Welcome to family, friends and visitors. Here you will find interesting (hopefully) pictures of my part of the world, news of our household and probably, long ramblings about anything that catches my interest.

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Hot.

I didn't put the thermometer out today but I'm sure it was as hot if not even hotter than yesterday.
We were just sitting down to breakfast when Peter spotted dolphins fishing close by. Naturally I ran out with my camera and for once got some reasonable photos.
This photo shows how close they were as they circled the fish on our side of the nearest reef. Even first thing in the morning there were plenty of people on the beach and it wasn't long before one of them spotted the dolphins too. And did we hear all about it - each time one of the dolphins surfaced there were excited yells telling everyone what she had just seen. A shame that somebody on a paddleboard began to approach one of the dolphins. She didn't get close but it was near enough for the dolphins to stop feeding and move on.
I had run out of things to wash but instead hung the contents of one of my clothes boxes out to air. Generally the plastic storage tubs keep everything in good condition but occasionally I'll find a little mustiness which can be dispersed with a good airing in the sun. Sometimes I feel bad for having so many stored clothes but I look on my boxes as my personal clothes shop which will keep me in clothes maybe for the rest of my days. I knew that we were likely to be retiring somewhere with a much smaller selection of clothes shops or supermarkets with large clothing sections and I wasn't planning on spending time travelling looking for clothes. It was fun looking through today's box of summer pj's (which could also be classed as leisure wear) as they bring thoughts of warm summers, relaxing in the sun and maybe even dreaming of holidays abroad. 
It was very hot at the community gardens as there wasn't much breeze that far inland. Today's job was to move the wooden henhouse to a new spot under the fruit trees. The three hens are let out when we are there but when no one is around they have to stay inside an electric fence to keep them safe from the foxes. We enjoyed the lemon drizzle cake made by Cat but we didn't stay chatting for too long as it was so hot. Cycling back (all the way without stopping!) I was just going over the level crossing when the warning bells began to ring. If that had happened when I was first cycling I'm sure I would have panicked but today I simply carried on knowing there was enough time before the barriers would start to come down.
Back home Peter and I worked together to glue wood under two of the terrace table's feet and to tighten up the joints with an allan key so that the table no longer wobbles. A job that needed doing especially as we've been eating more meals outside in this weather.
Then I carried on cutting back the bushes and plants by the steps to clear the way. It was in the shade so it wasn't too hot to work there. By the time Peter goes to the dump the car will be overflowing! The car passed its MOT and is back home thank goodness. The mechanic says it should pass for a few more years which is another thing to be thankful for.
 

It's not easy trying to take a photo of a cat's face.
Amazingly the cut on Speedy's cheek which looked so dramatic yesterday is hardly noticable today. The cut above was too close to his eye for me to put the gel on but it's dried up and looks okay so far.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Hot.

Very hot today, 40C/102F on the terrace this afternoon but inside the house the breeze blowing from front to back made it very comfortable. I did three lots of washing which meant an ironing session in the afternoon.
.
I woke early, prepared breakfast, did the morning jobs and my Duo Lingo and then headed out for a walk along the coast path.
I went up to The Monument and then as my stamina seems so much better, carried on to the next high point. (The furthest point on the left in the above photo.) That doesn't look so far but there were some steep up and downs on the way.
Looking back from my new vantage point I could see a lot further along the coast.
I've been as far as Aberwennol, (the beach), but this was the first time I'd ventured up the winding path on the far side. 
Down below the sea was crystal clear but there were no signs of any dolphins.
As can be seen by the walker at the top the path runs very close to the edge which is even closer after a small cliff fall.

There was another stream to cross in a small valley where I found this small dragonfly sitting on the bridge.
At home I had to make sure Speedy was inside with the door shut when a pair of dunnock fledglings hopped about in the hedge calling very loudly 
Later I gave one of the hedges a good trim and tidied up the long hedge from the terrace. I'm also still working on clearing the way down the steps as everything has grown immensely.
Peter took the car down for its MOT this morning and it failed on one small point which he had mentioned to the mechanic beforehand but he forgot to sort it. It won't be ready until tomorrow or even Friday.
Speedy went out just now and came back with a cut/slash across his face. At first I thought it was from glass or a sharp tin as it is recycling day today. I went for a walk around the block but couldn't see anything. Looking again the cut looks ragged so possibly it was a slash from a cat's claw. I've put some animal antiseptic gel on it and will have to keep checking it. Hopefully it won't mean a trip to the vet.
 

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Sunny.

Hot and sunny again today.
I cycled down to the zoo this morning in shorts but sensibly slathered on factor 50 sunscreen and had plenty of insect repellant to hand. I carried on weeding in front of the main gates which is now looking a lot better. One of my fellow volunteers commented that I was weeding the car park which is correct but I think that the visitors' first impressions are important. It was still pretty busy at the zoo but nothing like the crowds that were there for the VIP day. 
Back home there were some holes in one of Peter's t-shirts to mend which I could do out on the terrace after which I did some weeding in the back garden. 
The first sugar snap peas.

As promised, photos of the Dyfi Osprey Project. From the main building we had a good view of the boardwalk that runs over the wetlands of the reserve to the main hide.
The boardwalk takes you through reeds and bullrushes past a number of small ponds.
Dotted around the place are plenty of comfy looking benches and chairs. I would love to come and sit for a couple of hours watching the wildlife. I had brought my binoculars along and watched an emperor dragonfly patrolling the pond. 
There are also lots of information boards. I liked this one with its phonic descriptions of the songs of the different warblers to be found in the reserve.
Eventually we got to the main hide at the far end of the boardwalk. This is an impressive wooden architect designed structure designed for ease of watching the ospreys.
Up on the top floor is an outdoor space as well as a room set up with bird watching telescopes to use and a giant screen showing a live feed which can be moved and zoomed in to where ever the birds are.


Back at the reception/shop/cafe there were more screens showing recordings of the birds and also of the beavers which are being introduced to the area. No wonder they film part of Springwatch here.
Everything was done to the highest standard, you can see that no expense has been spared. I loved the design of the stairs to the upper dinning space (including baby grand piano) and terrace.
 

Monday, 8 August 2022

Sunny.

Another lovely sunny day, we may even be heading into another (mini) heatwave. Hooray.
I woke reasonably early and made a real effort to stay awake so that I could get up at a sensible time. Speedy was happy for an early breakfast. Straight away I got on with baking bara brith. I'd soaked the fruit overnight and mixed up a double amount so that I could batch bake and be economical with both my time and the oven. Result we now have one large ring bara brith and two standard loaves. I kept half of one loaf out for immediate consumption and the rest went in the freezer.
Our fortnightly Welsh practice had to be postponed but we decided to have a trip out anyway. First stop was to see the 18C furnace in the village of ..... Furnace. It sits on the main road to Mach so we've passed it a few times but never stopped to have a look around.
The first arch opens into the massive furnace where charcoal from the surrounding woods was placed. 

The second arch opens into the space where once there was a pair of enormous bellows powered by the waterwheel to blow air into the furnace and increase the temperature.
From there we climbed up some steps to the buildings on top of the furnace now occupied by horseshoe bats (we didn't see any).

Walking back along the small ravine we came to the waterfall created by the dam that was built across the river. It's only a tiny river but there was enough power in the water diverted through pipes to run the wheel and so the bellows.

It was a pleasant stop after which we carried on along the main road to the Dyfi Osprey Project where I took lots of photos and I'll post a selection tomorrow.
The sun was blazing down but there was a good cooling breeze making walking along the boardwalk a comfortable experience. After a lovely walk and visit to the hides and yes we saw an osprey circling overhead as well as on the giant screens we stopped for a coffee and cake (me) and tea and bacon sandwich (Peter). Peter had been going to have a ham and cheese sandwich but they had run out of ham and then out of tomatoes for his next choice of a BLT which is why he'd opted for his usual choice. There were a lot of people having something to eat which is why they running short of choices and it is all run by volunteers so we didn't mind.
When we got home I carried on baking and baked two lemon drizzle cakes which are now soaking up all the lemony drizzle. My freezer is filling up with all these goodies.
 

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Sunny.

Lovely weather again today.
Because it was only 6.30 when I first woke I decided to go back to sleep for a few hours after feeding Speedy. That was nice but resulted in a late start to the day so that I ended up cramming in all I wanted to do and then not having time for a relaxing afternoon on the terrace. Instead, after our usual croissants and Archers breakfast, I got some washing out on the line and aired another lot of dustsheets and then with Peter's help got the bedroom tv and some other stuff up into the loft. It was incredibly hot up there, so much so that I'm imagining the paintings melting. We left the loft hatch open for the rest of the day to let some of the heat disperse. After that I went out where most of my time was spent weeding and sweeping the paving slabs that run alongside the garage and then moved on to general weeding and garden tidying. I still squeezed in some time out on the terrace but in future I'll try and avoid those extra hours snoozing in the mornings.

Finally carnival photos are being posted on FB. While I got to see the houses and the floats that were near us in the procession there were a lot that I didn't see until now. I think that in Borth the carnival is the equivalent of Halloween in North America which despite the efforts of the supermarkets etc trying to cash in on the idea is not really celebrated here.
Welsh dragons are always popular.
The Friendship Inn being transformed into Peaky Blinders with a Borth twist.
Celebrating Cantre'r Gwaelod, the kingdom that was drowned 3,000-6,000 years ago.

Pesky seagulls/rubbish/recycling.
Another Welsh dragon.
Sea creatures.
Contrary to my original thoughts all these floats are made by local groups for this carnival only as apart from a smaller one in Aber there are no others in the region. It's just Borth's special day when the community gets together to amuse the holidaymakers.
 Just found this brief clip on FB. So glad I'm incognito.