If you've been following me on Instagram, you'll have seen that we've just had another idyllic week in Southern Snowdonia. I think my heart truly belongs there.
As soon as we pass the sign to show we've crossed the border and the street signs become bi-lingual I feel my shoulders relax and my breath deepen. There's something so comforting about the imposing mountains - their permanence, their sheer magnitude - that just calms and comforts me. We try to visit 3 or 4 times a year if we can, and I seem to need it to rebalance and reconnect.
Maybe it's because I live in one of the flattest counties in England, but I miss the mountains, the spectacular scenery, the stunning sunsets and the miles of rolling hills.
I don't go in for tacky souvenirs, but I do like to bring something home that will remind me daily of our trips and keep me going until the next one.
On a day trip to Llangollen I popped into a riverside shop selling local crafts. These rugs caught my eye, and I became slightly obsessed with them, instantly regretting my decision not to buy one. We made a detour on the way home just so I could get one!
To be honest, I wanted to buy them all with their different palettes of colours but the voice of
doom reason said I couldn't, because where would I put them? Besides, I knew my puppy would have a field day scratting and digging at these and pulling them to pieces. So I plumped for just one, for our bathroom which is a puppy-free zone.
The rugs are handmade with pure, local Welsh wool by Helen Jones who makes them on a peg loom using 40 strands at a time. It's really weighty and feels luxurious underfoot so it's perfect for the bathroom.
The colours reminded me of the bright greens of the moss and lichen that abounds in the area. There are miles and miles of stone walls covered inches thick in moss. Something about this relationship pleases me - the million year old natural stone, manhandled and manipulated into purposeful boundaries and sheep pens, ultimately reclaimed. No matter what, nature will always prevail.
The yellow strands interwoven are reminiscent of the daffodils, the Welsh emblem of course, and they were abundant during our February visit because of the mild weather. The shades of grey remind me of the centuries old stone workers cottages, the flecks of blown hint at the rich coppery beech leaves besides the streams, and the darker hues of green, the evergreen pines that flourish in the Coed Y Brenin forest where we stay.
The jars in the picture are another souvenir from Wales. These were liberated from an old mountainside cave we explored. I can only assume that the couple of old stone cottages used to use this as a dumping ground as it's full of vintage bottles and glass jars. Muddy and full of stale water, we took our treasure home and cleaned and scrubbed them up. They are perfect for displaying springtime blooms.
I'm delighted with my new rug and against the slate tiles in the bathroom, will be a constant reminder of happy times in Wales.
Linking up with Happy and Home.