Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Gate to Nowhere?

Another recent addition to Manaros is the new back gate. This leads into a field at the rear of the patio and is part of our rebuild of the back fence aimed at improving the view. Gone are the briars and the nettles and the barbed wire. In their place is a nice tidy post and wire fence linked to a cleft oak gate made by our friends at Felin Uchaf, cleft meaning split along the grain rather than sawn. They now have a fully equipped workshop and are producing a series of design items which can be made on commission. The oak trees of Llyn tend to be from Sessile Oak or English Oak bent by the wind. This produces interesting shapes in the trunk and branches. This was particularly valuable in the old days when ship building was a busy industry in Portmadog and Porthdinllaen. We hope you like what it has produced here.


Wednesday, 24 May 2017

The Story Behind the Bowl

Recent visitors to manaros have admired a new addition to the ornament, a beechwood bowl, and often ask what is the story behind it.



This bowl was made by Miriam Jones, a wood turner from Llanengan, a small village on Hell's Mouth. More of her work can be seen at www.Miriamjones.co.uk. This bowl was specially comissioned by us in Welsh and English. The words come from a poem by Philip Larkin concerning a tomb in Chichester Cathedral of Richard Fitzalan, earl of Arundel, and his second wife, Eleanor of Lancaster.



The hand guesture is unusual in a mediaeval tomb and leads the poet to reflect on what this meant, leading to his conclusion in the final line "What will survive of us is love." On learning of the likely cost of what politicians call "social care", Larkin may well be right!

An Arundel Tomb

Side by side, their faces blurred,   
The earl and countess lie in stone,   
Their proper habits vaguely shown   
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,   
And that faint hint of the absurd—   
The little dogs under their feet.

Such plainness of the pre-baroque    
Hardly involves the eye, until
It meets his left-hand gauntlet, still   
Clasped empty in the other; and   
One sees, with a sharp tender shock,   
His hand withdrawn, holding her hand.

They would not think to lie so long.   
Such faithfulness in effigy
Was just a detail friends would see:
A sculptor’s sweet commissioned grace   
Thrown off in helping to prolong   
The Latin names around the base.

They would not guess how early in
Their supine stationary voyage
The air would change to soundless damage,   
Turn the old tenantry away;
How soon succeeding eyes begin
To look, not read. Rigidly they

Persisted, linked, through lengths and breadths   
Of time. Snow fell, undated. Light
Each summer thronged the glass. A bright   
Litter of birdcalls strewed the same
Bone-riddled ground. And up the paths   
The endless altered people came,

Washing at their identity.   
Now, helpless in the hollow of   
An unarmorial age, a trough
Of smoke in slow suspended skeins   
Above their scrap of history,   
Only an attitude remains:

Time has transfigured them into   
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be   
Their final blazon, and to prove   
Our almost-instinct almost true:   
What will survive of us is love.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Flaming June in Aberdaron

We have just seen the weather forecast for the next few weeks and they look as promising as they could possibly be given the uncertainties of forecasts. We have taken a lot of short term bookings at Manaros for June and early July and this has left us with some short periods which we are now offering out as short breaks at a 10% discount from our normal prices. These are:

2 night break commencing 07/06/17. 10% off our normal rates. Total price of £486.

2 night break commencing 12/06/17. 10% off our normal rates. Total price of £486.

6 night break commencing 24/06/17. 10% off our normal rates. Total price of £839.

As an added bonus the lillies in the garden will be out in June. This could be a great holiday for you and yours. If you would like to book please contact us on 01758 760 652.


 

Wales Coast Path Walking Holiday Providers.

We are very proud to unveil this new video created in cooperation with all our colleagues who run high quality walking holidays on the Wales Coast Path. The film shows that it is now possible to walk the whole of the Wales Coast Path using the luggage carrying services of the various members of the Association.

We are hoping this film will do something to improve the marketing of the Wales Coast Path which has the potential to attract serious numbers of walkers to the Wales coast - perhaps to explore places other than the iconic scenic highlights. The strapline of the path is "Discover the Shape of a Nation" and there is much to be gained by walking the lesser known parts of Merionyddshire, southern Gwynedd or the Dee Estuary. Whatever your ambitions, do please share them with us and we can give good advice.

Monday, 20 February 2017

This really is a holiday with a difference!



Everyone that visits Bardsey Island agrees that it is a magical place, an island somehow out of time and blessed with wonderful wildlife and peace. We have hundreds of visitors every year who also say that that they would like to stay on the island. Here is an opportunity, a stay on the island for one week beginning the 23rd of June 2017, hosted by the Journeying organisation and which doesn't commit you to taking a full house.




The party will stay in Cristin House which is part of the Bird Observatory. This is a spacious house and comfortably appointed. Catering will be shared but with planned menus. Everyone will be expected to help out, something which the organisers call hands-on hospitality - a term I expect to reuse next time my relatives come to stay!




£600 will buy you a shared room, station transport from Pwllheli, the boat crossing and all accommodation and food (£720 for a single room or single occupancy in a twin/double room). Full details can be found on www.journeying.co.uk, tel: 01646 279 478, email: info@journeying.co.uk.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Oil Rush in Aberdaron?



 Recent visitors to Aberdaron may have been surprised to see an enormous drill in the National Trust car park. Rather than drilling for oil it is actually to extract a much more environmentally friendly form of energy - ground source heat to supply the self catering apartments at Henfaes. The deepest borehole dug so far is 210 meters in depth. Once the boreholes are all finished the lengths will add up to 800 metres in total to extract heat energy from deep in the ground where there is always a constant temperature.


You can just make out the drill shaft rapidly spinning.

The drill is an impressive sight from ground level.



One of the steel pipes being winched into place to presumably be fed down the hole.

This is probably the pipework which will carry down cold water to be warmed up deep below the ground and returned to the surface.

It looks like there are lots more pipes to be sent down.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Christmas Newsletter 2016


A very Merry Christmas and Nadolig Llawen from Aberdaron to all our friends and customers! The village Christmas tree is erected and decorated outside the Ship Hotel, and the church services at St Hywyn's have been organised. December began with usually frosty weather but it has since turned milder. Simon and I thought we would take this opportunity to share some of the highs and lows of 2016.


"A jolly good place to visit." is how Prince Charles described Aberdaron on his visit in July. Such visits only take place once in a generation but Alun at the Ship was able to provide the Prince with a photograph of his last visit way back in 1978.


We very much enjoyed hosting the first Sacred Land conference which was based at Manaros. This was a group of people interested in spirituality and the environment and led by Rev. Tim Higgins, a Tertiary Franciscan who now lives just outside Tudweiliog. The photo above was taken during a candlelit Eucharist in Penllech church during which dawn rose in the east window.


We have been able to use Manaros as a base for a number of big parties, largely birthday and anniversary celebrations, where up to 30 people (who stay in accommodations in and around Aberdaron in addition to Manaros itself) are served a special meal. This is an organisational and catering challenge but hugely enjoyable all the same.



We've had some occasional wild weather this year. August brought a storm that would have seemed more appropriate in November. Luckily it did not last long, and the tail end produced some very good surf for our customers.





At the opposite extreme, calm conditions during a spring tide exposed more of Aberdaron beach than I have ever seen. You can clearly make out the remains of the piers that once extended out into the bay.


We continue to be pioneers in the walking holiday field. We have had a number of takers for the new self-guided walking holiday, including luggage transfer, from Porthmadog down to Aberystwyth on the coast of Cardigan Bay. The final section of the Wales Coast Path on Llyn between Porth Ysgo and Aberdaron came on stream this year and we think it the best section of the lot.

2016 was the first year that we had full use of the new VW Tiguan which we now use in place of the old Touran. It is a real pleasure to drive a car without any dents or creaks.



A reminder that, though we live in a beautiful and often tranquil place at the Edge of Wales, there is also tragedy. We attended the blessing of the memorial stone in St Hywyn's churchyard to commemorate the loss of five men during the sinking of the MV Swanland just off Bardsey Island in November 2011.



Fortunately this year Glandwr and Manaros are both booked for Christmas and New Year and bookings are coming in for 2017. If you are thinking of coming to Aberdaron again next year then now would be a good time to book. If you fancy seeing more of the Llyn than Aberdaron then you can always try one of our walking holidays - www.edgeofwaleswalk.co.uk. If you know any friends who you think might enjoy a holiday here then do please pass on our details. It would be a great help to us.



Simon and I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours.

Tel: 01758 760 652