Oops! I was in Pembrokeshire.

Pembroke Castle

So last week was not a good week. My brain wasn’t functioning correctly, I couldn’t focus, and I didn’t finish anything I started. I also quit my job, got my dates mixed up for my MIG welding class and accidentally missed the induction. A huge boulder was crippling me, and I felt like a bitter disappointment, like everyone must hate me.

That’s a large reason why there were no blog posts last week; life was really just getting on top of me.

Back in April, my mum and I had booked to go to Pembrokeshire, Wales, for a long weekend. I had completely forgotten about it until a few days before we went, so it was quite a surprise for this little noggin. But off we went on the Friday for three nights.

The cottage we had booked was in a very remote area, with no signal or internet. It was based on a small farm with chickens and sheep, and a river ran alongside the lane. It was beautiful, and just what we needed.

The weather wasn’t the best while we were in Wales – it was raining on and off constantly – but we still had a lot of fun. And there is so much to do in just Pembrokeshire alone, so we will definitely be going back!

First stop was, of course, Pembroke Castle. Who goes to Pembrokeshire and doesn’t go to Pembroke Castle? This Norman castle was first founded by Roger de Montgomery in the 11th century, and was later to be owned by the Earls of Pembroke, starting with the very first: William Marshal. William Marshal transformed the wooden castle into an impressive and almost impenetrable stone fortress. The castle withstood a number of battles, including the Glyndŵr uprising in 1400, and remained secure. It was also the birthplace of Henry VII who started the Tudor Dynasty. There is a lot of history behind the castle, including its role in the Civil War and its eventual destruction on the orders of Oliver Cromwell, and it’s well worth going to see.

Pembroke Castle

We also went to Cardigan Island Coastal Farm Park in Gwbert. My mum and I love animals so much, and the farm boasts of chickens, goats, emus, donkeys, pigs, etc. And Cardigan Island is a nature reserve that protects the various sea birds that nest there. You have the opportunity to see guillemots, razorbills, cormorants, kestrels, peregrine falcons, and many other species of bird. But that’s not all. There is also the chance to see Atlantic Grey seals and bottleneck dolphins, which is awesome!

 

Cardigan Island

The day that we went was very windy. The sea was throwing itself against the rocks on the bay and we thought there was no way we would get to see any seals or dolphins. But regardless we still went towards the island to see, just in case. And despite being blown around by the wind and sprayed by the sea, we were treated for our efforts by two seals “surfing” in the sea. My hands were blue and numb at this point (I have Raynaud’s disease) so I wasn’t able to get very good pictures, but it was absolutely amazing watching the two of them riding the choppy waves without a care in the world.

Atlantic Grey Seal

Atlantic Grey Seal
Look at him, flicking up his tail!

On our last day, we were able to explore the simple yet hard life of the Celts at Castell Henllys Iron Age Fort. Situated deep in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, archaeologists have worked hard with the National Park Authority to realistically recreate what it was like to live in the Iron Age over 2000 years ago. We were able to wander through the woodland surrounding the hillfort; seeking crafts and sculptures the Celts would have made that depict the myths and legends they had once believed in.

Celtic Crafts Celtic Crafts

At the hillfort, we were met with four large roundhouses. The walls were typically made from a mixture of woven wood, mud, straw, horse hair, and manure; the roofs were made from straw. The Celts were highly skilled in farming, weaving, hunting, and blacksmithing. Everyone was expected to work for the wellbeing of the tribe. Children started working as soon as they could walk. And of course, iron became used more and more in the making of weapons and jewellery.

Iron Age Roundhouses

The Celts first started to dominate Britain in about 480 BC. However by 43 AD, they had been conquered when the Romans invaded Britain.

We had a lot of fun in Pembrokeshire, and there is still so much we haven’t seen, so we will go back at some point. However, one cannot hide from one’s duties forever. This week, it was time for me to go back to the place I’ve been dreading the most: college.

Yes, it is that time of year when everyone is going back to school, college, or university. This year is my final year before I graduate, and I’m really eager to finally leave formal education. But, aside from my degree, I am also doing two evening college courses: Level 2 Motor Vehicle Maintenance, and Level 1 Metal Inert Gas Welding. If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen my first attempts at MIG welding.

So I’m still feeling a bit off at the moment, but at least the adventure to Pembrokeshire helped to improve my mood.

Thank you for being patient with me, and I’ll be sure to post on Monday as usual. In the meantime, keep smiling, have a look at some of my previous posts, and follow me on social media.

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