Friday, 26 March 2010

Mid-Wales Holiday, Good books, Quad Bikes or Ponies

Well, the Farmer & I are back from our short sojourn in mid-Wales and lovely it was too. We were staying in a delightfully converted 17th century barn in a narrow valley near Llanidloes.( This photograph was taken half-way up the steep hillside that we looked out on to. We climbed up to the top on Tuesday and walked across the summit and then down and round to the bottom of the valley again. The intention had been that we then had lunch in the pub in the village, but as luck would have it Tuesday is the one day of the week that the pub doesn't open! So we continued our walk the 11/2 miles back to cottage and had a cheese sandwich, oh and of course, fruit cake! The rest of the day was spent recovering and working through the library of books that we had with us.
(Highly recommended; 'The Matchmaker of Perigord'  and 'Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo', both by Julia Stuart. Funny and whimsical with streaks of pathos and quite absorbing.)
On Wednesday we drove over to visit our friends H. & G. near Ludlow before they flew out to New Zealand on Thursday to visit their son who is out there working withYounger Son. They will see YS and give him messages from home. We then went on to have lunch in the lovely little Marcher town of Montgomery which we had never visited before. It is a gem and has the most superb castle with views such as are rarely seen.

Mid-Wales was looking beautiful though spring seemed even further behind than here. There were lambs everywhere and our cottage was surrounded by sheep and farmers on quad bikes checking them constantly. From the top of the hill we had a splendid view of the farmers working on the hillsides below us. The stability of a quad bike is amazing, they will go on the worst slopes without any problem. Presumably in the past little rough hill ponies were used for the same purpose, though they cannot haul a trailer of feed behind them, so the sheep were not fed out on the hill as they are now.  Once or twice have I seen farmers on ponies rounding up their sheep on the open hills above Tregaron but I think it is rare sight now.

We came home today rather hurriedly as I had guests due to arrive in the holiday cottage this evening, only to find that they had cancelled this morning, due to a tummy bug. Poor them.

Elder Son & KT have held the fort while we were away with their usual efficiency and everything is now back to normal with the Farmer out in his workshop sanding the new bookcases I think ( I hope). There is certainly a horrible whistling noise coming from that direction which usually indicates some major power tools being in use.

I am going now to sort out laundry and then will go to get the firewood supply replenished for the house and try to warm it up after its four days of chill. After that I will take the dogs off to check the gardens and the progress of the daffs.

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