Melanie’s March Monthly News

Welcome to Melanie’s March monthly news where we have still been in lockdown! No exciting photos as such this month as we haven’t been very far. The good news is thought we have just come out of lockdown in the last few days, so we are able to move around and travel as required. We live in a pretty touristy location so I’m sure it will be busy again this year in our favourite coastal spots.

Spring has definitely sprung here since my last blog post, as you can see from the Daffodil and Snowdrops pic. These were just opposite our cottage and its lovely when bright colours cheer up the lane.

Melanie’s March Monthly News

With not being able to travel too far this month, our lane walks have been keeping us going. The weather has given us all sorts this month from frosts, rain, winds and bright blue sky’s. The photo of Lily on the lane was taken a couple of weeks ago on one of the few sunnier mornings.

Lily in Melanie’s March Monthly News

Spring has Sprung!

The trackway has just started sprouting buds on the brambles and trees. There are lots of Willow trees along the track and they are great to photograph at this time of year. If you look closely you can even see the moon in the photo below!!


The softness to the ends of the willow are simply divine and the small tiny leaves just sprouting are bringing the tree to life once again.

Willow buds

The gorse bush is flowering beautifully at the moment, the photo below was taken just the other day on one of our trundles. Gorse actually flowers all year around, however in the spring and summer the warmth really brings out the coconut scent. Mind you, its important to be careful when sniffing the flowers as the spikes can be very spiky on your nose!!

Gorse Bush

The early morning walks are my favourite, when most are still in bed and you can walk the lanes in the quiet. The sun just coming up and sharing the view with the sheep!


The photo below was taken on the same day, Lily on the track in the early morning dew. The track is a lovely place for her to sniff for rabbits and chase the squirrels… which might I add she will never ever catch…she never looks up the tree when they disappear!!

Lilys track

Chicken News!

Firstly a bit of sad news. Our last elderly Buff Orpington sadly passed away this week. She has had the best few months with the new hens though, she had a new lease of life. Many a time was she either calling them to show them food, or running off across the garden after them. Hatching hens for her was the best thing we did, as she had been alone for a few months and its unfair to keep hens on their own. They are a very sociable creatures.

So now we just have our two white hens Honey and Snowy. We have to make sure they are not out in the garden when we are eating on the table outside though. They are so tame, they want the food on our plates! Not that they are underfed I might add, they are very happy and spoilt hens. I was sitting eating and all of a sudden Snowy landed on my arm! I managed to take this photo….

Snowy the chicken

Both Snowy and Honey have started laying now too! The eggs, although small at the moment being their first laying season, are amazing. The colour of the yolks are as orange as can be. Imagine home made bread, poached eggs and asparagus on the side to dip. Out of this world, easy and quick to make and very healthy too. What could be better!


Llanerchaeron Walk

We recently took a walk to a national trust woodland walk at Llanerchaeron. The walk runs along part of an old train track and is perfect for a stroll being completely flat. We found fairy doors at the base of the trees….

Llanerchaeron Walk

…and saw this left on a bench. We took a photo and left it for another passer by. So pretty and what a wonderful act of kindness. Visit the group on Facebook – Random Acts of Crochet!

Llanerchaeron Walk

Lily enjoyed her walk and she was able to chase more squirrels… yet agin did not catch any. They are just too fast and clever for her. Incidentally she’s not usually on a lead on this kind of walk however we had just passed a family group with lots of dogs and cyclists.

A walk with lily at Llanerchaeron

Melanie’s March Monthly News – Wall Repairs

We are having work done to an old wall in our front garden and I will show photos in our next blog as its only half way through at present. I helped a lot at the start being chief coffee maker, apprentice builder, more than adequate wheel barrow operator….and go getter of supplies at our local builders merchants! The boys there know me pretty well now and think we are crazy for bring back bags of sand and cement in the boot of our lovely clean car!

Anyway, digressing a little. While being apprentice I found this amazing lizard hidden in the stones. He was very friendly and so handsome. I could only take a photo of him top down but quickly re homed him a few feet away next to our wildlife pond, so he was safe. Isn’t he fantastic!


Beach Trips

We have had a couple of beach walks as things have started to ease, making sure we visited before the holiday makers started to arrive. We took advantage of the takeaway fish and chips too. You can’t really go to the seaside and not have chips now can you!!


Aberporth is one of our favourite destinations, usually a bit quieter than other little coastal villages, but still tricky to park in the height of the season.

Aberporth Beach

New Quay beach below is another favourite as the beach is so long, but very difficult to park in the summer. It wasn’t paddling weather as you can see from Nick’s wooly hat and coat but Lily enjoyed it!

Nicholas and Lily on the Beach
Cei Bach Beach

Jaspers Pencil Portrait

This month I have completed a number of pencil drawings and Jasper’s portrait has been one of my favourites. Jasper was commissioned as a gift on a 14 x 11 size and was a complete a joy to draw. You can read feedback from my client below which is so lovely…

Hi Melanie,
Oh my god.  This is amazing.  You did an incredible job!!  That’s Jasper!  It’s realistic and perfectly proportioned, charming but not at all cartoonish like other artists can be — you captured him so skilfully, thank you so much truly.  My mother loves it too!!  We’re over the moon. Jasper’s nearing the end of his life, and my mom has had dogs her whole life but Jasper’s her favourite.  So this is truly meaningful for the whole family.  
Sincerely, Josie

Jaspers pencil portrait
Jaspers pencil drawing Melanie’s March Monthly News

Lotties Portrait in situ

Lottie’s painting is a portrait that Nicholas completed before Christmas. Our clients have just sent us photos of the painting displayed in their beautiful home. We have added them below and can’t thank our clients enough for sharing them with us.

Hi Melanie and Nicholas,
I thought I would share some pictures of Lottie’s portrait with you now that we have redecorated the room and the old wallpaper has gone. The picture looks fantastic, and we’ve very happy with her.
Thanks again,

Lotties Portrait in situ
Lottie in situ
Lotties Portrait Melanie’s March Monthly News

Melanie’s March Monthly News – Buddy and Snap

The portraits of Buddy and Snap have just arrived home to their owner. Sadly both horses have passed away and our client wanted to remember them both with two oil paintings of them framed in a rustic frame. Nicholas painted them at 30 x 20 size and you can see them in the photos below along with two lovely emails that Amanda sent …

Oh my gosh, I love them!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I couldn’t have picked a better artist or better people to work with. I so appreciate it! Both horses are deceased now, so these portraits capture a beautiful memory of them. 

Hi Melanie and Nicholas,
I wanted to let you know that the portraits arrived yesterday safe and sound! Thank you for packaging them so well; they are so beautiful! I will send you a photo once I have them all hung and situated. Thank you and Nick again!

Evie’s Oil Painting

The painting of Evie was completed for a birthday surprise in February and we can now add it to our Melanie’s March Monthly News blog post as the surprise as been given! We have just received the most wonderful email from the recipient. Evie was painted by Nicholas at 12 x 12 size and framed in our Hampstead frame with an engraved plaque. Sarah was delighted and I hope that you enjoy reading her email below.

Dear Nicholas & Melanie
I wanted to contact you to say how delighted I am with my portrait of Evie.  It is beautifully painted and just like her.  It was given to me by my family for my 80th birthday.  I cried when I saw it!!! Evie means so much to me since my husband has died, she is my companion. Evie has been very ill in hospital but I have now got her home again and I am hoping she will make a full recovery.  Her portrait hangs in my sitting room where I can see her all the time.  I show it to everyone on my ipad which does not do it full justice!  I have always admired the one you did of Dottie for my daughter and son-in-law, Emma and Mark Bourne, and I am so pleased to have one of Evie.
Thank you both once again,
Kind regards

Melanie’s March Monthly News

And Finally Joey’s Painting

Returning client Ben commissioned a portrait of their gorgeous dog Joey for his wife for Christmas and emailed us the best photo of Joey with his painting. Joey is only young and full of beans so I think Ben did a brilliant job to achieve such a fantastic photo. Ben also write the following which really made us smile. Thank you Ben for the photo – its perfect!

Melanie and Nicholas!
Marisa LOVED LOVED LOVED her Joey portrait. She can’t stop showing anyone she can show, she loves how detailed it is. And I think our choice of going with a painting this time was the right thing, she comments often that Joey is a unique soul and his portrait is also unique when next to our others (not to diminish how much she loves them all of course).Thank you (and Nick) again so very much. It is so beautiful and was a highlight of our otherwise VERY mellow holiday.
Hope you are well. Talk soon!

I think thats all of our news this month! So finally, we hope that you have enjoyed Melanie’s March Monthly News and if you missed last months, pop over to our other blog post Melanie’s February Monthly News and take a look at what we did last month.

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