Novelty snow..

Where I grew up in the North Island of New Zealand, snow was a real novelty.  I remember as a small child being taken up the mountains to see the sparse snow that had fallen but it was many years before I saw snow actually falling and then I was smitten.  It’s easy to be smitten with snow when you have warm clothes and a warm house to snuggle in of course.

This week we have had snow for the last several days on and off.  In fact for the last two days my late afternoon compulsory walk with the dogs has been enlivened by the weather.  Both days we have left the house in bright sunshine with the odd flick of the white stuff and both days we have been hit by mad, blizzard conditions before we were half way down the road, turning myself and the dogs into ambulatory snow creatures. Today the weather is properly cold, it’s been snowing constantly all morning and on our walk this morning I noticed that there was coagulating ice floating down the river.

You would think then that there would be few people about for the usual Thursday market day but surprisingly there has been a steady stream of customers at the few market stalls that did brave the conditions and I bought the last three remaining, locally baked, gorgeous hot cross buns at the Londis.  I also stopped at both bakery stalls buying Portuguese custard tarts from Kate the Bread  (which, by the way, you take one bite of and have a moment of utter bliss as your brain realises just how truly delicious they are) and a massive Chelsea bun from Sue bravely womanning the stall at Gooch’s.  I am eating to stay warm of course, not because of my massive greed 😉


Something odd happens to people when it snows – they suddenly become a lot more friendly, not that Hay people are not normally a friendly lot but snow means that everyone talks to everyone, whether you know them or not.  I have found myself on several occasions standing in a snowstorm having conversations for long enough to cause drifts to gather around our legs.  Also nationally it brings out the utter unselfish goodness in people who look out for their neighbours, help people trapped in cars and aid those in need.

So, how am I spending this snow day?  Well I have chosen today to defrost the freezer because why wouldn’t you when you can just pop the frozen food outside the door to keep cold?



I have taken the opportunity to slow cook a shoulder of pork using the Pulled Pork recipe from the Guardian so I will have that in the oven on low for the rest of the day.  There will be some crochet done this afternoon and maybe some stitching and listening to the radio before I have to drag myself and our furry friends out for a walk.

Where I will be crocheting.. and dreaming of spring.

Mr T is driving a bus in the frozen wastes and I am hoping he is ok and furiously hoping that the weather will mean he can come home early and have a snow day tomorrow.

I am also furiously hoping that everyone stays warm and safe and that all the wild creatures find food and shelter over the next couple of days until sane spring weather returns.

Until then – let’s be careful out there..



So many thanks to you Katy for saying so well what I wanted to say – you are wonderful and fierce.

Katyboo1's Weblog

I rarely write blog posts about the news or politics any more. It’s not that I’ve stopped caring. I have found in recent months, with being ill, that I care too much, that I simply cannot get past the overwhelming tragedy of this fucked up world to write anything much that makes sense.

What I really feel, most of the time, is a huge, anguished howl inside me if I engage with the news for more than a few moments at a time. I feel like if I start writing/talking about it all, I just won’t be able to stop, there is so much that is wrong and ugly about the world my children are inheriting and it is painful, truly painful to think about it for too long.

Today though, I feel I must say something about this outpouring by women in light of the Weinstein and parliamentary news…

View original post 1,646 more words

So what can I say about today?

It’s been one of those..

Picture this.. even though I feel like hell I am being good, getting extra exercise by walking the dogs to the Co-op. Grabbing my bag of groceries and thankfully turning towards home.

I let the dogs off lead on the river path for a free run and just before we get to the turn up to the road – Toastie goes AWOL.  My cries to no avail, I perch on a bench to gather myself and wait out the surge of pointless anger I feel towards the dog and discover my nose is bleeding – and not just a little bit, and I have no cloth, no hanky, just my scarf which I very sadly use.

And then there was the farcical effort to attach Charlie to the lead, find Toastie and attach her as well, all the while trying to hold my scarf to my face whilst carrying a bag of groceries with Toastie lunging at invisible squirrels and Charlie shying from the swinging bag and wrapping himself around my legs.

Yes that sort of day..

I can laugh about it now.

Crunchy Leaves..

I have unearthed my favourite green, woolen cardigan and today for the first time in many months I have worn it and the poncho and beret I made last year.  There is something about these much loved garments that brings comfort – like old friends you haven’t seen for a while.  And I love that it is cold enough to meet them again.

It is autumn – just over a year since we travelled back from New Zealand, and I found myself appreciating all over again how stonkingly gorgeous the changing countryside is, even though everything is withering and dying – it does it so beautifully.

This is my favourite time of the year without a doubt and I suspect that is partly because the introvert part of me likes the excuse to hide out, cwcth up ( a welsh cuddle) and hibernate.  But also – I like the way the air feels when we are out walking, the crisp, clearness of it.  The colder weather makes me feel more alert, almost as if there is a hint of danger,  perhaps it is an ancient memory stirring – beware the cold and dark are coming.

I have to be firm with myself not to rustle up memories of childhood ghost stories when I walk the dogs in the graveyard in the gloaming, in order not to give myself the creeps..

I love the changing colours of the plants, the bright glossiness of the berries, the activity of the animals and insects as they rush to fatten themselves and to store food for the coming months.

Toastie has gone squirrel mad lately as the little, furry blighters spend as much time as possible hunting for food, often down on the ground.  To our scruffy terrier, squirrels are  fair game as well as very annoying, the way they sit up on their branches making harsh cawing noises at her and giving her the furry finger, so she rushes up and down the woodland river banks peering up in the trees with not a hope in hell of catching anything.




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.

By Llandovery Castle


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


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.


Bain and Murran’s World Famous Emporium.

I could moan on about the state of the world, or get all droopy about the greyness of the sky – but I’m not going to.  It’s all got a bit much lately, so instead I’m going to write about something that cheers me up, another post about a friend’s fantastic shop in Hay..

I heard about Becky before I met her.  A woman came in to my work wearing a beautiful embroidered, felted wool bracelet, and I was like – Oooo! where did you get that?Information gained, I soon enough made it up to Hay Castle where Becky had her shop.

Since then Becky and her partner Tom have moved down to Castle Street and the shop there is an absolute wonder.  Like Simon in my previous post, Becky is enormously creative, knowledgable and has the magpie eye for finding interesting and unusual objects, clothes, shoes, jewellery and all manner of fascinating things.  I wander around her shop with my mouth open and you could easily spend an hour or two fossicking for treasure.

She is also one of the best friends you could have, kind, wise and a hoot, with a London background in magazine and T.V. work, she is an interesting person who is interested in other people – how lucky I am to have been able to come to the other side of the world to meet her.

Oh and Tom is lovely too!

Some photos folks…


Here is the woman herself under a waterfall of vintage scarves..

These are some of Becky’s own creations, beaded and embroidered brooches and bracelets, which you can’t buy on the net, so you’ll just have to come to town and visit..






Two floors of Amazing Emporium!


Something for the boys..






It was fun taking the photos but once again I don’t think I’ve done it justice.  So if you are in town and have had your fill of books, you can always take a wander into Tom and Becky’s shop and you might just find some lovely thing that you  can’t do without 🙂