Tuesday, 19 February 2008

A walk in the sunshine

I am determined to try and lose some weight, so with this in mind I am going to walk regularly - apparently an hour a day is excellent. I certainly did a brisk hour today, but stopping for photo opportunities along the way!

My kids have had such fun down at this bit by the river that they call the "Pebble Beach", where we would sit and skim flat stones across the river on summer afternoons. The river always leaves lots more on there each winter - an inexhaustable supply.

Our beautiful river hurtling over the rocks near the Mill.

This is Scarlet Elf Cap, growing on dead wood by one of the abandoned cottages.

This is a tiny cottage beside the river - the one room with a fireplace and a much smaller room beyond it. It was known as Llettygariad and in 1881, 48 year old Ann Jones (there are lots of them in this little area!), a widow who earned her living as a charwoman, lived here with her two daughters, Mary (9) and Eleanor (6). 'Llety' means 'place of lodging'. My son informs me that 'gariad' means 'love' . . . There is a local story that the widow from one of these cottages married the widower from the opposite one, and then they opened a shop in the next village, but I don't know how long ago - pre-WWII I think . . .

Opposite, Pantydinas (hollow of the city or fort) was once a lovely cottage with an acre of land, all now sadly overgrown. In recent years a tramp has taken up residence each winter, taking shelter from the elements and putting up a small tent in the lee of an old wriggly tin shed. I think he must have died for it is several years since we last saw him and there was a little paragraph in our local paper saying that a tramp had been found dead, elsewhere in the county. In 1881, Ann Morgans, a 49 year old widow, also worked as a charwoman to make ends meet, and her son John was a 9 year old schoolboy. The land here is now so overgrown that a fully-grown tree grows through an old horse-drawn implement.

This is how the other cottage and its acre might have looked if it had not been abandoned, as this plot adjoins it.

Here is Ffynonau (springs), long since an occasional holiday home for a family from "up the Valleys way" I believe. In 1881, mother and daughter, both Ann Jones, lived here. The widowed mother and her daughter were Hosiers by trade.

Another ruin: 'Penrhiwmelyn' (Top of the yellow slope or hill). A few years ago, the owner - thinking she would get planning permission for a bungalow with no problems - had the walls knocked down and sold the stone for building. The planning permission was refused, and so now only the end wall remains. I'm still trying to find it in the census. The Census enumerator didn't walk in a logical direction it would seem!

Afternoon sun on the river as I walked homewards.


MammyT said...

Another guid un!

Persuaded said...

Llettygariad...i've of half a mind to name my own house that. and probably would if only i could figure out how to pronounce the word;-)

sounds like such a wonderful walk. you know, i used to live in England as a child. sadly it was before my memories started though. i'm enjoying your sharing of your corner of the world very much:-)

Bovey Belle said...

It's such a pretty name isn't it Persuaded? It is - roughly - pronounced thlettee-garriad. The 'thl' part involves tongue against back of teeth and letting the sound ricochet off the cheeks . . . Or that's what my children say. I have lived here 20 years and still can't say Llanelli to their satisfaction!

Persuaded said...

ooo me goodness! it does sound like it would sound pretty indeed, but i don't think i could *ever* get it right. i suspect i'm even saying the second part wrong with my twangy american mouth;-)
i think i'd actually need to hear someone say it to have a chance... hmm, you aren't planning any trips across the pond are ye?:-D