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 July 2023


Rain nearly all day long, not a gentle sea mist but very heavy rain.
There were a few people this morning swimming in the sea which is a few degrees warmer than the air at the moment but mainly it was just some hardy surfers failing to find any clean surf amongst the messy waves.
Down in the front garden a couple of self seeded oriental poppies have been trying hard to hold on to their exuberant petals. So far they only manage to stay for a couple of days before being blown to shreds by the fierce winds.
I've spent the whole day finishing off our costumes for the carnival. So much time crawling round on my knees cutting up sheets both fabric and cardboard has played havoc with my 'pre-arthritic' knee. A lot of pain in the evening as a result, far more than mixing cement, heaving blocks of concrete or spending hours weeding at the zoo. But at least the costumes are all sorted and I've even waterproofed my turtle ensemble in case the carnival day turns out to be less than dry. My first idea was cling film but then I remembered that I'd saved an enormous plastic bag, big enough for a large mattress though since we haven't bought one recently I can't think what came in the bag. Much use of the stapler and my front and back cardboard shell pieces are now fully plastic wrapped. 
This evening the stormy weather produced some interesting skies.


Sunday 30 July 2023


There were some blue skies early in the morning but all too soon the rain began and simply did not stop.

It was too wet to go on the walk so instead of just meeeting up at somebody's house and chatting all afternoon I decided to stay home and make costumes for the carnival.

It's a good thing I did because it took most of the day to make trident, crown and vanbraces for Peter in his role as Triton. I also worked out an easy costume for me to wear. I was wracking my brain to combine a sea creature with the resources I have at home and a sea turtle came to mind. A cammo beanie only needed a couple of cartoon eyes (already done) and I've plenty of cardboard to make front and back shells.
Over breakfast we watched the lifeboat crew on their Sunday training joined by the big boys from Aberdyfi.
The sea was very rough especially past the shelter of the bay and they spent most of their time going in large circles bouncing up and down over the waves.

As I write I can hear the rain thundering down on the flat roof above me. Lots more water for the garden.


Saturday 29 July 2023


Wet, wild and windy this morning with a windy but sunny afternoon.
We had an early start to the day as Peter was due to row or rather cox at 9.00. In the end torrential rain and high waves put paid to rowing which meant I didn't need to drive into town to pick up a stool from the chairty shop for Peter. He's been wanting an extra high wooden stool, something at least 6" higher than the usual bar stool, to sit on while he's at the workbench in the garage, for a long time. Yesterday I came across something I thought might do, took a photo to show him and it was just what he wanted.
Meanwhile I put some washing in the machine then felt really silly hanging it out while dark clouds loomed overhead. I was going to be working in the back garden so at least I could grab the washing quickly if the rain started. But it didn't and the wind blew the washing dry while I weeded and chopped back the plants that had got out of control. The poor lovage was in a bad state as the wet stems had bent over and broken so that got cut right back. I'm thinking I might remove that plant and start again elsewhere with a seedling that has popped up. I'm not sure what it is about the back garden but some plants get enormous. A lemon balm planted in a hole in the concrete with just a little soil had grown 3ft in all directions and the fennel is about 7ft high. I was going to cut down the linaria which has almost finished flowering but stopped when I saw a bumble bee searching the remaining flowers. Better wait until all the flowers are over.
I even did some work in the front garden cementing down one of the very large step slabs that had become wobbly and adding some more cement to the wall by the end gate.
Eventually I went off down the village to look at Chalkfest, part of the two week carnival celebrations. On my way I passed the very nice craft shop that literally has never been open since we've been here. At least not when we were passing. I know because we both liked this fish sculpture and tried really hard to find out when the shop was open or even to contact the owner so that we could buy it. It's one of those places that opens randomly so I grabbed my chance, went in and bought the fish. There's lots of lovely handmade stuff in there and as well as suggesting to Peter this would be a good place to look for my birthday present I shall be returning to do some early present buying for people in the family. The owner thinks that the shop will be open for most of next week so I'll be heading there asap.
Chalkfest is the day when local artists, enthusiasts and children chalk on the inside of the sea wall and hopefully the holidaymakers throw money into the carnival collection pots.

The wind was blowing strongly making the cables above howl and whistle in a very strange way. It also made walking home very difficult.

Speedy likes sleeping in our little meadow and I enjoyed the end of the afternoon sitting up on the terrace.


Friday 28 July 2023


An overcast day which always seemed to be threatening rain but fortunately we never had more than a few drops.
After breakfast I had to pick up my prescription from the pharmacy which of course involved a brief diversion along the beach. The holidaymakers were stoically ignoring the lack of warmth and were camped on the beach while their youngsters played in the sea. 

As I walked along I could see rain falling but it blew inland further south.
Walking back along the High Street I meet our builder walking his 12 year old donkey, Dolly to her field.
Then it was time to drive to the stables for another riding lesson on Alice being taught by the lovely Chloe. Still only half an hour but I feel I've improved a lot since my first lesson. While my back has been fine afterwards at first sitting trot was quite painful. But today things were better and I was able to trot the whole way around the arena with sitting trot down both long sides. I might even be ready to go out for an hour's hack soon.
Afterwards I drove into town to do some shopping. I had thought being earlier in the day and now that there's no school the main road in would be clear of traffic but I was wrong. Still a very long tailback of stationary or slow moving traffic. That gave me the chance to tune the car radio to Radio Cymru and practise my listening skills. Mostly I'm just identifying words, sometimes knowing what they mean and sometimes not but I got very excited when I was able to translate a whole sentence - 'Do you play football?' In town I had a wander round the charity shops but didn't find anything apart from some wool for my stash. I stocked up on food at Lidl and shock horror they had no sauerkraut. Morrisons the other day only had the small jars so I'd been counting on Lidl. Sauerkraut was mentioned in the programme about the benefits of fermented foods and we really like potatoes, sausage and sauerkraut all cooked together. Maybe Tesco's will have some in their Polish section.
More showers on the horizon when I got home but these too missed us moving inland somewhere around Barmouth.

Thursday 27 July 2023


The day began grey with a light drizzle. Later it became much warmer as the sun tried to break through the clouds which led to a very muggy afternoon.
Not sure what the weather was going to do I drove to the community gardens. There I joined in with some hacking back of the taller weeds around some of the fruit trees. In general everything is allowed to grow but eventually the brambles and nettles get to be too much. It was dispiriting to find that two of the fruit trees, a pear and an apple, have had every fruit stripped from their branches. Not only was that a very selfish act as the fruit is for every one but it was also pointless as the fruit was competely unripe. Maybe the CCTV will show the idiots walking out with large bags of useless fruit. 
It was very humid when I got home but at least it was dry and I was able to have a good tidy round the pond/ water feature (I prefer to call it a pond). I think I can now say that the pond is officially finished. It all looks very stark and regimented at the moment but in my mind's eye I picture billowing grasses and low growing plants tumbling over the walls. Not to forget the pygmy water lily and other pond plants that I shall be buying soon.
The next thing was to create a secure home for the sand rye grass. I really wanted to be able to see it from the house so decided on a planter on the pebbled area. To make sure the grass doesn't escape into the gravel it's actually sitting on a large cement block and a couple of pieces of stone with a thin layer of pebbles on top. When I cleared the fine gravel to fit the block I found that there was concrete underneath which is even better.
It was another hot and sweaty session at aerobics tonight and I really appreciated the cool sea breeze as I tottered home along the cliff.
Now for a few more photos from Cae Hir.

I really like the miscanthus next to the white agapanthus but sadly it is too tall to survive the sea winds in our front garden.

That's a clematis flowering at the top of the tree.


Wednesday 26 July 2023


The day began much as the last few days with a fair covering of grey clouds. But instead of turning into a sunny afternoon we had light rain in the afternoon and torrential downpours in the evening.
Fishing conditions must have been good this morning because not only was a local fisherman out but only metres from the cliff a seal was happily munching on what looks to be some sort of flat fish.
Today I began my next great venture - having days out on my own. Whilst I've often gone for long walks on my own these have always been with home as the starting point. Somehow I associate a day out with company and it seems quite odd to plan a day out alone. But with Peter less able to walk and not keen on visiting places it's either go on my own or not at all. So on my own it will be.
I thought that visiting gardens would be a good start so I looked on line and found Cae Hir which turned out to be not too far away. It was only an hour's drive and most of that was along the road towards Aberaeron that I've driven down several times for the Sunday walks. At the end of the route I knew it was just a matter of turn left, stay on the main road for a few miles and then turn right. I used good old Google blue line to check the junctions and signs and had no problems getting there.

It was raining lightly when I arrived but with the forecast for heavier rain later I headed straight into the 16 acres of beautiful gardens.

The rain didn't bother me but it did mean that I had to keep my camera tucked into my jacket, hence the occasional rain drop on the lens. The grass was very wet so I took off my flip-flops and walked barefoot on the soft grass.
The gardens are at their best in spring but everywhere I looked there were amazing vistas and interesting plantings which sometimes included wildflowers to great effect.
As I walked round I was greeted with many familar favourites, plants such as; alchemilla molly, purple and yellow loosestrife, crocosmia, common and less common varieties of hardy geranium that had all been staples in the garden at Dingles. Not to mention all the mature acers. 
And then there were unusual varieties or plants I hadn't seen before.
Eventually the rain drove me to the tea room and the plant sales area. There I selected an orange crocosmia that I think is different to the one I already have, Goat's beard/ salsify and sand rye grass. I had a long chat with the owner, Stephen and he advised me that the sand rye grass which is like a bigger version of festuca glauca is a thug and best grown in a container. It can go in one of the concrete planters in the front garden. That way the roots won't be able to spread and take over the garden. If I put it in one of the planters on the steps the roots won't have anywhere to go even if they escape through the drainage hole. Naturally this conversation was over a coffee and parsnip & orange cake. That was very much like a carrot cake with an orange flavour and cream cheese frosting.
It was a wonderful garden to visit and I shall definitely be returning. May Bank Holiday is already marked up on our planner whiteboard as then they have a plant fair with lots of their own plants for sale and plants from other local nurseries/ gardens too.
As Morrisons was on the way home I called in to pick up some shopping. I found some sausages with chorizo in the reduced section and they just happened to be reducing some of the cream cakes a couple of which might have found their way into my trolley.
At home it was too wet to do anything outside so I just chilled and maybe ate a cream cake. Then it was time for choir, or so I thought. As I sat in a wet carpark wondering why nobody was there the memories slowly began to emerge of being told last week that there would be no choir for three weeks as our teacher is off doing dance camp and other things. Never mind, a ten minute drive in the rain and I was back home again. Silly old me.