Christmas Shopping in Cowbridge

Just a few snaps from my trip to Cowbridge Christmas Shopping last week.  It’s looking a little like something out of A Christmas Carol right now with all the old buildings bathed in winter sunshine and the doorways decked out with festive evergreen garlands.  All that’s missing is the snow… but I’m not holding my breath for that!  🙂



I stopped in at No.39 and as usual wanted to buy EVERYTHING.  Top of the list were the Paddywax Library Candles – particularly the Mark Twain tobacco scented one, and the Charles Dickens one for Christmas 🙂


We stopped in at The Penny Farthing for tea; it’s always so cosy in there.

Christmas is creeping closer!  We’ll be slogging around in our Christmas pjs on Christmas Eve before we know it, and then it’ll all be over again for another year.  Sob sob.

Dyffryn House & Gardens

I’m going to hold my hands up here and come clean; I’d never been to Dyffryn until last weekend.  Yeah, yeah, I know!  I knew it existed, but I had no idea how close to Cardiff it was.  Tucked away just off the edge of Culver House Cross – and yet invisible from all main roads – it’s easy to forget it exists and miss it.  But maybe that’s part of what makes it so special – and it really is special.  It reminds me a little bit of Misselthwaite Manor from the Secret Garden – a huge Edwardian Manor (that’s seen better days, it has to be said), and sprawling gardens hiding plenty of secret corners and places to explore. 🙂

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Isle of Fire

I love those long summer days when you spend the day whole day out in the sun and then stay out long after it sets.  Saturday was one of those days – definitely my favourite so far this summer.  In the evening we went down to Barry Island to see the return of Isle of Fire; the promenade was transformed with fire sculptures – including a giant, flaming cauldron (very sospan fawr) – lit torches, music and entertainment.  🙂

We started the evening off at Jackson Bay with a sunset picnic.

We drank Cider (Kiwi and Lime Cider is a new discovery; when Sunny told me about it I thought it sounded completely rank, but it’s actually really, really nice – light and refreshing and almost too easy to drink…)

…we dipped our toes in the sea (brrrrrrrrrrr!)...

…and Cath and I finally tried out the ‘Go’ part of Pokemon Go and got to see what all the fuss is about 🙂  We trotted around the beach trying to get it to work and eventually I found a Magikarp flopping around right there on the beach.  It’s cute, not sure if I’m that into it yet… I’m sure I’ll start gushing and walking into street lamps with everyone else if I come across a Snorlax though…


As the sun was setting we walked around to Whitmore Bay to see the Isle of Fire already ablaze.

The best bit of the whole night by a long way were the drummers.  Dressed in a bizarre space age pierrot-esque getup and Kiss facepaint, they appeared out of nowhere on the promenade with their light drums and percussion and were a brilliant surprise 🙂









Penarth’s Wild Flowers

There’s a saying I love this time of year; “The earth laughs with flowers.”  Well, Penarth is currently giggling with the prettiest crop of wildflowers I’ve ever seen.  There’s something lovely about dropping seeds in a patch of dirt and just letting them grow wild.  Someone once told me that when their grandfather died he’d asked that his ashes be mixed with wildflower seeds and then fired out of a cannon into the field behind his house.  Although they found it a bit bizarre and I think almost disrespectful at the time when summer eventually swung around and the field “laughed with flowers” it became a sweet reminder that reappeared every year after.  I love that. 🙂

I took Sunny’s Mum and Dad to see them when they came to stay last week.  There were so many different kinds flowers in so many different colours.



Met this handsome chap along the way… 🙂

You can’t walk the pier without stopping in the Pavillion Cafe for a cup of tea and a tea cake!
Which, it has to be said, are the biggest tea cakes I’ve ever seen in my life!  (…and I’ve eaten a fair few in my time…!)




We walked back along the beach and I filled my pockets with lots of sea glass. 🙂