Tag Archives: wales

Community Project – completion report

28 Jun

Well, that’s it.  Six months of work and today we polished the panels and have handed them over to our tame glaziers (actually our husbands/handymen/builders) to install them in the space provided.   Yes there is still the official VIP unveiling to attend; the media coverage and photos from that to exclaim over; and most exciting the grand unveiling to our family, friends and peers at an afternoon celebration.  But today marks the culmination of an idea that began as a seed over a year ago, when the possibility of a grant to fund a project was first discussed.

Then the planning, costing, being on the periphery of providing information for the bid writing; not really expecting it to come to fruition.  Then the announcement that the project would run: the time-tabling, the advertising, the organising; again I was on the periphery dropping in my two pennies worth on occasion but largely uninvolved in the process.

Then the reality; the first class on 4th january 2017; the teaching; the design planning; the drawing; the design approval; scaling up; creating templates; chosing and ordering glass

And now here we are. Window complete. How do i feel?…  Pretty damned emotional actually…..

Privileged, to have been part of such a great community project; to have been entrusted with the design and been afforded the opportunity to teach

Inspired, by the stories, and achievements of those who attended and the personal growth they each have felt

Proud, of the 27 people I have co-taught, who have developed and achieved so much;  some who have chosen to stay since the beginning and others who have joined more recently

Joy, at the friendships formed; the community engagement achieved; the memories made and the legacy we have created

Touched; by the gratitude of those we have taught

Exhilarated, by the finished product and the reaction of students, community members and visitors alike throughout the weeks

Positive, about my skills and abilities and what I am capable of creativity in the future

Nervous, that the installation is yet to happen and anything could happen

Tearful, as it comes to an end….

…and a little flat, after all the go, go, go.

But mostly I feel exuberant, in the knowledge that this community project has achieved so much… that it has proved to be far more than the sum of its parts.

What we have as a group produced will continue to be admired, and inspire long after today; and I don’t just mean the 2.5m by 1.5m semi circular, glass window depicting Welsh Legend and local imagery.

There are strong and true friendships that have developed; there are talents that have been uncovered and will continue to develop; micro-businesses that might emerge; there is a whole new community craft group been formed; new goals have been set; new plans have been made; horizons have been expanded; confidences have been built…..

What an inspirational bunch of people.

thank you all xxxx

mid way progress report

its more than just a community class

 

 

 

 

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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

 

150 years in the Heart of Wales

6 May

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Today celebrated 150 years of Llanwrtyd Wells Station.

Things have changed a lot.  Originally the Heart of Wales line ran multi-coach trains throughout each day bringing Victorian ladies and gentlemen, here to take the healing waters at the wells. It was a vibrant community with many shops and the line  transported goods as well as people.  It made the heart of the Heart of Wales accessible to All.

Llanwrtyd_Railway_StationThese days, whilst the station itself looks much the same, it only runs four single carriage trains each way each day.  But its still an essential asset to our community.

Llanwrtyd is at the central point of the Heart of Wales Line which runs between Shrewsbury and Swansea.  It is the only real public transport we have and it connects us to the rest of the UK.  My parents, for example, who live in Essex, visit us here at Cerdyn Villa, using the trains (Southend, London, Swansea, Llanwrtyd) and then a five minute stroll to our front door.

150 stationThe station buildings have recently undergone a transformation as far as re-purposing is concerned.  Community Transport have an office there.  There are weekly community coffee mornings and the elderly are transported to and from here for their morning tea.  And since the closure of our bank in the town aquare, Credit Union have set up a pay point in there , open every Tuesday and Thursday.

Inside there is a small IT suite with WIFI connectivity; a conference room and a sitting room filled with armchairs and sofas surrounding a lovely log burner.  Then of course there’s a small kitchen so teas/coffees and snacks can be prepared.

Outside there are well maintained gardens thanks to a group of volunteers from within the Llanwrtyd community, Friends of Llanwrtyd Station.

Today, the station, community rooms and gardens hosted a celebration. There was a picnic and live music.  The local school children from Ysgol Dolafon performed some beautiful country dancing. The last ever station master of Llanwrtyd Wells, John Davies, unveiled a plaque.  Our Mayor, peter James, gave a speech. And of course, the obligatory raffle.  (Anyone living in a small community knows that pretty much everything that happens is funded through the selling of raffle tickets!). Whatever was raised will be used to buy plants to keep the station looking as gorgeous as ever.

I can recommend the Heart of Wales Line for a scenic train journey or as a practical mode of transport; and if you should find yourself stopping off here at the midway point, I’m only a stones throw a way, so book a room and stay the night, Llanwrtyd really is a relaxing place to be.

 

 

 

 “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…..

Community Project – progress report

3 May

A few weeks ago I wrote about this amazing community stained glass project I’m helping to run:-

https://rosetintedramblings.wordpress.com/2017/03/30/its-more-than-just-a-communuty-class/

It’s now the end of our 3rd six-week block and there is only one more block to go. We’re all excited at the pace of the project but also sad at the thought it will soon be over.

This is where we are now:-

Community Stained Glass Project – progress at week 18

However, like I said before, its more than just a community class.  Friendships have blossomed; confidence has been built; laughter has filled the air; stresses have been relaxed; bonds have been forged; support has been shared.

Our first group consisted of 14 people, 2 left due to commitment at the day of the first block and 8 more joined for the second.  So by week seven we had 20.  Only 1 left after that, 4 more joined. We are now 23.  Next week we start our final block. I think we will be 26 plus us teachers. Eleven of these ladies have been with us since the beginning of January.

Many have taken up stained glass as a long-term hobby.  Several have gone as far as finding a spare room in their home and buying all the kit.  So who knows, as well as new skills and new hobbies, possibly even new livelihoods,

As a group we have shared our strengths and supported each other through weaknesses and doubt.  We have recognised and enjoyed new friendships, formulated new working associations; started new voluntary and community projects for after this one; a social project is developing as a result; business opportunities have come through our networking.

Myddfai Hall gains from the regular custom; we generally have dinner together after class. Visitors to the centre have been delighted and astounded by the achievements to date.  Photos have been taken and word has spread (possible across continents!).  Many visitors want to return to see it in situ.  This project is strengthening Myddfai’s reputation as an enterprising, cohesive and supportive community. Its impact in its location in the Brecon Beacon, far outways its size (population c300),  This is a village that has worked together to create a community and has created a strength, a business and an extended family as a result.  It is truly a cohesive and loving community.

The enthusiasm for the class is such that most arrive much earlier than the official start time to ‘get going’ and many don’t leave until way after the official finish.  Pretty much everyone has taken something home to work on.  Everyone has made enormous progress and managed to make several pieces for themselves (or their friends and family).

It has become a social club that participants anticipate with delight each week.  They want it to continue after the project is done.  That’s fantastic news,. I guess will have to come up with a plan to carry on just for fun……

 

BC – Socialising with social media…

2 May

This afternoon I had some super quality time with my absolutely fantastic friend and superstar motivator, Dinah. I’ve written about her before, but just in case you missed it I will tell you that she is absolutely amazing, and hugely inspirational.

Today after tea and choc brownies in the garden surrounded by some of my free roaming hens, she set to work helping me to refocus my mind on where I want to be in the mysterious world of social media.

The dark art of www presence and successful social media integration. We (she), added vloggin’ to my bloggin’!

Seriously guys I now have a YouTube channel, the means to upload a video to my (this) blog, and I’m on Instagram (ooo, get me, down with the kids!)

My promise to her was to take photos of EVERYTHING and share my moments on there ( there being the aforementioned Instagram). AND, write a blog EVERY DAY for two weeks under a different category… If you’ve seen my blog ( @and I know you have ‘cos you’re here reading it), then  you can see there are several subject headings under which I ramble.

Anyway. I like a challenge and I hate to disappoint, so you guys are my witnesses and this is the first blog of the fortnight… I shall categorise this under ‘friends….’ but also under ‘social media & networking’ so tomorrow’s will not be there, I promise…

 

Oh, and here’s a little “cerdyn villa cwtch” ( yes I’m calling it that because the phrase came up in conversation with Dinah, and I thought it was brilliant!)…

Lucy At Home

Even the Red Bull crowd think we’re crazy! ….

29 Mar

We are lucky enough to be eccentrics in the eccentric capital of Wales , running our B&B ( Cerdyn Villa) from the teeny-weeny town (smallest in the UK) of Llanwrtyd Wells and enjoy being actively involved in the weird and wacky events we run.
Last year we had a visitor to the World Alternative Games from RedBull TV, Here’s what they tried….
come along and see for yourselves….

Red Bull TV at the Bogs

Red Kites over Myddfai

3 Aug

 

The inspiration afforded to us by our exquisite local landscapes is unmeasurable.

My latest project was a commissioned piece for a couple who live in the beautiful village of Myddfai, just fifteen miles from my own home and guesthouse .  The village is tiny but is an attraction for many walkers, herbalists, homeopaths and general tourists; with is quaint and welcoming visitor centre  / cafe / craft shop / wedding venue…

Its success is based on several things other than the obvious, genuine and warm welcome visitors receive

  • its ancient (14th Century) tales based around Lyn-y-Fan Fach about The lady of The Lake
  • its provenance regarding a dynasty of herbalists , the Physicians of Myddfai (11th & 12th century)
  • its royal connections to the Prince of Wales (Prince Charles and Camilla have a home there)
  • its proximity to a fabulous Red Kite Feeding Centre

It was this landscape around Lyn-y-Fan Fach and the red kites that inspired this panel.

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(if you are interested in a commissioned panel or window you can contact me without obligation to discuss….you may be pleasantly surprised at the cost of owning your own bespoke and unique piece of glass art)

 

Food Critic…

4 Jun

soft boiled agg and soldiers

It’s sometimes challenging running a B&B.  Last week for example, I had staying with me, my most challenging food critic.

On day two he’d had boiled egg.  Did he want them the the next day?

“Less talking, more cooking”, says he.  Apparently the yellow wasn’t quite runny enough for his soldiers the day before.

Thanks Conner, aged 7.  Sound advice!!

 

Confused? You Will Be….

23 Apr

I’ve been out and about recently, as a standing candidate for the Welsh Assembly Elections.  My aim (other than a bit of walking exercise and socialising) being to raise awareness of the Elections on 5th May and encourage people to vote.

What became apparent was that people are confused ……

Not surprisingly…

It is insanely confusing.

This Spring/Summer there are FOUR votes to cast. Two relating to Welsh Assembly, one relating to Police and Crime Commission and later on another one relating to the EU

Some people I spoke to didn’t realise that the elections in May were not the EU referendum!!

Those who have received their postal vote pack are overwhelmed by 3 separate ballot papers and 2 separate voting systems

No-one seems to have heard about the Police and Crime Commissioners

And what the hell are Regional List Candidates anyway?!?!

As I said.. politics is complicated.

In the UK the system of voting is a First Past the Post System… it isn’t fair and it fails to represent the views of the majority, in fact it potentially could only represent the views of a tiny minority… read about it here , I’ve tried my best to keep it simple.

Unlike Westminster constituencies, Assembly constituencies are grouped into electoral regions, and an “additional member system” is used to elect four additional Assembly Members from each region, in addition to the AMs elected by the constituencies. On the 5th May 2016, you have two votes for who represents you in The Senedd; one constituency vote and one regional party-list vote. Each constituency elects one AM using the first past the post system (that is, the individual with the most votes wins); the additional Assembly seats are filled from regional “closed party lists’, using an “averaging method” whereby the number of votes is divided by the number of constituency seats won ( d’Hondt method), this offers a degree of proportional representation within each region.

Altogether, 60 AMs are elected from the 40 constituencies and five electoral regions, creating an Assembly of 40 constituency AMs and 20 additional AMs.  So every constituent/voter is represented by one constituency AM and four regional AMs.

As for the 3rd ballot paper, well that’s for the Police and Crime Commissioner…. last time they held an election only 16% turned out to vote so I’m guessing they hope to get a better turnout by running it alongside the Assembly Elections….  But sorry, i have no idea who any of them are or why one might be better than the other… All I can say is that many people think it should not be a politically biased position at all…. Anyway.  You vote for first and second choice and the top two from the first choice are then reviewed, if neither has more than 50% of the total then they look at the 2nd choice count for those 2 candidates….

Insane?  Confused?  I did try to warn you

If you don’t usually vote, vote unusually