Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Sunday - Caerphilly Big Cheese

Hectic day, but most enjoyable. Got up early to do the farm, rushed back and got ready to drive to the other side of Wales to visit Caerphilly Castle and then to Alan's dads later for tea. It was absolutely boiling hot, in fact, I can't really remember a hotter day in this country. I think you could have cooked an egg on the grass, never mind the concrete. Anyway, it was fantastic, lots of stalls, including one being run by Alan's sister and her husband, a large fairground, craft stalls, food, and the castle itself was brilliant. Live groups playing in various locations, lots of ducks and geese in the moat. Inside the castle walls there were re-enactments of ancient battles going on with men dressed in costume, fires burning, archery - it was like stepping back in time several centuries.

So anyhow, finally got home at just before 10pm thoroughly knackered, but a great day, glad I didn't have to drive home though, could hardly keep my eyes open, the heat just wiped me out and wandering around for about 4 hours.

Other news - now have 7 robins coming here to feed! Two adults appeared yesterday, and again today, and one of them is definitely reacting to the name "Sausage" He may just be my original little man, I so hope so, of course, having had no contact with me for a few months now (since about April I think) he may be wary, although he never would come that close, only within a few feet. I have Frank and Pepper really tame, Sal coming almost to me, and there's two more baby speckly ones, one of which is fairly confident, only a matter of time I think till it comes to hand.

Lastly, my beautiful Lily finally bloomed, very late this year, and the summer is over for now, been sunny and warm on and off, but really heavy rain too, windy and last night had a storm for half an hour or so. I knew it was too good to last....

Click to enlarge this one - see the face in the cloud? I did, of course.

Inside The Great Hall, live group, really good

Some of my flowers in the garden -

Saturday 26th July

Another gorgeous summer's day, and we took a picnic to Abergorlech, Brechfa forest. Great walk, great scenery, lots of nice polite Mountain bikers. Yummy food (even though I made it myself, cough), ice cream on the way home, what more could you ask? lol.

Went straight to the farm, so gave the dogs a bit of extra time, and played with the cats, Littley so funny, kept going inside one of the barns, and laying down inside out of sight, and then suddenly her paw would come through a small hole and feel all round the door. Then her head would appear to look, so Alan got a piece of grass and was tormenting, erm playing with her, lol.

Alan playing with Littley with Barra looking on in disgust...

Friday, 25 July 2008

Pre-weekend quickie

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year here so far. We thought so, but was confirmed on the news last night, temps at Aberporth (our nearest weather station) reached 26c. So summer has lasted almost a week now. Yippee, bring it on.

So had arranged to meet Alan, he wanted to take me to a shop that sold really cheap stuff, including bird foods, like 6 fatballs for 49p, half what I normally pay. Anyhow, when I got to his, he surprised me by having prepared a picnic! Lovely salad rolls, and some fruit, and we bought some cans of soft drink and some cakes on the way from the shop so I bought loads of bird food at the same time, saved a small fortune on it too.

We went to Pembrey again, and ate looking out over the bay after a fairly long walk to get to the vantage point - they wanted £6 car parking, so we said stuff that and turned back and parked outside the park.

Anyway, after we went to the cafe for a cuppa by the dry ski run, and I noticed they have a bobsleigh run which goes round the outside of this. Alan insisted that I went on it! I protested saying I would feel a wally, but there were people of all ages going on, and he went and bought tickets for three goes, saying once is never enough, I will love it. I wasn't convinced. Anyway, I trudged off, got on my "sleigh" and was dragged up the slope. Got to the top and you have to hold the joystick thing at whatever speed you feel comfortable at, so I was slow, slow, slow. But hell, it was fun. So I had my second go, this time, I was brave enough to hang on with one hand and take some shots with my mobile with the other! Third time, I just went for it, no brakes, and I nearly crapped myself, it was so scary, but really, really great! So glad I did it. A real adrenaline rush, and worth every penny. :o)

Emma was concerned, I could hear her yapping for me as I went up the slope first time, and as I came flying down Alan was holding her to show her where I was, her face was so bloody funny! No pics though, couldn't get the phone out and I was worried about braking properly so I didn't come of it at the end of the run lol!

Other stuff: Frank is now feeding freely from my hand as well as Pepper. Went and bought a fresh supply of live mealworms today. I also managed to get Sal to take a few but only from a distance by throwing her a couple.

Alan will be here soon, so best get the tea started I think. Looking forward to Sunday, we are going to his home town, Caerphilly, they have a huge event on over this weekend called The Big Cheese, 70,000 people attended last year, sounds great. You can read all about it on the link here, I will endeavour to take lots of photos of course. We will pop and see his dad of course whilst over there, and we have the farm to do tomorrow night and Sunday morning before we go, so going to be busy this weekend for sure.


Wednesday, 23 July 2008

The Summer - Day 5

Well we finally got some. Hot hot hot, no rain ssshhhhh! Even when the sun goes behind a cloud, and unfortunately there are still a few around, it's still warm, instead of that awful chill we have had so far this season. Loving it of course. Did quite a lot in the garden yesterday, and went shopping as quickly as possible today, and back in time to laze around outside enjoying it for a change. Got the farm to do at teatime, which is nice, cooler for Emma to have a walk anyway.

So what have I been up to otherwise since the last entry? Erm, well Saturday, we had a knock about on the tennis court, no laughing, finally got to try out my raquets and balls which have been festering in my boot for about 2 months since I bought them. Boy, did I feel old after, I hurt where I didn't know you could hurt, but most especially my back and my knees. I used to be a good tennis player, feel slightly gutted that it now seems beyond my capabilities. Anyway, we then went to Newcastle Emlyn, had a walk round the castle and then had some lunch, did farm in the evening.

Sunday was brilliant. Went to Aberystwyth, looked round the castle and gardens, Emma had a good old paddle in the sea, we ate on the prom at an outdoor cafe which all the bikers go to, and in the middle of eating my baguette, the heavens opened and we had a downpour, Alan rushed under the canopy with his chips, as did lots of the bikers, but I soldiered on bravely as most of me was either covered in my jacket with hood up or under the table! Luckily, was only a shower, and it cleared nicely later for our trip to the Red Kite feeding place and nature reserve just 10 miles east of Aber. They feed the kites at 3pm every day, and the scenery around there is fantastic, a lovely lake, and the view down across the valley below is spectacular. What's more, it's free to go in, just a nominal car park fee of £1.50, which I thought was brilliant. There was one amazing thing - an almost Albino Red Kite, if that makes sense! Hard to take photos, as the birds are constantly dipping and swooping of course. I should add here that right next to this reserve, which is managed by the RSPB, is an 8-turbine Wind Farm. I was most concerned about this of course, but had a long chat with the two guys there from the RSPB and they were adamant that no Kites had been killed by this farm, nor any other birds for that matter. I have to say that I feel slightly relieved, should the dreaded one go ahead here, maybe Bernie will be okay after all. Also, these turbines were less than half a mile away, and I could hear no noise at all, despite the blades rotating quite fast.

I've got lots of photos, but as I'm doing this outside in bright sunshine, not too sure if I will be able to see to do them justice or not!

Anyway, the best (if that's possible) till last, is my little Robin, Pepper. It's like having a new pet, I only wish I could protect him like you can your own, but of course nature isn't like that. Trying desperately not to get too fond of him, as the Sparrowhawk is making constant attacks here, bloody thing. There's two other baby Robins, Frank and Sal, as well as two adults, bit of fighting going on, but Pep seems to be winning all the battles so far. He is a constant companion when I'm outside, the photos appearing here are taken with the camera about 12" inches from him, and he shows no fear, he's been sunbathing on the arm of the bench as I sit here now, less than an arm's length away, and I'm almost certain I could stroke him. He has been actually landing on my palm now and staying a few seconds with his worm, before he was just grabbing and flying off as fast as possible, so the only photos are a complete blur unfortunately. Frank keeps landing near me too, but Pepper always appears and chases him away, poor Frank! Quick update, just got Frank to take a mealworm from my hand, yay! Pepper must've gone off somewhere for a sec!

Will now try to upload some of the photos anyway, so here goes, can hardly see the screen here, but if I don't do this now, I may not get round to it for ages again, I can't seem to get the motivation in the evenings now.

Newcastle Emlyn Saturday

Aberystwyth Sunday

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Sunday

Pepper today

Lastly, will just mention, but not going into detail that had a bad day on Monday, relationship wise. Was so close to it being a past relationship, but managed to sort things out thankfully, and I came home with this below as a peace offering, he is soooo romantic, sigh.