Monday morning –
& time for the weekly Welsh lesson; the last one for 2007! Thus it was quite festive; with Mike the sculptor having brought in mince pies, & tutor Albie offering chocolates all round. We did some extracurricular work, as well: with fun stuff about Christmas & New Year (including how to say someone’s legless, in Welsh – roll on New Year!).
Aftr the lesson I was in an uncharacteristic hurry to get away; as this afternoon we had to deliver our goatskins to Hereford if they are to be tanned in time for Christmas. Tony had also been out this morning; although for the less pleasant prospect of updating the vaccinations he requires for his job as an airline pilot. Unfortunately today’s quota included a meningitis booster, for which he will doubtless suffer, tomorrow.
We packed the skins into the car & having checked that the remaining menagerie were all comfortable & well-fed we set out on the three-hour drive to Hereford, on a beautifully sunny & tranquil afternoon. Our route took us across the Brecon Beacons & we enjoyed the stunning scenery, winding our way through river valleys & up over the mountains, a real feast for the eyes at any time of the year.
On arrival at Nicki Port’s superb organic tannery we offloaded the skins where they were assessed & tagged, & chatted to Nicki about her enterprise & how she came to be there (a fascinating story in itself). In fact we have a common interest – the British Toggenburg goat: she started smallholding with the breed & it was having to cull her excess male kids, & wanting to use the skins, that started her in tanning. Subsequently she was particularly delighted to have our skins to work on; as they were effectively taking her back to her ‘roots’.
After departing we decided to make a brief diversion into Brecon, to visit the highly-recommended Llanfaes Dairy Ice Cream Parlour, famous throughout Wales. We paused for coffee & ice cream & admired not only the stunning premises but also the superb way in which their ice cream – from the napoli pans, to the tubs, to the cakes, are presented: truly professional & again, a real feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds.
Another brief diversion took us on an excursion to a local DIY store to buy wood & perspex so we can construct an emergency replacement for the Long Barn window which blew out in the gales, the other day; & then it was time to wend our way homewards again, arriving back at the Ffarm at around 7pm – just in time to catch ‘The Archers’ with a quick cuppa before going out to finish the chores & bed the animals down for the night. So, another busy day – but we’re really looking forward to seeing the skins once they’re finished – & they’ll certainly be well-travelled goats by the time they return!