Vintage ~ Handmade ~ Homes ~ Gardens

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau

No that's not a typo it's Welsh for 'Land of My Fathers' the national anthem of Wales. I had a fabulous time in Cardiff a couple of weeks ago meeting up with a very international group of wonderful friends. We all share a passion - Bruce Springsteen - and got to know each other through meeting at shows and became great friends. 

From left to right; Representing England (me), Ireland, Wales, Holland and the USA

So it was a few days of wine, music and ... rugby! Our Welsh friends are great rugby supporters and we all had tickets for the Wales v Ireland match at the Millennium Stadium. I confess to not being a rugby fan but the chance to hear a rousing 'Land of My Fathers' sung in the Welsh language by 80,000  was an opportunity not to be missed. I'd been practicing with a phonetic version so was able to join in - I probably insulted the Welsh nation with my mispronunciation but it it was so fantastic to sing at the top of your lungs! 

It was beautifully sunny in Wales (yes really!) and we had a little trip to the Victorian  coastal town of Penarth. What a lovely place. If you're ever down there visit the Fig Tree Restaurant for wonderful food and an uninterrupted view of the sea.

 The sea front at Penarth is very quiet. Just a little pier and the restaurant. This old sea front bath house had been converted into a family home

After yet more snow last week it was wonderful to have a gloriously sunny weekend. I'm prone to hibernating in the winter but it was so good to get out into the sun! I took a trip up to the pleasant town of Hitchen in north Hertfordshire. I discovered this market town last year when I went to collect an ebay purchase. It's a lovely little town and it has enough independent shops and little nooks and crannies to happily spend a few hours exploring. 

I've been awol from blogging of late but, like the sun, it's good to be back. I hope the sun shone on you this weekend :-)


  1. How I would love to visit Wales! In this part of Wisconsin there are many Welsh settlements and a remarkable tradition of Gymanfa Ganu. My wife and I have no Welsh blood but we are musicians and have been involved in these Welsh singing festivals for over 35 years I guess. I used to solo quite often and now generally direct the opening number, but after that you need to know a lot about the Welsh language. My wife is the pianist for the local celebration and traditionally an ancient pump organ is used along with the piano and frequently a Welsh harpist as well. That said, I really enjoyed seeing your post today! Larry

    1. We used to have regular holidays in north Wales when my son was young and these often coincided with the National Eisteddfod. The Welsh really celebrate their music, literature etc in a way that the English don't really. I sing in a choir so I particularly love to hear a Welsh choir perform. It's great that you have the opportunity to participate in the Gymanfa Ganu - I agree that not speaking Welsh can be a bit of a handicap!

  2. What a lot of lovely pics! I'd love to go and have a pootle around The Yard ... looks like my kind of shop ...

    Have a Happy Monday

    Claire xx

    1. It's a great little shop Claire - I was very tempted!

  3. looks great! ive been to wales once for a wedding many years ago i think it was Chepstow? is that wales? haha!

  4. Haha it is Claire - just. I think you need to travel further in like Snowdonia for the lakes and mountains which are just stunning. On the other hand it rains an awful lot there!

  5. It all looks lovely.A fun part of visiting new places for me is searching out the gift and antique shops and coming home with a treasure or two.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend.


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