Sunday, 30 May 2010

North Pembrokeshire

Today we have been up to Rhosigilwen a beautiful house in the Preseli Mountains. They held an alternative therapy fair. Not a very big occasion, but I was interested in speaking to the chiropractor, looking for some acupuncture (none there today - but got information) and finding out about all the remedies that can be made from botanical honeys.

On the way back we stopped at the viewpoint across to the Pembrokeshire National Park and the Preseli Mountains. I believe this is looking across to the highest point, Cerrig Lladron.
We also went around the lanes near Eglwyswrw and Crymych. It was truly beautiful and the views were spectacular. You can just spy the sea towards Cardigan Bay.

Views across the countryside towards Cardigan Bay.

Friday, 28 May 2010

U3A Walking Group

Our walk this week was a 5½/6 mile circular walk around Narberth. The country lanes were looking spectacular with masses of bluebells still out and lots of magical sunlight shining through the trees.

Looking down towards Narberth Church and Castle.

A spectacular pink chestnut blossom along the way.

Field of buttercups.

Along the lane with the sunlight pouring through.

Monday 24th May

Member's Garden Party and Open Day at the National Botanical Garden of Wales. Well, we weren't going to miss that were we? So different from when we visited last. Very green and verdant and flowers blooming everywhere. BUT, as it was a special day, we didn't spend all our time above ground - no - we went on the trip underneath the mediterranean conservatory to see just how they deal with all the water, weather, electricity, waste, emergency lighting etc. Of course, as you can imagine these days a lot of it is done by computer!!

Some of the masses of piping and wiring.

It was actually very interesting but I didn't find out exactly how many miles of electric cable there was.

Everything was meticulously laid out, and colour coded to within an inch of its life!
We also had the opportunity to attend some talks. Peter went to one on vegetable gardening and I went to one on bee keeping. They have 20 hives in the Gardens and 150,000-odd bees! We also went on the sculpture walk, taken around by two of the many sculpturists who have their work on display in the gardens.
The sculptress and her sculpture

Water lily sculpture.

Coppicewood College

"Coppicewood College promotes and supports sustainable woodland management and runs courses using traditional methods and tools.
These affordable courses cover all aspects of traditional woodland management practice and include, coppicing, hedge-laying, charcoal making and green wood craft, in our own working woodland in Cilgerran, Pembrokeshire.

We went along recently to one of their open days and had a walk through their woods with Nick Barnes, the Conservation Manager. He talked with huge knowledge of the work done at the College and showed us examples of the current coppicing going on.

Wood cut in preparation for charcoal making.

An example of a saw-horse made by one of the teams on a woodworking course.

Nick Barnes

Fantastic fungi in the woods.

Talley Abbey, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire

Another of the many trips we have made recently. Talley Abbey was formerly a monastery of the Prmonstratensian order (White Canons) and was founded some time between 1184-1189.

There are just these few remains now and the present church was built from the demolished parts of the Abbey.

St Michael's parish church, Talley.

Remains of Talley Abbey, Talley, Carmarthenshire

Remains of Talley Abbey monastery.

Dolaucothi Gold Mines

Another recent visit was to this Welsh Gold Mine overlooking the Cothi Valley. This is now owned by the National Trust and was worked by the Romans over 2000 years ago. It is also called the Ogofau Pit.
Welsh gold is famous for being used in the wedding rings of royalty. It is very soft and has a beautiful pink hue, quite different from the usual 18ct bright gold colour.

View over the valley towards some of the original Roman workings.

Yes, someone brought their dog, who was very pleased to be allowed to go underground!

Suit's you Missus!

Gosh, he's a handsome miner!

Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells.

We recently went to the Smallholder and Garden Festival at Builth Wells. I took so many photographs that there are several entries of them.


Mum's milkbar!

Pig family.

'Marcel Wave' pig!

More from the Show


I'm off to see what else I can get up to!

Aren't they cute!

A few more cute animals!


I love this very appealing alpaca.

and then you have .....

Titan The Robot!!
Well, I thought he was amazing! All the kids (and adults) loved him. Quite a mechanical miracle I think. He goes to loads of shows all over the place - so look out for him. Just lots of fun.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Visit to Builth Wells

We recently went up to the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells. Why we didn't come home with a small animal/chicken/llama or three I do not know! We had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. There was so much to see and do. Some here and more later.
Why don't my salads look like this when they grow!
Glad I'm not an insect!

Hands of a shearing expert.
Just starting the shear.


On parade in the show ring.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Ffynone, Boncath, Pembrokeshire

Ffynone, Boncath, Pembrokeshire is another National Garden Scheme property we have recently visited. It is Grade I listed on Cadw Register of Historic Parks & Gardens in Wales. Beautiful gardens, and woodland walks with many hidden glades and some fantastic views over towards the Preseli Hills. Of course we only go because of the lovely teas, homemade cakes etc, that are served. This particular property was donating its takings to the local Sea Scouts, who were helping out with car parking duties and helping serve the tea and cakes. The sun shone all afternoon and it was a splendid outing.

"Yellow and Blue"

The main house is also Grade I Cadw (1793). Sadly not open to the public, but very impressive.

Treffgarne Hall, Treffgarne

We have visited a couple of beautiful gardens recently which have been opened as part of the National Garden Scheme, which give the proceeds of their open days to charity. This one is Treffgarne Hall.

These lovely ladies having their conversation at the end of the driveway to the house.