Home-baked bread

I am pleased to tell you that I am now baking all the bread served at The Old Manse.

My preference is for wholemeal with a variety of seeds. Delicious though I say it myself !

Karl Jenkin’s 70th birthday concert

We were so lucky to have Karl Jenkin’s 70th birthday concert held in Tabernacle Chapel (just in front of The Old Manse) yesterday evening, as  the Finale of the Gower Festival.

The programme was substantially the same as that performed in his birthday concerts in The Albert Hall, New York, Sweden and Dublin. Catrin Finch, Royal Harpist, and David Childs on Euphonium were soloists.  Karl conducted and also had rescored a large number of pieces to take account of the soloists and smaller orchestra. The music was fabulous.  The (prize winning) Penclawdd Brass Band played outside before the concert, and wine was served in The Old Manse garden during the interval.    It was a wonderful night.

 

Here are a couple of Tweets I found.  “Karl Jenkins, the man and his music comes home to Penclawdd!”     “Karl Jenkins concert tonight, was unique emotional and wonderful.”

Red Kite above !

The Red Kite was at one time almost extinct , but has made an amazing recovery, and in 1999 it was named ‘Bird of the Century’ by the British Trust for Ornithology. It has also been unofficially adopted as the national bird of Wales.

For a few years now I have spotted a red kite soaring over the “craig” (welsh for rock), the ridge of high ground behind my house.  Last week, however, I was sitting in the garden having tea with newly arrived guests, who happened to be nature lovers, when Nigel said “look at that”, and immediately overhead, and low enough to see really clearly, flew a red kite.  We all sat in amazement; what a treat.

Incidentally, there are two well reviewed kite feeding stations within driving distance of Penclawdd, for anyone interested and with time to spare (as well as the wildfowl and wetlands centre across the estuary from here).

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

I was delighted to receive an email from Trip Advisor the other day telling me that The Old Manse had been awarded a 2014 Certificate of Excellence for consistently excellent reviews.  Thank you to all past guests who have given me those reviews.

Gower Festival of concerts, and Karl Jenkins

This years Gower Festival programme is now available. This is a 2 week festival of concerts held in beautiful Gower churches.

Particularly exciting for me is to see that the birthday of the wonderful Karl Jenkins is being celebrated locally.  I have long been interested in this composer, not only because I love his music, but also because he grew up attending the chapel which is situated in front of my house The Old Manse (his father was the chapel organist for many years).  More information will follow when it is confirmed and published.

http://www.gowerfestival.org/index.html

Dylan Thomas’ centenary

This year sees the centenary of Dylan  Thomas  (he was born in October 1914).  He is particularly well known for writing Under Milk Wood, and for the poem “Do not go gentle into that good night“.

There are events planned all year, and several sites to visit, if you are an aficionado.Visit    http://www.dylanthomas.com/2014-centenary/

Marmalade

The Seville oranges have been and gone, and I have been busy making marmalade for the B and B as well as for family use.  One of my favourite activities!

Log Fires in Winter

Now that winter is here, I like to have a log fire burning in the dining room, both for breakfast and also if you have time for a sociable cup or tea on arrival.  On the rare occasions when it is wet and not conducive to rushing out, you are welcome to linger after breakfast and read by the fire.

Nature sightings and photography on Gower

My latest guests have had a good week here for nature and photography.   At Rhossilli they came across a grass snake enjoying the fine September weather, and watched,  from above, a kestrel soaring on the wind currents on Rhossilli Down.  Another day they were treated to a kingfisher darting across the little bay of Pwll Du.

Of course most visitors get good views of the wild horses, either on the marsh in front of The Old Manse, or on Cefn Bryn near Arthur’s Stone., but Jack Comber, a previous visitor and photographer, had an amazing encounter with them, which I hope to have on the gallery soon.

Child Friendly

I have been told that it can be difficult to find a B & B that will take children.  Well,  despite being “luxurious”  and   “immaculate” as some guests have commented, I also love children and enjoy welcoming them.  The lay out of the house is such that rooms are well insulated from each other.  I have travel cot, 2 high chairs and a low chair for use, and toys to play with.  So families you are welcome, but adults will not have their bliss disrupted!