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.

Monday 31 May 2021


A lot more haze today keeping the temperature down, though still 23C according to the Lifeboat page. 
The pair of dolphins were back again this morning and we saw them right inshore as we ate our breakfast delighting us and a couple of families out walking on the cliff. That was followed by ten Canada geese flying in a line over the sea towards the wetlands.
And what a day it's been. I had my 'emergency dental appointment at 12.40 so first thing this morning, as instructed I telephoned the dental practice to confirm things. Or at least I tried to. I got nothing but their answerphone on each occasion so in the end I twice left my details and went off to town anyway. Got to the surgery to find no-one apart from the young girl who should have had the appointment before mine still waiting on the pavement. There was a number on the door to ring to be let in which she'd already tried several times. After one more time, also fruitless, I rapped loudly on the glass window as we could see somebody cleaning? inside. but no response so in the end we left. Back home I rang NHS Direct, waited, answered more questions, several times and got no further than an apology. The trouble is the dentists don't really want to do the emergency NHS work and are only interested in charging for private work. Now I've got to phone the Booking Dept. tomorrow morning to arrange a new appointment. Somehow I doubt it will be nearby or before Friday so I guess I'll be paying for private treatement on Friday. Thank goodness the toothache is being kept bearable with my strong painkillers.
I called in at Lidl where I'd parked the car and bought myself a few treats, but not ice-cream, as well as some basic shopping.
At home after my phone calls were done I sat in the shade enjoying the fresh air. As the sun travelled across the sky I was forced further and further off the terrace and back into the sitting room. Speedy also likes being out in the sun and yesterday I noticed that the white half of his ear was looking rather pink. To prevent any further damage I applied factor 50 suncream, a children's version which stays blue so you can see where it has gone on. He wasn't impressed and I now have a couple of small scratches on my hand.
'Our' blackbird likes to sing from the top of our neighbour's old tv ariel. Today he had a most disgusting beakful of large worms but he still sang though it was a bit muted. Out on the water the rowing club were out again. The fancy boat with fishermen on board received our disapproval earlier when they reversed the boat near the shore where it was full of kids swimming (on this side of where the rowers are in the photo). They backed in slowly but even so I wouldn't have thought that was at all safe.
Yesterday evening we were treated to a sun dog, caused by ice crystals in the clouds. 


Sunday 30 May 2021

A Scorcher.

Last night we had the most glorious sunset which went from gold through to orange then red. Even after the sun had sunk below the horizon the mackerel sky clouds were dappled pink but my camera couldn't capture their lovelieness.
True enough the day has been hot and sunny. No good for me but lovely for all the visitors. The lifeboat station now has a page giving meterological details and it showed the temperature at 24C/75F. Sunburn weather! The beach and the water were busy all day. When I looked down the beach to Ynyslas the beach there was as busy as Woolacombe on a sunny day. The lifeboat went out in the afternoon to two paddleboarders who were being taken out by the tide but by the time they got there the SUPs had almost made it back to shore.
My first job of the day was to finish off the curtains for my study. It's so nice to be able to see out. As I'd planned I moved the pitcher plants to that window to be away from any radiators. The third one has woolly aphids so it's outside for the time being after a spray with insecticide. Now I'll have to find the rest of my blue glass collection.
The sitting room window has a new look too with the sculpture of two white doves which have acquired some brown stone 'eggs'.
With all the recent rain the grass in the front garden is growing fast so I got out the mower and mowed two curving paths through the wild flower meadow. I don't plan to get rid of the grass until next year.
I covered up when I did the mowing and used factor 50 on my face just to be safe. Once that was done we sat out on the terrace, Peter in the sun and me in the shade and when the shade disappeared I moved into the doorway. I cheered myself up by looking forward to many more days like this and I may even be tempted to head down for a swim or bodyboarding session.


Saturday 29 May 2021


It has got a lot warmer but overall it's been a grey day. I took the photo below in the afternoon just before it rained. Earlier the sea had been completley calm and despite the greyness there were plenty of people pootling about on the water mostly in kayaks or on paddleboards. Later Peter tried to avoid looking out as the rowing club took the boat out. (His rib still isn't up to rowing.)
As we were eating our breakfast Peter suddenly noticed a pair of dolphins lazily surfacing in the water about level with the rock islands. A lucky kayaker with a child on board was nearby. I went out with my binoculars to watch the dolphins and to keep an eye on the kayaker but he had sensibly stopped paddling and then paddled away. If I'd seen him trying to get closer I'm not sure what I would have done, maybe yelled as approaching the dolphins is not allowed. Disturbance can stop them from feeding and generally cause stress. Sadly somebody reported that there was a decomposing porpoise (we have dolphins and porpoises) in one of the coves under the cliff. It's probably the same one that was spotted around Aber in last few days.
My first job this morning was to paint a second coat on the metal parts of the clothes airer. It's a bit blobby but they'll be up high so it shouldn't notice.
The rest of the day was taken up with unpicking the last seam and then taking off all the little bits of thread from the old curtain. I had hoped to save time by utilising the original hems but they were kind of droopy at the ends so I had to cut the fabric and make new hems. I'm making the curtain in two pieces and got the first one sewn and hung up. Unfortunately I had to use the off-white cheesecloth as that was all I had left and it doesn't look as good as the brilliant white in the other window. I'll carry on and make the second curtain until either I get used to them or I find the missing big curtain from our old sitting room. Or I suppose I could just buy some new fabric. It's more about not wanting to waste stuff rather than the cost. 
Note to self - NEVER eat ice-cream when you have a grumbling tooth. I thought it would be okay to have something cool on the inside of my mouth as an ice pack on the outside of my cheek had been fairly soothing. Boy was I wrong. I'll save the ice-cream for after the tooth has been dealt with.


Friday 28 May 2021


Normal service resumes! Also Peter checked out and then installed an adware blocker which seems to have got rid of that annoying malware that redirected comments to ads. However spellchecker is still on strike.
I'm pleased to report that the antibiotics are taking effect, just the visit to the dentist on Monday to see if it's a tooth problem. As can be seen from the photos today has been a grey day with almost constant light rain. A shame for people coming down for the Bank Holiday weekend.
There's still plenty to do indoors and today I carried on with unpicking two smaller curtains to provide the fabric for the study curtain. Only one seam left to do and then I can make up the curtain. While I worked I watched the sparrows feeding on seeds on the terrace. Later in the afternoon the boss builder came round with the price from the specialist chap for the glass balustrade. It's eye-wateringly expensive which we had expected. About three times the cost of paving the terrace with stone slabs. But there's no point in trying to skimp on the quality as the glass and fittings have to stand up to the winter storms which as we've experienced can be quite ferocious. Also the terrace will be an important living space  from where we can enjoy the view and watch the world go by. 
The apple cake has nearly all been eaten so this afternoon I baked a lemon drizzle cake. looking forward to having a slice this evening.

Wednesday's sunset. I've just heard the weather man say that from Sunday onwards it's going to be high temperatures with unbroken sunshine and high UV levels. That's me stuck indoors then.

Thursday 27 May 2021


There might not be any photos today because each time I try to load them an error message comes up. I'm putting this down to the fact that in an effort to restore my spellchecker I told my pc to reset. That was a bad idea as there's still no spell checker, every page I go to needs the password, the 400 piece jigsaw I was doing got wiped out and the tide times site no longer shows the tide times. However thinking about it I did the reset before yestersday's blog and that didn't have any problems.

The weather today has been bright and sunny, a regular Borthbados day. It looks like the good weather is here to stay for the weekend which for a reason that will become clear later in the post, I won't be able to enjoy.

Sunshine always fills me with energy and not only had I gone over all the floors with the dry mop and loaded up the washing machine but I'd also washed the front windows all before breakfast. After breakfast I finally got round to dismantling and cleaning the old ceiling clothes airer. The wooden slats had a good scrub and the metal end pieces were also cleaned before getting a first coat of white Hammerite metal paint. I then weeded the planters in the pathway along the side of the house before the weeds set seed and took the secateurs to the neighbours' elder bush/tree growing across the garden wall towards the side of our house.

Knowing how uninteresting other people's ailments are I try and keep health references to a minimum but here goes. For the last week I've been suffering from intense pain in my jaw either from my teeth or a long term sinus problem. This morning I tried to register with an NHS dentist but none of them are taking new patients and one of the dentists I phoned didn't even have any appointments for private patients. One dentist could fit me in for a private appointment which might include an extraction, anything to reduce the pain, but not until next Friday, not tomorrow but next week! The kind receptionist suggested I phoned NHS Direct and two phone calls and many questions later they found me an emergency appointment in Aber for next Monday. I could have had an appointment for Saturday if I didn't mind travelling for over two hours each way but Monday will do. I was also told to ring my GP to see if I might need antibiotics. Rang the surgery and then waited for the prescribing pharmacist (at least that's who I think I spoke to) to ring me back. This he did and prescribed me an antibiotic which is good but it comes with instructions to stay out of the sun, a shame but worth it if it sorts out the pain. By this time it was 15 minutes before the pharmacy closed so I walked down there and thankfully they did have that antibiotic in stock. A very different day to the one I thought I was going to have. We were going to go down to walk in the sand dunes but yet again that will have to wait until the week is up and I'm able to be out in the sun again.

Friday morning - tried adding a photo and it worked. Was it me or Blogger? I've been told off for not checking my anti-virus programs every day to make sure I haven't missed any updates 'cos of power cuts etc.

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Zoo Day.

A bright day with an exceedingly cold wind.
Before I left for the zoo this morning the man from Sky came round to fix our phone which hasn't been working for the last week. Peter had been in touch with Sky on his mobile and they kept saying the line was working but we still had no house phone which we get through Sky. It turns out that BT fitted the wrong socket so we have to wait for them to replace it. Also we seem to have the wrong sort of Sky hub which has now been replaced giving us a much better broadband speed.
Being sheltered from the wind at the zoo it was lovely and warm as I worked in a t-shirt though at times the wind howled eirily through the surrounding trees. Before I continue I need to make a correction to last week's zoo post. The two ex-pet monkeys are not Colobus monkeys (they're around the corner) but Cappuchin monkeys. Louie is 17 years old and Matthew is 33! I'm so glad they are able to be together, they groom each other , share food and co-operate to get food out of mazes. They have one puzzle maze where the food is put in at the top and they have to poke at the food with a stick to get it out at the bottom. Louie sits at the top doing the prodding and Matthew waits at the bottom for the food. This I learnt as another group of people were on a zoo tour. Cappuchin monkeys are popular as pets, they're small and very clever, but once they get to puberty at 5 they become unpredictable much like teenagers and it's then they are no longer used for film work or wanted as pets. 
This is the female wolf dog. She has some sort of swelling on her neck which needs regular draining.
My work today was much the same as last week. I started with a sweep around most of the paths and then settled down to weeding the same patch of gravel. Apart from Louie and Matthew banging a couple of hard plastic balls with food inside (dog toys I think) the sound-scape was more bird based. There was the gentle chuntering of a couple of hens, the occasional screech of a peacock and the twittering of finches in an aviary behind me. My one diversion was being asked to assist another regular volunteer to put a plaster on her finger which had a nasty bite from one of the woolly pigs which she'd been working with.
The meerkats are real crowd pleasers due to their inquisitive behaviour. They have a wooden structure in their enclosure, about 5 feet high and while I was sweeping there was a 'lookout' sitting right on the top. Naturally when I came by with my camera they were all down on the ground but they are easy to photograph as they come up and sit still.
When I got back home the first thing I had to do was to wash the car as it was covered with what looked like dozens of white finger prints. Our resident flock of sparrows must have had flash mob event on it, revenge for the sparrow Speedy killed perhaps? Then there was still time to sit outside, well wrapped up against the cold wind, to unpick yet another curtain to make the 'nets' for the second window in my study.


Tuesday 25 May 2021


It's been a sunny day with just a few very light showers. Any time I looked out of the kitchen window there was a major gathering of dark clouds over the mountains. No sun for anyone there today.

Speedy this morning enjoying the warmth of the radiator. He knows that he's not allowed on the table. If we see him on the table he gets shouted at and/or poked with a finger until he moves back to the window or the radiator if he feels in need of a warm up.
Peter had to go out this morning so I took the opportunity to go and do some work in the back garden. He tends to get concerned if he sees me doing manual work as he knows how easily I can overdo things and cause my back and ribs to flare up. But I'm a stubborn old woman and if the work needs doing then I'll do it. I used the trolley to bring through bucketfuls of gravel which I put in the raised bed before topping off with compost. I got about a third of the bed done and was able to plant one more clematis and a pot of garlic chives which I split into three. It was a pleasant surprise to see one of the other clematis already flowering.
I saw the lifeboat going out at midday. Training is usually on Sundays so I wonder if they were on a shout. They came back two hours later though they waited on the water for a long time before taking the lifeboat back to the station. Later this evening, as we were eating supper we saw them out again and to our surprise they headed to the base of the cliff at the bottom of the garden. Even though I wanted to know what they were doing I refrained from going out to look in case they had found something. Nothing has come up on FB either on the local group page or the lifeboat page or the local news.
In the afternoon I got on with my curtain making. First I screwed in the smallest size of cup hooks into the window frames. These were to support some long wooden dowl on to which I intended to thread the curtains. I measured and pinned very carefully so was surprised to find the curtain sitting very unevenly when I hung it up. It took me a while to realise that the handle of the small top window was pushing at the curtain causing it to rise up. I had to re-pin the curtain in situ to get it level, talk about made-to-measure. I finally got the first curtain done and the tatty plastic table cover off.


Monday 24 May 2021


Grey and very wet for most of the day and then suddenly late in the afternoon it brightened up.
The heavy rain was the perfect accompaniment to a day spent unpicking the curtain and at last that job is done. To see how it would look I took down the plastic from one of the study windows and taped up the muslin and it looks fine. I've just checked the letterbox and found the cuphooks to hold the dowl have arrived so maybe tomorrow I'll be making and putting up the muslin curtains. After that, who knows? I may even be moving my pc into my study soon. 
While I was busy unstitching in the afternoon I heard a loud bang which I thought was Peter opening our metal garage door. I looked out of the front door but there was nothing to be seen. From the replies to an enquiry on the local page it seems that the Bomb Squad were down by the sand dunes so the best guess is they were blowing up more ordnance. Better not poke any metal objects when we walk on the dunes.
No doubt that once it warms up after all this rain the garden is going to burst into life. I can't wait to see how it will look now that the hedges have been tamed and the brambles removed.
There are a lot of self-seeded aquilegias in the back and front garden and I'm pleased that there are a lot of the dark purple ones and some white ones.


Sunday 23 May 2021


Plenty of rain today making it a good sewing day.
Sunday mornings the lifeboat crew go out for training. We could see by the way the boat was bouncing up and then hitting the water with a large splash just how rough it was. We only have the smallest class of lifeboat here but a good indicator of the need for lifeboat services in this area is the fact that there are also lifeboat stations at Aberystwyth and Aberdyfi a few miles on either side of us. Yesterday I heard and saw the coastguard helicopter flying towards Aber and today I read here that they were taking an unwell walker from Cader Idris to the hospital.

I spent the afternoon sewing. A slight diversion from unpicking the curtain which still needs to be done to adding a hood to my ex-Navy coat. It's an excellent Gortex coat but came without a hood. We have waterproof caps but if we're out in a storm the water tends to run down my neck. The hood I added is a zip-on hood from a jacket that is headed for the charity shop as it's surplus to our needs. I unpicked the zip carefully and re-stitched the jacket so that you can hardly tell that it once had a hood and then stitched the zip under the collar of the coat. While the colour may not match it's certainly going to keep the rain out. It was only as he was taking the photo that Peter told me you can buy the hoods that go with these jackets. Humph, I've never seen them and the job is done now.
Below is another photo from 10 years ago of the work done to create the sea defences. If you have a spare half a million and would like to live in Borth the very last house on the hill is up for sale here . (This link will disappear when the house is sold as estate agents have a super power that lets them remove things from the internet which I thought you can't do.)
We're eating in front of the tv tonight and having snacks, how indulgent, while we watch The Eurovision Song Contest which we recorded yesterday as it didn't start until 8.00. We've carefully avoided listening to the news so don't know the winner, as if it's that important but I did hear that yet again Britain got 'Nul points'. No surprise there as our songs are never very good and the rest of Europe hates Britain. Why Australia and Israel count as part of Europe I have yet to fathom. That said it's a fun spectacle to watch and I'm sure Peter will enjoy the portion he see before he falls asleep. 

Saturday 22 May 2021


The gale has finally blown itself out. It's still cold and windy but today's surfers must have felt rather disappointed as they waited for some decent waves.
After breakfast I cut ran the clippers over Peter's hair. It took a lot longer than usual as there were two callers as he sat there in the chair draped in a hairdressers' cape. First was a neighbour enquiring about the food caddy I'd left out. Last Wednesday evening we'd rescued it from being blown down the road and over the cliff and not knowing whose it was I'd left it on the pavement weighed down with a couple of bricks. I had quite a chat with the chap as they moved here in November (they're the young family who were out on the paddle boards) and it's good to be friendly. Went back to my hairdressing duties and then the postman rang the doorbell with some parcels for Peter. Such an exciting morning.
I spent most of the afternoon unpicking the curtain but it's not such a relaxing activity when the sun starts shining outside. In the end I wrapped up well, and then had to take off my coat as the back garden is quite sheltered, and did some gardening for an hour. The middle raised bed was already here when we moved in and is full of good compost. My plan is to take out and bag up a lot of the compost, which I've done and then move all the compost to one end, also done so that I can fill the bottom half with any rubble that's left and add gravel. Then I can shift the compost back over the gravel and do the next section. Currently the dumpy bag of gravel is blocking the drive and too heavy for us to move so the sooner I start emptying it the better.