Thursday, 17 August 2017

Edge of Wales Reaches Out


We were recently asked by Venue Cymru, the iconic theatre on the Llandudno seafront, to help with their outreach program - connecting the theatre more widely with the people of the area through promotional events. We put on a Geocaching display at the July events at Penmaenmawr and Llandudno and below are some of the photographs of how we fared in very mixed weather.

 The display centred upon a stand from which we explained to those attending the show all about the fast growing sport of geocaching and we issued GPS units so that nearby temporary caches could be found.
 Also on display were a fascinating mixture of skills - mediaeval duelling, painting, pottery and clog dancing among them.
 The traffic free area adjacent to the War Memorial proved a great location and we lent out the GPS units to over 100 people during the day.
Also popular was the art of rock balancing. Have a go; it's harder than it looks!
We created a special geocache for the Llandudno event which recorded the fate of the Flying Foam, a schooner that went down in Llandudno Bay in 1935. Here is a photograph of one of the children who attended the event painting an image of the ship on to a rock which was later put into the geocache.

RS Thomas Society Literary Festival - a great success!

From the left, Prof. Tony Brown, Dr. Rowan Williams, Prof. M Wyn Thomas, Dr. John McElhenney
The newly formed RS Thomas & ME Eldridge Appreciation Society held a very successful literary festival over Friday the 9th to Sunday the 11th of June this year. Building on the success of previous years, when the festival was held under the aegis of St Hywyn's church, the festival really blossomed this year with 3 days of varied events and a star-studded cast of speakers who appear in the photograph above.



The main events on Saturday took place in Aberdaron school and were attended by some hundred people who came from far and wide to hear the speakers. Prof. M Wyn Thomas of Swansea University talked of RST's reputation as a turbulent priest who had a difficult relationship with the Church in Wales. Dr Rowan Williams provided a fascinating analysis of RS Thomas' religious poetry and there was an extended question and answer session chaired by Tony Brown and which also included Helen Wilcox and Mark Oakley.

The Festival was honoured by the attendance of Dr. Rowan Williams who retired as Archbishop of Canterbury in 2012, sits in the House of Lords as Baron Oystermouth and is Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.
Away from the school there was a walk organised by the Society Secretary, Susan Fogarty, which explored the secret paths that RS used to follow in and around Aberdaron. On the Friday afternoon there was a talk by Helen Wilcox, Professor of English at Bangor University, at the Sailing Club on the influence on RS of the 17th century poet George Herbert.

Events in the church included Stations to the Untenanted Cross, where candles accompanied the reading of poetry with time for personal reflection. On Saturday evening there was a performance of The Minister, originally written by RS Thomas as a verse drama for radio. There was also a musical introduction with cello and piano.

Sunday Morning saw a Communion Service in St Hywyn's where Rowan Williams preached and the Bishop of Bangor, Andy John, celebrated the Eucharist.On Sunday afternoon we were treated to personal reflections on the power of poetry by the Rev. Mark Oakley who is the Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, London. This took place at the church of St Maelrhys, Porth Ysgo.


The Festival was rounded off by Fish, Chips and Poetry at the Sblash Fish Bar in Aberdaron, where it was open mic poetry for all. Peter is the treasurer of the RS Thomas Society and he received a goodly number of compliments about the Festival. An even larger event is planned next year on the 28th of June to the 1st of July 2018. Book your accommodation now and register an interest in the Festival at www.rsthomaspoetry.co.uk.

The Sblash Fish Bar.











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.