Sunday, 29 April 2007

Another day, another place, another dog, but still more bluebells!

Spent the day at my friend Pat's today. The weather was fantastic, the hottest day we've had this year I think. Not a cloud in the sky all day. After lunch we took the dogs down to the river and woodland across the road from her place, all the bluebells out down there, they have better weather being that bit further south than where I went yesterday, seems crazy but 30 miles makes a lot of difference in this bit of Wales. Emma and Ben had a great time in the water as usual.

Had a very lazy, but very enjoyable day again, apart from doing some washing and watering the plants, done nothing. Tomorrow I must work...

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Saturday - dogs and bluebells

Went to Irene's today, and after a bit of lunch, we took one of her dogs (Ayra) and Emma to the forestry just outside Lampeter for a walk. Irene hadn't been there before, and isn't it just typical, I've only ever come across a couple once there, never see anyone normally, but as we arrived, there was some kind of hiking group about to cross the stile too, about 10 of them! So we let them get as far ahead as possible. Quite a lot of the bluebells were out, but still a lot more to come. I looked back on my blog for last year, and it was 13th May when I went there and took photos, but it was also raining. We had a nice walk anyway, it's hard work on the way back because it's uphill, but it didn't seem such a struggle this time. Partly because it was so dry and partly because when you are chatting to someone, you don't seem to notice.

Bit fed up with the weather, its fairly warm and in some places it was quite hot I suppose, but we have had mainly that bright grey sky, and a strong easterly wind all day. It was warm enough to not need a jumper earlier, but had to put one on as soon as I got back to this place, even though I've still got the two rads on half temperature, no sun through the windows means cold in here. Oh and another farmer has been spreading slurry in time for the storms we have forecast, its a good job I don't want the windows open because the stench outside is making me want to heave. Absolutely horrendous. I don't remember all this stink in previous years, I guess they are doing some different farming stuff or something.

Oh well my best night of tv tonight anyway, will have to record lots of stuff because it's all on at the same time, thanks a lot BBC and ITV. Last night never switched the tv on all night because there was bugger all I wanted to see, now it's all on in one heap!

Friday, 27 April 2007

Friday, birds and a stroke of luck

Met Irene at Morrisons and did a bit of food shopping, then we went across to MacDonalds. Ate in, poor Emma, but I did take her out a few chips wrapped in a napkin! Then we took her round the reservoirs as Irene wanted to see where I kept raving on about. Got home really early, and thought what on earth am I going to do all afternoon (it was only 1.30 by then, I don't "do" this morning stuff as I've mentioned before but just thought it would be nice for a change...) Anyhow, one of my neighbours from the other end of the cul de sac was talking to the old lady who lives opposite. Remember I met her last summer and thought oh good, a new friend? Well nothing had ever come of it, we just didn't go and knock on each other's doors and say Hey, I've come for a coffee. Anyway, Emma ran up to her, and we ended up chatting, I asked her in, and she went at 4 oclock lol! Her husband would have thought she'd been kidnapped. Anyway, it turns out we have more in common than I'd ever imagined, and the very, very good news is that she would love to look after my birds, Emma, the guinea pigs anytime I like! How fantastic is that. She even said, what about last night with that **** with the stinking bonfire, and I had all my washing out! Anyway, her grandson does grasstrack, quad bike racing, it's every Saturday, and she said anytime I want to go with them, so that's even more fantastic because I used to go with Barry a few times, he even did a couple of meetings himself on two wheels of course, but they don't do an awful lot of that here, it is mainly quads, but still exciting and fun. What a stroke of luck eh? She is the same as me, shy and not pushy and a bit anti-social, so we should get along fine! Gardening and birds is the main thing we've got in common though.

After she left, I sat outside with yet another cuppa, and my lovely tame hen Blackbird came and posed for me, less than 6 feet away, with one of my suet pellets in her beak. She and her mate are feeding babies in the hedge of the garden behind me, they nested there last year too. Glad they are both still okay. Then a Pied Wagtail landed on my roof and was having a good old peck around in the moss. There were 6 woodpigeons in the field right by my garden too, was annoyed because I disturbed them, it's the closest they've been, so chuffed, I love woodies, their cooing is so relaxing. The white dove is still here, been on my roof all afternoon, until the sparrowhawk spooked him, and he flew off. He is very streetwise, so fingers crossed he is going to be okay, the hawk definitely doesn't seem interested. I just hope he meets up with some other doves on his travels and settles with them, I hate to see him on his own, and wonder where he is roosting. And finally, the Red Kite has been taunting me for two days. Every time I see it and run in and grab the camera, by the time I get out with it, he's too far away or too high to photo, so there ain't no pic of him, dammit!

Thursday, 26 April 2007


Not done much today again. It's been bright and sunny until the last hour, but bloody cold northerly wind again, great if you can get out of it though. I did some washing, cut the grass, took Emma round the park, and took some photos. That about sums it up really. Oh yeah and have just lost my rag, there's some arsehole, sorry you will have to excuse my language but I am livid, they have lit a filthy, stinking bonfire down the road, black smoke billowing into the air about thirty feet, evil smell of rubber, like they are burning tyres, and it's all come this way, all over my washing and in my house. I thought I knew where it was coming from as there is always smoke coming from that same area, so I phoned up, and they said it wasn't them, they told me where it was, as I said I was going to phone the police, they said please do, as if it would be doing them a favour too. And as if by a miracle, the smoke suddenly stopped. I'm damned sure it's who I thought it was in the first place. They have been burning something all afternoon, because all I could smell out there as I cut the grass was woodsmoke from a normal smelly bonfire. People just haven't got any consideration for others at all. As far as I am aware, it is illegal to have a bonfire until one hour after sunset. But of course, that doesn't apply to farmers, they are a law unto themselves and can do no wrong. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. My hair now smells like a bonfire and so does all my washing. Yes Pete, I am moaning again.

The dove is still here

Crow posed nicely for me at the park.

Bet you thought this is Ben and Emma? Wrong, it's Sally and Megan!

Garden is starting to look pretty, note the freshly painted fence panels

View from the garden and moo-moos in the field up the hill

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Rainy Tuesdays too

All my plans went a bit wrong for today, so instead ended up doing very little again. I did get the vacuum cleaner out, but that's about as far as my cleaning goes these days. I am desperately wanting to do other things around the place but in limbo because until I know what my new neighbour will be like and what the effects of the wind farm are regarding noise, I am not going to spend any money on this place in case I end up having to relocate. Well that's a good enough excuse for being bone idle I guess.

So today, I was sitting here at lunchtime when my arch-enemy The Sparrowhawk made another fruitless swoop, and ended up perching and preening on the fence post outside, about 15 feet away. I grabbed the camera and took several shots through the glass, but it seemed completely disinterested in me, so I ended up opening the window and took some more. He was a bit windswept and dishevelled. Eventually I saw that it had spotted something and was about to swoop, so I yelled, hoping that I would have alerted whatever the poor intended recipient as well as scaring the shit out of the hawk. I ran outside and found to my surprise a beautiful white dove, he's big, he's tame (ish) and he's now a worry. Has been hanging around all afternoon, he's fed and watered and I hope he goes on his way, because I can't bear the thought of something getting him which will surely happen sooner or later. I would capture him if I could and try and find out where he came from. He's much bigger than the pair of doves I just rehomed, bigger than Collared Doves, about the size of a Wood Pigeon, so maybe, just maybe, too big for the Hawk, fingers crossed anyway. The dove seems very tired, and was very hungry, so maybe has come a distance. I once had a pair like this, we kept them in as advised when we first got them, so that they know where they live. The day we let them out, one flew off and never came back. So ended up buying some fantails to keep the one that did stay company. Sadly these are no match for the sparrowhawk, and after one had killed three of them, could take no more and we rehomed all of them.

Yesterday I was chuffed to have a little pair of Siskins back for the first time in weeks. Today I am gutted, because the little male is all fluffed up, seeds sticking to his bill and looks like he has the dreaded illness, trichomonias. When is this bloody thing going to die out here, it has been hanging around for months now, I am still finding or seeing sick chaffinches at least one a week. So fed up.

At least the rain stopped about 3.30 and I managed to take Emma round the park.

The saddest thing today though was having to choose a condolences card to send to the family of a dear friend who tragically died last Friday. I never knew it could be so hard to pick a card. I read the words on about 10, and then couldn't even see properly. Felt a fool standing in a shop with tears streaming down my face, luckily nobody else in there and I was out of sight of the till. She was a good friend, and although had lots of her own problems, was always ready to offer help and advice and a shoulder to me and others. She was generous, and kind and loved her animals, especially the hedgehogs, and her garden and I shall miss her like hell.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Rainy days and Mondays..

... as the song goes. Yesterday had two pieces of bad news, one I won't mention here for now, until the time is right. The second, lesser one is that the proposed Wind Farm which was quashed last year, and the year before, comprising 10 Turbines, the tallest in Wales, around a mile away from my home, has now been given the go ahead. I am devastated. As will be the local countryside. I am also livid. The committee voted for by a margin of 11 to 7 apparently. So 18 people get to decide the future of thousands in this area. I bet the 11 that were for it don't live anywhere near. It's an area of natural beauty, along with the breeding ground of two endangered species of bird. I am gutted to say the least. There is a protest group, only learned that I missed the meeting last week, I am going to try and find out more, but I suspect it will be futile. I can't understand what has changed the Council's mind. They have turned this down twice before. Back-handers spring to mind.

I have been spending time catching up with stuff indoors that I've been meaning to do for ages, like copying some things off my Sky+ recordings onto DVD to clear up the hard disk space on there, cos it's nearly full. Also printing off some of the nicer photos that I've taken lately onto A4 size to put on the bedroom wall.

It's been misty drizzle all day so far, and occasionally a bit harder rain. I really ought to have done some housework, but I just can't be bothered. I decided to take Emma to my favourite, spooky, beautiful place as it would be sheltered under the trees a bit.

I had a long chat with a guy I see down there from time to time who has three Springer spaniels. I learned some very interesting stuff about the place.

Firstly, anyone remember my spooky experience last year when I thought I saw my ex friend on the other side of the river, who kept hiding, and then when I waited for her on the bridge, it turned out to be a guy and not her at all? Well I found out who this person is, someone local who is not all there apparently, and always hides if he sees anyone, he is down there all the time. So that clears that up. I also learned that although the church and graveyard doesn't appear to be that old, it dates back to Tudor times on that site, and some of the graves have been re-used. It's funny because the exact words the guy used to me when I said how much I loved it down there were "there's something magical about this place" exactly the feeling I have. He lives locally and walks there with his dogs everyday. He isn't Welsh however, although you'd never guess it from his accent, he's lived here for 25 years.

I said how it gives me good vibes, and spooky feelings, and he told me that on the bridge, there is a stone shaped like a coffin. The story goes that when the bridge was constructed, it was in the days when the Irish navvies used to come here and do the construction work. Apparently a child of one of the workers fell into the water and drowned at the spot, and because they were from Ireland, they weren't allowed to be buried in the graveyard, so he was buried in the footings of the bridge, and they made a little coffin shaped stone. How bizarre is that, and what a wonderful story.

The last thing I learned was that one of his dogs fetched a baby otter to him last week. His dogs always swim in the water, and had crossed to a rocky platform on the other bank. The poor otter was bleeding from the nose, but the guy took it to a rescue centre where it is doing well. It is going to be rehabilitated somewhere else, and then hopefully returned back here. I so wish I could see some otters, apparently there are a few around. I once thought I'd seen some, but they turned out to be mink, I think I posted about it on my old blog last year.

Have just been cheering myself up a bit more by watching Shaun the Sheep. It's on CBBC Channel every night now so I'm going to record them all. It is so funny, really appeals to my sense of humour. Way too clever for kiddies! Oh and a new series of Iolo's Welsh Safari starts tonight too, hence my need to clear my Sky+.

Grave stone

Deja vue?
Bluebells out everywhere

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Llanina Woods and Cei Bach Beach

Had another nice day out, making the most of what is supposed to be the last day of summer here for a while! We have rain forecast and quite strong winds again for the next three days. Really looking forward to that as you can imagine.

Llanina woods has the ruins of old mill workings dating back to 1770s, you can read a bit about it here - it's an interesting and beautiful place, the woodlands are full of birds, butterflies and bees. And just across the road is the pathway to the beach. The best of both worlds. Take a walk up through the woods and you reach what used to be just an open field a few years back, but it's been planted with an abundance of trees which are maturing nicely and covered in blossoms at the moment. Three picnic tables which Emma and I made use of (see her blog...) Tomorrow will be a work day I suppose if it's raining, about time I did some I guess.

Short but sweet today, good night on the telly coming up!