Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Secret Wales

Couldn't resist showing you these proud parents with their babies . . . and the Moorhen quietly watching.
Come with me please, on a quick tour , following the Ceiriog valley to Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog.
At Chirk, the Ceiriog valley is wide, with lush meadows grazed by sheep.
Here, the Llangollen canal and the Railway viaduct cross the valley.

As we travel up the valley we pass through quiet villages and countryside. Little sign now of the bustling industry that was here.
There are fascinating glimpses though, in the industrial archeology of the area.


About 12 miles on, the valley opens up and there lies Llanarmon. It's beautiful, a thriving village , surrounded by the hills and a very special sense of peace.
At this time of year, there is an open air art exhibition, well worth seeing.

The church stands near an ancient burial mound and welcomes it's visitors with a warm atmosphere.
The same can be said for the welcome at the Hotel, where we sat in the garden and listened to the sounds of the valley as we ate.
On the return journey I saw this venerable Oak near the road. Poor Mike had to stop quickly so that I could leap out and pay homage to this ancient tree. It was huge and I could have stayed much longer. . . . .

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Hidden Treasures and Secret Wales

Last weekend I spent two lovely days with Chester Embroiderers Guild.

I was teaching a two day , book making workshop , which I call Hidden Treasures.
The covers and some of the pages have hiding places for all manner of things . . . .
I am so pleased to be able to show you some of the amazing work produced . . . I learnt a lot from these talented ladies who make me feel so welcome, it's like spending the weekend with old friends.
Everyone chooses the subject for their book, then it's wonderful to see the variety of subjects. we had 'A Norfolk Holiday, Travels in the Middle East, Childhood, the story of a dear little dog and more . . .

I love watching as the ideas grow and the pages take shape.

I've been promised some pictures of the finished books (no pressure girls!) and as I've been asked back again next year I hope I'll get to see the real thing too.

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Mike and I decided to make the weekend into a little holiday and we stayed, once again, in the lovely grounds of Chirk Castle .
Here we have crossed over the border, into Wales.

There are walks through the estate , woodland paths and best of all the beautiful Ceiriog Valley , where you can walk or drive through 'secret Wales'.
I took these pictures on a sunny, early morning stroll, Rowan ran in crazy patterns , chasing rabbits and shadows.
The wild Garlic flowers scented the air and covered the path in places.

Soon, 'Mad legs' had to go on the lead while we walked through the parkland. She would so love to play 'chase ' with those lambs. . . .

The entrance to the estate is guarded by these gates, built in the early 18th century.



Then, it's back into the woods and a strange world of . . . .



. . . . a 'Horned Man'?


and patterns painted by the sun and the leaves. . . .







I'll stop now and next time I'll take you up the valley to Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog and maybe tempt you into secret Wales. . . . .