Monday 30 June 2014

Home from Coed y Bryn

I have been away for the weekend, I slipped off to Cardigan to see James and Cerys and the kiddies. As always I stayed at the small B&B called Coed y Bryn, it is merely a 3 minute stroll from James and Cerys and is a real home from home. It is run by a lovely man called Godfrey who is a retired deep sea diver.

He keeps these on display, a real conversation starter.

The front view with Sally the resident Springer Spaniel rushing towards me for a fuss.

Breakfast is served in the airy conservatory, the grape vine is not solely for decoration or shade.

It takes control not to reach up and pluck a small bunch.

This is the 4th or 5th time that I have stayed here, Ben is made welcome but I do not take him in for breakfast as not everyone is a dog lover.
Coed y Bryn is a really comfortable place to stay, and very reasonable, It is not the Ritz but it does not pretend to be. The rooms are clean, comfortable and spacious, there are no itsy bitsy ornaments cluttering every flat surface or every inch of wall space. I once stayed in a place that had more china than Harrods and spent 2 days petrified that I would knock a priceless heirloom over and break it.
I did ask Godfrey if it was ok to write about my stay but he has no idea what I would say. I will not gain from this and it is purely my own view. 
This morning at breakfast I found that the 2 women at the next table were not only from WA but that I had visited their home town, we had a lovely chat before we went our separate ways. Me to drive home and them to walk to Poppit Sands, they are on a walking holiday.
It is a 5 - 10 minute stroll into town, it all depends on how many people there are for Ben to meet and greet. It is down a fairly steep hill so I take a stick to aid the climb back up, 2 years ago I could and did put Junior on my shoulders and stride up the hill with ease, I could not lift him now but hopefully I will be able to forgo the stick in the not too distant future.

James and Cerys are hoping to move in the next 2 months, they have their eyes on a house much nearer to Cerys,s family, the shops and school. I am keeping my fingers crossed that all goes smoothly for them.
James hosted a barbecue on Saturday and a good time was had by all, Ben managed to acquire a sausage and some steak trimmings so he certainly enjoyed it.
Francesca is back in 3 weeks so I hope that James and co will be able to come here for the day.

Oops the door bell has just rung and I have visitors so...

      TTFN                                                   Pam

Friday 27 June 2014

Walking in Sunshine Oh Yeah

I have managed 2 reasonable walks today and Ben is a happy boy. We went along the old railway line down towards the village and did not see another soul until we went back into the village.
The bees were out in full force and there were birds aplenty.  I did remember my camera and took a few pics.

Wild Foxgloves abound

Ben was off and running, as you can see the sleepers and tracks have been lifted. The surface is rather awkward to walk on and I have to be careful. It does not seem to bother Ben at all.

More Foxgloves.

Here and there wild flowers are colonising.


This tangle of white and purple clover interspersed with a little yellow flower and some Birds Foot Trefoil was almost 5 feet across.

I made a point of sitting down in front of the TV at 8 last night to watch "This old thing" as I had read about it on a blog in the morning. I was rather disappointed. The only set of clothes that I thought worked were the last, the girl who had her Grandmothers dress and the leather skirt. Most of the garments were very expensive and I would never go into shops of that ilk. Far better to rummage round the CS or have a look at Vintage Vixen's shop. I will watch next week just to see if I like it any better.

I am off to stay in Cardigan for the weekend, there will be a barbecue at Jame,s and Sian will hopefully make her wonderful rainbow coleslaw. I can have a dip in the multitude of CS,s and maybe find some Vintage treasures of my own.

Reasons to be grateful

1.  Another glorious day.

2.  Rain yesterday to freshen everywhere up.

3.  All housework up to date.

4.  3 books waiting to be read.

5.  A gift of fresh pulled rhubarb.

I have the rumblies in the tumblies as Pooh would say, I will not head for the honey jar. I have some Pembrokeshire new potatoes, corn on the cob and some spiced chicken wings, oh yum.

I have got to get on with hand sewing the binding down on the cat bed, I want to finish that tonight and hopefully sew 1 more row of  granny squares onto the blanket. Busy busy, just the way I like it.

I hope you all have a good weekend.

                 TTFN                                         Pam

O M G Just look at the time

I have hardly stopped all day, nothing exciting just the same old, same old. Walking Ben, washing, hanging out, getting in, ironing Blah Blah.

Then this afternoon I decided to have a play with the machine, now that it is encased in it,s new housing.

When I went to Australia the first time I made my S I L a set of 8 table mats using a novelty block that I found on line somewhere.
I have been doodling trying to recreate it, the results are here.

All cut and part sewn together.

The last sections.

Close but the ones that I made were not so elongated, I will not waste these but will have another try tomorrow.

I did make 4 strips but managed to cut the fourth in the wrong place so it has gone in the scrap bag. This will be a cat bed once I have bound it. I will take it down to Maggie once finished, she has 4 cats and they will just about fit on here.

It is a bit strange sewing at the moment, with the side table up I seem to be forever banging my elbow but I will soon get used to it. It certainly is lovely sewing with all that flat space, there is plenty of room for my biggest cutting mat as well. I could in theory have a small ironing station there as well but have my board set up away so that I have to get up and move a bit. I don't want to take root.

The even feed system is so smooth, I am going to try quilting some Minky soon, my other machines would not have it at any price. It is perfect for baby quilts, so soft and snuggly.

I did not do a long walk today, I overdid it yesterday, but tomorrow I really want to explore the new found footpath.

Any how I am cutting this short as I have just noticed that it is tomorrow already.

                   TTFN                                                          Pam

Wednesday 25 June 2014

All is Ticketty Boo

It is good to see Blogger back on track, makes keeping up with post reading so much easier.
I am on the sofa, feet up, tea to hand an no intention of moving for at least 30 minutes. I walked Ben for 1 1/2 hours this morning, then went off to Ammanford and walked round for 2 hours. Came home had 2 cups of tea, all this walking is thirsty work, and took Ben out for a quick 30 minutes. I put a load of washing on before we went and hung that out when we got back. Then I was scurrying round doing lots of little jobs before having dinner. Once dinner was eaten Ben demanded another walk, I made him wait while I made and drunk tea. Off we went, sun still shining and were gone for over an hour, we met up with another dog and owner and walked together.

My feet ache, my hip is throbbing and the washing up and ironing still have to be dealt with.

I did get some photos and found a new footpath to explore, tomorrow if my feet are up to it.

There are drifts of Ox Eye Daisy everywhere.

And clumps of garden plants where waste material has rooted or off shoots have been planted perhaps.

The air is scented by Dog Roses, lots of rose hips for jelly.

Some of the biggest Columbine flowers that I have seen, about 4 inches across.

I took a new road this evening  and found this little stream trickling gently through the undergrowth.

Nearby I spotted this gate leading to an as yet undiscovered footpath, I just had to go through it, and Ben was equally  as keen to explore.

It curled around and I got another glimpse of the stream.

This little path curves away from the main one, I will be walking here soon, very soon. 

The day has been very fruitful,

Besides the potential supply of Rose Hips I managed to discover a long run of mature Hazel hedge, dripping with immature nuts, fingers crossed that I manage to gather some before the squirrels get them all.

Reasons to be grateful.

1.  Nature in all her glory all around me.

2.  The almost constant background noise of water splashing its way down to the valley bottom.

3.  A supply of fruits free for the picking later in the year.

4. Exciting new paths to discover, seemingly around every corner.

5.  New people to chat to and new dogs for Ben to  play with almost daily.

It is now 9:15 and I must get my chores done before I can so much as touch a needle.

Before I go, I have just read Stephen Kings latest book, the first one for several years. It was good, well plotted and had good strong characters but, there had to be a but, I found it very predictable. I picked up a Simon Kernick in Ammanford today, I hope that is better, I have not read him for about 4 years either.

           TTFN                                                    Pam

Tuesday 24 June 2014


Indeed it is here but I managed to curb my impatience  and do something constructive whilst I was waiting.

I took myself and my granny squares out into the garden, and a book and some squash and settled down to some gentle sewing.
The bare patch behind my chair is thanks to Ben, he had a mad 5 minutes and tried to plough the garden.
My delivery time frame was between 2 and 5 so at 1:30 I went in and had a little lunch and then parked my chair in the front garden. Then I parked my btm into the chair, had a little read and started sewing again. A few passers by stopped to comment and compliment my colour choices and the day ticked away steadily.
At 4:00 it arrived and was soon assembled.

It took longer to wrangle it into the house than it did to put together.
I will be trying it out tomorrow, I still have to put it in the right place and set the machine up again.

Reasons to be grateful.

1.  More sunshine.

2.  A lovely day spent crafting in the fresh air.

3.  New people to chat with, however briefly.

4.  Ben met some new dogs on our early evening walk, lots of tail wagging and " getting to know you sniffling"  

5.  A delicious dinner at very little cost.

I had a rustle through the fridge and decided to try a recipe that I have had in mind for ages. Car-Brie-Nara fromA Girl Called Jack. It was very very good, I will add mushrooms next time just to change it slightly, or maybe some frozen peas.

One of the packs of cooking bacon from Lidl had a slice of Gammon 4" thick, a small joint really, that will go in the slow cooker tomorrow and I will have it for dinner with Pembrokeshire new potatoes and corn on the cob.

If the promised rain holds off I will go into Ammanford in the morning for a dedicated CS trawl.

Hopefully Blogger will be back to normal soon, it is a nuisance.

I just have time for a brew before Ben goes out for his last walk of the day.

          TTFN                                                Pam

Blogger is not playing fair

I am very excited that my Horn Cabinet is coming today but there is a Big Blot on the Landscape.
Well it is on the lap top really, I can not get Blogger to behave and instead of showing all posts on my dashboard it shows 1 and when I click on view more nothing happens. It has been like this for 2 days now, as blogger does have its moments I will give it one more day and then it will be a visit to PC Hospital World. I may possibly purchase a new laptop as this is getting on in years now but only if unavoidable, I hate parting with my money unnecessarily.

I will post pics later when all is set up in the sewing room.

            TTFN                                                Pam

Monday 23 June 2014

A good day for sewing

My bags from a pair of CS curtains are made and packed away and I am toying with an idea for some cushions. I made a set of place mats several years ago and am going to try to make it from memory. Watch this space.

Four in a row, the rest of the fabric will go into my stash, I do not want too many repeats.
I had planned to go to Swansea tomorrow but as my Horn Cabinet is coming I have put it of for a while. I may slip into Ammanford and have a quick whizz round the CS,s there are 8 I believe. It is only around 6 miles so is not a long journey.

Today has been very hot again but heavy, almost on the verge of an electrical storm at one point.

It was so hot that when Ben and I were sitting outside in the shade a cat strolled past, it stopped and gave us a once over and then strolled on, Ben did not so much as twitch, he raised his head an inch and sighed and went back down. He does not hate cats but if anything runs he gives chase and I would hate for him to catch anything.

Reasons to be grateful.

1.  A 2 hour walk in the cool of the morning.

2. A little while in the glorious sun shine.

3.  Tea in a china cup, drunk in the shade.

4. A visit to friends on the way back from our walk, with coffee.

5.  A tasty stir fry for dinner, packed with as much veg as I could get in the wok, spiced up with my chili plum sauce.

The weather is supposed to break soon, I do not mind. I have lots to keep me busy if it pours.

A short post as I am off to pull fabrics from the stash for my new idea.

          TTFN                                               Pam

Sunday 22 June 2014

Tropic of Cwmgors

Another glorious day in the valley, the sun has done its best all day and is still going strong, it 21C in Glanamman and at least that in Cwmgors. Ben and I have just returned from a long leisurely stroll along the footpath that runs  behind the village right down into Gwaun Cae Gurwen. I had to stroll, I was full to bursting. There were 4 of us for dinner, nobody wanted a roast or anything too heavy, after discussion we settled on Pizza and salad.

Homemade base with my chunky tomato sauce.

A scattering of Chestnut Mushroom slices.

Some small chunks of Gammon steak, blanched in boiling water for 10 minutes, this partly cooks it and draws out the extra salt.

A bit more gammon and a small Mozzarella sliced roughly.

A large tomato sliced up and a good handful of grated cheddar.
I may have gone overboard a bit.
There are also some sliced red pepper and red chili in there somewhere.

This is the result, enough for 4 adults and a doggy bag, I am told that it will be breakfast tomorrow. We had a simple salad of lettuce, cucumber, red peppers and tomato. It was delicious, I left the sauce chunky simply because I made enough for a pasta sauce for next weekend and could not be bothered scooping some out to blitz.

Boy did I need that walk, I was rather overfull and uncomfortable.

I managed to get a few pictures on my walk before the batteries died.

The footpath is tarmac and lit, the grass is cut 2 or 3 times a year.

Lots of bramble flowers, I will be out picking the fruit once it is ripe.

This stream runs down from the upper valley sides, after rain it becomes a raging torrent but today it is a gentle little stream.

I will make sure to check my battery life in future, this is the second time, not good.

Reasons to be grateful.

1  A visit to see my new friend Maggie this morning, time chatting in her very pretty garden.

2.  Over the road and a quick visit with Melbourne, a chat and I left him with his favourite Carrot Cake and a jar of marmalade.

3.  A long distant chat with Francesca after I returned.

4. Did I mention the sun.

5.  Laundry done, dried and ironed.

I did take Maggie a jar of marmalade as well, she has offered me all the apples that I wish to pick from her garden, blackberry and apple jelly by the gallon.

I have managed to do a little sewing as well, the pockets and straps for another set of bags are done and I will finish 4 later when it cools down a little.

I will have to give all the plants a good drink tonight, I do that when I go on my nightly slug hunt.

Now it is almost time for a brew, no surprises there.

              TTFN                                                Pam

Saturday 21 June 2014

Sunshine and sewing

I should have gone to look at caravans today but the visit was postponed to next week.
As the sun was pouring into the house very early I hit the ground running at stupid o'clock. Ben was only too happy to go early and walk a bit further than usual. He was not alone, we tagged along with several other dogs and owners, great fun was had by all.
I made 2 bags and cut out several more, got the washing done and hung out. Whizzed round the house and did all the annoying little chores. I took an executive decision to ignore the ironing, it will be done tomorrow along with today,s.

There is a full length pocket on one side to take a bottle or a French Loaf.

The other side is plain.

On the inside there is a pocket each side. These are fully reversible, I am not sure yet if the rest will be.

This is a front panel for another bag, I have 6 of these, they were curtains at one time.

Ben had another walk at around 3.30, I had hoped that it would be cooler but not at all. Once again we struck lucky and there were more dogs to play with.

I have not abandoned my crochet, I am steadily sewing the red bordered Granny Squares together.

This is just a section and the colours are vibrant, I am really happy with it.

I have no idea what Ben has found so fascinating, I had a look and could see nothing.

These little flowers are weeds but they are so bold a splash of colour that they are sure of a place in my garden. This is one of the sets of steps into the garden, I leave the ferns as they do not grow much bigger than this.

Reasons to be grateful.

1.  Sunshine by the bucket full.

2.  A productive and happy day.

3.  Ben had so much fun with his pals.

4.  I am off to The Rhonda one day next week with some of my new friends.

5.  My neighbour has given me 2 large Hostas, they are in pots but need planting out.

I have had another good day, much as I love the greenness of Wales I am enjoying the sun, I am having to water what few flowers that there are, I want them to flourish.

My Horn Cabinet will be here next Tuesday afternoon, I am excited, I have to decide where I want it to stand and get the room ready. A job for Monday I think.

On that note I feel that it is time to put the kettle on.

                TTFN                                                      Pam

Thursday 19 June 2014

Day trip to Llanelli.

Having been to Swansea and had a good look round I thought that Llanelli deserved a visit also. Gold, pure gold, there is a really well laid out retail park with a huge amount of parking space, all the shops are set round a square so there is no great distance to walk at all.
I found a huge Asda Living and had a quick look in but kept my purse firmly shut. I went to B H S thinking that a cuppa would be nice, first of all I needed to make room for it....... The Ladies loo was smelly and although not obviously dirty was run down and dingy. There was no sound of air filtration and quite frankly I beat a hasty retreat and went to Tesco instead, once I had seen the loo I went right off the thought of tea.

I did take my camera but that experience put it out of my head. I popped into B&Q to have a look at the Barbecue range which was limited and overpriced. I did however find a pretty pot ready planted for £6, more than I wanted to pay but it was less than half price, and looks good on the front step.

Then Lakeland heaven, I wanted more waxed circles and the cellophane discs and spotted their Marmalade concentrate on offer so picked up a thick cut and a lemon.

I went into TK Maxx, which is a glorified jumble sale in my mind but I found a really heavy omelette pan which will go under the grill for £9. Bargain.

I made a few white rolls before going out, I forgot to brush the excess flour off so there are a few brown spots, doesn't affect the taste at all.

On the way home I stopped off in Ponty and went into Lidl on a very specific hunt, and here is my quarry.

£1.62 per Kilo, big chunks, thick chops, thinner misshapes, all good bacon. I have missed these as there is not a Mr S near me, well none that I have found.

Shortly before I moved my printer went belly up and refused to work, it divorced itself from the lap top and went into hibernation. It may have died.

In Swansea the other day I was in Staples having a nosey round and saw the HP 7520, it was on a very good bundle deal and I got lots of extras with it, top notch paper, premium plus photopaper and inks. I saved almost £100 and have been playing this afternoon.

I printed off some of the pictures from Junior,s birthday celebrations and will be looking for  frames in the CS next time I am out and about.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. Sunshine all day.

2. A successful trip out.

3. My front step looks so much better for a splash of colour.

4. Ben is as happy as Larry.

5. Fran will be coming for a visit in a few weeks time.

I have had results back for Ben, it appears that he has a condition that causes extra skin cells to grow that are quite scaly. This could be the result of a long time healed infection or an allergy, it could also have no reason at all. I have a new shampoo that helps to break down the extra cells and a spray to keep the skin supple. The vet wants to try these topical treatments first as very often that is all that is needed. If he does not respond fully then they will use a 6 week antibiotic course, and will do skin swabs at regular intervals to monitor his progress.

He is happier and I am happier, we played with a ball that was lurking under the hedge in the back garden yesterday and today I bought him a new one. Of course he has not even looked at it. Not even when I squeaked it.

It is still very hot here, I was going to spend an hour or so in the back garden digging out an overgrown bed but that can wait until tomorrow morning when it will be cooler.

Saturday we are going to Newquay to look at more caravans, I will attempt to remember both to take and use my camera.

Now I think a cuppa is in order.

                TTFN                                            Pam

Monday 16 June 2014

The Wizard was having an off day.

I sallied forth to Poppit Sands and spent a couple of hours looking at vans "and so on". 
I arrived on time and had to wait while someone was found to man the reception desk. Then I sat for 20 minutes going through a list of "f a q", most of which I had gone through on the telephone previously.
Then I was shown round the site, even though I had said, more than once, that I had stayed there.
Once I had walked to the end of the site my guide said that we had to go back to reception to fetch the Keys!!!, I dared not ask why they were not in her hand/pocket/bag already, so back we went.

I had specified 2 bedrooms, central heating and double glazing. I saw 1 with 2 bedrooms, 3 with double glazing and 3 bedrooms, 1 with 2 beds,double glazing and heating that was just about big enough for a Hobbit and 3 brand spanking new ones that were delicious but that I would not want to let out. That is all supposing that I had nearly £50,000 to spend.

But all is not lost, I plan on going further afield to look at more and there was one possibility on the site, it has got 3 bedrooms but was very nearly perfect. There was room for a fridge freezer which no other had, apart from the new ones.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. Sunshine all day.

2. I found a possible van.

3.  Ben enjoyed all the attention that there was going.

4. The journey home was not too bad, considering roadworks on the A40.

5. Ben's stitches are out, with no problems.

Tomorrow I will get the results of Ben's skin tests, they were in this afternoon but I was too late back to phone the vet. 

I have had a look on Gumtree but the only van that I fancied would not be free till October, I am not that patient.

I have bookmarked a few from various sites and will go through them tomorrow at leisure, then any shortlisted I will arrange to view Saturday.
I have to take Ben out and then will be settling down with crochet and tea and maybe some telly.

I have been in several shops looking for jam pot covers, can not find any at all. I am just being lazy as my box of lids is right at the back of the understairs cupboard, AKA the cwtch. I will end up pulling every blasted box out to find them. I did have sense to put the jars at the front.

Another blot on my viewing was that it was ferociously hot and we went to and fro across the site for some time, I did not have the offer of so much as a glass of water. So right at the end when she wanted to sit and discuss things I asked for a coffee. I got 1/2 a small cup and no saucer, never mind a biscuit.

          TTFN                                            Pam

I'm off to see the wizard.

Well, not really a wizard, just a wizard trip out to the Cardigan area to look at some holiday caravans. It is a site that I have stayed on and is highly recommended. It is quite close to Cardigan but tucked away in a valley and no where near a main road. 5 to 10 minutes, depends on little legs, stroll from a lovely clean beach. Fingers crossed that I find one that I like, the plan is to have 4 weeks reserved for myself and then to offer it for holidays for the rest of the season. Dogs will be welcomed, after all Ben will be there with me, and I plan to have all the things that I like at hand. Wish me luck.
I will post properly later and let you have the low down.

                      TTFN                             Pam

Sunday 15 June 2014

Happy Days in "my" Valley

Woops, it has been a while since I was last here, no excuses, no "Blogger Break" just lots and ;lots of lovely sunshine to keep me out side.
I went to the funeral and the whole service, including the hymns, was in Welsh and although I did not understand a word it was a joy to listen to. I do intend to learn but suspect that I will not become fluent, it would take a great deal of time and I have so much that I want to do. As long as I can get by in a shop and pronounce all the place names correctly ( the Welsh of Carmarthen is fantastic) I will be happy.

Anyhow, I managed to find time to unpack the new machine and have a little play.

I ran through a few stitches with some scraps first.

Then decided to make something, anything. You notice that I am still using leaders and enders.

One cushion cover, just needs quilting and backing. All from 9 odd 10" squares.

Then a practical apron, for me.

Yesterday we had a quick shopping trip into Ponty and then spent the day lazing in the garden. We seemed to eat all day, I blame Francesca completely.

Fran is here for the weekend, after dinner yesterday we took off in the car and stopped at a Riverside Walk between Ponty and Ystalyfera. It was just a walk carved out of the trees and undergrowth and Ben loved every minute of it. We turned a corner and this building appeared. 

We returned home and decided that a pot of tea was called for. I tested the new apron, not too bad. I need to make the pocket bigger and position it lower.

Reasons to be grateful.

1.  Sunshine, glorious days filled with light.

2.  Afternoon tea, served in fine china, on the "lawn".

3.  Accompanied by scones, warm from the oven, sweet Welsh butter and homemade strawberry jam.

4.  A gift of some delicious, very strong coffee, ready ground.

5.  Flowers and baby chili peppers on my new plants.

I forgot to say that I picked up 2 chili plants and 2 cherry tomato plants in Ammanford last week. They are planted up into their final pots and growing away strongly. I did set a trough with French bean seed but only 1 plant has popped through so far, I may have to set some more. I have trays of mixed leaves and pots of radish on the go as well.
There is a plague of Keel slugs in the front garden, I am out there with a torch and a small hand fork at dusk on a daily basis. I am evolving into a serial killer, but only of slugs. I will not use slug pellets as there are lots of song birds in the valley and I would hate to kill any.

That's all for today, we allegedly have a full week of fine weather ahead, good times.

     TTFN                                                        Pam