Saturday in Ceredigion

A Saturday and what should I do.  It was dry so I should have gone into the garden and done some weeding.  However, I decided to go out and enjoy myself.

Off I went, north to Aberystwyth ans safely parked in the long stay car park near the railway station and paid £3 for the day.  I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be.  Then walked into town and to the Ceredigion Museum, housed in the extraordinary Coliseum.  A wonderful Edwardian Theatre which is now the county museum.  It is absolutely overflowing with items from the iron age to the present day. Pieces of pottery, coins, bones, clothes, toys, hats, sports gear, furniture… etc. There is such a huge list of items from 2000 years of everyday Ceredigion life! 

As well as going to the museum to look at the collections on display, I also went to look at the “Inside Welsh Homes” the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales travelling exhibition.  It was mostly made up of photos of the interiors of mostly, ordinary Welsh homes.  Some interesting ones of big inglenooks, but also some 1950s photos of kitchens.  Even a relatively modern one of a kitchen inside  a prefab.  There was also some artefacts on display.  A whole cabinet showing light – holders ie candlesticks to electric lamps.  Very interesting.  Also, a cabinet showing different styles of phones, all the way to an Amstrad Text phone.  It’s good a exhibition, but I wished there had been more photographs.  There is a promise of a book “Inside Welsh Homes” showing around 200 photos, but I can’t find it on sale yet.

After I finished at the museum, I decided not to stay in Aberystwyth as I had heard about a Herb Fair.

I went south to the National Trust property at Llanerchaeron where they were holding an Herb Fair. There is always such a lovely, calm atmosphere at Llanerchaeron.  There were stalls selling herbs in the court yards around the farm, including Gwynfor Growers who I bought apple trees from last December.  This time I bought a rosemary plant from them – a little smaller and a lot easier to plant.  I spent some time walking around the walled garden, completely jealous of its order and tidiness and productivity.   There were lots of herbs and vegetables plus many flowers and fruit trees and bushes.  I didn’t ask if they were having trouble with slugs which I know are bothering other vegetable gardens in this particularly wet June.  But all the plants looked fantastic, maybe being a walled garden the wet is not such a problem as the walls create a micro-climate.

Also present were Hazel and Carys from Culturenet Cymru, they’d given a talk earlier in the day and were now interviewing people for uploading onto the People’s Collection.  The Culturenet Cymru project has been fantastic but sadly is coming to an end but has managed to record people’s memories and photos whilst teaching these very people about the technology to record this data. So many people now throughout Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire can, for example, scan their own photos and upload them to a website.

I also had a chat with Jade Mellor who is a “professional forager and purveyor of wild food”.  She had various foods for sale but I was particularly interested in tasting the nettle and mushroom with chedder cheese wraps, gently cooked over a charcoal burner.  It was delicious.  Maybe  we’ll ask her do a foraging walk around Llandysul next year.

I also met up with Penny David who will be giving a talk “A dip into garden history” on Wednesday evening at the Llandysul Local History Society.

I finished the afternoon at a talk with Kate Butler about medicinal herbs. She has a practrice in Lampeter  This was a very interesting and down to earth talk, with realistic expectations about using medicinal herbs with diet and nutrition. 

It was a very enjoyable afternoon and I had the opportunity to learn and eat and be with some very good and interesting people. 

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