Not mine but that of our four year old friend and Goddaughter, Jemima and also my Hero, who clocks in at just one more than last year.
The grown-up celebration began on the M5. Maybe not the best way to spend a Friday afternoon in July, but we soon decided on an alternative, country route to Abergavenny, where I’d booked us a couple of nights at restaurant-with-rooms, The Hardwick.
Glorious weather meant that we appreciated the beautiful setting more than ever and we made the most of the fine afternoon and headed up to the Sugar Loaf for a fine view and a bit of fresh air.
This is a lovely part of the world and in such lovely weather, it was looking at its best.
Our room was comfortable and had all the little details that we appreciate, including a Welsh lesson!
I always appreciate local touches like this, too.
On Saturday, after a “tidy Welsh breakfast”, we headed for Llantrisant and the Royal Mint which I’d heard to be well worth a visit.
As soon as we arrived I was reminded of those coins which I always intend to look out for but frequently forget about. The tour was really terrific, we learned a great deal from our lively guide Alison and we felt it had been two hours well spent. Since then, we’ve checked all the coins in our pocket and not only do we have no Paddington 50p coins, we don’t have a single alphabet 10p coin either. Yes, we could have bought both of them at a price, but somehow that takes the fun out of it, don’t you think? (And did we need something else to put in a drawer and forget about?)
There was another Welsh language learning opportunity outside too. I can often work out the meaning, or even guess some of them, but I’d have got nowhere near this one!
From there, we took an over-the-top route through the Brecon Beacons, admiring the activities going on all around us without for one minute ever feeling tempted to hike/trek/paddle or ride anywhere ourselves. We came close somewhere around the Talybont Reservoir but actually, it was only when we reached the village of Talybont on Usk itself that we made it out of the car and along the canal towpath.
It’s an interesting part of the world and there are stories all over, very well documented on the side of the pathway, too.
In the late afternoon, our thoughts were turning to refreshment though - a cup of tea, a glass of cold Aber Apple Juice and another great plate of food back at the Hardwick, eventually.
The following morning, another “tidy breakfast” set us up for the drive home and the birthday celebrations later. My Hero’s birthday gifts were not quite as colourful and sparkly as those in Jemima’s garden but were still well received and appreciated.
No-one is safe when a four year old appears with a digital camera, however!