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My husband and I took an Easter break to visit Milk Wood in South Wales. This was the setting for Dylan Thomas's nature poetry. I walked along the cliffside strand to his boathouse and writing shed, with the beautiful views out over the inlet, Laugharne village and castle. While there we took a couple of days to visit an Iron Age village reconstructed on the site at Castell Henllys, and Carew Castle and tidal watermill. We had flown in to Bristol and later took a look around Bristol cathedral and town. Of course in each place I had to check out the secondhand bookshops which were a veritable treasure trove. Pity we were flying and I could not buy more. One book I bought and reviewed was Heavy Horses by Diana Zeuner which shows the history and use of heavy horse breeds in Britain.
Wales has a castle pretty much in every town, in various states of repair, due to an exciting history. I saw a sign advertising 'Castle Scaffolding Wales.' Yes, they'll get plenty of work! At Carew Castle, an Easter Egg hunt was in progress. I liked this one which had a colouring sheet of a patterned egg for each child. As they went around the castle they would find a small pot of crayons of a particular colour, and a sheet showing which part of the egg should be that colour. So not only were they foraging, they were creating art. Dogs were welcome with owners.

The tidal mill nearby used a lagoon which had been created by building a dam on an estuary. The tide filled the lagoon and gates were lowered to hold the water until it was needed to power the mill. This mill has been extensively restored in an award-winning effort. As Wales is very hilly and has a lot of rivers, water-powered mills were built in many locations. A mill was a source of income, often paid in grain, for the owner who might be an abbey or landowner. Having a mill nearby meant the farmer did not have to travel far to get grain ground, so there was little competition.
The Iron Age village featured reconstructed roundhouses of timber, mud and thatch. A guide took us on a Welsh legend walk through the woods and streams up to the top of the hill where the well fortified village stood. Piles of slingshot stones had been heaped ready to be used in case of attack. The granary hut was built on stilts but dwelling huts were on the ground. Children could learn how to fire a slingshot, make bread and spin, weave and dye fabrics. An Iron Age sheep breed with brown fleece had been introduced and a remarkable array of tools had been made, all based on archaeology. We ate very good locally grown food everywhere in Wales and I highly recommend the visit. We found there is so much to see that we'll have to return several times, and it's an inexpensive, friendly and beautiful location.
So is Cara Cassidy going to make a crime-solving trip to Wales in the future? I expect it is highly likely! The mystery books set in Scotland and Ireland are very popular with Kindle Unlimited readers. As I'm talking castles, this month's free download has a very famous castle on the front, the Tower of London. The Prisoner In The Tower is a short story and essay, so I'll also drop the price of my bestseller Showjumping Team to 99 cent. These offers run from May 19 - 21.

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