We went to mid-Wales, a bit further than our usual favourite places in north Wales, and stayed in a small village called Pennal which is between the seaside village of Aberdyfi and the ancient capital of Wales, Machynlleth. It's part of the Snowdonia National Park, and the huge hills that we drove between to reach our holiday home are very green and beautiful. Even in the rain (which it did for half the time we were there), you can see how bright and lush the hills are - fabulous!
The rest of the time, the sun shone for us. We headed to Aberdyfi and strolled on the beach - there's nothing quite like the sand between your toes on a sunny day!
Aberdyfi is a lovely place with a long beach that stretches out into the distance. Small daughter had her shoes off and was off across the sand before you could say "Jack Robinson", leaving the rest of us to follow at a rather more sedate pace.
The sand stretched as far as you could see ...
and looking back towards the village, the brightly coloured shops and houses stood out against the green backdrop.
We found ourselves a space in the shelter of the dunes whilst small daughter persuaded my husband to go paddling with her, having discovered that the sand was too soft for sandcastles. Neither of my girls even bat an eye now when my knitting comes out (just as well, as these are big daughter's Peru socks still on the needles!) and it was nice to take a few minutes in the sunshine before small daughter came hurtling back.
We walked back along the beach in search of ice cream, taking our time to walk along the railings to watch a boy catching crabs (he put them all back in the water) and look at the piles of fishing paraphernalia. There's something very seasidey about fishing nets and ropes, isn't there?
It was such a lovely, sunny day. We took our time exploring the village with our ice creams, watching the tide rise up the slipway ...
and finding more streets with painted houses. Such a pretty place, we were sorry to have to make our way back to the car to leave.
Back at our holiday home, small daughter wanted to head for more water, but this time it was the pool.
There were two pools, one outdoors for sunny days such as these and one indoors for when it rained. Small daughter, being something of a water baby, was in her element! But she had another reason for wanting to head to the water ...
She wanted to try out her mermaid tail!
This is what she chose to buy herself with some birthday money from earlier in the year. I must confess that I did try to dissuade her when she was browsing online, but once she had bought it and tried it out in the water, I was converted. She had a wonderful time being a mermaid, and could really zoom about once she got the hang of how to use her fin. She had great fun!
The other place that we were close to was Machynlleth. Big daughter needed to revise (last A level exam this week - hooray!) and small daughter took the opportunity to stay with her so my husband and I went on our own to explore the town. Machynlleth was the seat of Owain Glyndŵr's Welsh Parliament in 1404. Owain Glyndŵr was a Welsh prince who led a rebellion against the English during the reign of Henry IV, but the rebellion failed and he went into hiding. There are several buildings which relate to the time; if we had been there for longer it would have been interesting to visit.
We found a cafe next to the clock tower and took the opportunity to have a brew, just the two of us. It doesn't happen very often!
It was also World Wide Knit in Public Day so out came the socks J.
I'm really very pleased with how these socks have turned out. The yarn is a very natural purple colour and I like that. It isn't as soft as with other sock yarns that I've used, and it does have a distinctive woolliness to it that won't suit some people at all, but they are good solid socks and I am hoping that they will protect big daughter's feet very well. She's pleased with them too, which is a Very Good Thing seeing as she's going to be the one wearing them.
I've reinforced the heels, soles and toes with heel stitch and I'll show you how to do that with your own socks in another tutorial (after the 8ply DK socks, I promise!). Big daughter can feel the difference on her feet and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will help to stop blisters which are not fun when you have a lot of walking to do.
We did see a flock of chocolate brown sheep as we drove through Wales, more noticeable because every other sheep that we saw was white, and for a moment I wondered if they were the sheep whose wool I was knitting. Probably not, but wouldn't it be funny if they were?
I've got an exciting day on Thursday because I'm off to the Sirdar mill in Yorkshire as part of the Knit Now Online Knitter of the Year Awards. There's a tour around the mill and a chance to meet up with the other winners which I'm looking forward to very much. I'll be sure to take lots of photos so that I can show you when I get back!
I hope you have a lovely week, whatever you are doing!