Saturday, June 27, 2015

What we did for our anniversary

So Husband offered to take me away for our anniversary. Better late than never. For our 25th he was off playing with the marines; on our 30th he was away on another fun-filled adventure trip. But now he's retired he had no excuse ...

So I waited for him to book a hotel. And waited. He kept finding reasons for not booking. In the end I booked a bargain break with Secret Escapes myself at Falcondale Hotel, just outside Lampeter.

The view from our room which is on the top floor on the left as you look at the hotel.
We arrived on Tuesday afternoon and after tea on the terrace we took a meandering walk along the river Teifi. It shouldn't have been quite as meandering as it was but I blame the out-of-date instruction leaflet for that.
Wednesday, our 37th anniversary, we spent wandering the cliff paths of Cardigan Bay, dolphin-spotting and - whisper this - skinny dipping. 

Our walk took us past this bay.
The water looked so inviting one of us said, 'what a shame we didn't bring our bathers.' To which one of us, possibly me, replied, 'We could go without?'

I then spent the next part of the walk convincing myself of this. By the time we arrived back at the beach (the next one along actually and a tiny bit less open to the coastal path and any walkers thereon) I'd done it. I reckoned that at 62 it was about time to do something foolish and that our anniversary would be memorable and it was very unlikely that anyone would see us. And if they did they wouldn't recognise us later with our clothes on.

It was a battle to get down what passed as a side-of-the-cliff path, overgrown as it was with brambles, nettles and holly, and by the time we got to the bottom my enthusiasm had waned somewhat. But Husband's sensibleness - 'there'll be other opportunities when it's warm and sunny and private' - took me through the sensibleness barrier.

Now when I say skinny dip I really do mean dip. It was in and out, blink and you'd miss it. Hopefully. It was also very stony!
The site where it happened
You can't be on holiday and not eat ice cream. (Unless you're Husband.) Apple and blackberry crumble and custard ice cream with honeycomb and butterscotch in case you're wondering. From Creme Pen Cei in New Quay.
And our anniversary selfie.

The next day we visited Llanerchaeron, a National trust property. The current house was designed for a gentleman farmer by John Nash at the end of the 18th century. Nash had a thing for symmetry and that led to false windows!
To make the house appear symmetrical from outside there is a false window on the left (as you look at it) of the front door. He wanted the music room inside to be symmetrical so there couldn't be a window on one end. He did the same thing with doors. In that music room there are two doors but one is a small cupboard. And the lady's boudoir, when the door is shut, is a perfect oval.
Llanerchaeron is also a working farm.

 Afterwards, after our tea and scone - very disappointing scone; one expects better of the NT - we took a walk in the surrounding woodland and came across this little vole. He was of the Harvey school of terror: if in doubt pretend you're a statue.

Unlike these little birds, baby house martins in the stable, who hadn't yet learned the meaning of 'be quiet, humans about.'

And when I said, 'Don't let me go near the bookshop,' I didn't really mean it! But Husband used it as evidence when I yelled at him for not reminding me.

Gosh, this must be one of my longest ever posts. So, where was I? Oh, yes, that was nearly the end of our brief holiday but we did make time to call into another NT property on the way home. Dolaucothi gold mine.

It's believed the Romans were the first to mine for gold in these Welsh hills. I mean the Romans definitely mined there but there may have been someone before. The gold that is found in the dirty quartz stone (and I'm not being rude: it's called dirty) doesn't come in nuggets but as dust making mining very labour-intensive.

Behind me you can see drams. To get enough gold for one wedding ring the equivalent of 10 drams of shale had to be removed in order to get one dram of quartz. So it's no wonder the mine  has never been very profitable or that Welsh gold is the most expensive in the world. 
We entered via the original Roman entrance to the drift mine. 
It took a lot of psyching myself up to get in there. Remember, I was the weirdo who had a funny turn in the catacombs ... But I made it and back out again safely. I even coped when we all switched our lamps off so we could see what it was like working by a single candle light and then in the dark. (Because the mine-owners in the 1930s refused to provide candles for the miners they had to take their own and the only ones they could afford were of animal fat, which soon started smelling badly so many men preferred to work in the dark.)

We also got to have a go at panning for gold. There is reckoned to be about one and half million pounds worth of gold still in the rocks and it's just possible some might be washed out ...
All that glistens is not gold, unless you're a fool. 

A cheeky little robin was hoping for a treat: he got dog biscuit.


Trubes said...

That looks like a fun packed break... I hope your hair had dried before
you got back to the hotel as the staff would wonder why it was wet when
the sun was shining !
I see that Mike wouldn't have that problem....
Happy Anniversary again !
love Di xx
As Chloe is helping me
type this ....
Love from Chloetoo...purr purr...zzzzzng
(don't tell George) !

Katney said...

We panned for gold in Alaska and afterward we could put what we managed to find into a locket for about $30 more.

Liz Hinds said...

Thanks, Di.

and did you, Katney?

Katney said...

Himself did.

Katney said...

Himself did.

Rose said...

What a memorable trip! If I waited for my husband to plan a trip, we'd never go anywhere:)