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Another day (plus an hour) in the life of…..

30 Oct

It’s 3:45 pm and I’m in my fave relaxing place, the bath. Another typically atypical day in the life of moi.

Today began with the end of yesterday. As days tend to do, merging seamlessly from one day to the next without any blank no man’s space in between. But this day started with a groundhog moment. Heading home from a Halloween party at 1amish we get in and start our tomorrow. Or is it today? I guess technically after midnight becomes the next day but if you’re still in the throws of the previous day and have not been to bed yet does that mean it’s still yesterday? By which I mean not yet today. Making today still tomorrow?. Confused? I am now!

Anyway. We got in and started doing all those things we prep when we have guests in the b&b. John checks the Ray burn is still alight and adds more coal to ensure its still cosy warm at breakfast time. He sets the bread maker so (later) in the morning the gorgeous aroma of freshly baked bread will waft up the stairs and entice the guests down for a delicious Cerdyn Villa breakfast. I  prepare all the breakfast ingredients. We maybe set the table. Clear the kitchen.  Set the dishwasher and washing machine.

I check my phone for the time. It’s still just after 1am…..Am I in a time warp? No. It’s  daylight saving.  (Could have had an extra hour at the party).

So we go to bed at 1:30am which is really 2:30am but I’m all relaxed ‘cos the guests want breakfast at 8am , which is really 9am so I have loads of time?!?!

Hubby goes upstairs like this..

…and shortly after we realise getting back to his normal handsome self is not going to be easy… the transfer is not coming off. He tries makeup remover. Nope. Soap and water. Nope. My facial scrub.  Nope. My super luxurious body scrub. This bugger is not shifting. He starts scratching at it with his nails…. it’s half off when he goes to sleep. And as we feel we have so much time in the morning with our groundhog hour, we figure we’ll sort it then.

Suddenly it’s 7:55am, which may well really feel like 8:55 am but even stretching that extra hour it still mean’s we have 5 real minutes before we find guests salivating to the smell of fresh-baked bread and longing for their full cooked breakfast. Eek. Hubby has the morning after Halloween party face and I’m not sure our guests can handle it. Then I remember how I got my transfers off. Aqueous cream or vaseline. Rub it in and the transfer slides off. Oops.  Hubby is under the impression that it would have been more helpful and less painful had I remembered that seven hours previously.  Oops poor Hubby and his beautiful raw face!

Anyway. Lots of happy well fed guests who shared a laugh at Hubby’s expense. By 10 am, seven breakfasts have been served and cleared. Guests have checked out. Rooms are stripped. Dishwasher is loaded. Washing machine is going full pelt and I’ve made us a brunch after all its 11am in our heads!

It’s a gorgeous day. Sun was shining when we woke, (thankyou day light saving for repositioning 7am in the 8am slot) and I still had half a dozen plants that needed to go in the ground before the first frost; Hubby had the lawn to cut and the garden furniture all needed moving/storing ready for the tree felling to take place next week.

Four hours of strenuous digging, weeding, plant moving and clearing in my poor neglected garden and I can barely stand.   So Hubby sends me for a soak. And here I am. Soaking,  blogging and enjoying a nice cuppa.

Did you remember to turn back your clocks?

Lucy At Home

Rhyming with Wine
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Please don’t bring me flowers….

31 Jul

My attitude to cut flowers is funny old thing.  After all I love gardening, dead-heading, weeding, pruning.  I lo20170731_183610ve seeing the garden in full bloom and I’m aware that some flowers need picking to encourage more flowers to grow.  Plus sometimes the rain, wind or our chickens damage a flower stalk so I’ll pick it up and stick it in a vase.

On the whole though, I’m not a cut flower person.  I mean they look lovely in a vase in someone elses house in full bloom on a visit or in an arrangement at a wedding or on a table in a restaurant.  But when I actually have them at home they just make me sad.  They arrive at their peak and then you plonk them in water with a bit of food to prolong their life and you just watch them wither and die.  Its tragic.  Not to mention that in the confines of the house either, and sometimes, both Hubby and I will have an allergic reaction to the scent which is often quite overpowering when indoors.

I remember sometime back writing about my wishes for end of life.  I wasn’t being morbid but I felt I should document the things I feel strongly about.  One of my key requests was to have snowdrops, crocuses, and daffodil bulbs buried with me and absolutely no cut flowers.  I don’t want my relatives and friends coming back to dead flowers, a bit too much morbid symbolism.  But with bulbs they will flower and multiply year on year, and my plot, under what ever tree wherever that will be, will live on and bring joy and colour long after I’m gone.

funnily enough i also have a problem with house plants.  In a garden I will nurture and tend, water and maintain but the minute a plant is in a pot in my house I look at it with bemusement as it droops or withers.  I never remember to water it, or re-pot it or feed it.  I’m an indoor plant murderer (remember that should you ever feel inclined to gift me a plant – if it has to live indoors I WILL KILL IT!!! ).  It’s a shame really because I actually love orchids but once the initial flowers die off I have absolutely no clue how to tend it to ensure I get new life in future years.  I’ve had two sad-looking specimens on top

of the piano for a year!  I kid you not, in fact I am going to provide photographic evidence right now…

see, I told you!

 

 

Our garden here at Cerdyn Villa B&B

3 Little Buttons

Lucy At Home

Springwatch at Cerdyn Villa…

26 May

Here at Cerdyn Villa we appear to have sublet our garage to a fair collection of our feathered friends

The swallow are setting up home in there again, they did so our first few years here but haven’t been back for some time.  in anticipation we always leave the door open

Hubby managed to set up a camera and catch them building their nest… looks like we might be grandparents soon !

As for the Blackbirds, here’s an update. family is doing well, kids are growing up fast, eating us out of house and home though, as teenagers do!

As for the sparrows you saw in a previous post, they all grew up and left home, mum and dad have started a second brood

….and yesterday, Hubby was sat having a wee drinkie in the garden and noticed the blue tits using one of our boxes in amongst the trees

We’re still trying to catch the wrens and robins on camera….

In our back yard….

14 May

Hubby has just pointed me in the direction of a folder on his computer titled “Cerdyn Villa wildlife”….

…. so I’ve had a peak

…and now I’m sharing some of the content with you… all of these have been seen in or from our garden

We do have more visitors: bull finches, tree creepers, crows, blackbirds, pheasants, red kites, buzzards, foxes, blackcaps, red starts , wrens… which he’s still trying to catch on his point and press camera…

In the meantime, did you spot the odd one out?!

Our new feathered friends….

13 May

Its been the most glorious 10 days weather wise here at Cerdyn Villa and new life is springing up in every corner
A robin has set up a squat in an old swallow nest in our garage

Robins nest inside swallows nest in our garage at Cerdyn Villa

A pair of blackbirds set up nest in there too and earlier this week whilst mummy blackbird was out getting herself a snack, Hubby managed to get a photo of the eggs

four little blue blackbird eggs

….and today when she popped out they’d all hatched…

now there is a whole family of blackbirds in the garage

Theres also a wren nesting in there

On the wall outside the sparrows are permanently feeding their demanding brood of youngsters and Hubby managed to catch them in action too

It’s always feeding time when you have to grow up as quickly as they do

Then under one of the shrubs in one of our borders, there is a female pheasant sat patiently on eggs , not sure how long she’s been there but we spotted her a fortnight ago…

Hoping to see babies wandering around soon.

 

Taking a breather…

10 May

You can’t beat a few moments of mindfulness at the end of a busy day

Life as a semi retired  (!) rural B&B owner, DIYer, gardener, decorator, car mechanic, and family diplomat can be pretty exhausting; but it’s all worthwhile when you can live somewhere like this and at the end of a long day, flop into a sunlounger with a pint of beer, a clear blue sky and the sounds of lambs and birds….

This hubby deserves his precious moments….

There’s nothing quite like this at the end of a long day

 

 “Good morning from Cerdyn Villa” 

4 May

We’re situated in this delightfully tranquil, rural location, on the edge of Llanwrtyd Wells, in the very heart of Wales. It’s like a huge welcoming cwtch ( that’s the best word in the Welsh language… A cuddle with a cherry on top)… And here’s a little Cerdyn Villa morning catch for you… Perhaps you might visit sometime…..

Focus, Aspire, Inspire

23 Feb

I have been inspired, as I often am, by certain bloggers I follow.  This time my muse is Debbie of My Random Musings.

As I flutter around in random formation, flitting from this project to that; this passion to that; this idea to that; this demand on my time to that; I get through my days,week and months in a blink of an eye.  Completing a lot of stuff; dipping my toes in many a pond and having a great deal of fun but it all kinds of floats around in a mishmash of activity without borders, direction or guidelines.

That’s all very well.  A nice, jolly, unfocused existence, guided by optimism and chance, but I really would like to look back on a year without being completely surprised by how I got from January to Christmas and the circuitous route I took to get there.

I’m not saying I don’t love the surprised.  I do.  That’s the problem.  I enjoy the freedom of it a little too much.  Sometimes to the point that at any point in the year I’m not really sure what sort of ground I might find under each footstep.  More importantly I’m not moving forward.  I’m treading the beautiful waters in which I wallow and am allowing myself to enjoy things as they float by; maybe latching onto them for stability for a few moments; but never really reeling myself in.

I’d like to be able to say my starting point was A by goals were B,C and D with a few distractions via M,Q and W, but I made it to D by the end of an allotted time.  I’d like to measure my achievements as well as list them.

So *deep breath* I’m taking Debbie’s advice and starting with a bucket list:

1.TWITTER – I’d love to have over 500 followers before the end of the year, a small hop rather than a leap  – in my mind I already know I really want 1000 but let’s be realistic about these things. This is me

2. ALSO TWITTER – I need to find help and learn how to use it more effectively – I love talking politics, parenting, art, religion, tourism – I don’t want to focus on one topic – I love to RAMBLE and REACT and REFLECT as he mood takes me and the words grab me but I must more effectively access the right people for each topic otherwise I am aware I may bore, or worse, annoy my followers

3.BLOGGING – again I want to ramble randomly so I’m aware I need to be smarter with my tags/metatags/linky’s/sharing . Again I need advice .  I can find lots of blog share site but I’m not interested in fashion, cosmetics, hair and makeup and I’m in the UK… I need to find other companions  – as fun as some of those I follow are – I need more of the random eccentrics out there.  I won’t put a link as you’re already here but feel free to have a look round if you can make it to the end of this post 😉

4.ALSO BLOGGING – I need to set a goal for ‘followers’ but I don’t really want followers so much as interactors – I’ll continue writing it even if no-one reads it because sometimes I can’t sleep until I get whatever it is out of my head.  however, it would be lovely to have a few people who felt inspired to discuss my content… Lets say I’ll aim for 36 new followers / contributors in 2017, 20,000 views

5.TEACHING – this is new to me, I’m loving it – teaching stained glass to members of the community as part of a funded Community Project – my goals are to be proud of the finished product, have it installed by the end of summer and to both blog and Vlog the process.  My aim is to obtain another teaching commission for 2018

6.STAINED GLASS ART- let’s get proactive instead of reactive.  Last year I started thinking about Christmas stock mid October – about 3 months too late when I had zero old stock to sell and had to close by order book on 5th Dec because for some reason we decided a holiday before Christmas would be relaxing.  It was.  The run up to it was definitely not.  So. START making Christmas glass in the summer.

7.ALSO STAINED GLASS – I am really really bad at marketing myself, my skills and my ETSY shop (I bet you are thinking ” whoa, she has an Etsy shop?!”) – I looked at my Etsy shop today and all items have expired.  I’ve not been updating my existing ‘made to order’ items or creating any new ones.  Target – never have my shop empty. Create 2 new designs before summer (lets say end July).  Anyway, here’s a link to the shop ..don’t look yet, I’ve written this but I haven’t done it yet, give me a few hours!!

8. ALSO STAINED GLASS – my favourite moment in the artistic process is creating a new design and making it for the first time.  I love most of all the commissioned one-off pieces.  As an artist rather than a commercial maker, the fun and challenge is in the original design and the presentation of it to the individual who asked for it.That said I really need to focus on marketing myself as a designer and maker of one off commissioned glass panels… If I could get 3 more commissions for 2017 I’d be a very happy bunny.

9.BED AND BREAKFAST – Cerdyn Villa is, in my mind small and perfectly formed .  I love that we run it like we are having friends over.  I love that we spend hours talking to our guests over breakfast or sharing our wine/beer in the garden on a rare warm sunny day.  Yes its a business, but mostly its a lifestyle choice.  What I wanted to do last year was to start running weekenders for like-minded people – eg: an artists retreat, a classic car enthusiasts retreat; that sort of thing.  Basically fill our 3 rooms and maybe have 4 or 5 campers come along – welcome drinks evening around a bonfire, breakfast together, some form of group activity, an evening meal together, possibly everyone heading to the local pub together for a pint, some other activity and away they go – fulfilled, enlightened and loving our home and this little village. My target is to run a first one in 2017…In September *better warn hubby*

10.ART  – as an acrylic artist I am again pretty crap at self promotion.  I would however be very happy to paint 2 more original spacescapes to add to my series and arrange for them to be exhibited somewhere before Christmas.  I’m not a mass creator of sellable art I just want to follow my passion and paint these for me – but be brave enough to put them out there for others to look at.

11.FACEBOOK.  I amalgamated my art page (Pink Butterfly Art & Glass) and our B&B page (Cerdyn Villa B&B into one with a view to create a ‘lifestyle hub’  The page is Pink Butterfly Art & Glass at Cerdyn Villa B&B or @CerdynVilla – I’d love to grow that to 1000 likes.

12.LIFESTYLE HUB – with so many facets to life I set up (with a lot of help from my friend and  mentor, Dinah) a ‘one-stop-shop ‘Lifestyle Hub’ combining my blog, Facebook, B&B website, art and twitter into one place from where everything can be accessed.  I need to make it more visible (how? – ok arrange more time with the gorgeous Dinah – for that but mostly for coffee and cwtches).  Plus I promised I’d start a VLOG... so my target is to set up a VLOG!!!

So there you go.  I shall continue fluttering about randomly rambling my way along but at the same time (yes I do plan to multi task), I shall keep my mind on these goals and moreover I shall report back in January on my success/failure/adaptations to the above.

Wish me luck, I’m going in!

the end of summer….

15 Sep

I had so many blogs I wanted to write in a timely fashion this summer.  But time for timeliness was lost to busy-ness and busy-ness was loss to craziness and a certain amount of chaotic-ness, sleeplessness and general tiredness!

It was a whirlwind summer, one that promised to be longer than most (which it was) but to fit in the extra length, time was most certainly speeded up and the resultant rapidity of activity, organisation and enjoyable experiences blurred into one mass of euphoria and exuberance.

I wanted to write to you about all the gardens I visited.

The vibrant and magestic Bicton Park Botanical Gardens, near Exeter:-

The tranquil and contemplative Burrow Farm Gardens in Axminster:-

…and the hidden gem of Hergest Croft, in Kington, Herefordshire; with its perfect little tea room and plant nursery

I wanted to wax lyrical about the wonderfully wacky two weeks of the World Alternative Games culminating in commentating for the World Bog Snorkelling here in Llanwrtyd Wells.

I wanted, but failed, to fit in participating in any of the adventures of the fortnight – although I wanted to Office Chair Race, Husband Drag, Ditch Run, Pea Shoot, Crazy Shop, Worm Charm, Race Chariots, Wrestle in Gravy, Run Backwards, Cycle Slowly and dress as a Zombie; but the extra activities in town meant extra work for me .

Then there was the fabulous Imp Club National event at Hatton Park World in Warwickshire which involved camping; cars; a rally to the British Motor Museum in Gaydon (fabulous thoroughly recommend it); and strolls along the Grand Union Canal tow path.

Meanwhile there was still work. I was busy managing five other people’s garden’s ( I love these jobs). I had my own house than needed painting and some extra shifts in our local caffi.  Mum and Dad wanted (and did) visit.  Our B&B proved extra popular this summer with both new and repeat visitors.  fitting in a hectic self employment based multitude of work activities alongside a heavy social schedule has been both incredibly exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure.  There are people I love who I have not seen or spoken to in the last 8 weeks….  forgive me until October, I will be back.  …and events i didn’t fit in (sadly) especially the Pink Car Rally which is fabulous fun and for a great cause… next year….

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And then I wanted to share with you all the fun of our long planned , end of summer party where we dressed the entire garden as an enchanted landscape themed for Alice in Wonderland; complete with appearing and disappearing Cheshire cat grins; card guards, tea party and lawn croquet….


I was seriously keen to play the Proud Mum and rave about the excellent achievements of my son and his friends who all sat in nervous anticipation of their A level results until they could finally relax and revel in their exceptional successes this summer  – how proud am I to know them all.

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I was determined to discuss with you the trials and tribulations; nerves and nausea caused to these teens in the preparing and planning for their next chapter… for many it’s this weeks move into their university halls.  Sick with excitement, doubt, fear and anticipation; worry about making new friends; living away from home; learning in a new way; taking responsibility for their own finances.  I drop Jason at his halls tomorrow.  As I type this (or in between paragraphs ) I’m preparing his ‘final supper’; his favourite meal; one he feels he’s unlikely to ever eat again…. well, at least until he comes home for his dad’s 60th; or the Christmas holidays… or in fact any weekend or weekday evening he wishes!!!! So it’s Thursday and I’m preparing a Sunday roast with all the trimmings and my mum’s very indulgent rice pudding recipe.  I sense a heart warming afternoon, playing board-games, having a good old laugh and possibly a few tears (mainly mine); probably a sleepless night and then tomorrow a drive to Cardiff.    I plan to be the ‘cool mum’ the one who offers ‘just the right amount’ of support/detachment/emotion/comment… I plan to leave with a hug and a smile and let him get on with it…. we all know what they say about the best laid plans.

Anyway, this shall begin my last weekend of summer and I plan to write an addendum next week…. stay in touch people… and why not tell me about your summer.

It’s lovely when people tell us they’ve had a good time …

7 Sep

We had a good trading weekend in Builth Wells at the Antique Fair. We sold steadily and made a nice profit, which doesn’t always happen but it must have been our turn, Some of the Traders took very little and we find that is how the Fairs are at the moment, very un-predictable and patchy. And we […]

via LLANWRTYD WELLS! — Boxofmisc