All the Colours of Green – continues

Time has just flown by and Christmas is only six weeks away.. Do you ever think one might could tire of seeing the same places everyday?

I think I will never tire of Wales. And all my thoughts will not expire ever after all; for in that time I have had to see real wishes come true, it’s here where I have found hints of life and love and home and then there is someone here now to cling to. He calls me his ray of hope; and his pinken every morning.

People ask me all the time; “Do I miss Texas?” I reply; I miss people; mostly my sons and family and my old friends. But my home is here now.

So there are moments so I might know that this is just the beginning, discovering that there are places beyond narrow one. I have seen massive green forest, farms and gardens, medieval castles, palaces and cathedrals.

I am American girl in Wales, where my duality is to reason all; it is one with every living breathing moving particle is one is the absolute. I will stay here and I have no desire to return to the States.

Duality is an illusion. It must be this narrow place inside me that contains my infinite love for one and the same. Julien is my gravity and advanced physics and mathematics.

Only when the heart has experienced longing or suffering and pain can we understand that what is important and that which hopes hangs onto, finding that love is the only shimmering effervescent realm of continual creation.

Note- “All the Colors of Green” is available at Amazon on Kindle.
Thank you to all my followers and for reading.

Enjoy!-
Love, M.

Maen Ceti; Great Stone of Sketty

Cefn Bryn overlooks Maen Ceti; a chambered cairn or burial tomb also known as Arthur’s Stone.  Maen Ceti or the ‘Great Stone of Sketty’ is one of the most well known dolmens in Wales.

The stone weighs between 25-30 tons. This capstone measures about 4 metres in length, over 2 metres tall and 2 metres in width.

It stands on a northward facing slope just below the crest of the northern end of the ridge-backed hill of Cefn Bryn stretching east from the Iron Age hillfort at Cilifor Top, north across Llanrhidian Sands and west to the mouth of the River Loughor or Afon Llwchwr where it flows into Carmarthen Bay.

To the north is the Loughor Estuary which separates Gower from Llanelli and Burry Port.
The hills skyline above the estuary are composed of rocks from the Upper Carboniferous, and mostly covered in green ferns and mountain grasses.

The hills are of the common land its where the animals roam and graze freely and it’s where the ground is hilly and fertile. This belt of rich farmland meets the north coast at a prominent, rounded hill with Iron Age fortifications around its summit.

Arthur’s Stone or Maen Ceti can be found on Cefn Bryn in the Gower Peninsula. This massive stone weighs over 25 tons and marks the site of two Neolithic burial chambers, dating from around 6000 years ago. The stone is one of Gower’s best known landmarks and has long been the subject of wonder.

Standing above the Estuary on Cefn Bryn, I feel the presence of this gigantic stone and wonder about the ancients who placed it here so many  thousands of years ago

For a long time, I believed that Arthur’s Stone is a feat of engineering similar to Stonehenge, where Neolithic people used very basic equipment to move the heavy stones into position and some were carried by glaciers during the last Ice Age.

Below the alter stones, you can see the pillar stones standing to create the burial chambers below and the smaller upright stones are there as support.

Arthur’s Stone measures 4 x 2 x 2 metres, but it was once much larger than this. A big piece of it, weighing 10 tons, broke off sometime around 1690 and can still be seen lying next to Arthur’s Stone today.

 The site of Arthur’s Stone was one of the first places to be protected under the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882.

This is my favourite place in the Gower.

References:

Barber, Chris., Mysterious Wales, Paladin Books, London W1X, 1987.

Hawkes, Jacquetta., A Guide To The Prehistoric And Roman Monuments In England And Wales, Cardinal, London, 1975.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cefn_Bryn

*The Gower Society, A Guide To Gower, The Publication Committee of The Gower Soc., (orig. prepared 1965. Edt. 1989).

Applesauce Recipe ~ Wynberg House

There is a collection of apples trees in Singleton park in Sketty. They fall freely from the trees; sweet, juicy and ripened. Organic and ready for collecting. Max and I go and collect them everyday.

Organic Apples vary in their sweetness level, depending on the variety and how late in the season they are found. This recipe is just a guideline and the amount of sugar can be adjusted to your taste.

You can use less sugar than this recipe suggest, and by adding squeezed lemon juice brightens the flavor of the apples and balances the sweetness.

Try using ground cinnamon when you can cook the apples or with a stick of cinnamon, just remove it before puréeing.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 to 4 lbs of apples (about 7 to 10 apples, depending on the size), peeled, cored, and quartered.
  • 2 squeezes of lemon about 3 Tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Up to 1/2 – 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Method
  • Prep the apples; Rinse the apples with cool water. Peel all the apples using a sharp vegetable peeler or paring knife and cut away the outer peel. Then quarter the apples and use a paring knife to cut out the tough core parts from the quarters.

    Boil peeled, cored, quartered apples with lemon, cinnamon, sugar, salt in 1 cup water: Place the peeled, cored, and quartered apples into a large pot. Add the lemon juice or vinegar, cinnamon, sugar, water and salt. (You might want to start with half the sugar at this point and add more to taste later.)

    Bring to a boil on high heat, then lower the temperature, cover the pot, and maintain a low simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the apples are completely tender and cooked through.

    Once the apples are cooked through, remove the pot from the heat.

    For a smoother applesauce you can either use a blender or the cooked the apples 10 – 12 more minutes.

    If the applesauce is too thick, add more water to thin it out and cook a bit longer and stir.

    If not sweet enough, add more sugar to taste. If too sweet, add more lemon juice.

    This applesauce is delicious. I serve it with breakfast as a fruit starter. It is delicious either hot or chilled. It pairs well with pork chops for savory dishes, it’s terrific with cottage cheese as a snack or light lunch, and it’s great with vanilla ice cream or yogurt.

    Freezes well and will last at least a year in a cold freezer. If you freeze it, make sure to allow enough headroom in your jar for expansion. At least an inch.

    If you want to can your applesauce in jars; just spoon in the sauce, add the lids, then place the jars in an water bath on high heat for 10 minutes and tighten the lids and the jars will seal. Refrigerate after opening.

    Places in Sketty- Singleton Park

    Parc Singleton Sgeti (Welsh)

    Near Wynberg House in Sketty Swansea is Vivian Road and Sketty Green.

    The village of Sketty is centred on Sketty Cross which are the junction roads to Gower Road, Vivian Road, De-la-Beche and Dillwyn Road is the amazing historic Singleton Park.

    When you enter Singleton Park from Gower Road in Sketty; there to the north is a walk that leads down a shallow green valley, it’s open to beautiful flanked trees belted by wide open rolling hills of green spaces.

    Those along the east are ancient lime, horse chestnut, sweet chestnut and pine trees. To the west of the walk is the Gorsedd Circle of stones.

    The stones are known as the Gorsedd Stone Circle. It was erected in Singleton Park, Swansea in 1925 for the National Eisteddfod of Wales’ Proclamation Ceremony.

    To the south of the Gorsedd Circle, set in the bank below the east side of the old kitchens and gardens that once served the Vivian Copper Barons of Swansea. Just below is a semi-sunk, water wheel in a stone pit that brought the water up to the house.

    There are orchards of trees on the bank; mainly horse chestnuts, sweet chestnuts and conifers. Their fruits have fallen, some still green into the shade labored underneath its branches.

    A small stream bed, with some rocks, runs southwards to a damp area made into a bog garden. A gravel path winds along the slope.

    Near the south side of the botanical garden are the footings of a stone wall, probably the remains of the south wall of the original Veranda garden.

    A flight of concrete steps in the middle leads down to a path flanked by fastigiate yews and a gravel terrace with seats. On the south boundary is a fence and hedge.

    All this was part of the Veranda House was first built in 1799-1800 on land which had been part of Gwerniddiff Farm, on the site of the farmhouse.

    The Singleton Estate as it had now become had amalgamated some 12 farms to amass 250 acres. By 1851 the Walled Garden had become the kitchen and flower garden that once served the needs of the Vivian family.

    The property where the Botanical Garden is now of 44 acres includes the garden grounds, and former Vivian plantation. The seeds that were planted have sown, taken root in soil lined essays and poetry of the earth; Tended to with great care.

    In 1847 John Henry Vivian purchased Veranda House for his son Henry Hussey Vivian and his wife Jessie. Within a year Jessie had died after giving birth to their son.

    Henry was distraught and resolved not to live in the house and by 1853 only the estate lodge remained, the principal part of Veranda having been dismantled. St Paul’s Church Sketty, was built as a memorial to Jessie.

    The approach is the main and service drives from the north, a branch from the main drive leading to a small, rectangular walled garden to the west.

    There are grounds to the north of the house that remain today and a narrow garden area, bounded by a wall, to the south. To the south of there was a rectangular orchard.

  • The old Veranda garden wall was retained, but a bigger area of c. 5 acres was enclosed to its north by a high; a curving wall, most of which remains today with a round tower.
  • The inner (Veranda) walled garden survived until at least 1914. It was situated on the area now occupied by the gardeners of the botanical garden. Its north wall is incorporated into the walled garden.

    The footings of the garden’s south wall have been found in a flowerbed in the botanical garden.

    The modern Swansea botanical garden has been developed on the part where the old Veranda House and Singleton Farm is now thanks to the Vivian Family.

    Singleton park was originally part of the Vivian family Estate, which was purchased by Swansea County Borough Council in 1919 for use as a public park.

    This is where I walk almost everyday. It is so beautiful I had to find out how it all became this and wanted to share the wonders of this place.

    The brilliant legacy of Singleton will never fade. A fragile memory still lingers here in the colors of the trees and in the People who once call it home.

    References;

    http://orapweb.rcahms.gov.uk/coflein//C/CPG252.pdf

    http://www.coflein.gov.uk/en/site/19964/details/singleton-farm

    For the Love of Julien

    On his birthday.

    Elephant

    While in Sri Lanka, we hunted and collected a few treasured from Galle and Kandy. While in Sri Lanka; we found some rare old Antique Petrus Regout Royal Sphinx Tea Cups, some old British empire spoons, climbed Sigiriya Rock and rode an Asian elephant.

    The bowl looks like a small tea bowl or waste bowl; called spongeware. It has crescent moon and star inside. This particular piece of Spongeware was made for the Middle East, a tea bowl made from c.1883 to 1900.

    It seems British and Dutch Empires were expansive with many diverse cultures serving in these Empire expeditions including the many religions who were Islam, Buddhist and Christian. As a result many types of pottery were made to serve these cultures during the colonisation of these empires.

    Galle is a city on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. It is known for Galle Fort, the fortified old city founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century. Stone sea walls, expanded by the Dutch, with architecture reflecting Portuguese, Dutch and British rule.

    Ceylon was the country’s name then, known now as Sri Lanka. A British Crown colony between 1802 and 1948; a Buddhist nation but with a growing population of the Islamic people. The British ruled on the island and it lasted until 1948 when Ceylon gained it’s independence.

    This old cup, considering the distance it has traveled and the age it is; it is amazingly in good condition and it remarkable it has survived. This bowl has fork marks. There is a small chip on the rim; but no cracks. There is crazing.

    Most of the painting is still brilliant and on the outside and clear with the red crescent moon and star on white background inside. Glaze is good.
    The Royal Sphinx stamp mark is clear on the base; Petrus Regout & Co. Maastricht Made In Holland.


    Petrus Regout, in Maastricht, Holland. In 1836 Regout built a modern steam-powered pottery and was soon able to make ceramics that could compete with the best English products.
    From 1880, his exports took off worldwide. From order books and correspondence with agents and buyers in the firm’s extensive archives, Petrus Regout sold these wares in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, Iran, British India and Indonesia.

    More photos at:

    https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F263425059723

    What Is Spongeware?

    Traditionally spongeware was created on earthenware, which is defined as “some of the earliest clays used by potters, which is highly plastic, easily worked and containing iron and other mineral impurities.” Earthenware is usually fired at a lower temperature than stoneware, roughly 1745°F and 2012°F (950°C and 1100°C).

    The earthenware provided a great base for the decorative spongeware to adhere to. Spongeware pieces are typically very functional, often things like mugs, bowls, vases and pitchers for use in the kitchen. For this reason, many pieces were made in molds. Once the piece was ready, a glaze was then applied to the surface piece in sporadic or in a deliberate fashion, dependent on what look the potter was going for.

    Merry Vintage Christmas

    With a few ideas about get to started on how to begin celebrating the season; here it is. It is all about gathering family and friends, staying at home and sharing the best Christmas yet!

    I will be featuring a few of my favourite table collections (which I think you’ll love too) that encourages you to create a relaxed food sharing experience this party season.

    Under the Christmas tree, place thoughtful gifts for loved ones to open on Christmas morning – from popular and meaningful Vintage collectibles for gifting like a piece of Bone China, a Victorian tea sets and lots of blue and white and coffee mugs. Place candy and sweets in a cup, a candle, Ceylon Tea, or even a gift card.

    It adds to the classic gift. Use a vintage; mix and match. You never know when someone’s vintage might be the gift that makes a difference in someone’s Christmas this year!

    Pictured Above

    One of a kind Vintage tea set by Baker Bros Meir bone China. A Victorian Floral Gilded 10 piece Tea Cup trio’s with extra Tea Side Plates. Made in England from the 1920’s. Back stamped.

    http://stores.ebay.co.uk/littlebitoftexasinswansea/