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.

Thursday 18 July 2024

Peach Cake.

A very warm overcast day today. It got very hot down at the community gardens but later in the afternoon it was just above body temperature with a light breeze that gently brushed over my arms.
I cycled down to the gardens and although I'm not back to where I was last year I was able to go further up the uphill sections than I did yesterday. That's progress as far as I'm concerned. We weeded in the vegetable plot and rewarded ourselves with a peach cake with a crunchy almond topping.
When I returned home peter and I made a start on deciphering the freezer's pictures only instructions for changing the door. Having worked out that we needed to lay the freezer down on its back, not an easy job for us oldies Peter managed to persuade me that the door didn't need to be changed over. It was then just a matter of trying to level up the freezer which took thin pieces of laminate flooring board and two plastic plant markers. Not being good with change at any time I'm not thrilled with the slightly larger size of the freezer which sits awkwardly by the back door and has made it even harder to get into two of the cupboards. But as the only two solutions are to either put it in the garage/workshop (too dusty and dirty) or to move the back door to the middle of the wall (too expensive), I'll have to put up with it. (Though I might ask the builder, when we eventually see him what the cost of moving the door would be.)
For the rest of the afternoon I sat outside enjoying the warmth and doing some sewing (alterations) and soon I'll be off to aerobics.
 
I'm sure I saw all three of the seagull chicks on the 'wrong' flat roof this morning.

Later on when the parent bird came to feed them there were only two. Maybe the third has already fledged?


Wednesday 17 July 2024

Wandering Chicks.

Bright and sunny today. Perfect for getting the sheets on the line.
We were woken at 6.30 this morning by a phone call from the delivery men bringing the new freezer who said they would be with us in 35 minutes. We'd had a text yesterday saying delivery would be between 7.00 and 11.00 but we weren't expecting it to be that early. It was a bit of a shock to the system. It's one thing waking early and deciding to get up at 5.00 or 6.00 but having to leap out of bed is quite another. I was just taking out the few bits of food left in the fridge section when the men turned up. I'd moved the car so that they could easily come in through the back gate into the utility room which is where the freezer would be going. They had no problem taking out the old fridge freezer but the new freezer wouldn't fit through the door which is about an inch narrower than standard. The poor men had to carry the freezer along the pavement, in through the front door and all the way back down the hall to the utility room. We haven't switched it on yet as we need to change the door so that it opens from the other side. There just hasn't been time today.
After breakfast and all the usual stuff which seems to take up a lot of time I cycled down to the zoo. There I spent four hours removing all the weeds from two gravel patches. As I got on with my weeding amongst all the happy chatter of the visitors I heard a family speaking Lithuanian. Although I don't speak the language myself, hearing the familiar cadence and recognising some words took me back to my younger days. Many, many days of being surrounded by the language when we visited friends or went to social occasions mean that the language is part of me even if I don't understand most of what is being said. A shame that Duo Lingo dropped Lithuanian. Peter speaks Lithuanian though apparently in a very formal manner which is how his father's family would have spoken.
In between getting home and going out again to choir I baked a Bara Brith and did the ironing. At choir we had a little celebration of all Susie's hard work, wine/ non alcoholic drinks, cakes and nibbles. By the time I'd given a friend a lift home (I had brought her the astilbes which were getting burnt by the salty winds in our front garden) it was almost 10.00 when I got home. 
 The story of the wandering chicks.
This (above) was the scene yesterday. The seagull chicks have been walking around the sloping roof above their nest that was tucked into a corner of the flat roof. One chick must have taken the wrong route home and ended up on a different flat roof. I watched it repeatedly jumping up onto the next sloping roof, walking up to the top and back then returning to the flat area. It kept looking up towards the sloping roof on the left where the other two chicks were waiting but the jump was too high. 
This morning all three chicks were on the 'wrong' roof. The adult bird came and fed them and then retreated for a bit of peace and quiet back to the nest area. By this afternoon only one chick remained in this spot. There was no sign of the other two but I'm sure I heard them calling maybe from the garden that is to the left of the 'wrong' sloping roof. I'm sure their parents will protect them against any cats and it won't be long before they fledge and can fly down to the sea.


Tuesday 16 July 2024

Physio.

A mostly sunny day with a strong but warm wind blowing from the west.
It would have been a good day to hang out the washing but we were expecting the plumber to come and service the boiler. That is until Peter spoke to him on the phone and found out that he had been called out to an emergency and wouldn't be coming until tomorrow. 
A flock of at least 50 Manx shearwaters were in the bay. A sign that fish are around but we didn't see any dolphins.

While Peter was out doing his stint at the RNLI shop I cut back the corner of the escallonia hedge to give some light to the pink hydrangea that was growing underneath it. I left some of the hedge by the wall to give protection from the wind and more importantly to maintain our privacy. The sheer amount of colour and the long flowering time of hydrangeas is making me appreciate them more. A good thing as there are 15 hydrangeas in the front garden. 
In the afternoon I drove to town for a physiotherapy appointment. These are now held in the half empty County Council offices. Half empty because after lockdown a lot of people continued to work from home for at least part of the week. I had asked my GP to refer me for physio and was told that it would be quicker if I self-referred. (The physio today said it was because it's easier for the doctor.) I had been getting pins and needles in the fingers of my right hand when I sat at the pc and wanted some exercises to do to avoid this. Of course by the time the appointment came through the pins and needles were hardly ever happening, maybe because we have been doing a lot of work on our shoulders in Pilates. Still I thought it would be good to know what to do to stop it from happening again. I came away with some nerve sliding/loosening exercises and she also suggested I go back to using my weights now that the I'm not lifting things in the garden. 
I made a flying visit to Lidl on the way home for a couple of items and soon it will be time for Pilates.

A few more photos from Sing For Water. Above - all 150 of us and below - Our choir, Leri Voices with Heartsong. (Some people sing in both choirs.) The total raised was £5,064. Well done to Susie our choir leader.

Monday 15 July 2024

Mae Hi'n Bwrw Glaw.

 [my heen booroo gl-ow] Which means - It is raining, something it's been doing all afternoon.

We drove to Mach this morning to revise our Welsh in the library. They had forgotten to put out the reserved sign on the table we usually sit at (it's only a tiny library) and a chap had his stuff on the table while he charged up his phone. The other table was at the far end of the library next to the computers and as we began sorting ourselves out a girl working on one of the computers asked if we could possibly move to the sofas in another corner of the library. She must have realised we were going to be noisy. We know we're a noisy bunch and began to decamp by which time the chap had moved his stuff from the original table so we went back to our usual places.  I think we must have driven the chap away as he left his phone charging and went off for a wander around Mach. Anne and Elaine are doing an on-line revision class which unfortunately clashes with my Pilates so we went over the course unit they will be revising. It was good for all of us to do and they should be star pupils tomorrow.

Afterwards I had my usual charity shop wander, found nothing this time but I did hand over a bag of stuff from here. It was only raining lightly when we got home so I was able to plant out the lettuces that I had grown on the windowsill. Two thirds have gone in the ground each protected (possibly) from the slugs by a plant pot with the base cut off. This is something they do at the community gardens so maybe it will work. The other third have been potted on into small pots and placed outside on the wall hopefully away from the slugs and snails. I also took some silver thyme cuttings and sowed seeds from the nicest of my blue grasses, I think it's Festuca intense blue, currently growing well in the back garden. It's very silvery and would look good in the front garden shingle. Plus I know my neighbour would like some.
  
It was too wet for more photos so here are a few from yesterday's sunset. I've chosen the more natural lighter pictures rather than the dramatically red ones my camera also gave me.
 
-Anyone else having problems with the new way of uploading photos? I can only do one at a time and they arrive on the blog uncentred.

Sunday 14 July 2024

Back to the Osprey Centre.

I was up and watching the sea by 8.00 this morning watching a lone paddleboarder on the calm sea. The sky above reflected the day, cloudy at times and sunny at others.
I had to laugh when I read yesterday's Sunday walk email and saw that the meeting place was the Osprey Centre. The plan was to walk round the reserve followed by a walk up in the hills. 

Although I haven't yet received my membership card from the wildlife trust I took a copy of the confirmation email so that I didn't have to pay another £7. About half of us decided to walk down the long boardwalk to the main hide. As we walked I kept saying how there had been so many lizards on view last week and..... you guessed it, we didn't see a single one even though it was hot in the shelter of the reeds. My thoughts were that some boisterous children may have been trying to touch them and sent all the lizards into hiding. One of my friends was particularly disappointed but right at the end of the day when we had returned to the centre for a final cuppa and some cake (I refrained), I went a little way along the boardwalk and found two lizards which my friend was able to photograph.
Every now and again the camera mounted by the osprey nest swings round to give a view of the people in the hide. 

No sign of any snakes in the pond this week but there were a number of dragonflies.
I'm especially pleased with the photos of a female Scarce chaser - Libellula fulva (above) and a pair of mating common blue damselflies (below).
From the osprey centre we crossed the main road and headed up a path overgrown by brambles and bracken following a small stream that tumbled down the hillside. I was wearing shorts so went very cautiously along the path and emerged at the top without a single scratch (or tick) much to my relief.


We then followed the old toll road for a while before heading uphill again to where we had stunning views of the Dyfi valley towards Mach. We perched on a rocky outcrop to eat our lunch. One of our group had to make a quick change to his seating location when he discovered he was sitting on an ants' nest. We brushed him down and no bites were had.
We had to retrace our route on the return journey back to the osprey centre where some of us stayed to chat for a while.
Upstairs in the main building is a lovely seating area which just invites you to sit and relax while enjoying the views across the reserve. Now that we have our 'free' entry I foresee a few more visits.

Saturday 13 July 2024

Sing For Water.


I was up early enough (6.00) to catch the blue skies and the ribbon of mist above the Dyfi. Most of the day has been cloudy, cool one minute and hot the next. But no rain to spoil our day of singing at the Sing For Water event in Aberystwyth organised by Susie our choir leader.
Peter dropped me off at the bandstand at 9.30 in time for registration and a rehearsal of the four songs we would all be singing. That was followed by the morning concert, four songs sung by everyone then each choir sang another two or three songs with one last song sung by everyone. After the two hour long concert we had a break for an hour and then repeated the whole thing in the afternoon.

Photo taken after the first concert. We had been asked to wear a mid-blue plain top and dark trousers for a more cohesive look. Last year there were 100 of us singing and this year 150 which sounded even better. It also looks as if the money collected for Wateraid has increased as well. Last year we raised over £2,000 and so far this year over £3,000 has been raised. Susie is hoping that with the street collection we might hit her goal of £5,000. That should pay for a lot of toilets and fresh water for communities that need them.


Looking along the promenade towards the rather tired pier with its amusements, bar and fish and chips.

During the lunch break I walked back through town to the small craft and food market by the old market hall.

I bought myself a chocolate brownie from this lady. It was okay but nothing special, such a shame Pwdin closed down, but it's good to support local businesses.
Looking back along the promenade with the bandstand in the middle of the arc. Peter came to listen to the afternoon concert, or at least most of it before driving me home.

Friday 12 July 2024

Grey.

Cool and grey today but generally dry.
After weeks of spending the whole of our riding lessons working in trot today we were cantering. I was riding Margaret who to say the least is a bit lively when it comes to cantering which was great fun. Unfortunately I tensed up a little to begin with which sent Margaret going sideways so that took some sorting out. By the end of the lesson she was going very well. Although there were seven of us in the lesson we managed to avoid each other as we cantered half circles around different sets of cones laid out across the school.
Afterwards it was the usual routine of; the dump to leave more garden waste, Morrisons, Charlies and Lidl. I didn't bother walking into town as I shall be there tomorrow for Sing For Water.
 
In Charlies I succumbed to this bowl like planter made out of a clay/fibreglass mix. It has a slight bronze burnish which gives it a bit of an oriental feel and I love the shape. It is just right for the sedum I bought recently. This sedum is a bigger version of the purple leaved ground cover one I already have.

Once home I had a rest before walking to the local primary school for their summer fair. A very low key event but I played a game, won some toffees and handed over an ORT reading book (in Welsh) which I found at a charity shop even though it was clearly stamped with the school's name. 
  

Thursday 11 July 2024

A Walk along the Leri.

The day has been very warm and humid with some heavy showers. I didn't fancy getting caught in the rain so drove down to the community gardens for Cake & Cultivate. On the way I stopped at the pharmacy to get some antihistamine tablets as something, probably a flea (thanks Speedy) has bitten me several times on my leg. Being hyper reactive I needed something to take away the constant burning and I'm pleased to say that the tablet has done its job.
Our gardening task was to cut back the tall nettles, brambles, comfrey and other stuff growing under the fruit trees to make it easier when it comes to picking the fruit. Everything in the garden is done organically in the most eco-friendly way possible so we just left all the cut weeds in situ to rot back down into the soil. Cat made the cake using the chuckleberries we were given last week. I couldn't quite taste the gooseberry flavour that was so prominent in the fresh fruit but it was still a very nice cake.
Before returning home I was tempted out for a walk over the fields and along the River Leri.
Once you reach the river the path runs straight as an arrow along the top of the bank beside the river. The river itself lies out of sight hidden by the tall reeds growing on either side. (The two trees on the right of the photo above are on the far side of the river.)
Beyond the river lies the northern end of the Cambrian mountain range. When I was taking the photo I hadn't noticed the sparrow hawk hunting over the reeds. 
Where Snowdonia meets the Cambrian mountains. (Below)
Eventually I forced myself to turn around and head back to the car parked by the church.
Something I hadn't noticed before was this line of pet headstones on the outside of the cemetery fence. I assume it's only the ashes as I don't think you would be allowed to dig a dog-sized hole there.
There was a smattering of rain just as I got to the car but it had eased off by the time I got home giving me the chance to go out and fill another bag with garden waste for the dump tomorrow. All that's left to do today is some piano practice before heading down to the Hall for aerobics.