Yesterday’s brief post was an attempt to sort out the technology around Google photos, because I now use my phone and ipad as well as the camera to take photos and I can store them all together.  I hadn’t yet worked out how to upload from Google onto my blog so a bit of experimentation was needed.

WordPress kindly tells me it’s four months since I last wrote and my previous post was so depressing that I needed to get rid of it for something more cheerful.  Oh and Charlie has totally recovered from his broken leg – thank you for asking 🙂

Despite our disastrous attempt at a holiday back in March we have managed to get away from Hay a few times without any major incidents.  There is one thing about bad things happening – it makes other occasional misfortunes seem like nothing in comparison.

We had a week camping in Rhandirmwyn, Carmarthenshire, at an incredibly beautiful camping spot down by the Towi River and despite rain and the attempt by the local insect population to eat Mr T alive, we had a great time.  In fact because of the rain and the well bitten Mr T, we got to spend a night in a pub in Llandovery in the middle of the week just to have some respite, which was most enjoyable.  The next day we visited one of our favourite towns just up the road from Llandovery – Llandeilo, which has lovely shops and eating places.

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By Llandovery Castle

 

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Camping with Gin and Snacks
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I bought along a sun lounger for myself
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Talley Abbey

We made it all the way up to Lampeter and visited the ruins of Talley Abbey on the way.  The Abbey was built in the 12 century and the Canons that lived there wore white robes. The place is lovely and spooky and I could imagine a dark night and the robed figures haunting the place.

We also visited the medieval Cilycwm Church, just up the road from where we were camping – very worth going there if only for the 18th century paintings on the walls, which were redone in the 1980s.  I particularly loved how the powers that be thought so much of the paintings that they just bunged other monuments on top..

 

We have managed a few other trips away – a day trip to Rhossili Beach on the Gower which started out as a quick visit down to Swansea with Sunday lunch at The Ancient Briton on the way and turned out to be a proper day out, not getting home till 10pm that night.  We haven’t been to the Gower since we got back to the UK last year and Mr T being in a driving mood we got to Swansea and just kept going.  We made the long walk down to the beach watching the hang gliders and peregrine falcons hovering above us and spent a lovely hour or so on the beach before heading back up the steep walk (not for the faint hearted) for a pint and chips at the pub on the cliff – spectacular views and the sun came out to cheer us.

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toastie at rhossili .

I will post this now as it has taken a couple of days to get this together and will write again soon about our latest break away.

 

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Touch down..

So we got here then..

We had arrived at Heathrow at 1pm with all our luggage as we had to vacate our hotel at twelve and where else can you go with all those heavy bags?   Unfortunately our plane did not leave until ten that night and we could not check in for another four hours BUT would we like to leave in an hours time on a plane doing the same route?  And if we did want to we could have three empty seats for ourselves? Oh yes..

You would think that having an hour to get from check in desk to boarding would be plenty of time wouldn’t you?  You obviously have not gone through Heathrow airport security for quite a while then..

I thought I was going to have a heart attack by the time I had finished running to the gateway, and the boarding staff must have as well by the look on their faces.  I had nearly fallen arse over tit over my own flight bag on the way as well as swearing quite horribly at a poor innocent fellow traveller (utter bastard who wouldn’t get out of the way), and here they were looking all calm and unsweaty and willing me to be calm so they wouldn’t have to call the ambulance to haul my twitching carcass away and upset the other passengers.

We had plenty of space on that leg of the journey, which is such a huge bonus on a long flight (12 hours) and then another twelve hour wait in Singapore airport which is actually quite a cool place to wait as waiting places go – I particularly enjoyed the butterfly house, and all the people watching.

Then on to Brisbane, once again heaps of room as there were several rows of seats empty.  On landing we were in smelling distance of home, the Brisbane security staff were lovely and although the coffee cost us ten british pounds for two, it was lovely!

The last leg was on a smaller plane and more cramped but it was also the shortest at four hours.  As the plane came in to land at Wellington Airport the young woman next to me turned as said “Welcome home”, and I had to turn away as the huge lump in my throat threatened to choke me.

It’s good to be home..

Landing in New Zealand..34 hours after leaving UK
Landing in New Zealand.  34 hours after leaving UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing to see here; Just a cat dressed as a shark, riding a robotic vacuum cleaner

Nothing to see here > Just a cat dressed as a shark, riding a robotic vacuum cleaner.

I added the above link to avoid starting off this post with yet another apology for not blogging for so long.  In fact I am really only posting this because –

a) I do love you all and want to share the joy of the above video and

b) I need to do the vacuuming and clean the bathroom and writing my blog is preferable.

Also it strikes me that as we are now within the allotted time in which anxiety rules i.e. under six weeks before we re-home ourselves to New Zealand, I will increasingly need to watch more videos along the same lines.  

Interspersed with worrying that we don’t have enough shipping boxes to pack all my millions of doileys/old material/yarn/other pretty much useless junk (as Mr T probably thinks), whilst getting rid of all actual useless junk.  Worrying whether all will go well with Toasties vaccinations and exporting and whether she will miss us much during the two weeks (including quarantine) that we will be separated.  Keeping the house fairly grot free for prospective tenants viewing as well as making nice for said tenants to move into and us to get our bond back.

There are many other shady worries circling like sharks which I am trying desperately to not focus on..

Yikes!!  This has not helped writing it all down.

I will away to fettle my house and use some of my anxious energy..

I am aware that my last post was leading to Shrewsbury and nothing since so..

You are due some Shrewsbury photos.

We did have a lovely time and the weather was great.  It’s a brilliant town to take a dog  to as it has a huge park that hugs the river and almost completely surrounds the town.  So it was easy to get up in the morning and walk Toast along the beautiful river side, safe enough to let her off lead to explore the bushes and paddle in the river and meet other dogs.  Then we would have an explore of the town – some very cool shops and ancient Tudor buildings, Shrewsbury has over 660 listed historic buildings and still has it’s medieval street plan.  We had a great time.

On the way back we called in to Much Wenlock and then went for a walk along  part of Wenlock Edge – 24 kms of wooded limestone escarpment with wonderful views for miles.  Although we were 330 metres above sea level we had a grand time finding fossil shells in the rock.

We certainly got enough exercise that weekend.

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Morning walk in the park with Toastie going ‘cracker dog’. St Chads in the background where Charles Darwin was baptised in 1809
War memorial
War memorial

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Beastie
Beastie
On the wonk.
On the wonk.
From Wenlock Edge
From Wenlock Edge
On the way home - current favourite place name.
On the way home – current favourite place name.

 

of time and crochet and chelsea buns..

So – what I really want to do is to carry on crocheting, I have a new lacy triangle scarf pattern and have already made and sold one and now I need to make another to wear myself.  Blogging needs to be done however, as I am getting back into the old habit of putting it off far too long again.  I have a way to go to beat the late Douglas Adams when it come to procrastination, as apparently his book ‘So Long and Thanks for all the Fish’ was 12 years late.

As usual much is happening and nothing is happening.  What I mean is, my life is packed full of things to do but for the most part they are all pretty usual.  It is all heightened however because of the HRT I started taking about six weeks ago and which has given me my life back – this is not an exaggeration.  I no longer live in quiet desperation (sometimes not so quiet admittedly) and am still amazed that I can wake up every day and feel ‘normal’.    My 50th birthday is rushing at me like an over enthusiastic labrador and my daily dose of hormone is the bestest birthday present EVER.  HOORAH!! WITH NOBS ON!!

I am off to Rome with friends on the 21st September for 4 days and then the following weekend will be my birthday party and then a week at Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower Peninsular with Mr T and Toastie the Dog.  On my actual birthday we will be going out to dinner in Swansea with lovely friends Julian and Kath.  All absolutely fabulous  and wonderful.

I am looking forward to being fifty.  I am just so impressed and extremely thankful that I have made it this far – half a century!  There is no way I would go back to being young now without being able to take my old self with me.. Fancy having all the youth, stamina, beautiful skin, body – all that newness and all that time ahead of you.. and not being able to appreciate it.

A few photos..

One of the collars I have made to sell.
Lace Scarf I have just unexpectedly sold and now need to make another.
Happy crochet coasters – made from much maligned acrylic but launder like a dream.
Come to Hay-on-Wye on a Thursday market day for Alex Gooch’s utterly delectable bread (enormous Chelsea Bun pictured, alas it is no longer). Alex was rung on a weekend a while back and asked to make bread for the Queen who was visiting a nearby town on the Monday.. how cool is that!?

Gratuitous Toastie photo.

How I’m feeling and how I hope you are feeling too…

Happy Birthday Douglas..

It has been ages..

I admit to having a bit of a shock when I opened my blog and saw that my last post was back in December.. .time flies like the wind, fruit flies like bananas and all that jazz.

The thing about not writing a blog when you are used to writing one is that everywhere you go, you write it in your head, even after months of not actually writing I still go around composing blog posts in my mind, it is bizarre and it has finally driven me to actually type some of those thoughts down.  But of course all the original ideas are long gone so you get a brand new minty fresh one.

Soo – how the hell are you all?  I hope that life is treating you gently out there.

I have been off visiting the wilder parts of the UK for the last week..  The wilder parts meaning London in this instance (and the Travelodge in Cricklewood in particular).   Some of the highlights and lowlights in no particular order –

Macaron (pistachio) , just the one – they are expensive but I just had to try one as they look so lovely in the photos, and it was..

Pools of vomit (sorry no photo)

Filthy streets and sex ads in phone boxes (again no photo)

Women screaming violently on the streets, men that even my rather solid husband would not want to meet in a dark alley, (again no photos due to a keen sense of self-preservation)

The three above were in Cricklewood, not a place I would want to wander around in the evening but very interesting all the same and The Crown supplies an excellent pint of Guinness.

St Paul’s Cathedral – we went to Choral Evensong one evening, so beautiful – even if you don’t share the faith.

Me + St Paul's

Highgate cemetery – needs a post of its own, but the main reason we went was that it was Douglas Adam’s birthday that week.  And indeed some one had left him a little birthday card as well as a small towel.

Go well Douglas and thanks for all the fish..

Camden Markets – mind-blowing

All the wonderfully different sorts of people and different languages – even more mind-blowing.

The incredibly rich and the incredibly poor, shame, shame, shame..

The Tate Modern – facking fantastic.

On the bridge across to the Tate Modern


Oxford’s Ashmolean – even more facking fantastic and a hell of a lot quieter and way less crowded, unlike Oxford city centre itself on a Saturday which was bonkers.

Soho – love Soho, just wandering and enjoying the vibe and cool shops

Muji in Soho – I may have bought a few things, and could have bought a way lot more

Things British just of Carnaby St where I found the Bio-plastic jewellery of Lili and bought a pack to have a go at making it myself

V&A twice, nuff said..

We came home a day early due to overload, I was exhausted and Mr T was so missing his own bed

Toastie who had stayed with my boss Sandra and her family was in fine fettle – she had only escaped once and that was to visit their neighbours  ( she is a bit of a bugger that way, still she is perfect in every other way so that is ok)

Although it is Sunday morning and I have had a good nights sleep in my own bed I am still exhausted.  But so happy we went – I needed to clear the cobwebs and I am even more fully appreciative of our beautiful, quiet, spacious spot on this planet..

later dudes

Maybe Brave and Mad?..

I went to visit my Granny last week.  My birth Granny that is, my adoptive ones were both dead by the time I was born.  One of the neat things about being in touch with my birth family has been contact with two grandmothers.   Granny Hosking who I’ve just been to see is 98 and has found out she has cancer.  She is well at the moment and perky and quite impressed that she has a very rare form of the illness – a cut above the rest!

Anyway while I was visiting, she and my Auntie Liz presented me with my Great great Grandmother’s button box and another cigar box filled with sewing stuff – needles, old cards of hooks and eyes, fine crochet hooks, tape measures,  tiny sewing scissors and other bits and pieces.   I was over the moon!  The buttons are really cool and I spent some time the next day sorting through them.  And of course it is all coming with me on the great journey – which is now only SIX WEEKS AWAY!!

Family heirlooms  :-)

We are starting to pack up our house and get rid of everything we don’t want to take – and that is a load of stuff.  The aim is to whittle it all down to two suitcases to take on the plane and 3-4 boxes to ship over.  This will be interesting and somewhat of a challenge but has to be done.  So far reactions to our plans have included being told that we are very brave and also that we are very mad.  I think these comments say more about the people who made them 😉

Because I am looking at all the stuff we own and thinking what to take, I thought I would show you a few of my favourite things.  I love cards and buy them wherever I go, here is a couple from the collection..

First card is from here

Yes, indeed..
Ah yes, I know that feeling..

Card from www.olivesandwiches.com

And lastly, a souvenir from the British Museum.  I know it’s a bit strange but I love it, just wish I could have afforded the mouth as well.  I wonder what Michelangelo would have thought?

David's Eye
David's Eye