Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Lazy beach day at Tresaith, the New Quay honey farm and home

Wednesday 9th July

We decided on a day at the beach.  It was pretty cool when we set out, but the weather forecast was good so we headed out to nearby Tresaith beach, which turned out to be the nicest beach we discovered during the week.  

We were lucky enough to nab the last of the five parking spaces right next to the beach, so we parked up for the day.

View from the car

We had to walk past the lifeguard hut to get onto the beach and I made a note of the low tide time, it was 12.53 so we had plenty of time to wander before the tide began to come in.  We walked south, scrabbling over rocks and avoiding seaweed, and popped back to the car for a cuppa and our sandwiches. After lunch, OH did manage to find a narrow bottomless stagnant rockpool by missing his footing and stepping into it!  He went in up to his thigh and still hadn't reached the bottom.  Thankfully, he didn't get stuck, so took off his trainers and we carried on.  

 Heading northwards, we discovered a waterfall, some little caves and more rocks, big ones, that we happily scrambled over like children. 

 After a while we headed back to the slipway to sit and admire the view.

After sunning ourselves we set back for the holiday cottage and after tea made another attempt to get down to the hidden cove.  This time, following directions from Tracy and Alec from Glenrothes, who were staying in the gipsy caravan next to us (with their lovely little Border terrier Rosie), we managed to find the quick way.  However, we were confronted by a hideous climb down the side of a hill on slate and next to a waterfall that I didn't think my back would take.  Such a shame as it looked great.

Thursday 10th July

Our last full day, and we decided out of idle curiosity, to visit a local honey farm, the New Quay Honey Farm.  It turned out to be fascinating.  After studying actual bees nests in glass cases(where the bees have access to the outside) we sat and watched a short film by an obviously mad Australian beekeeper.  Who knew that a bee who has discovered a new source of pollen does a little funny dance where each angle she turns and the speed of the wiggle in the dance equates to how far the pollen is from the hive, and she gives out samples to the bees as she dances, wow! 

 Of course we soon made our way to the tea shop and ordered a pot of tea and traditional Bara Brith, served with butter as it should be according to the lady serving us. The shop was well stocked with all sorts of honey and related products, so we settled for a nice large bottle of mead, to save for Christmas.

We spent the afternoon in New Quay itself, just wandering around.  We bumped into one of the Brummie shopkeepers we had come across in a nearby town, Aberaeron, and had a chat with her.  Him indoors was compelled to buy yet another pair of sunglasses (if you are keeping count, that's four pairs so far) nice quality ones for just £1.50.

Back at the cottage and we went for a walk, just a mooch around the local lanes and public footpaths, taking in the scenery and filling our lungs with the unpolluted air. 

Over the week I had made attempts to learn a little Welsh, the area we were in has 50% Welsh speakers.  I failed miserably.  I did, however, take some photos of some useful words and phrases I just might need in everyday life back in England, what do you think?

11th July

We had packed the night before and wanted to make a quick getaway so that we arrived in the Midlands before the dreaded rush hour.  

A quick break in a layby near Newtown saw me hunting crickets in the grass, and trying to photograph what we think were kites in the sky.

 We stopped at Stokesay Castle again for our lunch, as we just loved the picnic area overlooking the castle

Just lovely!

Now we are back in Brum we have decided to up sticks and head towards the countryside, so much so, that this week my house will be on the market, eek!  

Friday, 18 July 2014

Great Brummie bake-off - the teeny, tiny Vicki sponge and ginger cake, plus charity shopping!

I had a friend over today for a day of chat and charity shopping, perfect!  A good excuse for a baking frenzy too.

I made a ginger cake, because I found bags of crystallised ginger in Poundland.  I grabbed two bags as it was such a good price.   I made the recipe up a while ago, basically just a sponge made with demerara instead of white sugar, some ginger essence and pieces of crystallised ginger.  The quickest way to measure for a sponge cake is to weigh your eggs and then match the weight with your sugar, fat and flour.  I have to do this as having my own chickens they tend not to grade their own eggs!  Here is the actual recipe off my old blog *clicky*

I've also made a teeny Victoria sponge, so we aren't eating cake every day for the next week.  I bought some 4.5 inch loose bottom cake tins not long ago from Poundland, (good old Poundland!) and wanted to try them out, cue the tiniest Victoria sponge I have ever made.  It is so small it is sitting on a side plate!

The winner of the bake off was the Victoria sponge, we had three small slices and it is now half eaten.

I bought nothing of note from the shops but my friend came away with several pairs of shoes and two dresses, plus a vintage handbag which was just a pound.  Some girls have all the luck!

Never mind, another friend is coming over tomorrow morning for a cup of tea and a slice of cake.  Maybe she will try the ginger cake.  

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Llanerchaeron, Aberaeron and Cilgerran Castle

Monday 7th July

The only National Trust property anywhere near where we were staying did not look particularly interesting. However, we decided to give it a go and were so glad we did.

Llanerchaeron was designed by John Nash (who later went on to design Brighton Pavilion) and built in 1795.  I think it looks newer than this, for some reason, and it is also much smaller than most National Trust properties we have visited before.  It is a self sufficient farm set in beautiful countryside on the river Aeron and just a few miles from the coast.

They have all manner of farm animals, including chickens (yay!) piggies, lambs and geese.

We had a great time wandering around the grounds and the house.  I particularly loved the cobbled stable courtyard, made up of pebbles from the nearby beaches, so clever!

The walled gardens were beautiful, as was the carriage courtyard, and the farmyard area, with all the stalls leading off for the animals

 I had a go at milking the training cow! 

I'm wearing; Watcher jumper, £1.50, DKNY jeans £1, Converse flowery trainers £1 and Furla bag, 50p.

The house inside was lovely.  I was more interested in the domestic side of things rather than the elegantly laid out rooms, I loved the pantry and washrooms in particular.

After lunch at Llanerchaeron, we headed the few miles towards the coast to visit Aberaeron by which time it was actually raining.  I loved  the little multicoloured houses, this row were overlooking the harbour. 
After a wander around and purchasing some vital supplies, like bread, milk and, oh yes, more sunglasses for him indoors, we headed back to the cottage for tea and I sat outside to watch the sun set.

Tuesday 8th July 

At Llanerchaeron, I was interested to find that we could get free entry to Cilgerran Castle, just below Cardigan on the map, and about 18 miles from where we were staying.  

The castle is tucked behind the village of Cilgerran, and is smaller than the English castles we've visited but located in a very pretty place, high above the river.  

 I'm wearing; tie dye skirt, £1, crocheted jumper £3.50, lilac vest top, old, and Hi Tec walking sandals £3.99, all charity shopped.

There was a pub in Cilgerran with a coracle strapped to it! 

After walking around the castle, we headed off to the cottage for lunch and then popped back to Llangrannog for the afternoon, where we had tea and cake overlooking the beach.

Later in the evening we headed back towards the cliff walk to see if we could find the secret beach, the pic above shows how close we got.  

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Mid month charity shop treasure round up

OK folks, we are halfway through the month and I am boring you with holiday snaps!  Let's get right back to pennypinching and see what I've managed to pick up so far in July.

First, I love woollen fabric and am creating a stash.  I've found out that nice old lady type skirts have quite a bit of fabric on them, so if they are cheap and I like the fabric, I buy them!  I ignore the dry clean labels, most woollens are washable (ever seen a shrunken sheep?), especially if they are cheap in the first place.  If it all goes pear shaped when it comes out of the machine, there's no great loss at charity shop prices. I just don't use fabric conditioner on wool.

I bought this skirt form the local Barnardos for £1.99 (see, I'm getting out of my pound comfort zone a bit now, aren't I?)

It is really pretty shades of blue, bordering on the duck egg, and there's a good amount too, the skirt is over 2 yards around at the hem and 28 inches long.

Next, a great footwear bargain, a lovely pair of sparkly denim blue Vans, just a pound!

I've started throwing trainer type shoes in the washing machine, did it with these and they came out so clean.  Pity the sparkle doesn't show up on my photo.  

I bought this skirt on the same day, I just love tie dye!  It was just a pound as well.

Next, thinking ahead to Winter, I decided to go mad and buy this great knitted wool/angora hat from H&M, it was 50p.

I'm not going to enlarge that photo any more! Although I am secretly pleased with my home haircut layers!

I've been wearing a fab pair of gingham shorts I managed to buy for just 50p the other day, from the local animal rescue shop.  They are BHS and fit great, and I love the length, which can be really tricky with shorts.  They do look a little big on me as the leg width is generous but they are fairly high waisted, which is comfy.  I took several selfies in the garden, all of which were overexposed, gah!  So here are the shorts on their own.

I've been gardening in them every day this week.

Finally, today I found these two beauties, a great Toast jacket and a Country Casuals top.  Both were a pound.  The Toast jacket was a bit grubby around the collar so I spot cleaned it and left it out to dry.  It is lined, but only around the neckline and the sleeves.

The Country Casuals top isn't the sort of thing I would normally buy, but the label said I had to!     I just gave it a handwash and it's drying nicely in the warm weather.  It is hanging from the shoulders just for the photo.  We all know the washing line drill, tops from the bottom and bottoms from the top, if you please!  

I hope you have all had some great second hand bargains lately.  Let me know if you have.

 Right, that's it, I'm off to do some baking tonight.  More of that soon! 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Llangrannog, life's a beach!

Saturday 5th July

We awoke after a fitful night's sleep in our holiday cottage, Morfa Isaf, to a sea view and a sunny day!  I say fitful, as the owner's mother slept in a ground floor room adjacent to our cottage and inadvertently fell asleep with her radio left on full blast all night!  Him indoors went round first thing to find out what was going on and after that we had peace and quiet, thankfully. 

That's our cottage on the right

Isn't it fab!  This is the view from our holiday cottage and patio.  We had to share the grass bit, but as you can see, it wasn't busy.  In case you were wondering, I'm wearing; old BHS skirt from a sale many years ago, navy vest top, also very old, and crocheted jumper, charity shop £3.50.  I'm also wearing some very comfy slip on croc sandals which I bought in a sale for about £11.

Here's him indoors, enjoying a first Llangrannog morning cup of tea.  We are so rock and roll! Spot the Elder on the left of the photo, if I'd had spare plastic bottles I'd have made some more Elderflower champers!

We found our way down to Llangrannog beach with a full picnic bag, and settled down for the day.  

It wasn't busy.  It was sunny and hot though, and we both got rather tanned.

I went for a paddle, the water wasn't as warm as I'd hoped, soon got used to it.

There's something quite sad about these chairs I feel, and that blummin' rock just looks plain rude to me!

After a day sunning ourselves, and him indoors buying himself a rather nice hat from the only shop in Llangrannog, we went back to the cottage for tea, and ventured out in the evening for a clifftop walk.

I took the opportunity to wear shorts for our walk, denim cut offs actually, don't usually wear shorts as I really feel the cold.  also wore my leather plaited belt 50p, and an old BHS straw hat I've had for years and originally bought in the Birmingham Rag Market.   I tried out my bargain Hi Tec charity shopped £3.99 walking sandals too.  They are great!

The hills are alive with the sound of Brummies, well they are in Llangrannog anyway.  Every other person we spoke to, including shopkeepers, was a Brummie, very odd!

Beautiful coastline, steep hill, very steep!

Sunday 6th July

We popped over to a pretty place called Mwnt, don't ask me how to pronounce it.  The place is managed by the National Trust, so we parked for free.  The three miles from the main road was a really hairy ride, along sometimes steep and always very narrow lanes.   The car park is shared with the local sheep, who are very unconcerned about traffic.  

The views of the beach and coast were again just beautiful.

There's a little white church to the front of that hill on the right

How lovely!

We had a good look around, although we had attempted to dress for Sunday lunch, he in his new Linea chinos and linen shirt (both ebay), and me, in my DKNY jeans and Artscape top (charity shopped).

I think we ended up looking like a pair of old hippies!  Ah well.

We had decided to just find a nearby pub for lunch and stopped in at the Brynhoffnant Inn, funnily enough, in the village of Brynhoffnant.

Sunday lunch was just £8.95 each.  I had lamb and OH had lamb, beef and chicken, and ate the lot!  We were also supplied with six extra dishes full of vegetables to help ourselves to.

It was delicious and the place soon began filling up with a steady stream of locals.

After lunch we headed off for the seaside again, this time towards New Quay, a little port just north of Llangrannog, and a favourite place of Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas.

We had a wander around the town and him indoors found some sunglasses in the local £1.20 shop, which were £1.50, go figure! 

I'm wearing; Bon Marche jeans, Dakine striped bag, plaited leather belt, all charity shopped. Crocs sandals, old sale bargain, grey BHS top, free with vouchers and BHS straw hat, old purchase from Birmingham Rag Market.  OH is proudly wearing his newly bought Llangrannog hat.  As you can see from the bigger photo below, he isn't fussed about washing his jeans at the same time as having a paddle!

Gratuitous beach shot, with distant Welsh mountains

 The last place I expected to see a carousel horse's head

We headed off to the cottage for a light tea, and to watch the sun set over the sea. 

I'm linking this post to Stylecrone's Hat Attack no 13

Learning the art of nail painting

Now, I'm not a particularly girly girl, but I've always had long nails.  I love my toenails painted (not my fingernails, for some reason), but they always chip so easily.  Armed with advice from the very knowledgable folk on my favourite chicken forum, (where we talk about everything but chickens!) I was advised to try base coat and top coat.  I wasn't convinced but had surplus funds in my Paypal account so, I went ahead and bought some Sally Hansen base coat, and Seche vite (this stuff is, apparently, the best!) top coat off ebay.  They both arrived on time and before we went away, so I tried them out.  

Sally Hansen, just £2.99 delivered

The holy grail of top coats, Seche Vite, just £5.79 delivered

I have to report that both did a sterling job.  Eleven days after applying one coat of cheap nail varnish, it is still there!  I've been paddling in the sea, walking on sandy beaches, walking with socks and heavy walking shoes, and still I have varnish!  How good is this stuff, miraculous!!  

My toes now, polish was applied on 3rd July, that's 11 days.  Just a slight bit of wear on my big toenails.   I've never had polish last this long!

That's a tan on my feet, by the way!

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Off to West Wales, via Stokesay Castle

4th July

We headed off towards Wales, for a week in a little place by the sea called Llangrannog.  On the way, we had to drop off a guitar with the guitar builder and repair man, who lives in Newtown, so we had to go via the northerly route.  This was to take us through rural areas and lovely Shropshire, a border county with lots of heritage.  

We stopped off in Ludlow, a beautifully quaint market town in Shropshire, and had a little walk around, to stretch our legs.


As you can see, the buildings are old, very old!  It was such a pretty place and just over 90 minutes drive away for us.  We managed to stumble upon a bakery and bought two pineapple creams, just 64p each and freshly made, heavenly!  

We must go back for a good mooch around the market there one day.

Next stop was Stokesay Castle for lunch.  Stokesay Castle is owned by English Heritage and we are members so get in for free.  Stokesay was built in the 13th century and is utterly beautiful.

Isn't it beautiful!  Inside, as there is no glass in the windows, swifts and sparrows fly in and out, feeding their young, who are hidden about the beams of the buildings in nests, calling out for food.


The skeleton of the main hall, I love old wooden framed buildings

The main floor of the tower, swifts were swooping in through the windows all around us...

...to their nests

I love this silhouette of OH, he doesn't.

stunning ancient wood carved fireplace

Thought I would just add this pic of me, just to show I do wear all that charity shopped stuff I buy!  The jeans are new-to-me Bon Marche ones £1, a bit big so I had to wear the plaited leather belt 50p, Per Una top £1, Dakine bag 50p, trainers, new but from a factory shop so just £10 rather than the RRP of £35. 

We passed briefly through Aberystwyth on our journey to Llangrannog, I have to say it looked rather tired.  I do like the ice cream coloured guest houses though.

I was rather amused by the local portable loo company name, think it might be a twist on the local name for Aberystwyth, which is known as Aber by the locals.

Right, that's it for starters.  If you aren't too bored, I'll be posting more pics from our holiday very soon, complete with more pics of me wearing my charity shop bargains.