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!


Sunday 1 January 2012

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda \ Happy New Year

Not functioning on all four cylinders this morning; so as a picture paints a thousand words I've taken that shortcut.

Iechyd da \ Cheers

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