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.

Tuesday 30 November 2021


Everything looked quite wet this morning so my first reaction was to abandon my walk up the hill as the path would be slippery. However I knew that would make me feel as if I had failed in my self-imposed challenge and as it wasn't actually raining I went anyway. Later in the day the clouds dropped even lower putting a light drizzle in the air.
It was much warmer today and the walk up the hill was quite enjoyable. Not a lot to see but I did find these mushrooms growing in the grass.
Today was a busy shopping day for me. First stop was the dump where I got rid of plenty of garden rubbish and a few other bits. Next was the builders' merchants next to the dump to see if they had some wooden long poles. They didn't but sent me up to Travis Perkins round the back of the industrial estate who also didn't have the wood I needed but at least I now know where they are. Going back through the industrial estate I had to smile when I saw 3 black and 1 white sheep grazing on a grass verge. They obviously fancied a holiday from their field. As I went past the second time a chap who looked like a farmer, was looking at them from his car.
Then I drove over to Morrisons and did an extra large shop so that we shouldn't need much between now and Christmas. I got a few reductions for Peter, mainly Indian snacks plus some Cumberland sausages. Food bought I headed into town to park in the Matalan carpark where you get 3 hours free parking. That gave me time to visit the small shops after I dropped off a bag of clothing at the Salvation Army charity shop. I bought some books on Welsh history for Peter at Waterstones and was very pleased to find that I could understand parts of the conversation (in Welsh) between another customer and the shop assistant. Even a few whole sentences, wow. A short drive round to Lidl next where I bought more food and resisted all the lovely Christmas goodies which would be no good for my diet. My last stop was another builders' merchants which had the wooden poles I needed. For some reason the chap knocked a couple of quid off each pole. Don't know why but I'll take any savings. Oh and when I was in town I went into a fancy porcelin tile place where I was drawn to the extra large tiles, some over a metre wide. I was wondering about using them for the splashback in the kitchen. A couple of problems though, first holes would have to be cut for the electric sockets, they are very expensive and they aren't sold in ones. I still think glass is what I want.


Monday 29 November 2021

It was bitterly cold this morning with calm seas and overcast skies. Later on the sea mist rolled in making the washing I'd hung out on the line wet again.
We headed up the hill to the Memorial before breakfast again. I've set myself the challenge of going up there every day for a week, unless it's raining. Today I didn't make it all the way to the top without having to stop to catch my breath because the air was so cold.
There's still some snow up on the mountains and I thought I was looking at 'snow skies' but once the sea mist rolled in the temperature rose a little. I'm listening to the news as I blog, it's just been announced that all adults over 18 are to be offered booster vaccinations 3 months after the second dose. However when I checked on our health board's site they acknowledged the news but still say not to contact them unless you haven't heard 28 weeks after your second dose and only if you're over 40 (I qualify on that one.).
Peter has spent the day working in the garage and I've finally got round to sorting and cleaning the slides that got water damaged when they were stored in the bathroom. Fortunately most of the slides of my mother's art works were fine, just the plastic boxes needed a good clean. I did have to throw quite a lot of slides away but they were mainly of other artists' work or folk art. I cleaned all the little plastic side boxes with wipes and to be on the safe side have spread the slides out on paper towels across my study floor. There's still another box of folders to go through but at least I've started.
Now that I'm getting almost an aerial view of the village I thought I'd label the amenities. There are three pubs too, one still closed but they're all a bit further up past the surgery. We also have two chip shops, an Indian restaurant/ takeaway, several gift shops, a small cinema / restaurant, a couple of cafe type places and a golf club at the far end of the village. A library would have been lovely but you can't have everything. It's not the prettiest of villages though there's plenty of character but more important to us was to be within 10 miles of a hospital. No good living in a picturesque village at the foot of Snowdonia if you have 30 or 40 miles to go to get emergency care.


Sunday 28 November 2021


Quite cold today. Dry in the morning and wet in the afternoon.
We went for a short walk up to the Memorial before breakfast. It's not far but the steep hill gives me an excellent workout, gets the heart pounding which as I haven't been able to do my daily exercises (anything to do with core strength sets off my rib inflammation) is very satisfying. Today I made it all the way to the top without stopping. There the rewards are the amazing views and the easy downhill walk home.
As we surveyed the remaining snow on the mountains the air was filled with the shrieks of a group of swimmers down below. Not surprising as they were in the water without wetsuits. I believe the advice is 1 minute per degree C. It wasn't long before they were out of the water and running for their towels. The large grey building on the right is the Community Hall which was built after the original Memorial Hall burnt down in 1993. Utilitarian from the outside it holds a sports hall and stage and has playing fields and a small children's playground behind it.
Breakfast was all the nicer for the walk. Afterwards I did my music practice, guitar as well today. Then after hanging out some washing, just a couple of fleeces, on the line I wrapped up and did some more cutting back of the montbretia in the front garden before the rain had me rushing to rescue the washing. Being outside helps to lift my mood as I've felt a bit off today. Even though it was years ago it only takes a dream to remind me of the stress I was put under at work which amounted to bullying by my boss and coterie ( I was just one of a number of victims) and resulted in the loss of my part-time work. That was so long ago and my life now is good but every now and again it gets to me. Ah well, Strictly to look forward to after supper and I might treat myself to some Bailey's. (Ginger biscuits go really well with Bailey's.)
I finished off the afternoon with my Welsh homework and a bit more felting and now I have a red sphere. Time to check out my photo folder of craft ideas for inspiration.


Saturday 27 November 2021


Wow! What a night. The storm got stronger and stronger until for a couple of hours we were at 'severe storm force 11' with gusts of up to 70mph. Any worse and it counts as a hurricane. The neighbour's roof stayed on, just. I could feel the doors to the front moving slightly and I was so worried that we might end up with the doors blown in that I dragged a couple of boxes full of books and jammed then against the French doors and the kitchen door. Then being me I heaved my sewing machine on top of the one at the kitchen door. That reassured me and I'd stopped worrying about the clatter too. I'd finally traced it to the extractor vents from the bathroom and was relieved that the roof wasn't about to peel off. We were just getting off to sleep despite the noise of the wind when we were startled awake by a loud crash, which turned out to be the plastic dustbins being blown over. 
When we woke this morning it was really quiet though the sea was still rough. When I went out on the terrace I was shocked to see snow up on the hills, though I guess the freezing cold air should have been a clue.
After breakfast we wrapped up and went for a walk along the beach. Apart from the tattered flags there was surprisingly little damage though across the country there are reports of trees down, blocked roads and tens of thousands of homes without power. Sadly three people lost their lives due to falling trees. 
The zoo also took some damage with part of the perimiter fence being blown down. They put out a request for people to help get the fence back up but I didn't see it until later in the afternoon otherwise we would have gone down to help.
On our way back from our beach walk I carried on and went up to the Memorial to get a better view right across the bay. From there I could see what was left of the snow. I had to be careful clinbing up the hill as I was wearing wellington boots and the path is a mud and rock cliff path better suited to walking boots.
Back home Peter carried on sorting out the garage while I washed the salt off the front windows and then washed some floors. That included the utility room where Speedy had piddled over the side of the litter tray. He only uses the tray if he can't go out in the evening. Thank goodness it's a tiled floor. After all that I settled down on the sofa and did some felting making a sphere using collected sheep's wool. I haven't quite decided how I'm going to cover and decorate it yet. Have to wait for inspiration.


Friday 26 November 2021

Storm Arwen.

We woke this morning to the sound of Storm Arwen, the first of the winter storms, which had arrived in the night. Not only could we hear the crashing of the waves and the howling of the wind but we could see handfuls of sea foam being blown past our bedroom window. The storm raged all through the day with the Met. Office reporting gusts of up to 47mph and 2m waves and continues still with the warning
now upgraded from yellow to amber overnight. We can expect gusts of up to 70mph and power cuts. Yikes! I've made sure my Kindle is fully charged.
Today was the first day that we've kept the heating on all day. We shan't keep it on overnight as all the insulation keeps the place warm but I expect it will be needed tomorrow.
With tomorrow sounding like it's going to be even wilder I took advantage of a break in the rain to go down to the shop for milk, bread and croissants for Sunday. Naturally I went on to the beach and when I got to the slipway I had a long look at the clouds and wind direction before deciding that the next squall wasn't due soon and I could carry on walking along the beach instead of going straight to the shop. I was lucky and the rain held off until after I got back home. I was fully protected from head to toe in waterproofs but although my camera has a long strap so that I can slip it under my jacket earlier showers had been so heavy that I left my camera at home. And of course it was nice and sunny, though very windy as I walked along the beach. The only other walker on the beach was dressed in the same way, hood up and wraparound glasses to protect the eyes. As the saying goes, there's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes.
On my way back I called in at the neighbour's to let one of the carers know that the roof of their garage conversion was lifting off. Another of the white bars is also lifting further along and I suspect they may lose the roof overnight. It was be so easy for me to stand on the garden wall and pop a concrete block up there to weigh the end roofing panel down but in the past the carers have made it clear we are not to go on the property so telling them about it was all I could do. Earlier I had checked around the outside of our place to make sure nothing was blowing or flapping about. There is one clatter we can't pinpoint. It may be something up in the loft that's rattling in the wind but if it is it's not a problem and I haven't gone up there to check.
Apart from the usual household things and music practice all I've done is more sorting in the hall and our bedroom and finished off the Christmas cards. Postage is expensive but I feel that sending a card with a personal note and the annual letter is one way of staying in contact with people we rarely see.

Thursday 25 November 2021


A sunny start to the day had me hanging out washing after breakfast. 
In the morning we or rather Peter, put up the fittings and curtain pole in the hall. Unfortunately the pole, which had been kept in the garage had developed a little bend which together with the length has resulted in a bit of a sag in the middle. While the 'pooled' look of the curtains might look nice it's not very practical when the curtains will be drawn daily across the grubby door mat. Later in the afternoon I began pinning up the hem so that the curtains don't touch the floor but I might wait until we try out some sort of supporting bracket above the radiator.
Once again the language class was hard work. Today was all about I want/don't want and Do you want? And the words for Yes and No vary depending on what the question was and at least one of the options also changes depending if the subject is singular or plural and maybe even masculine or feminine but I'm not sure about that.
It was only much later in the afternoon that I remembered the washing out on the line. Gosh it was pitch black out in the back garden. Out on the street side of the house there is a street lamp outside my study, another by the terrace and one on the cliff at the bottom of the garden so I wasn't expecting the utter darkness in the back garden. Luckily I have a decent head torch so I was able to see to walk down the garden. It might be worth putting in an extrnal light on the back of the garage wall when we have the light and sockets put in the garage.

Wednesday 24 November 2021

Heavy Rain.

The day began dry with fluffy clouds in a blue sky. Wednesday mornings are always a rush for me as I have to get the recycling/food waste out before going to the zoo and this week it was the three weekly bin and glass collection as well which is why I didn't take a photo. It stayed dry for the morning then began to rain just as I was walking round taking a few photos and chatting to the other volunteers.
We had heavy rain in the afternoon which along with the worsening waves caused Peter's row to be cancelled.
Down at the zoo I spent three hours behind this fence weeding over one of the few areas planted up with garden shrubs and bushes. There was some summer growth to cut back which gave me the opportunity to find and dig up the last, hopefully, of the stinging nettle roots and the few other weeds that had popped up.
Looks like there's going to be a Christmas grotto..
At least Mr Turkey doesn't have to worry about becoming Christmas dinner.
Back home I felt sorry for Peter as he'd been looking forward to rowing so I baked him a cake. I've called it a fruit 'n nut cake like the chocolate bar as I added chocolate, sultanas and almonds to a basic  cake recipe. While the cake was baking I finished off this small felted Christmas bauble. It's about the size of a golf ball and I used some lovely wool that changes colour and thickness along its length over sheep's wool collected at Hartland Point and apart from the glass bead completely recyclable. A lot of the decorations I've seen on-line are made by felting over a polystyrene ball, then washing in a washing machine to get a good base coat before decorating which is not very 'green' and also pricey.


Tuesday 23 November 2021

Looking Back.

It's been a grey windless day today. No sea mist or rain but I wasn't inspired to take any photos. 
Instead I'm posting some 'then and now' photos, all taken from the internet. The first one came up recently on one of the local FB groups I belong to but it was so small I couldn't see our house.
The little rectangles in the Google photo are the holiday chalets in the biggest of a number of holiday parks around the village.
Don't have a date for the above photo but it predates the sea defences which were built in 2011.
Another one from 1949 in which I was able to spot our house and the neighbours. From a purely selfish point of view I prefer the older version though we probably wouldn't have the shop with its three kinds of tahine and two types of wholemeal pasta and the people living along the High Street would be subject to regular flooding..
Back to my day - I did quite a lot of outdoor work, first detatching the tree trunk from the biggest root. That involved sawing through the root, which was some sort of compound root, twice so that I could take out a slice of root. While I did that Peter worked in garage building a workbench. I also notice that the shelf which I thought was too wide is now narrower. I tried giving the trunk a shove but there was only the slightest of give. I do hope that chap comes to chainsaw the stump to bits. Then, after a break, I went down to the front garden and began cutting back the montbretia. It's currently growing around the steps and a couple of the hydrangea bushes and will eventually be moved but for the time being I'm just tidying up for winter. The big garden waste bag is almost full so I guess it's time to think about a trip to the dump. I also got a few indoor jobs done; first coat of paint on the wood Peter screwed to the wall in the hall cupboard, first coat of white Hammerite on the metal fittings that will hold the curtain pole (I used a cotton bud as the fitting are small and I didn't want to have to clean a brush with special cleaner as instructed on the tin) and hung up  a framed LOTR poster in the hall.

Monday 22 November 2021


Bright and cold enough for frost in the morning but this time without a breath of wind to disturb the glassy sea. Optimistically I put washing out on the line but it wasn't much drier when I brought it back in at the end of the day.
After breakfast I went to the Post Office and the pharmacy via the beach of course. Walking in the sun beside the gently lapping waves was most relaxing.

The beams were still there on top of the rocks. I guess the bolts proved too much for yesterday's recycler. The photo doesn't show the sizes clearly but for scale there are some footprints in the sand and each of those rocks is 3-5ft high.
Back home Peter and I made a start on putting up a curtain pole over the front door. Our brains must work very differently because we simply don't understand the other's description of how things go together. In the end I left Peter to do the carpentry and went outside to do more digging and sawing under the tree trunk. 
It was quite awkward working under the tree trunk so eventually I called a halt before I did too much damage to my back. Indoors I did some felting and the ironing before the evening drew in after a pretty pink sunset.


Sunday 21 November 2021


Bright and sunny today with a very cold wind. I went to put some stuff in the washing machine and discovered that what I thought was a bottle of washing liquid was in fact an anti-bacterial additive. That wasn't too bad as I was about to wash some fabric that was a bit musty but I did need soap for the next wash. I put my 10 yard length of heavy duty white cotton fabric in the machine with the last of the washing soap and went down to the shop via the beach. 
It was bitterly cold in the shade but most invigorating once in the sun. Only one surfer in the water, there wasn't really any surf, and a few dog walkers out on the beach.
At the far end of my walk a chap was working on the wooden beams which had settled on top of the rocks. He had a big car wrench and a metal bar and was working on undoing the giant bolts that hold the beams together. I had a chat with him and he said he hoped to use them for building a veranda. Meanwhile his two children, both well wrapped up, sat on his quad bike up on the sand.
More of those home made lobster pots and a whole mess of rope. Far too much for me to drag up to the bins. Behind me, on either side, were the bodies of two seals which was sad to see.
Back home I hung up the washed fabric which took up almost the whole length of the washing line. I don't have a use for it at the moment but it comes under the heading of 'Useful Stuff'. For some reason I kept thinking it would be perfect for making protest banners. I don't know why as I've only been on one protest march and that was over 30 years ago.
Then I got to work clearing the soil away from the roots of the tree trunk and taking it down to the front garden. Now I can dig away more of the soil and cut the big root on the left. I finished off my afternoon by ironing the fabric, hanging up one more picture in the hall and unwrapping a couple of others. 


Saturday 20 November 2021

Mostly Grey.

A mostly grey day with one sunny spell that had me filling the washing machine and taking a few photos of the pretty blue sky. I still hung the washing out for a while where the wind helped to get it part dried.
While Peter went off to town to the builders' merchants I used his PC to type up our Christmas letter. That mainly consisted of listing the work we've had done by our errant builders and the work we've done ourselves. We have come a long way since last year but there's still a fair bit left to do. I had two hiccups as I typed, first the words kept disappearing when I inserted text and then I found that Peter's delete key kept sticking with even more loss of text. The first problem was solved by pressing the 'insert' key ( Mr Google told me this) and after repeated undos I used the back space key to delete and left the sticky key alone.
When Peter returned with my super sharp bow saw I went out to work on the tree trunk. It was so much easier to cut through the roots, the hard part was stretching to clear the soil away to make room for the saw. It was only as for the nth time I moved the soil from one side of the tree to another that I realised it would make things a lot easier if I dug away the soil and took it down to the dumpy bag in the front garden, It was going to go in the front garden anyway and it will make working on the tree much easier. I only took four buckets down today as my back was already sore but if I do a bit at a time it will get done eventually.
My final job of the day was to do some ironing and put the rest of the washing on the ceiling airer.


Friday 19 November 2021


A lot of sea mist today with low cloud that made for a damp day though there were tantalising patches of sunshine at times 
As we ate breakfast we watched five college youngsters (16/17 yrs) filming an interview with a local resident out on the cliff. Something new to watch every day.
Then we put up the sword in the inner hall. It may have only been a small job but if we do one thing each day we will get there eventually. After that I went out to do some grubbing about in the garden, clearing soil from the tree and sawing out several small roots and one large one as thick as my arm. Not wishing to ruin our good wood saw I used an old saw which wasn't the most efficient method. I have a feeling we gave away our bow saws. They'd been very useful when we lived in the country but I didn't think I would need them here. Peter is going to the builders' merchant tomorrow and will get me a small bow saw so I can keep cutting away those roots.
I had time for a piano practice before making a start on another tassel and that has been my day.


Thursday 18 November 2021

Brain Mush.

No rain today but with low clouds inland the air was too damp to make it worth hanging out any washing.
Straight after breakfast we put up the long mirror in the front hall. It should have been a simple job but things got more complicated when somebody drilled the holes in the wall with too large a drill bit and the rawlplugs fell out. Larger screws and rawlplugs sorted out that difficulty but the wall was worryingly soft to drill into at least down at the bottom. That wall was the external wall of the original house so possibly it doesn't have a damp course. If that does turn out to be the case and we start having problems with damp it would just be a matter of injecting a new damp course.
And then it was time to prepare for our Zoom class. By the end of the class my brain had turned to mush trying to use all the variations of I do/don't, You (familiar)do/don't, You (formal) do/don't and We do/ don't. Not to mention the doorbell ringing just as we went into breakout rooms but fortunately I was partnered with Pete and he could hear me rushing to the front door.
For relaxation after the class I went out into the back garden to do some clearing away at the base of the tree trunk. I moved all the blocks and rubble and dug away more of the soil. A little more to go and it will be clear if that chap comes to chainsaw down the trunk.
Sunset this evening.