Thursday, 1 March 2018

Bags galore

During the winter when the bed and breakfast is quieter I can indulge in my various hobbies. Painting, sewing, knitting, crochet and of course cooking. In fact anything creative. Last year I also started to have piano lessons. Les surprised me with a lesson for a present and arranged with a friend to teach me. Sadly I didn’t get around to playing much during the summer as we were too busy so by the end of last year I had forgotten most of what I had been taught. However I have spent the time during the past few months practising and are just about to start lessons again I hope. So by next Christmas I might be able to play a few carols.


I have also been doing a lot of crochet, making squares for another blanket ( I made one last year) as they are easy and quick to make ( the squares not the blanket).  When I got a bit tired of the squares, I have done 175 and I need about 250,  I decided to make some more bags to sell to guests. I have just sewn in a lining and they are now available.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Ghostly goings in at Celyn Villa


Halloween seems to be the most appropriate time to talk about the  ghostly goings on at Celyn Villa. Several years ago we had a lovely couple of guests stay with us. We got talking after breakfast and they told us they were mediums! Being somewhat sceptical of course I asked if we had any ghosts here! Apparently we have two ! 

On further discussion we found out that there is an elderly gentleman who's sits in a chair by the fire place in the hall. Apparently he is very friendly and is happy just sitting getting warm by the fire. The other ghost is a young child who skips around the kitchen and is particularly happy when I'm cooking.  

It reminded us of when our daughter was a small child and one day she asked me ' who is that man in the hall mum' I asked her what she meant and she said there was an old man in a rocking chair by the fire and he had a big hat on! At the time we just put it down to a dream or a child's imagination but after our discussions with the mediums we did start to wonder. 

Luckily we have never felt either of these 'ghosts ' ourselves but I sometimes say hello to them, just in case. The other good thing is that neither of the ghosts are in the guests bedrooms so anyone thinking of staying don't need to worry. Soooky or what ! Happy Halloween everyone 🎃

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Blowing our own trumpet!

We are, as you may know reserved, self effacing and modest. Well most Brits are apparently. But on this occasion Les and I are going to do a bit of bragging. We have received a award from the online travel agent Based on all the reviews we received last year we have achieved  9.5 customer satisfaction. Which out of 10 is pretty good we think. So please excuse our bragging on this occasion., and thank you if you were one of the lovely people who left us a reviews. 

Thursday, 19 January 2017

What Christmas ?

The presents were all brought early, the house was decorated, most of the cooking was done and there was only the last minute fresh shopping to buy, and there was still a week to go. !

That's where on reflection I went wrong. Never should you have time to relax before an important event. The stress levels need to be at maximum until at least the day before, otherwise disaster strikes, normally in the form of illness. As soon as you relax those germs can take hold and you are struck down.

On Sunday 18th December Les took to his bed, I managed to last another day. We stayed there through Christmas and New Year. Flu followed by bronchitis!  Christmas was cancelled and we felt like s.....!  However our darling daughter came with the children and cooked the lunch on Christmas day and looked after us. The grandchildren enjoyed themselves and Father Christmas still came. It was always going to be a difficult Christmas anyway as it would be the first one without my lovely mum, who we lost last year.

It's now the 19th January and we have started welcoming B & B  guests again. Les and I are fighting fit again, I have a cupboard full of goodies that didn't get eaten, booze that didn't get drunk and crackers that didn't get pulled.  But even though it wasn't the Christmas we were planning I don't mind. Oh don't get me wrong, for much of the time I was upset,  but now I feel great. When you have had a period of illness you soon realise how lucky you are, feeling well is fantastic!   There is nothing like waking up in the morning and looking forward to the day ahead, taking your first trip outside into the fresh air and seeing all the wonderful countryside around you.  Life is good again. However I am never going to relax again,  ever.!!

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Autumn thoughts

Suddenly there is a chill in the air and am thinking I need to put the winter duvet covers on the beds. I have left it so late this year as the weather has been so mild. We are now in the beginning of November and we have had the first frost of the year. But it has been the most fantastic Autumn with the best colours I think I have ever seen.  Apparently, it’s been the lack of rain that has caused this unusual phenomenon, no doubt that will soon change with blustery days and rain but we will make the most of the weather while we can.

It has been a busy few months for us. The arrival of our second granddaughter Daisy at the beginning of September caught us a bit on the hop, as she came two weeks early.  She was a tiny 5lbs and half an ounce (very important that half an ounce) but she is doing very well and is of course equally as gorgeous as our other granddaughter Florence, who is now a very inquisitive two-year-old, who brings joy and laughter to Les and I.   Grandchildren are such a blessing.  

Business has also been buoyant probably due to the lovely weather and we are now embarking on our usual stretch of maintenance and decorating. Most rooms always need a bit of a freshening up after a busy season so it will be out with the paint brush over the next few weeks.  We normally close one room at a time so that we can still stay open, so if you are reading this and thinking of a late break just give us a ring and we can see what we have available. 

Next stop Christmas.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

A square that became a blanket

Crochet was always something I could do! My paternal grandmother was a wonderful and creative craftswoman, making exquisite lace with a crochet hook and fine cotton, which she used to edge her white linen tablecloths. She also embroidered beautifully and knitted many of my childhood 'woollies' .  So it was just a matter of course that she would teach us what she knew, and she did. So as I said crocheting was something that I could do and although I visited it in the 1970's during my 'hippy' period to make shawls and bags etc. it is only in the last few years, since the birth of my first grandchild, that I have started in earnest again with hook and wool.

I started with a plain while shawl for the new baby and subsequently have made a few more as presents. Then I decided to explore more colourful items and, with all the odd bits of wool I have managed to gather, started making granny squares.

I didn't really know when to stop so kept going and after several months of making 2 or 3 in an evening I had enough to make a blanket. I must say I am really pleased with it and it is wonderfully warm and cosy. I have put it on our bed and with the summer we are currently 'enjoying' it is a necessary addition on top of the summer duvet that I confidentially put on all the beds back in June.

So now I am embarking on a bigger project and that is to make covers for all the beds in the B&B.  I really must be mad!!!

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

30 years today

Thirty years ago today, 1st March Les and I moved to Celyn Villa.  It seems incredible that so much time has gone by so quickly.

It had been Les's long held dream to move to Wales as his  father was from North Wales and he had spent most of his holidays here, hw loved the beautiful countryside and slower pace of life.  Luckily he was able to get a transfer with his engineering job and like any newly married love struck wife I followed : not realising that I was coming to a different world. 

Back then we were living in the 'south of England 'Les being brought up in Kent and me in Sussex and Surrey.  We had both travelled extensively and worked in busy jobs, Les battling the M25 and me in the busy world of advertising and recruitment.   

So moving to a small village in North Wales was indeed a leap of faith.  We brought Celyn Villa, then a old three bed cottage in need of refurbishment and moved in. It was snowing, cold and there was no heating on when we finally arrive after our 250 mile journey. I also remember that there wasn't a light bulb in the place! 

After unloading the lorry (friends had helped us to move) we made up the beds and headed out to find something to eat. We went to the Stamford Gate Hotel, which in those days had a silver service restaurant and and we had Steak Diane and Crepe Suzette - how things have changed. 

Back then, there wasn't a decent pub for miles, no supermarket or A55.  I can remember Les coming home from work and tell me that he had found 'Sainsbury's' near Chester.' Luckily things have changed since then,  but what it did have was the wonderful countryside, seaside, hills and mountains that we love.
Over  the last thirty years we have extended and improved the house beyond recognition.  I worked in Chester for 16 years we had our daughter and are now grandparents.   

But I think Les and I both agree that apart from the big family life changing events, we have both been our happiest since we started the bed and breakfast 14 years ago.
The combination of being able to work from your own home, with each other, and meeting wonderful people from all over the world is one that we didn't even dream about  when moving here 30 years ago.  

I don't envisage for a moment that we will be here for another 30 years but hopefully long enough to keep enjoying this lovely part of Wales, and welcoming guests to our home.