• Claire@Thistledown

This months blog was meant to be all about spring and introducing our 2 new lambs, Seren all Eira, but the world has had other ideas and all anyone can think about right now is Covid-19. No one can escape it, it effects us all and life is unrecognisable to how it was even a month ago.

For us here at Thistledown Glamping life has definitely changed. The 3 adults that live in our house are all classed as high risk so we have been self-isolating and we are now into week 3 of that, and for our 2 young children there is no school or Cylch and they will celebrate their third and fifth birthdays in isolation. And our business is closed.

The isolation part isn't too bad, we are so very lucky too have lots of land for the children to play in which helps pass the time, and they are young enough to think it's all a big adventure. Plus we can shield them from the realities of this awful time. We have wonderful friends who keep the shopping coming for us and we will be eternally grateful for that. For us, we are scared, mostly for our health, and we will stay in our little bubble for as long as we need to and are able to in order to protect ourselves and others. But we are also scared for our business. We are not able to welcome any guests now or for the forseeable future. It's heartbreaking.

Like many people who are self employed we have worked incredibly hard to get our business where it is today so to close our gates indefinitely is so very hard. We face very uncertain times. The financial side is a huge worry, our income has stopped over night and we now have nothing coming in until we can welcome guests again. We had many guests booked in over the coming weeks and months, the messages and phone calls we have received from many of them has been such a boost during these very difficult and stressful times. When all this is over we will welcome each and every one with open arms.

There is no denying the tough times are not going to be over for quite some time, but we will come out of this the other side, although I suspect life will never be the same again.

It's very easy to feel anxieties and fears rise with social media posts and News reports but lets all try and find the positives in every day. Being able to pick up the phone to speak to a loved one, the sun shining, birds singing, or the flowers that are starting to bloom. And lets not forget the people who are keeping our country going right now, our amazing NHS workers, carers, supermarket staff, couriers, posties, farmers and local small-businesses who are ever evolving to help communities as the situation changes daily.

Stay safe everyone, we really can't wait to see you all again.

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  • Claire@Thistledown

There is no getting away from the fact that the weather isn't great at the moment, but that doesn't mean you can't get out and enjoy yourselves! A saying we hear a lot in Wales is that there is no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes! So get your wellies on, wrap up warm and see what this part of Wales has to offer even on a dreary day........

The most obvious place to explore are any one of the beautiful beaches near by. Keeping a safe distance if the tide is high or the sea is very rough there are several places you can picnic in your car and watch the waves crashing on the rocks. Cwmtydu is one of our favourites, there is something mesmerising about hearing the crashing waves echoing around the rocks. If the tide is out and the weather calm, rock pooling can be so much fun, seeing who can spot the most crabs is a serious game!

A favourite rainy day activity among our friends is The Escape Game in Carmarthen. Your team have to solve a series of puzzles to escape the room within the time limit. Challenge yourself in any one of the different themed rooms. A great rainy day activity for everyone.

One for the grown ups is 'In The Welsh Wind' A local gin distillery where you can make your very own gin to take home. Combine this with a trip into Cardigan for a delicious lunch at Crwst and you have yourself a perfect rainy day plan!

A little hidden gem for the whole family is the National Wool Museum in Drefach Felindre. They often have activities on for children and it's a great place to pass a couple of hours and to enjoy a cup of tea or a light lunch. Another of our 'go to' places to take our little ones is Teifi Valley Railway - a trip on the magical Pixie line will keep them entertained.

Before you head back to your cosy shepherd hut at the end of the day be sure to go to Caws Cenarth near Boncath and get some of the local cheeses. So many to choose from and try, they really are amazing! Pick up some wine & crackers too and you have yourselves the makings of a perfect evening sitting round the fire pit with the hot tub heating up!

Happy Glamping everyone!

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  • Claire@Thistledown

It's February - at last. January just seems to go on forever doesn't it? Was it really Christmas such a short time ago?

Even thought the weather is dreary we have been busy painting, planting, cleaning & creating new additions for the huts and Fern Cottage. We love introducing new things around our site, those of you that are regular guests will hopefully spot the changes, however small.

Here is a round up of what we have been up too.....

Fern Cottage, as you may know has a new garden, it's still looking rather bare in places but we've done lots of planting and already we are seeing signs of that. If you are going to be staying in Fern Cottage soon we hope you will see past the banks that are yet to come into bloom and see the lovely borders where daffodils, tulips and many other flowers, herbs and plants are starting to emerge. In time this great space will have a couple of different seating areas, one for dining and one for relaxing, and also a fire pit, perfect for cooler evenings.

Also in Fern Cottage we have been brightening up the bathroom. It is now home to another of Tim's creations - a quirky mirror! Made from a reclaimed mirror and pallet wood it's painted to match the new colour scheme and art work in here.

Elsewhere at Thistledown Glamping yet another of Tim's creations can now be found in each of the hut bathrooms. We felt some hanging space was needed, but nothing is boring here. Made from copper piping and various other reclaimed materials we now have a very useful area for guests to hang their clothes. As well as a quirky little feature that is as practical as it is silly, but that is for guests to discover when they stay!

Amongst all this we had a Polytunnel saga! Keen to start growing our own fruit and veg we thought this would be a good idea. On one of the many days in January we set to work, rather pleased with our achievement at the end of the day.

Overnight a nasty storm decided to take down our polytunnel, ripping the cover and twisting many poles. After contacting the company that supplied it - MHSTAR - in the hope of buying replacement parts, they very kindly insisted on sending us out the parts we needed at no cost! So Polytunnel #2 is now in place and we are soon to be embracing The Good Life!

So many other little jobs are being done behind the scenes, clearing the pond (carefully!), tidying the field, new solar lighting, refreshing paint, new blinds, and even a new door!

Perhaps the biggest thing in the pipeline is planning our third Shepherd Hut that all being well will be Tim's next big project for Autumn 2020. But that's a whole other blog..........

Happy February everyone!

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