Monday 26 September 2016

By the mountains and the big big sea...

We wanted to go on holiday...somewhere new that neither of us had been to before.

We wanted golden sands and mountain in the distance.

We wanted sparkling waves to swim in.

We wanted nature to soak in.

And we wanted to get on one of those chuggy turquoise trains that we had seen in New Street station bound for Wales.

Dean googled something like 'mountains, sea, wales, holiday,' lol and discovered Barmouth.

What a little gem of a place. It's on the coast in the Snowdonia National Park. It has huge sandy beach with grassy dunes overlooked by Cadair Idris and the Rhinog mountains.

It's on a beautiful estuary and has the quaintest wooden bridge a mile long which crosses it.

 And that little chuggy train we fancied would be going all the way there.

We found the cutest place to stay, just up the coast in a place called Llanaber. A tiny shepherds hut made for two. Two spoons, two mugs, two plates, two chairs...

Somehow, despite being teeny tiny Llwyndu Farm Hut has a huge bed, a beautiful little wooden kitchen with a hob and a belfast sink, table and chairs and a shower and toilet. 

But the best thing was the view right out across the bay.

We were treated to picture book sunsets

which turned our faces golden,

to pink skies

that lit up the hills on the Llyn Peninsular,

 to the full moon setting over the bay in the early morning AND one morning whilst sitting in bed having a cuppa we saw two dolphins swimming across the bay. Pure magic.

We hired bikes and cycled the Mawddach trail.

Miles and miles of estuary and misty hills.

We loved cycling over the bridge to get there.

We took the Ffestiniog steam train and thought of Ivor The Engine.

'Give us a little toot of your whistle Ivor!'

It had beautiful old wooden carriages and it sounded so wonderful as it filled the valley with it's clickety clacking.

There she goes...

We walked in the woods.

We said hello to Welsh snails.

We climbed big hills

and took in vast views.

And we just hung out by the bay watching the comings and goings.

It was kind of hard to access the beach near the Farm Hut because of the railway track so we often had it all to ourselves.

I had some moments with that big old setting sun.

I can still feel the warmth of it on my face and feel the freshness of that sea air deep in my lungs. 

We had so much fun together in this magical place. I think we found somewhere we will visit again and again.

Radiance is open again!

It was a good feeling when we hung the OPEN sign on the door again...

and an even better feeling to see Ffion so happy behind her new shop counter. Radiance personified!

 Our opening day was buzzing and we had such a warm welcome back to Market Street. 

There were cards (mostly for Ffion and a little bit for me lol),


cardamon buns baked by this beauty

and general frivolity!

 Radiance looks really good in it's new incarnation. My stuff has it's own wall!

Two walls actually. You can see my fabrics and all my wallpapers

 and a good selection of lamps

including personalised ones.

My limited edition lamps have found their own spot too.  

It's was great to see the new products that Ffion has chosen selling well like these beautiful LED  bulbs from Tala

and the bright origami shades that just keep selling out!

Ffion is a self confessed stationary nerd so you will find beautiful notebooks and wrap too

and the sweetest cards.

And all the old favourites are back like Sarah Lock

Two of Two Goods,

Kate Lycett, Lush Designs (thanks John and Abha for smiley faces)

and loads more besides.

We even managed to get some Wendy Jung tealights too :)

It's been a long old slog since the floods but things are definitely brighter, shinier and more radiant than they have ever been before...all over Hebden Bridge, not just in our shop. Everyone is praying that we stay dry now for many years to come and that we all have a bumper Christmas to catch up again.

We will be donating 5% of all Hannah Nunn lamp sales at Radiance to the Watermark Fund. You can read all about this wonderful scheme to build up financial reserves for the valley here.

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