Sunday, 30 September 2007

Ooh something new on the webcam....

Shrew! I think. A newby for my garden.

Swansea, good time, disappointing end

Today a friend from the windfarm protest group that I belong to was doing a sponsored parachute jump, along with her son, to raise funds to go toward our legal fees for fighting the development alongside our village. She was told to be there for 2pm with the jump planned for 2.30. A number of us went along to Swansea airport to support her, and I got a lift with one of the other members, which was great, the first time I've been driven anywhere in months!

Anyway we got there and met up with everyone just before 2 o'clock, and to cut a long story short, the weather had been bad this morning, and they had only started doing the jumps at 1pm, consequently there was a backlog. I hadn't realised how popular it is, there were loads of people waiting, they can only do 4 or 5 people at a time. Anyway, the weather was now fabulous, and we watched lots of people coming down, I was getting very excited for her, and wishing I was doing it too. Eventually, it got to be her turn at almost 6 pm. We got through the afternoon having lots of coffees, teas and cakes,(thank you Terence - why isn't he fat I ask myself, so unfair....) By this time, the light had faded considerably and we were a bit fed up that the photography and professional dvd that was being done wouldn't be very good. The cloud had built up too. Anyway, they eventually took off and we could hear the plane even though we couldn't see it. Over on the place where they were due to land there were four guys who are there to help catch them and make it a safe landing. Suddenly, they started to walk back toward the reception, and then and we were all saddened to find out that it had been aborted, too much cloud, and unsafe and too dangerous to jump. What a terrible disappointment for everyone.

It's now got to be rearranged, and we will go through it all again I guess, such a shame, damn this weather, although really, we couldn't have wished to a better day, we all thought they obviously take on too many clients per day, there were still some people due to go after Helen, who never even got the flight, at least she had that bit of it.

Didn't get home till an hour after dark, had to rush around doing the hogs dishes and there were two on it almost instantly, lol, they must've been waiting for me. Emma was rescued by my neighbour after a quick phone call at 5 oclock to say I'd be late, and has she been spoiled rotten by the sounds of things, having been fed chicken and lamb! She still had her dinner here though!

As I write this, little Colin has just appeared on my front feeding dish, bless, he's still around then, he is the only one using this dish now though I think, he comes a lot later than the others, I wonder if he's coming quite a distance to get here.

Got a busy week ahead now, dentist and shopping tomorrow, then three days at the farm, possibly 4, on standby to do Friday too now, but I don't mind, looking foward to it.

Will post the pics from today anyway, even though I will probably be doing almost the same ones again in the not too distant future...

Someone earlier who was a lot luckier
The plane waiting to go
Kitted up and ready
Making their way to the plane

Friday, 28 September 2007

New Quay

Well a return to sanity today, after the freezing wintry temperatures of yesterday, when we had a heavy frost first thing, with frozen bird baths, ice on the cars and an evil biting wind.

Today it was warm, even hot in the sunshine, and of course, having tanked up the overnight storage heaters, it was boiling and had to open windows, what a disgusting waste of energy, and more to the point, my bloody money those sodding things are.

Anyway, enough of the grumps, I decided to make the most of today and took Emma to New Quay. I got lucky - the tide was out, way out, and I discovered the most amazing thing that I've never seen there before in all the times I've been - shells, millions and millions of crushed and broken shells, it was amazing, like being on some exotic island in the Caribbean or something. They stretched right along the beach through the rocks. Emma had a great time in and out of the sea, rock pools and we walked right along the rocks to a previously unchartered bit of the sea front by me!

Came back and cleaned out the hoggy box - no-one at home, it wasn't too bad, but there were two huge, spewy tics lurking in there, waiting to pounce on the next occupant. Lucky I saw them really, hiding in the newspaper. Now I know I have a "no kill" policy but with these hideous things I'm afraid I make an exception, knowing what they do to hogs and other creatures. I won't go into detail, but safe to say they won't be bothering any more hogs.

Excited about Sunday, Helen is doing the sponsored Parachute jump from Swansea airport and we are all going along to watch, lucky thing, I wish I was doing it too, sort of....

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Feels like winter already

Today has been absolutely freezing, the wind was strong and northerly and heavy showers this morning, typically as I had put washing out on the line because it looked like the sun was going to stay out finally. I was already in the car and about to set off out with Emma, so it stayed on the line.

Thought I'd take her down to Ferryside on the south coast, away from the wind. Wrong. It was so strong blowing down the estuary, it was hard to stand up. Oh well, we had a fair walk, she had a paddle, and then I thought we'd get a few chips (for a change) a cuppa, and I'd have a look round the pound shop. Wrong again. The cafe was shut, looks like it's shut for the winter already! Unbelievable. The pound shop was open but nothing outside, a right waste of time.

Stopped by at McDonalds instead, and then Tescos to fill up. The car did 51mpg as normal, which is pretty good, I did over 800 miles last week.

Now not in the best of moods, as have just phoned mum to find out if she's okay with the cold and able to work the fire which I finally installed for her last week after all these months. I told her over and over again how to work it, but it has gone in one ear and out the other. She says she pressed all the knobs and couldn't get any heat, and has put the old one back. I am bloody livid with her, she is not senile, she just doesn't listen. So then she started on about last night, and why I didn't answer the phone instantly,(I got "Where are you" on my mobile, like I am still 12 years old and living at home) as if I have to have the phone impregnated in my hand, and then "what am I eating" So I said "chewing gum, aren't I allowed?" So she put the phone down on me. FFS.

I promised Emma some chips

The cafe was shut. Tsk.

Monday, 24 September 2007

I'm back

Well had a week's break from blogging, mainly due to the fact that I had to use dial-up to access the net at my mums! How did I ever manage? Well I guess I didn't look at websites that had lots of photos for a start. It's hard to get back into the swing of things right now too, I am struggling to be bothered to do this really, or even look at my normal stuff on here, I'm in a strange mood really. I am fighting with various feelings about things I would like to do, and things that I ought to do. Mainly it boils down to should I go or should I stay. It's not something that I shall rush into, lots to take into account, the main thing I hate hate hate about where I live is the bloody weather. I've spent the week up at mums wearing a t-shirt, or only very occasionally a lightweight fleecy top, the coats stayed in the car. I got back here yesterday, and could feel the chill in the air before I even crossed the Severn Bridge. Stepped back into my home and it was like walking into a fridge. I had to put on the oil filled electric rad, the gas oven and the fan heater to try and warm the place up. Utterly ridiculous, it was around 10c colder in here than anywhere I went last week. So fed up it's untrue. Then of course there's the rain. It apparently has rained a lot here whilst I was away. It rained for about an hour where I was all week, and hardly made any impression at all on my mums grass. Here, it's squelch squelch, was back less than an hour and had wet feet and socks like I have for about 300 days of the year. I really have to do some serious thinking, but the main tie as always is my birds and cockerel, and of course, I do have some friends here that I would miss, and a very nice neighbour now too. I love the scenery, and most things but I don't know how long I can tolerate the cold, damp weather. I ached like hell again today, my knees hurt and my back, never got any of that in the warm dryness at mums.

Anyway, I had a good time away, had a yummy chinese meal with Nic, a day long visit with my mate Irene at her new place in Shoeburyness, and a meal out with her and her mum at lunchtime, and a great day out with Pete on Saturday at Hatfield Forest, where I saw my first ever Green Woodpecker, thanks to the loan of his bins! I did a fair bit of stuff for mum, repairing her shed and the drive gates mainly, much to her annoyance at first, but then gratitude. We nearly came to blows about me doing it, in the end I just pretended I was going off shopping for something else, and came back with all the stuff and started doing it. I did manage to get her out for a few hours too to Tesco, and for a spot of lunch at Fairlands, but it wasn't particularly successful, too windy, and she got all uptight and couldn't eat more than a tiny bit of her sandwich. She wouldn't come to Irene's with me, she is so set in her ways now, so I didn't want to force her or nag too much, that wasn't my idea at all, the last thing I want to do is upset her, but it is terribly frustrating when I really wanted to treat her and give her a nice time, and really all she wanted to do was the normal stuff (sitting doing her puzzles and watching Soap after Soap on the tv...........)

Oh well, I took a few photos on the Saturday, Emma had a good time and so did I. Was so lucky with the weather too.

Oh and has anyone seen the latest Bag for Life from Pets at Home - piccie below. Well worth 20p! I just had to buy it.

Photos from Saturday at the Forest

Beautiful trees

One of mum's plant baskets, she has done loads, garden looks lovely

Starlings on her tv aerial

Lovely sunset, there was a fab one on Thursday which I saw from the A1M in the car

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Sunday at the farm

I know I said I wouldn't post photos but I couldn't resist these few. I was down there just after 8.30 this morning, fed the cats - no sign of the feral mum and two kittens this morning, wonder where they've hidden themselves, the male was there. Almost a dust up between one of the farm cats and him, lots of hissing and mwouing, but then peace reigned and the three of them settled at their own bowls.

Took the dogs for the walk round the two fields, as the weather is supposed to not be so good later, and incase they only get a short walk when I go back teatime. It's already looking very autumnal out there now, grey and windy, but none of the promised rain so far thankfully. Bitzer, alias Barra was as good as gold today, hardly bothered with Emma as soon as I found him a stick again. On the way back down the track, he walked with me, and she was ahead. Skye loves running after a stick too.

Don't fancy doing much today, will do a bit of cleaning up in here after lunch I guess, don't want to leave the place looking like a pigsty. Will have to clean out the guinea pigs and Chippy tomorrow. Hope I can get rid of this headache I've had since I woke up, nothing shifting it so far, just my luck if I have a cold coming, may mean a slight delay if so, cos I'm not going up to mum's feeling crap, will get enough of that with the driving!
Emma just keeping her head above the grass

Barra with his stick

Heading back down the lane, Skye way ahead, the track is half a mile long, but the fields we walk to are about halfway down.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Fun at the farm

My weekend for looking after the farm, and I couldn't wait for this afternoon, so that I could go and spend some time walking round the fields, the peace and tranquility, the beautiful hot sunshine, fantastic scenery. I was pacing around indoors trying to find stuff to do till I could go. In the end, I decided to take Emma round the field first, as not sure how the farm dogs would get on with her. So I walked round two fields with her, about half an hour, hard going too cos the grass is long, but Emma loved it. Carried on down the farm track and did all the stuff, then got the collies out and then thought, oh well, in for a penny, lets introduce them to Emma (Kate had explained they'd never met or walked with any other dogs) Well Skye ignored her completely, and Barra was smitten. I kept wanting to call him Bitzer (Pete will understand!) He was rounding the both of us up all the way up the track to the field, mainly with his nose up Emma's rear end. When we got in the field, he was beside himself not knowing whether to run like he normally does with Skye or stick with us, he was back and forth. In the end, Emma was getting a bit fed up with his attentions, so I found a stick, and threw it, and Skye got it. So I had to find another one for him. That finally did it, they were off, wanting me to throw all the time and having a great time. So poor Emma although enjoyed it, walked about 4 miles this afternoon!

I did all the feeding, checked the sheep, could only count 25 but Kate had said not to worry, as they had been squeezing under a fence and going right down the bottom of the valley. The feral cats scarpered when I went with their dish of food, but soon came back. The other cats whose names escape me were tucking in to their food, all very civilised. So all in all, a good time. I didn't take any photos, I'm not sure whether it would be right to do so without asking them, and I don't want to do anything that they may not be happy with, it's like a a breach of trust and their privacy really, I'm not sure how to put it, but better safe than sorry. I know the likelihood of them seeing this blog is probably nil, but all the same.

Instead I will put a photo of last night with the awwwwwww factor. Two cute little hoggies sharing the food dish. Bless.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

My stuff for today

Day started off with something that made me smile. The sight of my Diddy Boy and Perry, one of my cockatiels, sharing a dish of tinned sweetcorn on the floor of the aviary. Awwwww. He's settled in right well in there bless. Things went downhill a bit after that though.

Well, I blogged yesterday about having front door keys cut, well wouldn't you just know they don't work. I put in lock, and you can't turn the things. So was I mad or what. Means another 26 mile round trip to get them re-done. Not that it's really a problem, I go to town regularly, but it's just that I hadn't really planned on going again before my trip up country. Still, I need something to do don't I? So off I go. Find somewhere to park that isn't a mile away from the town centre. Walk to the shop and it's sodding closed! Closed on a Thursday, I ask you? Bloody living in the dark ages or what. So I was even madder. So I thought, oh well, write it off and go and get another one done in the indoor market. Walked up to the stall, wasn't even sure if he'd be open, and he's got his back to me, fiddling around with the keys. I stood there, and stood there, and ..... eventually I said "Excuse me" I get "Yes" Still doesn't turn round. I said "Are you cutting keys" "Yes, what do you want?" So I show him. "If you leave it here and come back in 10 minutes" I said, "well, I'll take it with me" He says "Well if you leave it there it will be done when you come back, huff." So I slapped it back down on the counter, and then thought to ask, "How much will it be?" He says "£4.50" I stopped myself from saying the "f" word, and just said, "Oh no, don't worry about it" and did a rapid about turn. Bloody rip off merchant, it was £3.50 in a proper shop, and the guy was polite and civil, not an ignorant old bastard. So I still have two keys that don't work, and I shall now have to go back again before Monday!

I needed to chill after that, so thought, as it was so warm (still grey sky though) I'll take Emma down to Llansteffan for her birthday treat. A nice walk along the estuary and sands, then to the cafe for a bite to eat. So we did. It was great. Hot, hot, hot, the sun broke through the haze, and we had a tuna and cucumber sarnie, a scone and an ice cream from the cafe and sat on a bench looking out at the dunes, and do you know, it was absolutely bliss, peaceful and about the warmest I can remember it being down there, it's normally windy even on a nice day and you need a jumper or jacket.

Came home to be greeted by a pile of feathers on the front lawn, the remains of another blackbird. A hen this time. Spoilt the day really. At least I wasn't here to listen to its screams this time. I wonder which poor little devil it was this time, one of the youngsters maybe, some of the feathers were a bit speckled, just hope it wasn't my thrush. Lovely job picking that lot up, I have to though otherwise I just get upset every time I open the door.

Lovely tree

Not content with eating half my lunch, Emma found the need to do her sheep impersonation..

Happy Birthday Emma

Happy 8th Birthday to the best dog ever. As an extra special treat (and she's had lots believe me,) today, I've allowed her to do her own blog for once. Should please her fans I guess....

Emma with her presents

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Wednesday - another grey day

Very warm though, so not complaining really, I don't mind these now and then, I'd rather it like this than clear with the cold wind we've had sometimes lately. Anyway, I went to town to get a couple of keys cut to give to Eileen next week so she can get in to do the guinea pigs. Also went in search of a calor gas heater for the living room. You'd think I was asking for the moon. Not a single place either sells the one I want, or sells calor gas heaters full stop. Within at least a 25 mile radius at least. I've called in or phoned about 10 places now. I will have to order one online I suppose, but I want to see the bloody thing first really, it's alll well and good seeing it on a pc screen. I phoned Delonghi themselves, and they said I had to contact Calor Gas main dealer, gave me a number, which was just a shop I'd already been to. Doh. I give up. You wouldn't think it could be that hard. Maybe I can get one up at mum's next week, at least the shops up there are in the 21st century and not stuck in the 1960s.

Anyway, took Emma round the reservoirs and was saw a strange creature in the cows field. I thought it was a tiny lamb at first. Zoomed in and it was a cat! A rare cat though, in fact I don't think I've ever seen one in real life but then I don't normally look at cats I suppose, it was just because of where it was. Also managed to get a half decent shot of the Heron, it's always there now, but I rarely bother with the camera these days.

Came home and cut the grass, it won't get another one before I go now, so hope it stays static. I hate planning stuff in advance, I just want it to be Tuesday now and I can go, all the hanging about and things to do in the interim, does my brain in, worrying about what to do, what to take, the pets and doing a list for Eileen. Oh and I had the night's sleep from hell last night. I turned the mattress over on the bed yesterday like you're supposed to, because it had started to sink on my side. What a mistake. Felt like sleeping on a slab of rock again. Tossed and turned all bloody night and woke up in so much pain at 6.30 I had to get up and use some ibuprofen rub in my knees and back. Poor old sod.
Who you looking at?