Slept less well last night. Was too excited about seeing one of my sister’s and her hubby for the first time in too long! Since we got married in fact. After a lovely hot shower we breakfast on gluten free pancakes with maple syrup, have the usual pancake conversation about how much we want to go back to Quebec, and then set to tidying the cottage in preparation for our visitors. Amanda and Steve arrive just after 10am and after a quick tour and cuppa we drive to White Castle for a scenic 3 mile walk. They assure me that I’m not as s*** a driver as they thought I’d be, and Amanda even states that she’d get in the car with me again, praise indeed!

There’s still snow in the high fields, and it’s yet another perfect, crisp winter’s day. The walk is short but hilly, and the views into and from the Trothy valley are breathtaking. White Castle is the best preserved of the three castles, and even though we didn’t go into the site on this occasion, the views from the footpath are themselves impressive and it’s easy to see just how imposing the structure would have been in its heyday. We return to the cottage for a late lunch of gluten free sausage rolls, and leave Amanda to enjoy a very well earned hot bath in the gorgeous tub whilst the three of us explore the hill behind the house. Edmund’s Tump and Graig Syfyrddin make up part of the Three Castles Walk, and what a beautiful stretch it is. The pull up from the road is steep but this means that almost immediately you catch magnificent views of the beacons opposite. We walk through the woods to the Grosmont road, circling back up to the tump from Birches Wood. The return path is obviously not well used and we have to follow our noses but it’s one of those short walks where I wonder why on earth it’s not in the guide books, and then realise that I don’t want it to be because it’ll become popular and lose some of its magic. We’re not big on walking in crowds or with crowds. We walk for the serenity, peace, a chance to be mindful.

We’re home just after 6pm for a spanish chicken supper, a la Nigella, and a celebratory Easter Egg for pudding, which Rich again insists on smashing into little pieces, rather than letting me try and make a tidy job of it using a corkscrew. The conversation turns to quirks, and Amanda confesses to blowing a gasket if the washing up bottle top isn’t flicked down after use, and the kettle not aligned with the counter top. I confess to getting narked if cutlery isn’t put back in the right section in the cutlery draw. Rich and Steve come to the consensus that women are strange.