Our last full day at The Boathouse dawned bright and sunny, so I didn’t take long to get out of bed! Every morning the lone swan has come over to greet us and this morning was no exception - in fact, I heard it before I even saw it because at 6.45 when it wasn’t even properly light, it flew in from the other end of Lake Ysceifiog. I was up on the balcony and captured the beautiful light and the swan - see the first extra.

We decided after breakfast that we would go to Denbigh as we knew there was a castle there. It was a lovely drive with the sun shining on the beautiful autumn colours of the trees, so we just dawdled along. Once we had parked, we found a coffee shop, of course, which was obviously the local meeting place for ladies of a certain age, and all of them were speaking to each other in Welsh - I told you it was like being abroad!

Walking down the High Street, we saw a statue of Sir Henry Morton Stanley, a Welsh journalist and explorer who was born in Denbigh. He was famous for his exploration of Central Africa and his search for the missionary and explorer, David Livingstone. It is reported that when he found the doctor, he asked “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” In the second extra, you will see Mr. HCB shaking hands with Sir Henry!

Having refuelled, we set off to visit the castle and the road up to it was very steep - it was a good job that there was a handrail I could hang on to - although Mr. HCB was there to help too. When we eventually got to the top, we wandered around the ruins (top left) and you can see from the photograph at the top right that it was a beautiful clear day and we could see for miles.

The lovely ginger cat in the middle had followed us up and was obviously quite at home in the ruins of the castle - although it did seem quite frightened when contemplating jumping down - but then there was a fifteen feet drop to the bottom of the moat and it obviously didn’t read the sign which said “No climbing”!

When we got back, it was so warm that we decided that we would have our soup, bread, cheese and chutney out on the balcony, after which we went for a last stroll to the other side of the lake. Mr. HCB has really enjoyed being able to see all the water fowl and we also saw four buzzards circling above the trees - a wonderful sight. As Mr. HCB stood on the small jetty watching the various ducks, Simon, one of the gardeners came along and stopped to chat with us; he gave us the name of a lovely monastery to visit nearby and even brought an OS map back later to show us exactly where it was - people are so kind!

The bottom left and right photographs were taken about half an hour ago, as the sun was going down - we are certainly going to miss this view but hope to book for next year.

Mr. HCB and the owner had been chatting about vegetable gardening when we saw her yesterday and she invited us to go and see her new raised beds - to say that Mr. HCB was “green with envy” is an understatement! She also kindly gave us some of her lovely vegetables to take home - think we may stop and buy some Welsh lamb on the way tomorrow - so that will be Sunday lunch sorted! I did have a spare jar of chutney and some of my cards, so was able to give her a gift too.

Today I am grateful for:

1. A beautiful sunny day
2. A good chat with Simon
3. Another chat with the owner and the gift of some of her vegetables to take home - along with many happy memories.

Hopefully I should be back to normal with commenting in the next couple of days, but thank you for being so patient with me - I hope you have enjoyed our Welsh holiday as much as we have!

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