It's time to wrap up the remainder of our Welsh holiday, but if you've come here for the beautiful scenery, you may be sorely disappointed.
If you remember, I ended my previous holiday post by saying it would be the last bit of sunshine we'd see during our holiday.
Sure enough, on Monday night we could hear the rain pitter-pattering on our cottage's slated roof until the early hours of the morning, but thankfully it had eased off a bit by the time we got up.
After two days of walking, we were ready for a spot of shopping, so we decided to go down to Carmarthen, about an hour's drive away.
First stop was the covered market, with a myriad of stalls, selling all manner of things.
We then ventured into the town itself. Carmarthen is quite a pleasant town with a mix of the usual high street and independent shops. And quite a few charity shops too: it was our quest to visit them all!
I struck gold at the very first one, where I found these two brooches. The little ceramic daisy is slightly damaged but I'll wear it all the same.
It had started drizzling by then and, feeling peckish, we dived into M&S and had lunch at the café.
From the café's first floor windows we could see people closing their umbrellas, so we considered it safe to continue our shopping expedition, hitting the rest of the charity shops and finding more brooches in one of them.
Other buys included books and a short-sleeved shirt for Jos, who also bought another flat cap in the sales at Edinburgh Woollen Mill.
We'd kept the best for last, as there is an Aladdin's cave of an antiques centre in King Street, which we remembered from last year.
I'd hardly walked in when I noticed some boxes of vintage costume jewellery at the bottom of a display cabinet. When I asked if I could have a look, the shop assistant handed me box after box (at least five or six of them) full of wondrous stuff so, while Jos was off browsing elsewhere, I had the mother of all rummages, and came away with 13 brooches!
More rain on Wednesday! Foggy and damp, the view across the estuary was more suited to an Autumn's day, if not the verdancy of the fields and foliage had given away that it was, in fact, the height of Summer.
To combat all the greyness, I dressed in a vintage blouse featuring yellow and pink blowsy flowers, which I accessorized with yellow and pink flower corsages, yellow beads and cardigan and a funky patterned scarf.
It was a pity I had to cover it all up with the black Gore-Tex again!
Hoping against hope that the rain would ease up any moment, and we could do something outdoorsy later, we drove into Cardigan. But the rain was stubborn and wouldn't budge, so that there was nothing for it but to do a bit of shopping. Again. In fact, we went in and out of every shop that even remotely took our fancy.
At a delightful shop called the Crafter's Cwtch, we browsed for presents for our faithful cat sitters, and I picked up some hand made brooches for myself: four ceramic ones and one made from a piece of polished beech wood.
In one of the downstairs shops in Cardigan Market, I found two more vintage brooches: a turquoise sunburst, and an oval one depicting a posy of pansies. In fact, I already had the pansies brooch, which I bought last year, but as you can see this one is in much better condition.
The small blue flower brooch was hidden away in a cabinet at Barnardo's and cost just £ 1. It's got a big sister which I bought at a flea market back in March, and which Cate told me is 1930s, so surely £ 1 was quite a bargain!
Exhausted from all that shopping, a coffee break was in order, making use of the café's free wifi to catch up on some blog reading ...
If by Wednesday evening the rain seemed to have eased off a little, it came back with a vengeance during the night, this time accompanied by a fierce wind, which made the temperature drop even further.
The wind was driving horizontal sheets of rain over the estuary and on the gentle slopes opposite cows huddled together in the shelter of a handful of inadequate trees.
Thursday really was a day of inescapable wetness.
Watching the forces of nature at work from the eyrie of our cottage's bedroom window, we felt kind of ship-wrecked, as if cut off from the rest of the world. Apart from the howling of the wind, there was an eerie quietness, as even the eternally squawking gulls were silent for once.
Now, what were we to do? Having exhausted all the wet weather options in previous years, and not being in the mood for any repetitions, there was nothing for it but to drive to Pembrokeshire's county town of Haverfordwest which has a multitude of charity shops.
The trouble is that the road down there goes straight through the Preseli Mountains, passing near its highest point where, even in fine weather, a cold wind is blowing and a misty veil can often be found shrouding the landscape. In these circumstances, there was a dense flog and zero visibility, making it a precarious drive.
Having made it to our destination, we grabbed the last parking spot and ventured into town, the hoods of our Gore-Tex coats up against the freezing cold, as it was barely 10°C.
Even the most avid charity shoppers would have been shopped out by now and we halfheartedly trudged from shop to shop, finding nothing much to cheer us up. Apart from some books, I only came away with a brand new looking pair of pink Van Dal sandals from Oxfam.
Stopping several times for coffee, at one point accompanied by delicious Welsh cakes, was the sensible thing to do!
Jittery from all the coffee, we decided to call it a day and return to our cottage, curling up in front of the wood fire with a book.
All very cosy indeed, but this is not what we had come here for!
Finally, our last day dawned and guess what: it was still raining, although the eternal howling of the wind had quietened down.
We spent the morning packing our bags, almost glad that we'd be going home the next day.
Thursday's rain and cold had supplied me with a lip full of cold sores, so that my lower lip was about twice its usual size.
As we had to go food shopping, we nipped into Cardigan for an hour or so, while it was relatively dry. In a side street, we discovered a sweet little shop we'd never been into before, selling a mix of crafts and vintage stuff, where I made my final purchase of three brooches!
After a restless night, we had an early start on Saturday, and after breakfast with the sun streaming in through the windows (aargh!), we bade our final goodbyes to the cottage which has been our holiday home for the last seven years!
Cae'r Aber, we will miss you!