on

What do I most look forward to at Christmas?

Well for one it's not receiving the credit card bill in the post...

My stress levels continue to rise throughout December whilst I glare and mutter at the grid locked car parks in town trying in vain to either find a space or leave the blimmin place.  Only when safely inside my metal box do I rant though - giving all the expletives I've ever known a right old airing.  The queues at the tills once inside the shops are the same, only a little more up close and personal.  A rugby scrum without the ball.

I find the challenge of trying to think of imaginative gifts that cost a fiver but look like I've spent £30.00 gets more difficult year on year.

I don't like wrapping presents either... I'm afraid it's cutting erratically, wrestling with the sellotape, slapping on a label.  Job done.  The quality is never very good but definitely degrades as time goes on. 

Other things that make my festive cup runneth over include unravelling the tree lights and then trying to 'artistically' wrap them around the tree without losing all the needles in the process.

Writing hundreds of cards, some with unreadable hand scripted notes and then going bankrupt sending them all.

Reading others' computer generated and generic round robins to find they are living the perfect life, with perfect homes, A* grade children and at least three exotic and expensive holidays to write reams about (photos included - just to prove it).

Smiling inanely as I open my fifth present containing notelets.

Playing the obligatory round of charades - I find it difficult to hold my stomach in so it looks flat(ish) from all the angles.

Strangely, removing all the cards, tree and decorations after the event. The house always seems so bare and empty afterwards and it hits me that there's only the rest of January to look forward to. Oh joy.

Why do we do it? 

For me, G11's smile is probably why.


I can't find a recent photo of G11 (I'm always too busy just watching her face)
so instead here is the smallest member of our family enjoying Christmas.

Friday, 30 November 2012

I wish I was a bear

Wow, it's been a blur. Dad's hospital, not the most local, was an hour away, so visits meant every afternoon lost for two weeks. Amongst this disruption to the daily routine J and I had to take up the reigns of G11's after school activities, which is no mean feat. Usually we tend to do two of the five but for a while when Dad was hospitalised or back home and recuperating we were up to the full quota, and everything in this neck of the woods is half an hour drive away!

Old friends coming to stay - and us visiting old friends. My friend's wedding in England to attend and J's Mum's 90th middle of November.  Between these two momentous celebrations we were trying to arrange a craft fair to raise funds for our local church, often an organisational nightmare... It took up a surprising amount of free time. I remember saying 'never again' at least once a day for the week beforehand. 

G11's homework is serious and nightly. We spend more time encouraging, supporting and providing the space to do it in than we have ever done before. It's tiring - and not just for G11.

Our own work too has become incredibly busy, which is a good thing, but when you work for yourself and the buck stops with you this can mean long days to keep on top of it.


They say Christmas is coming.

Please I wanna stop now and hibernate until January.

 
 

Monday, 29 October 2012

Dog cruelty?

G11 has made some rather delicious dog biscuits crammed full of bacon.  The dog knows this as she was present through the whole cooking process.  Topsy really can't fathom out why she can't wolf them all down now and refuses to leave the kitchen whilst the darn things continually tantalise her as they cool.

Unfortunately G11 and her BFF H10 are focused young fund raisers for the Dogs Trust and are baking in earnest to sell doggy treats at a local fayre.

So I'm afraid Topsy Dog, that one little taster titbit was your lot. 

Come to me, come to me.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Emotional Roller Coaster

An old friend of mine (old in the sense we’ve know each other for a few years) got married last Sunday 7th October (in Canada). Fortunately for my bank balance Nicky had a part deux in the good old UK, in her home town of Trowbridge in Wiltshire.  Nicky’s been out with some wankers unsuitable men in her time, but now she’s truly struck gold.  

Purely selfishly the only fly in the ointment is that her home is now in Quebec, so inevitably I won’t get to see her as often. Thank goodness for the Internet – it’s such a great way to keep in touch, especially with the everyday events of life that would be passed by in a letter. One day I will make it out there - but sadly, due to financial restrictions and work commitments it may not be any time soon.

Derek’s dad (Derek was the lucky groom) talked about octopi. He pointed out in his speech how the tentacles of one family reach out and entwines with another to make a new tentacle when a marriage takes place. Derek's dad also originated from the UK and met his Canadian wife after being stationed there in the war. History repeating itself (without the help of the war effort this time).

Even though I’m not technically family, I definitely felt welcomed into Derek’s clan and with open arms.  So much so the thought brings a tear to my eye even now.  It was a fairy-tale wedding and is a real love match.

Did you know, in Quebec married women keep their maiden names? (No neither did I).  Apparently saves on the paperwork if they divorce, (not that there is any chance of that happening in this case!

Quote of the wedding (you had to be there). Derek got up to do some thank-you's.  “I’d just like to thank (pause…), I’m not sure I can bring myself to thank Hitler.”
 
At the same time as the wedding Him Next Door had gone and got himself a bed in the local hospital, (well not so local but that’s another NHS story).  A previous operation didn’t go quite to plan and it suddenly hit home with some force that he’s not invincible. 

My emotions were a roller coaster all weekend, but all’s well that ends well.  Him Next Door is now enjoying the hospital Cordon Bleu and resting up (it looks like he might be home next Monday).  Nicky and Derek – well they are happiness personified and I wish them all the joy together that they truly deserve. 

Life in the Preseli Hills: From PC despair to PC joy!

Life in the Preseli Hills: From PC despair to PC joy!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Autumn commeth

Two in your face indicators of autumn arriving here in Llysyfran. 

One is the large amount of leaf litter we suddenly start seeing.  We are surrounded by trees and for a few weeks now they have started to shed their leaves.  In a few more weeks it will be an almost full time job trying to clear them up daily. 

The other and most unwelcome (especially as they seem to congregate in the bedroom, and on my side of the room too) are spiders.  Very large ones.  I can't quite believe we get so many, one of the drawbacks I suppose of being in the countryside.  They stand out somewhat on the stark cream walls (the walls used to be a dark purple when we moved in).

Largest spiders in the UK – Tegenaria gigantea
One night last week I saw one come scurrying out from behind the wardrobe.  Once I'd screamed and got that one scooped up and put firmly outside another appeared from the same hiding place - and after only about ten minutes respite.  Then I found a third on the wall opposite.  I was really freaked and hardly slept at all. 

Monday this week I saw yet another appear from behind my wardrobe, I took a deep breath and pulled it forward and let's just say they were having a party. I've now CLOSED my window on the same wall very firmly shut.  I'm thinking of caulking it. 

I have an evening routine now, I switch the main light on and inspect all the walls.  Then I move the wardrobe on my side of the bed to check behind it for unwanted lodgers.  That's all my nerves can take. I reason that if there are any behind J's wardrobe he'll fight them off before they get to me.

Apparently in the autumn months a range of species which would normally stay outdoors do start to find their way into houses. Most will remain outdoors, but as they are quite audacious some will by chance end up in the house.  That is why they suddenly seem to materialise from nowhere.  Before closing the window I had also tried to deter them from coming in by placing conkers at every possible entry point. But this obviously wasn't working. I'm even tempted to try one of those plug in spider repellent gadgets - despite the mixed reviews.

The wayward spiders are almost always mature males who’ve set off in search of their Juliet.  As they are more mobile, they are more likely to be spotted. And being spotted they are.  I took the above photograph with shaking hands, and I believe it's the Tegenaria gigantea but I just can't look at any more pictures to identify - I'll be having nightmares tonight.

I know they do a lot of good, but that knowledge does not trump my irrational fear of the big spiders (I can live with the small ones).  Can't they find their fun somewhere else but my side of the bedroom for heaven's sake.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Noisy Neighbours & First Day

I'd thought I'd heard rustling down in the valley - but had ignored it.

The following day I heard it again and peered over our new gate, to find a little band of bullocks investigating their new found freedom. 

Him Next Door and J spent the evening herding them back to their field, whilst the neighbour made good the escape route they'd created in the fence.

The bullocks made quite a mess of our path down to the bottom of the valley, but Her and Him Next Door have been trying to rectify that... it'll take time. 

You can just see our open gate at the top.
A momentous event has happened today too. My baby has gone to secondary school - her first day. It's been an intense six week holiday; busy, active, a balancing act. Now we can get back to the routine of a new school day.  She leaves home early to catch the bus at 7:40am and won't be home 'till 4ish.  We offered to cut down her travelling time by dropping her off at our nearest village, but she wants to go under her own steam on the bus.  The school itself is in Crymych, some 13.5 single track, bendy miles away.

She was so excited this morning, eager to go.  It's great the time they spend now to establish a connection with their secondary school and some of the staff well before the big day itself, orientation days really.  It must make the first day so much less intimidating for them (a far cry from when I went to secondary school - which I know was last century).  What's worrying me the most is the 1 to 1.5 hours homework promised a night.  How will we fit it in with all her after school activities?  And its very important to leave time for a bit of fun too.

Ready for big school.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

More hours in the day required...

I don't often go out or stay up late on a school night, but it's the holidays and you can tell.

Next week is almost fully booked.

Tuesday evening we're off out for eats with my soul mate from University who is in the area... I don't see him very often now, but when I do it's a very special time. We're going en masse with his family and mine and I can't wait to catch up on all his news.

Wednesday evening, together with my friend and her daughter, we're going on a bush craft exploration deep down into the wooded valley (adjacent to our property).  There we're going to light a fire and cook our tea on it (beans and sausages then bananas and chocolate for afters - with a marshmallow or two thrown in). 


Him Next Door has made a new gate that opens up onto our wooded wonderland.

Thursday it's G10's 11th Birthday Party, so it will be a generally busy and chaotic day.  Eight young ladies to organise and taxi, heading off on a high ropes course and then kayaking in the afternoon with Sealyham Activity Centre.  Lucky devils.  I wanted to tag along for the actual outdoor adventure and enjoy the adrenalin rush, but apparently we were advised it's much better for the children if the parents leave the vicinity!

Friday evening is the first of G10's two sleepovers. The Mum's are coming over too, so we can have a chat, a drink and... (if I'm very lucky) a brownie.

I may not surface for a while blog land.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

The Big O

You just had to be there. 

It was a wonderful experience. 

We felt proud to be hosting and proud to be British.  The officials, army and volunteers were all very polite, cheerful, helpful and efficient. 

The swimming heats themselves ran smoothly (though there was no obvious lane numbering so it took us a while to work out who was where).  We were up in the gods.  It was very steep so we didn't suffer with other people's heads in the way and we were directly overlooking the pool, almost a bird's eye view.  We cheered for everyone, went mad when a Brit was in the line up and nearly had apoplexy when a member of Team GB finished in the top three.  We saw an Olympic Record being broken by Emily Seebohm of Australia in the 100m backstroke. We watched Rebecca Adlington qualify for the 400m freestyle final (she went on to win a bronze medal).

We even managed to survive the underground to get to the London Eye. 

It was one of those days I'd like to repeat all over again.

London Olympics 2012, Sun 29th July - Swimming Heats

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Hwyl fawr i Ysgol Gymunedol Maenclochog

Yesterday was the end of an era.  G10 has finished primary school. She walked out of the doors for the very last time.

I've always been a bit aggrieved that she arrived early (she's never been early for anything since).  If she had been born when she was due, she'd still have another year there.  As it is she started school just as she turned four, and has left primary when she is still 10.  I look at her now, she seems so young and I feel sad that she's having to leave the warm arms of such a supportive and wonderful environment.  Saying a final goodbye to the teachers, staff and helpers that are like family to her and leaving many friends that just happen to be demarcated into a younger year, including her BFF.  It must be a wrench. 

Sometimes you don't fully appreciate what you have until you lose it.  Cruel world.

G10 though seems fine.

Last day, emerging after sleepover at school.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Books, Books and more Books

I'm in love, again.  I can't stop thinking about it, handling it and I take it to bed early, just to be alone with it.  I'm not having an illicit affair, it's the touch screen Kindle.  I wasn't really bothered about having an e-reader before I had one, but now I wouldn't go back.  Since the 15th June when it was given to me by J it's been difficult for anyone to tear me away from it.  I've read prolifically, all of the books below and downloaded many more - just tantalisingly 'there' waiting to be read.  If I had to choose three that I'd recommend from my recent read list I'd say Eye of the NeedleThe Hunger Games (a children's book - G10 has now read and relished) and The Importance of Being Earnest.  A lot of the books are free, including many classics.


Lovely jubbly...
Eye of the Needle
Broadmoor Revealed: Victorian Crime and the Lunatic Asylum
Perfect Crime
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Phoenix Conspiracy
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Black Beauty
What Katy Did
The Importance of Being Earnest
Catching Fire
The Hunger Games


Why do I love it? It's so very light. I can read in bed without the pages flopping about as I prop it up on a pillow. I never lose my page. Ever. I can look up words I don't know, at a touch. I can read free books. What is there not to like?

Now, tonight I'm going to the first evening of a book club (organised by our very own Preseli Mags.)  We are discussing The Time Traveler's Wife and horror of horror's I couldnt' download it onto the Kindle.  I know we have free copies from our World Book Night event, but I'm so obsessed I didn't think I could actually regress back to the paper version.  I did, I coped. Just.  I hope it's not too intellectual an evening, I read only for my own pleasure and almost as soon as I've finished a book I forget the detail. I've been promised it won't be, (any excuse for a social) but just in case I started reading it Monday and finished this morning - at least it'll be fresh in my mind :)

Thursday, 21 June 2012

CHROME ON THE RANGE: IN WHICH BEAR OBSERVES THE SOLSTICE

CHROME ON THE RANGE: IN WHICH BEAR OBSERVES THE SOLSTICE
Beautiful pictures, really stunning. I missed it... not sure what I was doing. But I joined in yours a little. Thank you.

Family

This week's prompt over at Sticky Fingers is Family... too opportune to miss this one.

For a few years now a good part of our clan has undergone an annual sojourn over to beautiful Whitesands (a few miles down the road for us). We rent a cottage for a week, with no neighbours and views of the sea; it's a two minute walk to one of the most stunning beaches you'll ever come across.

This holiday is one of the highlights of our year - not for the picturesque scenery and time off work but for the feeling of belonging to a group of like minded people who love, laugh, argue, forgive, share and would do anything for you if you needed them.  This year Gran is missing but not forgotten, and here is her legacy...

Motley Crew

Monday, 28 May 2012

Pride of Britain

GB probably can't afford it... but the Olympic Torch Relay is bringing us out in our thousands to cheer on deserving and inspirational people in our communities. 

Her Next Door, G10 and I watched in Haverfordwest on the 9th day; this day totalled 137.6 miles and 114 torch bearers.

Adam Goy. 
The torch is perforated by 8,000 small cut-out circles,
representing the 8,000 torch bearers.
As I write these words the Olympic flame continues travelling the length and breadth of the United Kingdom – weaving its way through over a 1,000 communities. There are overnight stops for large celebrations at 70 towns and cities.

In total 8,000 people will end up carrying the flame on its 8,000 mile, 70-day journey around the UK to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on 27th July.

And to top it off nicely, look what came in the post this morning. We're really looking forward to it now, the atmosphere in Haverfordwest yesterday has really whetted our appetite. Blow the expense, the moral of the nation is up and to be honest this will definitely make us feel proud to be British. Go Team GB.

Not long to wait...

Friday, 18 May 2012

Next time - shoot me!

Next time someone says shall we do a car boot for the Cadwraeth (translation = conservation; a little community group that looks after the common land) have a BBQ for the church funds AND have old school friends come down to stay... all on the same day - shoot me.  And to think everyone believes it's so quiet in this neck of the woods; think again. It can be busy, very busy.  Luckily living with others as we do, we always have those extra pairs of hands that can help lighten the load.  Thanks especially to Her Next Door who was cooking and preparing for days beforehand.

On the Sunday we took our friends out and about...  as always very proud to show off picturesque Pembrokeshire.  I noticed again how thoroughly friendly people are here; really open, chatty and happy to give you their time. That made me even more proud to be a local now.  My friend's jaw dropped open when at one café, where they didn't take debit cards... and I didn't have cash, it was 'not a problem, pay later'.

My friend's christian name is David, so a visit to St David's was a must.
By Sunday evening I was tired though, I caved in - I think I might have had a little snooze on the sofa.  I just hope I didn't dribble in front of my guests.

The weekend before last we climbed Carningli Mountain - G10's friend had a birthday party at the very top. What a place to have it, thought I'd share a photograph of them - quite a special memory.

Top of the world.
And while we're on the topic of photographs, a blogger friend of mine has gone as far as putting one of my efforts on her wall.  Thank you Rachel for the very great compliment.  Quite mind blowing for me, to think my little corner of Wales is adorning the wall of a home in Israel.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Pick 'n' Mix

Never again… I was told, so I handed the phone over to Jon who was going to stop them in their tracks. Next thing I knew he was chatting away to the person on the other end of the phone like they were lost long buddies. Yes, he’d blown it. Here we were doing yet another interview for a paper. The positive was that we could take our own photograph, though at the last minute this was reneged upon. A professional photographer descended upon us…for four bleedin hours…. Can you just move a little to the right, you er, ummm (he just couldn’t remember our names and when he called Her Next Door Grandma, I thought his cuppa would end up over his head).

The photograph was in last week’s national paper – and I hated it! 

Back to earth with a bump after our flirtation with the paps and celebrity lifestyle (albeit double F grade), we supplied some manual labour and helped out on the village common, just tidying up really. This year though we benefited from a huge tree that needed to come down. There is still some two thirds to collect from the common land but the photos show the new wood in the store, then turning round towards the garage you see some more queueing up to go in. When it's all collected hopefully we'll be full to the brim.
Waiting wood.

Wood store slowly returning to health.


There was a great honour bestowed upon me too, I’ve been chosen to be a World Book Night giver. I’m not a great wordsmith (oh you’ve picked up on that have you?) But I do love books and reading. I’ve never had 24 pristine books in my possession before. What a fantastic treat to be able to give them away and spread the joy of reading. I have clubbed together with Maggie and Wendy to gift all our books during the morning of Saturday 28th.

Harlequin....
In between that lot, we even managed an all too short four day nuclear family break in the Easter holidays. We raced up to Aberystwyth to have a little time away. That's the main disadvantage of working for ourselves, we don't get looooong paid holidays... those sadly are just dim and distant memories. Still, we try to make the most of the time we do have instead.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Childhood - too precious to cut short?

No designer clothes for this pair.  All G10 and H10 need is friendship, sand, a bit of sunshine and coloured pencils to make a it perfect day.  Long may this continue.  I hate the fact that childhood seems to be getting shorter yet our life expectancy is getting longer. What is it about this modern rush to grow up?  It's a real mystery and I'm unable to see the Darwinian benefit of this urgency to leave those carefree days behind.

I have to admit that's why I love Pembrokeshire... there is less emphasis on having the latest gear and looking like little pop stars and believing that the only credible job in life is to be 'famous' - all so much pressure at such an early age, just to fit in.  Those stiletto heels for babies and padded bras for seven year olds make my skin crawl.  I watched a programme on TV last night about pageants for children here in the UK.  There was a very young child who had had plastic surgery to pin her ears back (her Mum admitted she didn't find her attractive at birth) and another child of seven who wears contact lenses, even though she finds glasses more comfortable. "Mummy will be cross if I wear my glasses."  I found I was catching flies, my mouth wide open in amazement that these parents (Mummies primarily) were merrily creating psychological problems for the years to come. 

I'm not the best Mum in the world - but really after that programme I felt that perhaps I wasn't too bad!

Let the children be free, run, get dirty, laugh, play, remain unconcerned about their appearance - for as long as they can.   After being an adult for more years than I care to admit, I'd change places like a shot.

Enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Nothing to say...

I think I've got writer's block.  I can't think of anything interesting to blog about (no change there then you might think).  Either that or my life is pretty dull at the moment (and I'm really not going to admit it to you dear reader - after all, life in the blogasphere is always interesting).

Here are a couple of pictures instead (it's said a picture is worth a thousand words - so actually I've been quite loquacious in this post).  The theme over at The Gallery this week is 'Colour' - so as I can't think for myself at the moment I've decided to roll with it. 

Nothing displays the spectrum of colour better than mother nature herself.






Friday, 2 March 2012

Eisteddfod? What is it exactly?

I'm still not really quite sure.. but it comes round every year and makes you feel very patriotic and proud to be Welsh (or adopted by the Welsh). There's a lot of flags displayed, daffodils worn and Welsh spoken. This outward display of patriotism is something sadly lacking in England, (I think the English flag has been hijacked - but that's a whole other blog).

The Urdd (their full title is "Urdd Gobaith Cymru" which literally means Welsh League of Hope) is a movement for young people, from the age of 7 up to 24. The Urdd is organised into local groups whose catchment areas are based on those of the Welsh medium schools of Wales.

The children of the school join the Urdd if they wish. Once a member this then entitles them to attend the active and creative social club, stay at the residential centres and to enter the various competitions organised by the Urdd at school level, and on to county and then national level if they perform well.  Competitions organised by the Urdd include various sports and then the arts, music and literature festival, known as the Eisteddfod (pronounced; eye-steth-vod).

It's a wonderful event. Confidence in the children knows no bounds. They have little problem standing up in front of a sea of faces because they've been doing it since the age of 7. Now G10 might not always get through her competitions (but without the 'losers' their wouldn't be a competition in the first place, right?)  And I for one am always very proud of her for having a go. Entering into the spirit of things. She tries. Could I memorise a four stanza poem in Welsh? Could I play the violin?  No is the short answer to both those questions, so bravo G10.  You're always a winner to me.


Very Proud Mummy Moment.
G10 was a winner in her violin performance;
(albeit that there were only two of them in her age group).


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Almost, But Not Quite

It's been one of those 'Almost, But Not Quite' episodes of my life.

I almost went out for a meal with friends... but due to bugs and funerals half couldn't make it so it was postponed.

I almost started a photography evening class... but it got cancelled at the last minute.

I almost posted on a controversial topic... but after some soul searching thought better of it.

I almost got picked to be a giver on World Book Night... (this is a lie - I missed by a country mile).

I almost went to a Welsh language social evening... but lost my mojo.

I almost sold my house... the "Sold" board went up and I stupidly really thought it was happening.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Dog 'thinks' she has won the war.

 
Finally, I've managed to sit on the couch.





Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Dydd Santes Dwynwen

Saint Dwynwen's Day
St Dwynwen's Day falls on the 25th January, Wales’s own day of all things related to cariad (love).  St Dwynwen, the saint of friendship and love is Wales's female equivalent of St Valentine.

The legend
St. Dwynwen lived about 500 A.D., one of 24 daughters of King Brychan Brycheiniog.

Dwynwen fell in love with a prince, Maelon Dafodrill, who wanted to marry her. The reasons they could not marry are not certain; some say that her father had promissed her to some one else whilst others say that she had decided to become a nun.

In her grief Dwynwen fled to the woods.  Dwynwen begged God to help her forget Maelon. In a dream or vision, an angel came to her and gave her a potion which was designed to erase all memory of Maelon. It also had the surprising effect of turning Maelon into a statue of ice.

God then granted Dwynwen three wishes. First she wished that Maelon be unfrozen; second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God's service for the rest of her life.

Dwynwen founded a convent on what is now Llanddwyn island - Llanddwyn means Church of Dwyn(wen).  The island is just off the coast of Anglesey (Yns Mon) in North Wales.  Also located on the island is Dwynwen's holy well. The belief exists that the movement of sacred fish in the well could predicted the happiness and fortunes of visiting lovers. It is reported that if the fish movements cause the water to “boil” then love and good luck will surely follow.

One of her sayings was, "Nothing wins hearts like cheerfulness."  A saying that is as good now as it ever was then.



Sunday, 15 January 2012

St Govan's Chapel

We found this an amazing and spectacular place.  After I got home I researched a little about it and what I found follows below. 






From the cliff the descent to the chapel is by fifty-two steps, although legend tells us that the number of steps cannot be accurately recorded and are never the same going down as coming back up again.









Picturesque little hermits' chapel - near Bosherton, Pembrokeshire
The chapel was definitely here in the 11th century, and it could possibly date all the way back to the 6th century.

Legend says that pirates from either Lundy Island or Ireland tried to capture St Govan and that the fissure in the rock at St Govan's Chapel opened miraculously so he could hide there, closed over him, then opened miraculously for a second time once the pirates had left.

Small cave within the chapel depicted above, click to enlarge.

In gratitude St Govan remained in the area for the rest of his life and lived within a small cave in the cliff, until he died in 586. The present chapel of limestone was built over the cave and inside there are a few little steps that lead up to a small cell, which bears rib like markings.  Legend says they are the imprints of St Govan's body as he lay hidden in the fissure of the rock.



St Govan was thought to have taken water from two nearby springs. Both are now dry; one was where the medieval chapel now stands, the other, which was lower down the cliff, later became a holy well.

Another legend I found interesting states that King Arthur's knight Sir Gawain lies buried beneath the stone altar of the chapel.

Looking back towards St Govan's Chapel, now entirely hidden in the rock.
Go there if you get chance, it's really rather worth it.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Cwm Gwaun

We parked at the P, then turned right and headed for You are here.

C'mon guys, hurry up.





A short but beautiful walk.




Saturday, 7 January 2012

Wind and Webs

Well if you've been around in the UK during the last few weeks you'll have noticed the wind.  "Wind eternal and ever lasting Wind."  I never thought it would stop.  Some nights it's kept me awake - I'm a natural born worrier.  Amongst other things I was most worried about the trees we are surrounded by falling on us, or on the house, or on the electricity cables.

Post biggest storm we went out to survey the damage.  Preseli Mags mentioned on her blog how their trampoline blew away.  It prompted me to check ours - which is out of sight of the house.  Thankfully one benefit of having the trampoline sited on a near 45 degree slope is that the legs are buried in the ground one side and staked down at the other.  It's going nowhere.  We did have a casualty though.  The greenhouse lost two panes of glass.


I have also been working hard promoting a new side-line for our business.  Diversity is the key in these hard economic times.   I have occasionally created websites... but now I'd like to focus on this area a little more so we have branched out into hosting them too.  A sister site to run alongside our main business website was in order, specifically promoting design and hosting.  Creating this new site has been another learning curve for me - as this is the first time I've used Joomla.  Joomla is a CMS (Case Management System), where the web designer designs the look and feel of the site, but the client can create, edit and manage the content.  I've always liked a challenge.  I'm most definitely not clever... but I positively enjoy the learning process and the satisfaction of problem solving is really rewarding.  Our new site is still yet in development - but hopefully it's shaping up nicely. 

Apologies for this shameful plug little bit of self promotion. I don't know what's come over me!

  
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