Ok, I admit it. I slept with a little light on downstairs. As someone who never really ‘drops off’ to sleep, old houses and shadows sometimes frighten me when I allow my imagination to run wild. Rich thinks it’s hilarious, especially as I’m the person who rushes to protect others in need in the street or at work, and would fight to the death to protect those I love and care about. Possible ghosties though. What can I say, I’m a sensitive soul.

We woke to sunshine and cloudless sky. Even the tortoises had come out to sunbathe. Having the conservatory separate Gribyn Cottage from Vicky and Tim’s house, really does make it feel as if you’re sitting in the garden to eat your breakfast, even when you’re tucked up in the kitchen. Being able to smell the earth and plants makes us feel even more alive, and Rich has already developed a very soft spot for the shell creatures. In his words, “they’re my sort of pet”.

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Sunbathing tortoises

After gluten free pain au chocolat for breakfast courtesy of ‘Genius’, we decided to give Skyra a day off and walk from the cottage via the local waterfalls. Unfortunately the footpath to the falls were so overgrown that we couldn’t pass without cutting ourselves to shreds, so we headed for the ridge and Carno Wind Farm instead. Again, the paths through what is now managed forest are non-existant, and after wading through a quagmire we instead opted to ignore the ‘no un-authorised persons’ signs and follow the forest track as far as Gors Goch old quarry and pond. From there we were able to pick up the footpath again and descend back down to Llawr-y-glyn, passing a large hill farm that supplies lamb to Waitrose. After watching three farmers on quad bikes expertly herd their flock all the way down to bottom of the hill from the peak, we headed back up the hill to the cottage for tea and hot cross buns.

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My camera chose today to finally conk out on me. Still, it’s been used extensively for four years. It developed what I’ll call ‘black blob syndrome’ and a dark smudge appears in the centre of all photographs for the rest of this trip. Fine for photographing dark things, but I apologise now if subsequent pics are not of the usual standard.

Washing some clothes in the shower reminded me our adventures in Chile – somewhere we’re desperate to get back to in the not too distant future. We think nothing of washing our smalls in a bucket and hanging them outside the front door in full view of the neighbours. No doubt it’ll give them something to talk about.

For dinner, Rich concocted chicken fajita wraps out of yesterday’s leftovers. We always try to eat well on holiday, not least because we can’t risk Rich losing any more weight. Ignoring the telly we then moved up to the gorgeous lounge area to read and write. Tim, one of the cottage owners, had helped publish a village book to celebrate the new millennium, and reading about the history of the village and its residents is fascinating. Unlike many parts of Wales, Llawr-y-glyn seems to welcome ‘incomers’, and to have a liberal rather than an insular outlook. As a Welsh person I’m allowed to say such things as this. Wales can be lovely to look at, but there are undercurrents in some areas that are scary. That parts of the South have become a UKIP stronghold says enough. I don’t do prejudice, hatred and gossip. Neither do I really do rugby or alcohol, so I’m not a very good Welsh person really.

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