Roz and I took a vacation in Rhydlewis, which is near to Newcastle Emlyn in Ceredigion.  The holiday was an attempt for me to unwind and relax after four years at university. I was finding it difficult not be in ‘assignment mode’ and to be in a constant state of ‘turn-in’ dates and having a need to ‘research’ for my next project, instead of reading just for pleasure.

The village has a charming Grade 2 listed wooden shop, which is clad with corrugated iron, the shop is called Bridge Stores (Hen Siop y Bont). This store (when it’s open) operates as an off-licence, Post office, ‘Arts & Crafts’ centre and general store, selling gas, logs and coal, etc. In the past it has functioned as a Police ‘Information Point’ where local residents could leave a report of a problem or incident for the Police to pick-up and act-on at some time. The building has an amazing charm with the patina of peeling paint and a wonderful hipped roof and convex awnings. The lack of maintenance and the huge padlock on the flimsy door just adds to the character, which I hope no-one changes or tries to ‘improve’ with painting or ‘updating’. The woman who runs the store told me that when she took over it had been operating as a tack shop and general famers’ supplies shop. Hanging from the roof rafters are large hooks from which had been hung saddles and other equestrian tack.

In my usual ‘Flâneur mode’ I discovered a footpath that looked ideal for walking our dogs. The path led me into a paddock where I met the owner of the farm and her collection of Shetland ponies and donkeys. Continuing my walk around Rhydlewis I discovered what looked to me to be an old Standard 8 car, which could be about 1955 vintage, (but I’m sure someone will prove me wrong). It was under tarpaulin so it’s probably someone’s intention to renovate and get back-on-the road.

Wherever you go in Rhydlewis you’re never far from Red Kites. Throughout the day you can see and hear these magnificent birds and their characteristic callings, which to me sound like a shepherd whistling instructions to his Collie dog.  Apparently there’s a ‘feeding station’ in the village, which accounts for the Kite-filled skies.

We chose Rhydlewis as our holiday destination to be near to Rose Wood Jewellry. This is where Roz and I will be making each other’s weddings rings in a few weeks. Rose Wood Jewellry offer an amazing opportunity to be guided and coached in her well equipped workshop in the selection and manufacture of rings and jewelry. We visited Rose to select our wedding ring material and designs. Coincidentally, Roz and I met one of Rose Wood Jewelry’s clients whilst walking our dogs in Rhydlewis; it was very encouraging to meet someone who could talk so enthusiastically about making the jewellry she was wearing.

During our stay, we made a trip to Newcastle Emlyn; we’ve been there a few times and list it amongst our ‘creative towns’ visits, which is like Narberth. We had some lunch in Harrison’s café, which I consider to be an expensive café at £22 for two rounds of sandwiches and soft drinks. I was, however, pleased to see the work of Glenn Ibbitson in the shop window of The Maker’s Mark. I had been aware of Glen’s work from the Powerhouse Gallery in Llandysul, but it was good to see it in a high-street gallery. As we left Newcastle Emlyn we stopped-off in the salmon-fishing town of Cenarth where I took a photo of three obliging fishermen manning a charity stall. As I left the car park, one of the guys rushed up to my car and requested that I send him a copy of the photo.

We had a very relaxing and enjoyable stay in Rhydlewis and it has inspired us to look further afield in our search for a house move.

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