Despite much of the UK and especially Scotland being battered with high winds, experiencing hailstorms and snow showers my little corner of West Wales had a bright but breezy day today. As it was the first day of my holidays (I will be staycationing this year) I thought that I should make the most of the sunshine and get out and about for a little local adventure. I should point out that the quality of the following pictures is not the best due to the amount of wind and the fact that I was taking them using only one hand (the other being firmly on Max’s collar)

Although I have lived here for coming up to three years, there is still much to discover in the area. Today I got the map out and, over a breakfast of poached egg on toast I poured over the area spying footpaths and local landmarks. Max was very keen to join me on our adventure. He likes nothing better than wandering around the lanes and fields finding new things to look at and new smells for investigation. There he is stopping to have a looksee at the sheep in the field just outside the estate where we live.

The sheep were equally intrigued with the great grey creature looking at them and this brave little fellow ventured across. We had quite a conversation for several minutes before moving on.

Up the lane and past the farm. I had to stop and take a photo of the tractor because I work with a girl who just adores tractors. Growing up on a farm has that affect on people around here. I am afraid that I don’t know my John Deere from my New Holland so I am unable to enlighten you on the make of that one over there but I can say that it was a very shiny and well loved tractor. We had to dodge several of them as the farmers went about their business scooting up and down the lanes in and out of field gates. It is quite a sight to behold and I still chuckle to myself that tractors, cows and horses wander past my house. After all I grew up in a very industrial town so living in the country will always be a real novelty for me.

Just past the farm we cross the lane and head into the fields. It has rained very heavily here the last few days and so the stream was moving rapidly. Max loves to wade through the streams and gulps the water before we climb out the other side and plod through the mud.

I have no idea what this flower is but I was amazed to find it nestled in the hedgerow despite being battered by the wind. I am sure that Fay over at the Wind and the Wellies would be able to enlighten me on this one.

Anybody who knows me must be fed up of hearing me referencing the red kites that I see on a daily basis above my house. They gather in their droves (I wasn’t sure of the correct term for a group of kites so I googled it and the answer came back that because they are not social animals then there is no collective term). Well they do collect in groups above the fields around here and so I will call them droves for now. Sorry about the picture but it is very difficult to manage to capture then as they move through the sky above. Also the RAF were on manoeuvres today and there were plenty of dogfights going on in the valley. Unfortunately I couldnt capture them as they move so fast but they come in low over the fields and on a couple of occasions I understood what it must have been like for people in warzones as I was sorely tempted to dive head first into the hedgerow on a couple of occasions.

So, out of the first field and back onto the lanes. Look over there, that is the back end of the village where I live. You might not believe this but at this point I had already walked for 3 miles and yet I was still so close to the estate where I live. My friends and family who visit for the first time are always surprised when they see where I live. Yes it is a fairly new estate in the village and so it is a surprise. Even though I tell people that I live in a new house I think from my description of the village they expect to find me in a traditional stone and slate cottage with Cath Kidston furnishings and a log burner……… if only it were to be. After all, they all know my love of Laura Ashley and all things English Country cottage and quirky.

The sheep became quite intrigued at this point and came out of their little huts for a looksee at the human and big dog trudging through the fields but soon turned and headed off in the opposite direction

More kites overhead. We were aiming for Plas Brogynan Fawr. An old mansion house in the top part of the village (but we were going the long way around). It is currently up for sale and I have been looking for some information about it as it seems to have some history to it and I know that there are some wall panels in the National Library for Wales from there.

No Max, we cant go across that field because it is heading in the wrong direction.

Down the lane and across the fields by the cottage is the way that we need to head

Oh dear, how the heck are we going to get across that thing. Are you sure this is the right way.

Now here is the kind of cottage that I would love to live in. It is right in the countryside and down the little lane that you see up there in that other photo. Oh the bliss of the darkness and quiet nights that you must get along here. So we skip down the side of the cottage and into the next field. We are heading over the field in the back of the cottage and aiming for the methodist chapel that you can see in the background before bearing left and carrying on up another lane.

Now would you check that out. I wonder if they might be interested in selling that. Oh if only I could afford it and convert it that would be lovely. but I digress, we wander on and the mud becomes deeper, so much so I nearly lose my welly. Have you ever been wandering along the town streets and got your stilleto caught in a crack and walked out of your shoe? Well liken that to the experience of your foot coming out of your welly because you are so deep in mud…….. oh what fun.

I love trees, they are like pieces of art and sculptures. They bow in the wind and glisten in the sunshine, they change with the seasons. Give homes to the birds and provide food for the squirrels. Whats not to love about trees? I struggled to choose which photo to post of the trees that I took today as I took so many but this one reflected my mood and the struggles we were having through the mud. Over the bridge of the stream and onto the last field we come. But wait! The field has some beautiful horses in it galloping along and their manes flowing in the wind. Then they spot us and come galloping across to greet us.

This spooked Max and he backed off barking at them. At this point I decide that it is not such a good idea to try heading through the field with Max and attempting to dodge these two curious chaps as well as the four that were watching from a safe distance.

So we turn on our heels, bid farewell to the magnificent beasts and head back the way we came. I guess my curiosity about that there house will have to wait for another day. I have wandered up there in the car and parked at the gates to take a good look at it. It has been for sale for some time now. I think it was probably once a magnificent house to live in but until I find out more information I will be left wondering.

So that was the first day of my staycation. What kind of things do you do on your holidays. I am very lucky to live in a place where people come for holidays so I really should make the most of it.