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 31 October 2023

Happy Birthday Romas.

Happy Birthday to Romas, 34 today.
As well as working full time in Stoke Romas has been busy with his music not only with a full schedule of gigs but with producing tracks in the studio. He and the other band members fitted out their studio this year too.
Earlier in the year he and Laura went to Sicily for a friend's wedding. I do like the suave Italian look.
Of course for me the highlight of the year was seeing Romas and Laura in October when they spent the afternoon here on their way home to Stoke. 
No Italian warmth here for us today unfortunately. Just the same old sun and showers. 
The builders came early this morning so when not making cups of tea I've been tucked away in my study. While they're not exceptionally noisy it helps to play music while I work. Everything from Nightwish to The Incredible String Band, Donovan and Einaudi. I've made good progress on the next crochet square, there's a possibility it might be ready for Christmas. Each time the sun came out I raced to the kitchen hunting for rainbows with not a lot of luck. One can be seen in the photo below if you squint at it.

Bathroom progress today. - The walls are almost done and the toilet plumbed in. Even if some of my ideas weren't feasible at least the position of the original window made it possible to have a niche in the shower for things like shampoo and shower gel. 
Coming back from Pilates tonight it had just begun to rain which was a shame for all the parents wandering around with their children (sort of dressed in Halloween costumes). Many of the houses here are holiday homes/rentals and only some of the others had decorations out indicating they had sweets to give out. Some people simply had a bowl of sweets outside the house by the decorations but that of course gets abused by the greedy few. A few houses had lights and spooky music to add to the ambiance. In general despite supermarkets and manufacturers of tat trying to promote what is an American tradition  it hasn't really taken on here. 

Monday 30 October 2023


Plenty of showers and a few rainbows today. I had hoped to get some washing out on the line this morning before the next big storm rolls in but by the time the machine had finished the showers began.
We knew the builders weren't coming today so we've quite a relaxing day.
After yesterday's walk I thought I'd have a gentle stroll along the beach. No sooner had I got there than the raindrops began creating spotty patterns on the grey stones but as the rain wasn't too bad I decided to carry on.
This beach is the first place I've noticed the reflective qualities of wet sand. Makes for fun compositions.
By the time I got up to the first pile of rocks the rain got heavier so I turned for home.
The shower screen arrived this morning, only the lino to come and a wall light for over the bathroom sink mirror. I'm going to fit in as many of the original mirrors stored in the garage as I can. 
Haven't done much else except potter about, crochet and run outside to photograph yet another rainbow.
I saw an article on-line about a lady who had just finished collecting beach stones with all the letters of the alphabet and I thought it would be a fun thing to do here. These are what I've found so far. I've also been looking for a piece of driftwood for a small project and while it's easy to scan the high tide line for wood as I'm walking along or look around for suitable stones it's very hard to do both at the same time.


Sunday 29 October 2023

Raining Again.

More showers today and one magnificent rainbow in the morning. 

I needed to be further inland, up on the hill to be able to get a decent photo of the whole arc of the rainbow. One end came down by the cliff edge a couple of houses up from us and the other was in the sea in front of the reefs. The colours were even brighter than in the photos which got me wondering who people in the past explained rainbows. A perfect arc with the brightest of colours must have spoken of supernatural (or spiritual) forces.

My morning was made even more exciting by the sight of a small dolphin fishing close by. When I first saw it it was in the sea near the bottom of the garden and then swam even closer to the beach.
Today's walk began half an hour earlier as the clocks did their thing this morning and it gets darker an hour earlier. That gave us an extra hour's lie-in but Speedy wasn't too pleased about having to wait an hour for his evening meal. (He gets his morning meal as soon as one of us wakes.)
The meeting point for the walk was at N&H's house up on the hill behind the village. A steady 15 minutes walk got me there just before a really heavy shower set in. There were only six of us today, I think mainly due to the weather so we sat around having cups of tea before we set off in the slightly lessening rain. We left our bags in the house and I decided not to risk bringing my camera, hence no photos. The first part of the walk through lanes and fields was pretty wet and though my over trousers did their job my jacket wasn't quite up to keeping me dry. We came to a crossroads where most of our little group opted to take the shorter route while I went on with C and Darcie the dog for a brisk walk along the longer way back. And then the rain stopped and it was dry for the rest of the walk. At the house we had hot drinks and biscuits around the big kitchen table and carried on chatting. I got a lift down the hill with P who dropped me off a couple of minutes from home.
Once home I did my Duo Lingo and we'll soon be settling down for an evening of Strictly.


Saturday 28 October 2023


Sun and some showers again today along with a couple of rainbows.
As it's Saturday the builders didn't arrive until 10.00 but they have been working hard. The ceiling has been plaster boarded, the outside wall insulated, extractor fan fitted and the first fittings for the shower unit are in place.  At Peter's suggestion they're installing a secondary pump to boost the hot water pressure which has involved a lot of searching for wires in the loft under all the insulation. They also brought down a couple of old wood and glass doors that have always been up in the loft. We had left them up there originally but their weight made a crack in the bedroom ceiling and they needed to go. Being glass I couldn't cut them up in situ and they were too heavy for me to move. Another thing they found yesterday was some woodworm in a couple of the bathroom floor planks. These have been removed and they'll spray the rest of the floor. My only hope is that our very first builder who laid the flooring in the rest of the house would have seen any woodworm anywhere else. (The bathroom woodworm was under the vanity unit.)
They won't be back until Tuesday now but they seem to be working at a good pace. I've just ordered the safety lino so that's everything apart from the final bill.
This morning I made a potato, cabbage, cheese, onion and smoked sausage casserole in the slow cooker which will do for tonight and a few more meals.
With all the noise going on and doors open which let out the heat I've mainly been hiding in my study. This at least encouraged me to practise the piano with headphones on and then the guitar (no headphones for that unfortunately). I have managed to get more crocheting done which is good. 
Now off to hoover and then maybe wash the floors, again.


Friday 27 October 2023


It's been a day of sunshine and showers, mostly showers.
I suppose it must be the result of exercising that even though I hobble off to bed creaking and grumbling I tend to sleep well on Thursday nights. This morning I was up at six which gave me time to sit outside with my mug of tea. Speedy had been out all night and didn't want to join me but I was well wrapped up and enjoying sitting under a starry sky. 
The builders were here before nine and I left for my riding lesson soon after. There were seven of us today and I rode Cadno again. We carried on working on getting the horses onto the bit though with so many of us there was a range of things that people needed to work on. This week instead of me wearing myself out constantly using my legs to get more energy into Cadno I was encouraged to use the crop more often. I was still just tapping it on my leg and though Cadno tended to give a little skip when he heard it it certainly got him going better and I didn't get so exhausted.
Afterwards I called in at the industrial estate, collected the shower and bought a tap for the sink, a toilet roll holder and a grab rail for the shower, very handy for holding on to when washing your feet. Then onwards to do the shopping at Morrisons and Lidl and call in at the bank. One of the builders had expressed a preference for Bourbon biscuits but would you believe it, they didn't have any in Lidl which was my last stop. Luckily they had some in the village shop which I stopped at on the way home. These guys work hard and I like to be hospitable. 
Talking of showers the shower tray arrived today. I went for the biggest shower I could fit in the space and while it's not the wet room I had hoped for it's at least roomy. The tiles also arrived today and are currently in the garage until they're needed.
Work done today - All the under floor pipework has been done and a start made on the studwork. They've got a nifty laser beam gadget that levels and matches everything up which must make the job a lot easier.
An evening primrose has appeared in the mini meadow.
The village in the evening sun.

Thursday 26 October 2023

Bathroom Work Begins.

It was sunshine and showers this morning then a partial rainbow after which it stayed sunny.
The builders came and have spent the day taking off the last layer of tiles and boards from the wall. When I say boards those were a mix of plasterboard (drywall) and OSB boards laid over the original lathes. They found some old newspapers in the wall which dates the last bathroom refurb at 1988 which is when Chick and his friends moved in.
Another thing they found was that behind what we had all assumed was just a mirror on the wall above the toilet, there was actually a cupboard. I couldn't stop laughing when I realised we had lived here for over three years without realising it. Cupboard and contents have now been disposed of.
Strange to think that the sight of bare brick walls would fill me with such happiness but that is definitely the case. Sadly one of my ideas has had to be shelved. I had planned to move the heated towel rail to the space to the left of the window but the pipework underneath means it won't fit so it's going back to its original position by the door.
Building work carried on during our Zoom class. Our class mates had to put up with the banging and drilling too though hopefully it wasn't too disturbing. Peter had to resort to wearing headphones as his study is right next to the bathroom.
After class I escaped the noise and dust and headed off for a relaxing walk along the beach.
The builders were just finishing as I went off to disco aerobics. I returned home feeling better after all that leaping about (and with the usual burning knee) and then washed all the floors. The builders had put down dust sheets but there was a film of dust over the floors which I didn't want tracked everywhere. (I'm trying not to think about the dust on everything else.)
Lets see what tomorrow brings. 

Wednesday 25 October 2023


Lots of sun today.
At this time of year the terrace is mainly shaded and it takes a while for the sun to appear in the garden but just seeing the blue sky and the sun sparkling on the waves is enough to lift my spirits.
Much as I would have liked to head out for a walk I stayed indoors preparing for the great bathroom event. First off I tried to order the shower screen. I had thought it would be a simple matter of ordering one from the Screwfix website but that proved problematical. One phone call later revealed that they hadn't been able to get that particular one from the manufacturer. Another place on the industrial estate that used to be Plumb Centre has the same make and size which it looks like I could order but instead of £210 at Screwfix it costs £366. A bit of a difference. I've looked around and while I couldn't find the same one anywhere else for a better price there are a couple of alternatives, one cheaper and one more expensive than Screwfix. I'll show them to the builder and see what he thinks. In the meantime I've covered over some of the stuff on the hallway walls and taken down one picture which has glass. The rest of the time I've been sorting things in the bedroom. That was mainly stuff that has spread from the storage tubs. I try very hard to put things away but I do have an untidy nature. A few items have made their way into the charity shop bag which is good and everything is a lot tidier. 
It was while I was sorting things in the bedroom that I heard the recycling lorry going up the road. With a change in routine I had forgotten to put out the recycling. A quick dash into the kitchen to grab the recycling bag and the food waste caddy and then out the front door to run round into the next road to catch up with the bin men. Silly me.


Tuesday 24 October 2023

Good News.

A promising start to the day with just a few light showers which didn't put me off heading to the zoo, in the car of course.
With it being half-term in England this week and in Wales next week there were more families visiting. Most were clutching quiz sheets and looking for numbered information signs which they seemed to enjoy. There were a few extra exhibits in a nod to Halloween but nothing too over the top.
Last week's work in the small play area hadn't made much difference. It really needs to be very hot or very cold for hoeing to be effective. A week of rain had simply left everything very soggy. However it didn't take too long to pull out all the grass and other small weeds. That left me with time and energy to weed the gravel area by the guinea fowl.

The pigs were enjoying the sunshine and didn't move a muscle when an Atlas C1 air force plane flew low overhead.
And now for the really good news - work on the bathroom starts on Thursday, yes that's this Thursday. I can't believe it's finally happening. The shower tray is being delivered on Friday and I shall pick up the shower from the showroom and buy the sink tap and a few other bits on Friday as well. This afternoon I triple checked my measurements and calculated the number of tiles needed. I remembered to add 10% for wastage and then added two more tiles to bring the invoice up to the free delivery level. £7 for two tiles or £29 for delivery, a no brainer. What really impressed me was that even though I ordered the tiles this afternoon I was offered delivery on Thursday. I opted for Friday as the builder will just be starting work on Thursday. All that's left for me to do is to order the safety lino. It's getting very exciting.

A few more photos from last Sunday. 
Instead of taking my usual route to Pont Rhyd Y Groes I had decided to try out a more direct route. It takes me through town which is something I try to avoid but the bonus was that once I turned inland I found myself high up on the ridge on the south side of the Rheidol valley. There were amazing views but I was in a rush on the way there so planned to stop on the way home.
On the homeward journey there were not many places to stop on my side of the road. When I did stop I tried to capture the wonderful shadows cast by the late afternoon sun as well as the view down into the valley.

Far below the Rheidol river wound its way through the wide valley.
Looking northwards across the valley.