TechnomadicsVagabonding Europe

As I write this, I feel stupidly lucky. This house-sit really couldn’t be any more perfect. It’s quite literally, everything we were hoping for in a house-sit. It’s nestled in a valley amongst gently rolling hills in the picturesque Welsh countryside.

Wales Countryside HDR

The property and surrounding countryside has a generous smattering of those trees with the curly branches that I so loved in Cornwall (oaks, maybe?)

mossy tree branches

Oak Tree HDR

Oak Tree Snow

My favourite tree:

Oak Snow Wales

Every single detail, from the door knobs to the light fixtures are charmingly vintage. I was never one of those little girls who would fantasise about her wedding and having a family of my own but I did fantasise about one day having my own house and how I would go about decorating it — something I’m still looking forward to! I remember thinking that I would only furnish it with beautiful things. Of course, when I moved out of home and began buying necessary household items this quickly devolved into buying whatever was cheapest and least ugly. Mike and Anne’s home has reminded me of my girlish dreams and proven that it is possible!

The beauty of this stone wall is seriously testing my fidelity to our future cob house.

Lygos Farm, , HDR

One of our biggest hopes for this winter, and indeed our travels through Europe, was to experience snow. Within our first week here, our wish was granted! There was so much snow, in fact, that we got snowed in! There are many fun things about being snowed in, the most obvious being that the coziness factor is high — but possible the best, is having pancakes for breakfast three times in one week because we’d run out of other breakfast-like substances.

Frozen Pond Snow

Wales Countryside Snow

The view from our bedroom window:

Wales Countryside Snow

We are feeling very grateful indeed, that we’re tucked away in a cottage with a fire, hot water and a bath tub, instead of poor, chilly Nettle.

Chilly Nettle, Lygos Farm

As part of our house-sitting duties, we take the little jack russell, Zoe for a walk every day on the surrounding (now snowy) hills. A tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.

Snowy Zoe

Wales Countryside Snow

Wales Countryside Snow

Our other charge, Sooty, has a lovely temperament and has reminded me why I’m a cat person. I feel so chuffed when she chooses my lap for her nap and allows me to stroke her, as she purrs with contentment. I’m reminded of our last foster-cat, Meekha, and that I still want a Burmese cat one day because of her.

Sleeping Sooty Cat

Another of our daily tasks is to feed the birds. My favourite are the robins with their round little bodies and orange chests.

Wales Birds Snow

There are lots of little things about snow that delight us. Like seeing it embellishing a holly tree — such a cliché, yet one we’ve only learnt from pictures.

Holly  Leaves Snow

Or snowball fights.

Snowball Fight Winter

We were particularly delighted when the pond froze over! Side note: totally digging Mike in gumboots.

Frozen Pond Winter

This might seem extraordinary to those from northern climes, but even frost fascinates and enchants.

Frosty Autumn Leaf, HDR

frost autumn leaves, hdr

Here again, there is scenery that reminds me of the landscape paintings of one of my favourite artists, Natasha Newton.

Wales coutryside HDR

Wales Countryside HDR

The snow eventually melted, only to be replaced about a week later with a much heavier, more impressive batch! We awoke one morning to a winter wonderland outside our bedroom window!


Snow Frozen Pond

Wales Stream Snow

Ant hills and tufts of grass dot the hills with hummocks in a rather aesthetic way, but with snow blanketing their forms and a few brave needles of grass poking through, they take on a kind of abstract, alien air.

Snow Wales Countryside

It was already a very pretty place, but snow makes everything prettier.

Oak Trees Snow

This deeper snow makes walking a vertically-challenged Zoe very entertaining. Her gait becomes a bounce like a rabbit’s and she fearlessly leaps and slides down snowy slopes, going as fast as her little limbs will take her. It looks absolutely exhausting and exhilarating. I’m a little jealous, actually. I have slid down a snowy slope, or two or three, on my butt but not by choice and somehow I don’t think it’s quite the same.

Snowy Zoe

Lygos Farm, Zoe

She doesn’t hesitate to plunge her whole head into the snow if she’s picked up the scent of a critter in it’s hidey-hole.

Snowy Zoe, Lygos

Other highlights of our adopted country-cottage life include making our own bread with the bread maker, having groceries delivered from Tesco for only £5, and having actual fixed plumbing.

Our time here has also seen the release of our much anticipated iPhone app, designed for independent travellers like ourselves — The Cartographer. Apple featured it in the New & Noteworthy category on the front page of the iPhone App Store for a week in several countries, which was very exciting. We’ve also had quite a few reviews on various websites, all of which have been positively glowing!

I took time off from art to work on the marketing side of launching the app, and have finally gotten back to it after more than a month away! I’ve been absolutely aching to illustrate and paint some owls so I got stuck into a triptych on little deep-edged canvases. I’m planning on giving the blog a lot more love from here on out also!

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7 Responses to Winter in a Country Cottage in Wales

  1. Keith says:

    Looks amazing guys! Fantastic photos, too. I love that you said: “The beauty of this stone wall is seriously testing my fidelity to our future cob house.”


  2. Michael says:

    Cheers Keith! It’s going to be hard to give the place back in spring, that’s for sure ;-)

  3. Erin says:

    Ok, I was dubious about the sanity of spending winter in the UK but this does look lovely! Wales is beautiful, the house looks amazing and winter is definitely a lot better when it snows rather than constant grey drizzle. I think the UK is having more snow this year that it ever has before so you got lucky! Enjoy your white Christmas!

  4. Michael says:

    Tell me about it, we did indeed get lucky!! We were prepared for grey drizzle (we do have a cosy cottage and a fire!), but the snow just made this one of the highlights of our trip so far! We’re stoked =)

  5. Erica says:

    These pictures are stunning! I love the contrast of the stark blue sky on the super white snow. I’ve been in the UK during winter – not sure if I would do it again. Only thing that would bring me back would be snow like this!

  6. Michael says:

    Thanks Erica! We’ve definitely been stupidly lucky this winter – it’s been crisp, clear and sunny almost every day!

  7. bweiss says:

    the pictures are amazing