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 28 February 2022


Grey and very wet today. 
It wasn't dry enough for me to work outside so I sat inside the garage with the door open to sand down the next piece of driftwood. It takes time to take the wood back to a golden colour or at least less greyish black so I didn't finish today. Kneeling down on the floor wasn't the best way to work either. If I can work in the front garden there's a bench to sit on which would be much better. The rest of my day has been spent tidying up especially in the utility room which had accumulated a lot of stuff on the counter.

I didn't think I had much to write about today and then I came across this photo of a village near here taken around 1900. It's on the back road to town and you still have to drive over the narrow bridge. Vehicles have to wait on the other side and check if something is coming from this side. The house on the left is now a B&B, the very one we stayed in on our first house viewing visit. We slept in the upstairs room with the dormer window on the far left. Below is a current photo from the B&B's website taken on a nicer day than today.


Sunday 27 February 2022

Warm and Sunny.

We've had lovely weather today. Warmer southerly winds blew away most of the clouds giving us a taste of Spring to enjoy. 
Out in the bay the rollers have been coming in more widely spaced than yesterday making the surfing more suitable for the holidaymakers and paddleboarders.
After a lazy start to the day (I woke at 5.15 but was asleep again by 6.00 and didn't wake properly until after 9.00) we decided to go for a walk on the beach. That of course was after Sunday breakfast and The Archers. Out of the wind it was so warm I ended up walking along with both my jacket and fleece unzipped.
The rest of my day has been spent in the kitchen. Not only did I make chocolate chunk and peanut butter cookies but I also baked a chocolate chunk marble cake. Those are mainly for Peter, at least I'll try not to eat much of the sweet stuff as the diet is still on the go. (On track but it's too soon to stop.) At the same time I had some dahl simmering away in the slow cooker. I looked at a couple of recipes and because it was thinner than I like I've ended up transferring it all into a large saucepan on the hob so that I can thicken it up. So far it tastes pretty good and there will be plenty left to freeze after tonight's supper. I left out the chilli peppers as I don't eat too spicy food these days but put in extra onions simply because I like them. Right now I've got the timer set so that I can give it a stir every ten minutes to stop it from burning. When I need to make another batch I'll cut back on the liquid because one of my reasons to use the slow cooker was to cut down on the stirring and the washing up.
Below - I think this piece of driftwood looks stunning even without the air plants but it's too heavy and making the pole bend. I've taken it down and am currently working on another piece that is longer but lighter. This morning I used some rainwater to give the air plants their weekly 'dunk' for two hours.  

For some reason Speedy decided to supervise my blogging from inside one of my white boxes. Typical cat behaviour.

Saturday 26 February 2022


Bright and breezy today if a little chilly. 
I regretted not putting some washing in the machine first thing as the very slight breeze increased to a good drying wind later in the day. Plenty of people around and the chap who hires out wetsuits was back in his spot in front of the lifeboat station. From the number of people in the water he should have had some customers. The sea itself was much calmer than in the week with heavy rollers coming in close together.
After breakfast we did more tidying up in the garage, moving the mirrors to a safe spot against the section of wall I painted and shifting a large wooden cupboard to the end of the garage where the mirrors had been. I wrote down the measurements of all the mirrors as we may be able to re-use some of them. Unfortunately two of the three 60" arched mirrors got one corner broken off the last time they were moved.
I finished the afternoon working on the piece of driftwood the air plants will sit on. First I found myself a sunny spot in the front garden where I could sand the driftwood whilst enjoying being outside. Not so much to smooth the wood down but to remove some of the dark marks on the wood which looked a lot better when I'd finished. Then I drilled holes in the wood and hung it from the window bar. So far so good but the tricky job will be working out a way to attach the air plants to the wood. I've been looking on-line and it turns out that I need to be able to take the plants off the wood at least once a week so that I can dunk them in rainwater. Misting alone isn't quite enough according to the experts. I can use fishing line tied around the base of each plant but I need to find some small hooks or screws that I can loop the line around. It won't be easy to screw into the driftwood as it is so hard I suspect it's rootwood. So hard that when I drilled the holes for the hanging cords the wood began to smoke and I had to work on alternate holes to give the wood time to cool down.

Friday 25 February 2022


Bright and sunny today with a good drying breeze but not too cold.
It has been an eventful day. Here nothing major, more interesting than dramatic. Unlike the poor people in Ukraine now being bombed and having Russian tanks entering their cities. 
I woke at 6.00 and was up by 7.00 which at the moment is incredibly early for me. I swished the floors, prepared breakfast, put washing in the machine and still had time to do my DuoLingo before breakfast. After breakfast all I had to do was hang out the washing before leaving for town. There the first stop was the dump where I got rid of a carload of stuff mainly from the garage, dropped into a builders' merchants for adhesive to stick the upstand to the wall and then to Morrison's. 
On my shopping list I had the usual supermarket items and then a list of plants; air plants, a white Easter cactus and white indoor jasmine, all for the sitting room window. I looked in Morrison's first as they're the sort of plants that get sold for Mothers' Day but no luck there. Then a quick stop at Charlie's which has a small garden area outside but as it turned out no indoor plants, at least not real ones. Then after parking in town and collecting flea drops from the vets', another pair of joggers for Peter and a few items at Lidl I drove to the garden centre out in the countryside. There I thought I'd at least find some air plants. But no, they had had some but not at the moment.  After buying some fennel and golden thyme for the herb garden I called it a day and headed back home.
Where I was informed by Peter that the dentist had a cancellation for 3.00, did I want it? Anything to get rid of the toothache. I had time to put the shopping away before heading back to town.
As I walked through the side streets to the dentist I admired the faded architecture including a number of buildings that had once been chapels and noted the many interesting independent shops. On impluse I walked into a gorgeous florists that also sold indoor plants to see if they had any of the plants on my list. Bingo! they had about six air plants. I picked two of those and bought a mister with the right sort of water. They also had the indoor jasmine which I put in one of the hanging tubs before taking the photo. 
The dentist tried to persuade me to keep the tooth, a big molar at the back that has nothing above it, but having had toothache for weeks I could only forsee more trouble and pain so in the end the dentist agreed to take the tooth out. What a simple and painless procedure that was. A couple of injections and in less than 30 seconds maybe only 15 he was putting a swab on the hole and that was it. Admittedly my jaw has been aching this evening but I'm so relieved the tooth is gone. The very worst part was paying nearly £200 but what can you do and the private service seems better than the NHS for dental care.
On my way back to the car I stopped in at a charity shop raising money for planting trees in Africa and bought the blue ceramic sphere just because. Then I went into Lidl to buy myself some ice cream as a treat for going to the dentist and there on the end of an aisle were a few air plants in glass containers at the same price as the ones I'd bought in the florists and a different variety so I bought one of those too. Now all I have to do is sort out the driftwood.
When I got home I still had the ironing to do. Speedy was sleeping on the sofa when I noticed Little Ginger walking about on the terrace. Naturally I went out and Little Ginger confidently came up to me and gave me some bops while I stroked him. By this time Speedy had noticed and was watching through the window. Back I went to my ironing and then saw Little Ginger go into fight mode and slink to the corner of the terrace where with some yowling another cat appeared. A large fluffy tabby who looked to be Boss Cat. A bit more yowling, he disappeared and soon after I could see Little Ginger looking at something which turned out to be a black cat down on the wall. Our terrace seems to be turning into a cat playground which I don't want to encourage. Speedy wisely stayed inside while Peter went out and shouted at the other cats to clear off.
I enjoyed my ice cream, the aftercare leaflet said to eat soft food! and hopefully my jaw will soon be back to normal.

Thursday 24 February 2022


I'm listening to the news of Russia's invasion and attacks on Ukraine. I know it was forecast but I hope and I pray that this is not the start of a major war. 
With events outside our influence I return to the mundane events of my life. Before breakfast I went out to throw out some seeds for the birds but miscalculated the wind again and it all blew down into the front garden. Then I looked up and saw snow on the mountain tops. No surprise as the wind was icily cold.
I have had a very productive day. No zoom class today as it's half-term. The first job done was to level off the fence posts by the panels I'd been shortening. Above is how it looked before from the utility room with the 9ft high fence blocking out the light. The previous owner had a lean-to filling the gap between the lean-to utility room and the wall which had a plastic roof so I guess the fence didn't matter then.
And this is how it looks now. The overall height on our side is still 7ft, more on the neighbour's side as their garden is lower so privacy is still maintained. As I worked the drain that takes the water from the utility room began to overflow. Yikes! This is the only drain on that side of the house that connects with the main drains and I had expressed concern before that the down pipe from the gutter and the pipe from the utility ended right on top of the drain grille making it impossible to access the drain below. I prodded and poked with a thin metal rod and eventually the water stopped overflowing. I left it while I gave the garage wall another coat of white paint and then loaded up the car with stuff for the dump. Then I tackled the drain. First step was to saw the pipes going into the drain. Then I was able to scoop out the water from the drain using an old liquid hand soap container. The last thing was to scoop out all the gravel and sludge from the bottom of the now soapy drain, job done. I've tackled far worse drains before but I still felt proud of myself.
After a wash and a short rest I headed off for a beach walk as the pharmacy had sent a text that we had stuff to collect. 
On the beach the shingle has beem dragged down from the tidy bank built by the digger creating a gentle stony slope. I collected a few small pieces of driftwood to make more sea glass mobiles but there wasn't much else of interest. Yesterday somebody posted a photo of a Portuguese-Man-O-War on the sand at the far end of the beach. Not a nice thing to come across if you're on holiday especially with children as they still sting and cause 'severe pain' even if they are dead. 
Back home I had another break and enjoyed the cheese and onion crisps (chips) I treated myself to after my busy day.
I was gaily watching the rain approaching across the bay when I remembered that I had some washing on the line. I managed to get it in before the rain hit. The forecast isn't very good for the next few days which is another reason why I went for a walk.

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Zoo Day.

Double trouble.
There was little sun today but the best things about the weather was that it wasn't windy and didn't rain often.
I had a chat with some of the other zoo workers when I got there this morning and we decided it would be good to tidy up the smaller play area. So I spent a few hours weeding and tidying up the edges of the woodchip. I only got three sides done but already it looks a lot better and one of the other workers began demolishing a dilapidated bench/ shelter out of shot on the left. There were more visitors to the zoo as it's half-term and the children made good use of both play area. Not having brought my string along I marked out the lines of the edges with baler twine and garden canes. Being mindful of health and safety I stuck my bright yellow spare gardening gloves on the canes.
Storm Eunice last weekend brought down two trees at the zoo. This pine hit the perimeter fence on the way down so parts of the fence are once more propped up with poles.
This willow tree might grow back as some of its roots are still intact. That is if the goats don't eat any new growth. At the moment they're happily stripping the bark from the cleared branches.
When I got home I had a rest and then went out to complete reducing the height of a wooden fence built on top of our garden wall which was blocking out the light. Will post photos tomorrow.
The amazing three headed peacock.

Tuesday 22 February 2022


We had much nicer weather today. It was very windy in the morning, the handful of seeds I threw onto the terrace for the birds blew away before I'd even got back inside but then the wind died down and the sun came out.
While Peter went into town to do the shopping braving the half-term crowds, I got on with the garage wall. I moved the last few items, brushed down the wall and scraped off the remains of some carpet that had been glued to the wall. I guessing they did that to stop the car door from hitting the wall when it was opened. Scraping off the carpet was the hardest part of the job but then came the fun part -painting. There's something very satisfying seeing the wall turn snowy white as the paint goes on even if the effect is lost when it dries and the old colour shows through. There's plenty of spare white paint for me to give the wall a couple more coats if needed.
The temporary bulb field.
The house next door has gone on the market (details here ). It will be interesting to see who buys it and if it will be a holiday home, holiday rental or best of all a permanent home. We saw four sets of people come to view, not surprising as it's in a prime location but it will need a fair amount of work. The bungalow next door but one up the street away from the sea has also gone on the market (details here ). No doubt both properties will sell quickly as seaside homes generally do.

I only ordered a new set of fine drill bits yesterday afternoon so was quite surprised when they arrived today. That meant I was able to complete the sea glass mobile neatly. I drilled holes through the driftwood and then increased the width of the holes at the top so that I could pull the knots down into the wood and secure them with superglue. I'm really pleased with the finished result though it was hard to take a photo showing the pretty colours of the glass which match the overall colour scheme of the open plan room. Or rather the whole colour scheme was based upon my love of the misty blues of sea glass as well as the sea. I have a feeling I may be making a few more of these mobiles.


Monday 21 February 2022


We woke to continuing storm force winds and wild seas. It's been mostly wind rather than rain and by the afternoon patches of blue were beginning to appear.
There was so much salt stuck to the windows it was impossible to see out so before breakfast I went out and bracing myself against the wind washed the front windows. That gave us some dramatic views as we ate breakfast though by the time we had finished the windows were frosted over again. 
By mid-day the wind had died down sufficiently for me to go back out and wash the windows for a second time. That way I could enjoy the view once more. I finished the repairs to Peter's hoody and did some more work on my sea-glass mobile. That came to a halt when I went to drill holes in the driftwood to thread the fishing line through and found that my only tiny drill bit was snapped. I've ordered a new set but they won't be here for a few days.
The builder turned up today, in fact he came twice then our other builder came and finally the plumber turned up. The first builder went up on the roof and the bad news is that the falling tiles had made a dozen holes in the rubber of our new kitchen roof - blast. We are definitely going to have to claim on our insurance. Peter has already spoken to them and as we've not made a claim for maybe 20 years they simply said if we had a VAT registered builders we trust then go ahead and get the work done. The first builder is going to order new ridge tiles while the other builder who is the roof fitter stuck patches over all the holes. That way we are watertight for the next lot of rain and then he will be bonding another rubber membrane to the damaged one and re-doing the soffits and gutters. 
The plumber turned up to investigate the possible leak and mould behind the sink unit in the blue loo. Talking out the whole unit would have meant removing the sink first which rather went against the point of checking all the pipes and waste so instead he cut away most of the internal back panel. To find ........ nothing. No leaks and no mould. But I had initially found water sitting on the waste pipe and have at times seen water seeping out from under the unit. And what about the mould I can smell? All he could do for the time being was to leave the back panel off so that I can keep an eye on it. There might possibly be some condensation on the cold feed pipe but I shall be inspecting like a hawk and continue to sniff like a hound. It's a mystery.
I had been getting ready to head out for a beach walk when the plumber turned up but by the time he had finished it was too late. Never mind, plenty more days for walking on the beach.

Sunday 20 February 2022


And yet another storm - Storm Franklin, has rolled in. This time we're only under a Yellow Weather Warning but the consensus on the local FB pages is that it is as severe if not worse than the last storm. It has brought us a day of strong winds and heavy rain. The roof of my study was clattering so much I went out into the road to see if anything else had fallen on it but it was just the fibreglass roof creaking and banging.
We had our usual relaxed Sunday breakfast after which I did some DuoLingo. Then I carried on with my sea glass mobile. I tried out a couple of different pieces of driftwood and after many trips up and down the stepladder settled on the final design. That meant gluing a few more pieces of glass on several of the lines and hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to fix them to the wood. I also did some rearranging of the hanging plants and moved the second fern from the sitting room to the kitchen as some of the fronds look a bit crispy.
My other job today was continuing with the repairs to Peter's old gig club sweatshirt. I decided to fold over the waistband but thought that would make the cuffs uncomfortable so have sewn stretch bias binding around those. It was very peaceful sewing at the table and seeing the occasional person walk past always with a dog on a lead.
Above is a photo from the local FB page showing the foam blown up over the shingle bank and sea wall down at the far end of the village this morning. Below  is the afternoon's windspeed (mph) chart from an on-line news page. Trust us to have the highest wind speed.
The latest shipping forecast gives us gale 7-9 with occasional storm 10 and 11 with gusts of 65 -75mph. What joy!

Saturday 19 February 2022


After the storm came the rain, lots of it. We had a very wet morning which at least saved me the job of washing the salt off the front windows. We had a dry afternoon but it was mostly windy.
My morning was spent doing all the routine things by which time the rain had eased off making it a good time to head off to the shop for milk and potatoes.
As I walked along I could see that the storm had dragged a lot of the shingle back down the beach. I wanted to search for driftwood so initially I walked close to the top of the beach where the waves had dumped lots of driftwood mixed in with the seaweed.
Having found some suitable wood I headed closer to the waves so I could walk on the sand but it was extremely windy. It wasn't long before I detoured back up the beach to check out this 5ft roll of fishing net. I couldn't leave it to be washed out to sea again so I got hold of one end and dragged it behind me back up to the bins by the lifeboat station. 
Further up the beach a whole tree trunk was washed up on the shingle. Walking along I checked out the glass balustrades that some of the beach houses have and surprisingly they all seemed intact. Unlike the poor lady down at Ynyslas who posted on our FB page that her glass balcony got smashed in the storm.
I did my shopping on the way back and dropped off the truffle recipe for the lady in the shop. Once home I put my latest beach finds on the radiator to dry. I'm hoping the larger piece won't be too heavy to hang in the sitting room window. I forsee a trip to the garden centre coming up soon.
Unfortunately the builder failed to turn up today. At least we haven't got any holes in the roof that would let the rain in. By the end of the afternoon the wind had lessened so we got out our ladder and I ventured up to see how bad the tiles were. And oh dear, all but one were smashed and I think we only have one spare left. More expense. Our insurance has a £350 excess so I doubt if we'll be claiming.
This post on our local FB page about the council 'repairs' to the breeakwater really made me laugh.