Friday, 2 October 2015

TOUR OF LLANELLY HOUSE

A BIRTHDAY TREAT



We had a lovely day out including a tour of  Llanelly House, part of my birthday treat from Chris and Sarah.

They have just completed a 10 year, £6m restoration, and it is an outstanding  1714 Georgian Town House.  It was the most interesting and amusing tour we have ever been on.  As we were taken round this huge house, dressing table mirrors, framed pictures, and even a complete wall about 27 feet long, came to life, with characters such as Sir Thomas and Lady Stepney, talking to us directly about the ‘goings on’ in the house at the time, all dressed in the costumes of their day.  On the huge wall, which included many picture windows, (which seemed to disappear) we were shown the history of the house and surrounding land with animation and drawings, which was superb.

In Lady Stepney’s bedroom, the dressing table  mirror was the next thing to come to life, suddenly turning into a TV screen, with Lady Stepney showing us how she made up, with that awful white powder with lead in it, and with those little false black spots that were stuck on as beauty spots to cover up any blemishes on the face.  She was saying how vulgar it was to have a tanned skin, whilst looking round the room with disdain at all of us!

We were also taken up some extremely steep stairs to the servants quarters, so steep in fact, that I had to come down again in the lift as I know I would have lost my balance on the stairs!  This was quite a small room, considering it housed five servant girls.  One young servant girl, who was made pregnant by the son of the Lord of the house, had to swear that it was the head butler who was the father.  She then committed suicide by taking a large quantity of laudanum (an alcoholic solution containing morphine, prepared from opium and formerly used as a narcotic painkiller).  In her bedroom was a long standing mirror, which again turned into a screen, and we were involved in the court case that went on after her death, with our tour guide asking them questions, and they in turn, answering our tour guide! These people were life sized.  It is now thought that she was in fact forced to take the Laudenum, and a suicide note (which it is believed was false) saying that the head butler was the father of her child. The signature on the letter, and the hand writing were not those of a servant girl with no education.

At the end of the tour, we had two portraits talking to us.  One was Lord Stepney, and the other Lord Cowell.  It was written in the will that only legitimate sons may inherit the house, and Lord Stepney, who was a kind and forward thinking man was set to inherit it.  However, the next in line, if there was no legitimate son, was Lord Cowell, and he went to court stating that as Lord Stepney’s parents were married in France, which was not recognised in England, then that made Lord Stepney  illegitimate.  He unfortunately won the case, and the house went to him, my namesake!

There was lots more information, which didn’t quite sink in, but it was certainly a very interesting and unusual tour, and I recommend anyone in the area of Llanelli to visit the house and take the tour.


They have a lovely little restaurant there, and our day was finished up with a very nice meal, including a sweet, and of course a latte!

Unfortunately, although armed with our camera and camcorder, as usual we were not allowed to use them, so have no pictures to show you. I did, however, manage to take this picture of Lady Stepney’s bedroom, with the talking dressing table mirror from the brochure!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

MY BIRTHDAY

Today is my 73rd birthday.  I can't believe I am talking about me.  The years have gone so fast!


The day started beautifully, with a black coffee in bed at seven, and lots of lovely birthday cards. One of the cards held a Boots voucher from my son-in-law Gary, and a very pretty parcel contained a beautiful Willow Tree ornament to add to my collection  titled 'Me and Grandmother' from our lovely granddaughter Emily, who never forgets my  special days :0) The majority of my little collection is from Emily.  Todays present is the one in the centre.


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After the excitement of the morning, we were off to spend some time with my son Chris, daughter in law Sarah and our three cheeky grandsons.  We went to The Three Cliffs coffee shop  in Penard on The Gower coast and were treated to a huge scone with jam and cream, and a giant latte!
Afterwards we went for a little walk along the cliff tops.  It is a glorious day, and Wales is so beautiful along this coast.  These are some of the photo's taken on the walk. Just click on each photo to enlarge it. The video is a bit dark as I was filming into the sun.










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We had a really lovely couple of hours, and on Wednesday we are being treated to a day out with tours in an historic house, and a nice slap up lunch, all from Chris and Sarah.

I had to add this video taken last week.  This was probably the last long walk Pickles, our dog will have with the boys.  She is now thirteen, and has very bad arthritis in her hips.  Although she enjoyed it, she could hardly walk by the time she got home, so, on vets orders, only short little walks from now on, which is very sad.  She can't understand why, when the boys are getting their walking shoes on, and getting ready to go out, she can no longer go with them :0(  Now about the video.  Joe, the one in the check shorts, is always getting into some sort of mess, falling into streams, getting covered from head to toe in mud,  or coming home from a walk with his wellie boots full of water!  On this occasion he was seriously sizing up if he could get across the river by balancing on an old tree branch!


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I hope to have some more video and photo's of our day out on Wednesday.