Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy reading about my adventures - in stitch and otherwise! And I hope that you will leave a comment so that I know you have visited.

Friday 25 August 2023

A short visit to Wales

 Before we get to Wales though a funny (strange) thing! I regularly check for spam comments in the Blogger comments section - probably about once a month. So I was surprised earlier this week when I checked to find around 10 spam comments! They all dated back a few years, the earliest being from 2017! So if you haven't checked for spam comments recently I suggest you go and have a look - like me you might find the odd name that you don't hear from anymore.

Now, back to Wales. A friend is visiting UK from overseas and staying in Wales so we arranged to meet up for lunch in Chepstow. I had not been there before although we drove past that way earlier in the year when we went to the Forest of Dean.

We parked near the castle

which is built right on the edge of the river Wye

I have never seen figures keeping watch like this before

We didn't have time to visit sadly but this is the entrance

Walking up to the town from the castle you pass Castle Terrace, a lovely row of terrace houses with beautiful bow windows. 

They were built in the early 1800's and are all Grade II listed. Some occupiers had made a feature of their window others blocked it off for privacy. There was a display of some very nice modern pottery in one of the windows!

Lovely to catch up with our friend for a long lazy lunch and then it was off to Tintern where we had an hotel booked for the night.

Tintern is also on the river Wye further up a wooded valley. It is the site of an Abbey which was a victim of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536. Consequently today the Abbey is just ruins.

We stayed at the picturesque Wye Valley Hotel which was very comfortable and dinner in the cosy bar was excellent.

The next morning we spent some time exploring the Abbey ruins.

We entered the site from the visitor centre marked in red on the map above. The first room we came to was the warming room, the only part of the Abbey that was heated other than the infirmary. It is in the middle of this picture - the room above was probably used to store documents that needed to be kept safe from damp.

 The Cistercians were a very austere order and followed strictly  the rule of obedience, poverty and chastity. There were two types of monk - prayer and lay. The lay monks were illiterate and did all the manual work of the monastery. The buildings to the right of the warming room were divided into quarters for the two types of monk with the kitchen serving both in between.

The church was enormous and dominates the site. Sadly much of it was blocked off due to bits falling off! and ongoing conservation work.

This gorgeous robin was singing it's heart out in one of the window openings.

The cloister was on the north side of the church and would have linked the church to the monks living quarters.

To the left of the warming room were the novices quarters, the Abbot's residence (and private chapel) and the infirmary. Originally one long room with beds for the sick, the infirmary was later remodled into private rooms each with it's own fireplace.

It had it's own kitchen which also served the Abbot and his guests.

In the picture above you can see on the ground the huge mantle shelf which would have been above the kitchen fire place.

The infermary also had it's own cloister and it is thought that this was where the monks grew their medicinal herbs.

In this picture where you can see the wooded valley, the river is hidden below so the Abbey is on the bank of the river. The other side of the river is England.

A few more shots of the beautiful architecture.

A modern road now cuts between the Abbey proper and what were the guest residences. I walked round there to get a shot of the main entrance to the church.

Three large car parks and some idiot has to park in the road! That window must have been magnificent when it was glassed.

And then it was time to head home - just as the sun was coming out!

Thank you if you have made it this far and I hope you enjoyed this mini visit to Wales.

Saturday 19 August 2023

FNSI August

 And many thanks to Wendy for hosting again - pop over here to see who else took part. There was also lots of activity over on the facebook page too.

Not much time to sew and so I thought I had better crack on with my swap hexies for the month and here they are

Good to get them done and they will be in the post on Monday.

We have had a busy couple of weeks and so there has not been much happening on the sewing front. I did get my RSC hearts appliqued down last week

Then I couldn't resist getting out all my hearts to see how they looked. Well!

My first regret was setting them on point and my second was using those dark backgrounds for the blue! Oh well.

I have got some pretty floral fabric that I might use as plain blocks between the hearts and for the edging triangles and regig the colours so that the darker backgrounds are at the bottom. On the other hand I could just remake the blue blocks! Two more months to go though before I make a decision.

Another busy week coming up and I should have some travel pics for you next week.

Have a lovely week

Sunday 6 August 2023

Friday Night with Friends for August....

 ....was a bit of a washout sewing wise. All I managed to do in the evening was to sew these two hearts together having basted the pieces the night before.

They need a good press now so that I can get them appliqued down.

But, we had a lovely day out meeting up with friends for lunch. We picked a spot roughly midway between us as we live about a 3 hour drive from each other. The place we chose to meet up was Cerne Abbas a pretty Dorset village with lots of lovely old architecture. Sadly I didn't get any pictures -  we were far too busy talking! We stopped for coffee and then moved on to the Royal Oak for lunch.

After lunch we drove out to a viewing point to see what Cerne Abbas is famous for - the Cerne Giant a chalk hill figure. Click on the link for a decent photograph! Mine are not very clear. I understand that the chalk trenches are redone every 7 years and it looks like they are due refurbishment!

The traffic on the roads on our way to Cerne Abbas was horrendous - holiday traffic heading to and from Devon and Cornwall, so we took a more scenic route home. Ironically the only traffic hold up we had was about 3 minutes from home - a notoriously busy junction.

We hadn't been home long when friends called in and we had impromptu drinks. So by the time I got sat down in the evening to sew time was running out and I was feeling quite tired. However, a fun day and I would not have changed it.

Many thanks Cheryll for getting us together again.