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.

Sunday 30 June 2019

Mostly Grey.

The sun and its accompanying warmth did not appear until the early evening. The rest of the day was grey and windy. Right now we're having quite a pretty sunset with the tops of the clouds lit up in pink and gold. 
Now that the rhododendron bush has finished flowering I thought it time to give it a serious trim. I didn't check if it's the right time of year but I do know the common purple one is hard to kill. I just wanted to tidy up the garden for any potential viewers. Then I returned to deadheading the rose bush and clearing up the fallen petals. Picking up rose petals never featured as a gardening job at Dingles but if I was to leave them on the decking they would shrivel up or turn into a nasty mush, depending on the weather and detract from the general outdoor living ambiance of the back garden. 
I spent quite a long time in the garage finding a few items to offer on the free site and beginning packing up and relabelling the remaining cardboard boxes. The box of car stuff was collected this morning but I'm still waiting for the person who asked for the paints to turn up. There are now a number of empty plastic boxes and trays which I'm keeping to transport pots of plants.

Saturday 29 June 2019


It's been all change with the weather today. Grey for the whole day with the sea mist blanking out the sand dunes and beyond. It was very warm in the morning and with the high humidity it felt as if thunderstorms might be brewing. However the sea mist crept ever closer and forced the temperature down. Eventually it got to a point where the misty wind was no longer drying the washing. Luckily ironing got rid of any damp and the cool was a relief from the heat of the last few days.
The main achievement of the day was Peter's fitting of a new toilet seat. The old one had split some time ago (Gaffa tape was used as a temporary fix) but it was incredibly hard to find a replacement. Not only was it a D-shaped seat which in itself wasn't too much of a problem but the 'modern' design of the actual toilet with concealed fittings accessed from the top only made finding a replacement a nightmare. Even when we found something that looked similar the crucial measurement between the fitting holes wasn't given or the type of fixing shown. Eventually Peter found one on-line which cost ….. £70! and then after much more searching he found a suitable one for half the price which is still double most of the standard ones in the shops. This one has a button you can push to lift the toilet seat off for cleaning but the fixing booklet had 15 steps of instructions. It's all done now and we don't have to worry about leaving somebody else with the problem. When we re-do the bathrooms in Borth we'll definitely make sure to put in standard toilets in rather than some fancy designer models.
Apart from housework and ironing I sorted through the containers of car 'stuff' in the garage with Peter and after keeping one or two items and binning the junk I put the rest on the free site, all to go together. Somebody is supposed to be collecting them tomorrow morning and if he's a no-show then there's another chap waiting.

Friday 28 June 2019


Still incredibly hot with a welcome breeze. I walked into town this morning in full hot weather gear, flip-flops, shorts, straw hat and shades. I didn't see that many people wearing any type of hat but apart from the fact that I like hats venturing into the sun without one gives me a headache and worse. It still feels like being on holiday in the Med. especially when some of the shops have nice cool air conditioning. If climate change makes such hot weather a regular occurrence then I expect air conditioning will become more common. At the moment I don't think anyone has it in their homes. 
In town I collected our prescriptions, posted a parcel, failed to get Peter a farm-made steak and ale pie but got his sausages, tried on a bra in M&S in my usual less than successful hunt for one that is comfy and supportive, bought five more of the silver gift boxes in Wilko's and treated myself to this glass paperweight from one of the charity shops.There was a red one which I would have bought for Sally but not at £10 when the clear one was £1.50. A long while back I  had fallen for a much larger version in one of the expensive home décor places but when I decided to treat myself to an item that had no use except to look pretty they didn't have them anymore. This little one is a good compromise. 
It was too hot to sit outside when I got home and the cold marble floor under my bare feet felt wonderful. Later I brushed out yet another of my fluffy dressing gowns that was hanging on the line after which Peter and I sat out for a while. 
A small home hack that I came up with the other day. I used some soft garden wire to make a hook from which I could hang the washing up brush. I had been keeping it in the plastic caddy which holds the washing up liquid etc. but that had to be constantly cleaned due to water dripping off the brush. I've done something similar to hold our toothbrushes so that they hang over the edge of the window ledge in the bathroom. I didn't want to be drilling into the tiles for a permanent wall mounted holder and every mug type holder collected water inside which needed constant cleaning.

Thursday 27 June 2019


Another really hot and sunny day with a good drying wind. I'm running short of things to wash and I ended up washing our extra fluffy winter dressing gowns. They dried quickly and I was able to brush the fluffiness back while they were still on the line. 
The cool wind was deceptive but we didn't stay out too long at least I hope not. It was pleasant sitting outside so long as we ignored the radio playing music on one side and sirens from the town on the other.
My afternoon was spent in the kitchen working on a 'made with love' project. Just in case the recipient sees this blog I'll hold back the photos until next week. All I can say that it was finger licking good and I might not have stuck to my diet today. 

Wednesday 26 June 2019


Britain is feeling the benefit of being an island as cool winds keep the temperature bearable unlike the rest of Europe which is sweltering in a heatwave with official temperatures going up to 45C/113F. At the moment I can see the few clouds being blown along by a northerly wind.
Peter went off to the doctor this morning for a steroid injection in his other knee. The doctor confirmed that he had done far too much walking around following the last injection hence all the pain in his left knee. I think he's going to take more care this time.
While he was out I went to the garage and sorted through a few more boxes. There was some paint which I threw out as it looked very odd but there were four tins with varying amounts in them which I've offered on the free site. A few days ago I responded to a request for bathroom/kitchen paint and the person was happy with the half tin of satin magnolia (not the right one for our new place) which I had used on our kitchen walls so maybe somebody can use the rest of our left-overs.
Most of the rest of my day was spent on housework, practising songs for choir and copying photo files. Being so much easier now I'm half-way through 2013. We found time to sit outside as well. I even rolled out my Pilates mat so that I could lie on my stomach in an attempt to even up my tan. Some parts of me such as my feet and arms are nicely golden (I don't go for the walnut brown look) but other parts are distinctly pale and insipid. Oh well, I don't take getting a tan that seriously anyway.
The rat problem in Borth is being taken care of by the local council though we've had to pay £53 for the service. The important thing is that we've taken steps to deal with the problem as soon as we heard about it. 
It was choir again tonight. Numbers seemed to be down as people are either on holiday or ill. We spent some time polishing up Labi Siffre's 'Something inside' and then it was back to the seaweed song. Here is a link to FB of us singing one of our rousing favourites Shona Malanga, the other week. Tonight we ended with 'Sometimes I feel like a motherless child' sung in four parts.

Tuesday 25 June 2019

Beautiful Weather.

I was up and out early, at least by my current standards, as I had a mammogram appointment. The mobile unit was parked in the Asda car park, very handy for some shopping. You only get a mammogram once every three years but at least now the machine scans the lymph glands as well. Some women find the process uncomfortable but I've never had any problem. 
The weather today has been wonderful, it had that lovely warmth you get in the Med, early in the day before it gets too hot. We don't get many days like that so they are truly appreciated. It felt like the weather was going to break in the middle of the day when the cool wind picked up but then it warmed right up again. It would have been a good day for a trip somewhere but Peter's knee has been very painful this week.
In Asda I came across boxes of Earl Grey tea reduced by 75% so as Earl Grey is the only tea I drink at home I bought eight boxes.  I also called in to Lidl and B&Q where I finally matched the correct colour for our bedroom. Magnolia sounds very mundane but I like the walls to match the curtains and Dulux magnolia is the perfect match.
At home after a little gardening and a final sealing session in the conservatory I returned to backing up my photos. Having worked my way through an enormous pile of discs each of which could hold 700 mb I started on the new stack that Peter gave me. These are dvd discs and hold over six times the capacity of the earlier discs. This means I can copy and paste a whole month  of photos and go off and do something else while the PC does its stuff. So far I've done two discs and covered five months. I wish I'd been given these discs before.
We had some news from Borth - we've got rats! or at least they're in the back garden. The place was empty for a year so no wonder they made themselves at home. Because we've had people doing stuff there the rats have started to disperse. Our neighbours who are pleasant enough but town people from the Midlands have not been happy to find baby rats cavorting in their garden. We're more or less surrounded by people's homes so we can't just expect the rats to move on and measures will have to be taken. Luckily we have another neighbour keeping an eye on the place and either he or our builder will be able to call the right people. I don't like poison and would prefer (killing) traps or dogs, cleaner and no toxic corpses left around but I don't think we'll have the option.
On a lighter note tonight's Pilates took place outside in the shade of three gorgeous trees. The main one was a weeping something (not willow), one was a purple leaved birch and the third had silvery white leaves. It was lovely looking up through the branches especially when we were having a short break in the middle of the session. With the shade and the breeze it wasn't too hot though I was glad I'd come in shorts rather than lycra leggings.

Monday 24 June 2019


It was a chilly morning with the sea mist obscuring the world beyond the river. The sun broke through later on and there were some brief but very hot spells in the afternoon.
Yesterday somebody got in touch with me about the tent and arranged to collect it this morning. Great news except that in the ad. I'd said I'd include a mallet. But could I find that mallet? I'd seen it in the box marked 'camping equipment' up in the loft. Held it in my hand wondering if it would be useful to have in the camper and then ………… put it down somewhere. I went up in the loft twice yesterday looking for it and again this morning and searched the house but it was not to be seen. I may well have tucked it out of sight on one of the pre-viewing tidies. In the end as I had a couple of things to put back in the garage I thought I'd try there. Opened the garage door and hey presto! there was a mallet. The weird thing was  that it wasn't the one from the loft. I popped the mallet in the tent bag, breathed a sigh of relief and then after all that the person never turned up.
So far the bandages have stayed on Speedy's feet. I used some extra longer finger plasters and on the worst foot I added strapping taking it above the joint. I've also stopped giving him the steroid tablets for the time being. They were to ease the itching partially/wholly triggered by flea bites but the fleas have gone at last, and the vet did say the steroids would slow the healing process.  I'll see how it goes. 
While deadheading the rose bush and picking up fallen petals, real heavy duty work, I spotted this Scalloped Oak moth resting on a rose petal. To me the pattern looks like two nose to nose animals, deer maybe.
The council men came this morning and mowed the communal grass. They left the section I mowed so it is the only part of the grass without rows of grass cuttings. It was a shame to see all the wildflowers chopped down. With people caring more about the environment and the natural world we are constantly being exhorted to allow the wildflowers to grow in our lawns. I've noticed one lawn nearby completely filled with white clover and the purple flowers of bugle. There's another lawn round the corner which has those and tall ox-eye daisies. A real flowering meadow.
I can't get enough of these lovely Sweet Juliet scented roses.
The day ended with a beautiful sunset. The many and varied lavender grey clouds were lit up from below with a deep pink glow which deepened over the evening. I try not to torment myself with wondering how that looked over Cardigan Bay. Instead I'm trying to find useful things to do to make our eventual move go more smoothly. This afternoon I finished off the great pile of discs and got as far as October in 2015.

Sunday 23 June 2019


The forecast was correct. I was just sweeping up the trimmings after tidying up the bigger of the blob bushes when the first raindrops fell. It has been raining on and off ever since and so far there have no leaks in the conservatory. At least I won't need to water the plants today.
One small job done today was to touch up some of the walls in the kitchen where the white paint had come off after I cleaned up a few marks.
My afternoon has been spent copying more files on to discs. I'm currently half-way through 2015 and need to work my way back to 2011 so there's still a lot to do. 

Saturday 22 June 2019


Another hot and sunny day. The same is forecast for tomorrow for all of the country except here. After a sunny start we can expect rain from the middle of the day.  Then I'll be able to see how successful my latest attempt to stop the conservatory leak has been.
At the moment it feels like we're in a state of limbo waiting for work to start in Borth and hoping we get a buyer for this place soon. For now, apart from the conservatory all I can do is keep the house and garden tidy and be prepared to pack up once more. Today I was able to re-home our smallest TV which we haven't needed since Dingles. Unfortunately I think the remote got chucked out a while back but at least somebody will be able to use the TV. I left the TV out on the doorstep for a lady to collect as I was off out doing the usual round of shops. I nearly forgot to take the bags of grass cuttings etc. and had to do a U-turn at the bottom of the road to come back and collect them. Then it was on to the dump, BJ's, Lidl, Tesco and B&Q.  At B&Q I bought some red busy lizzies to fill up a few gaps as all the summer bedding was being sold off at half price. I also picked up their bathroom and kitchen brochures for a little light reading and dreaming. The roads were fairly quiet for a Saturday, I expect a lot of people had headed to one of the local beaches.
I had hoped to put our mattress cover in to wash today but I just could not get the zip to budge. I could have cut the end of the zip off to open it up but I didn't fancy stitching in a new zip. That is if I could find an 18 ft. zip. Instead I washed the fleece undersheet from our bed. 
The clouds began rolling in this afternoon but we still managed to sit outside for an hour, that's probably enough in the sun.

Friday 21 June 2019

Summer Solstice.

It's the longest day of the year and what a beautiful day it has been. First thing this morning it was fairly cloudy but the day just got sunnier and hotter until the afternoon when there were just a few puffs of white cloud in the sky. I got two loads of washing done and ironed. The sheets are back on our bed and the room has that lovely 'freshly ironed' smell. I'm looking forward to feeling the smoothness of the bedding too. I can't believe that many people these days iron little if at all (heard it on the radio), they don't know what they are missing. 
This morning I found Speedy minus his collar and yes he'd been at his feet again. One has gone back to how it was right at the beginning so the plasters and bandages have gone back on. Daft cat.
('Scuse the reflections.) Later in the day I mowed the lawn and the main grass too. For the last few days my neighbour and her sister have been clearing all the weeds in the central paved space as well as edging and strimming the path. In years gone by I too would have been out there helping but not with my back as it is. I offered the mower to my neighbour to mow her section of the main grass but she was too worn out to do it today. It's interesting to see the range of wild flowers in the varying height of grass left by the different frequencies of mowing. I felt a bit bad about mowing off the white clover flowers but there are plenty more in the other sections. I even waited a couple of times to let a bumble bee collect the nectar & pollen from flowers a few inches in front of the mower. 
There's still a small amount of water getting into the conservatory so today I filled another gap and will wait for the next rain to see if that does the trick.
It being such a lovely day  we made time to spend an hour sitting out on the sunloungers. 
The evening sky at nearly half-past ten is fading into blues, greens and yellows and I can still hear the calls of seagulls above the muted roar of the traffic on the main road. Earlier there was just a hint of pink haze with a few pink streaks of cloud.
Thankfully there have been no hitches to writing today's post. Yesterday must just have been one of those weird things that happen with technology.

Thursday 20 June 2019

Second Try.

There's no way we'll be using our tent again which you can't even stand up in so I thought I'd advertise it on a couple of local sites and Gumtree for a nominal sum. So first I had to set it up to make sure that all the parts were there and working. It was put away and stored dry so thankfully there's no sign of mustiness. As I said in my ad. it can be put up by one OAP ie. me but it is easier with two especially if it's windy. After battling with the tent, it was harder folding and rolling it up neatly to fit into its bag. Staying outside I swept up the current scattering of rose petals and did a little weeding and deadheading.
(I don't know why but all sorts of odd things are happening to this post. First it wouldn't take the photos, then when I opened a new post it did but wouldn't paste the copied text and now I've made numerous attempts to re-type  without any success and now I'm giving up.)
PS. Apart from that it has been a good day.
I also carried on with giving the kitchen a thorough clean and sort out, yesterday it was the fridge and today one of the drawers which was filled with all sorts was emptied and cleaned.

As mentioned above I copied a few more months of photos onto discs. I've disconnected the external hard drive and taken out the disc, only my Walkman is attached for recharging. Strange.

Opened up a new blog post and hey presto it worked. A good thing too as I got totally lost on the help advice from Blogger.

Wednesday 19 June 2019

Sun, Sun, Sun.

After so many grey wet days it was wonderful to welcome the sun back this afternoon. It was such a nice change that we spent most of the afternoon sitting outside. I did start copying photo files from 2015 but it's taking  longer, I think because they first have to be copied from my external hard drive and then copied onto a disc.
The morning's viewing went well. It turned out that the couple knew the estate well as they lived in the road opposite years ago. Their children went to the school where I was teaching and the mother remembered me vaguely from those days. We share a mutual good friend and they are friends with  some people along the road that I also know. So they know the area and are familiar with the house (the houses on this estate are similar with some size or structural variations) but if this is the house for them, who can tell?
As the biscuit box was nearly empty I decided to bake some cookies for Peter. I was getting on fine until I found that we didn't have any Lidl's chocolate bars. Because I'm watching what I eat I try not to buy extra chocolate, too much temptation but I usually have a bar or two for baking. Instead I added lots of cocoa powder and was generous with the peanut butter. They were okay but you just can't beat the delight of biting into a chunk of soft chocolate in the biscuit.
It was choir night for me. NO seaweed song, hooray. We've started learning a Georgian song, only one word to learn but it has five syllables, Mravaljamier. It's supposed to be a rousing drinking/partying song but so far it's quite dirge like. And it didn't sound anything like this. I think we're attempting a much easier version.

Tuesday 18 June 2019


With little wind and the cows and the forecasters promising rain I didn't think it worth putting in a big load to wash. I did wash some tea towels that had been soaking and hung them up in the conservatory rather than risk the occasional shower.
We've got a viewing tomorrow morning so I did some extra cleaning and tidying up today.  On the Borth front, Peter has spoken again to the builder and they're working towards getting enough cleared so that we can move in. Hopefully they'll sort something out.
I got on with more copying of my photo files to discs and have finished 2016. With files of such varying sizes this time I hovered over the files to get their sizes and added them up until I got to about 700 MB. That saved having to go back and pick fewer files or add extra one by one and the mental arithmetic was a little challenge for my brain. I've still got files going back to 2011 on my external hard drive to copy.
This afternoon as I was nibbling some Tesco's own Ryvita (definitely not worth getting, Lidl's version is much better) a cheeky robin flew down and peered in through the sitting room window. The blackbirds have been coming down and feeding on fat balls in the buddleia and once in a while a sparrow appears. I've got my window open and I'm sure I just heard an owl. I heard them quite a lot last year. With birds in mind I had a quick look to see what happened with the escaped pelican. It was found a mile away the next day and they were able to entice it with food and capture it safely. It had flown off as the pelicans were getting their regular wing feather clipping.
Pilates again tonight. Only two more weeks until the end of term. The class was down to 10 this evening. I think that's the minimum number needed to sign up at the beginning of each term for the class to continue. Pilates has been so good for me in terms of flexibility, core strength and balance that I intend to keep it up for as long as I can.

Monday 17 June 2019


I wish I'd put some washing in the machine this morning because although we didn't get any sun neither did we get any rain.  
Speedy likes to view the word from my window and today he kept an eye on the cement lorry. Work has been going on at the front of that house for the past week, much noise as they took down part of the porch and dug up a section of the front garden.
We've just had a set back in terms of the work (or not) in Borth. Because the chap didn't get round to clearing the carpets etc. the builder who was waiting to start on phase 1 has now taken on another job which will last at least 10 weeks. Unless we want to wait that long Peter is going to have to find a new builder. Blast!
With nothing much to do this afternoon I carried on with my photo back-up back-up discs. It's dull work as it's trail and error to see how many days of photos fit on each disc. The time to add each group of files is variable and is too disruptive to enable me to read so I end up snatching short spells of working on my current on-line jigsaw. I got as far as our holiday on Lundy in 2016 and there were so many photos they had to go on 3 discs. Usually my camera splits up photos according to the date but hadn't in this case. Still it was pleasant to glance across the icons and remember what a wonderful place Lundy is.

The walk down to The Battery with its ruined cottages and cannon. 
 The harbour with Rat and Mouse islands beyond.
The North Lighthouse.

Sunday 16 June 2019

Lots of Grey.

A lot of grey today, a few warm sunny spells in the morning with a number of light showers. Not enough to really test the efficacy of yesterday's sealing of the conservatory. By the afternoon it was consistently grey and a bit on the cool side. 
I climbed up into the loft and brought down the small tv that used to be in our bedroom at Dingles, photographed it and put it on the free FB page. Somebody has already made an enquiry but hasn't arranged a time to collect while the self tan sprays and lotion I also put on were asked for straight away. They are due to be collected tomorrow. 
When I went downstairs this morning Speedy was walking around with his plastic cone hanging around his neck. Somehow the gaffer tape had come off, not sure how.  That was soon repaired but Speedy has already licked one of his feet making it bleed, aargh. I've gone back to putting a couple of plasters on that foot.