Monday, 26 September 2016

Progress


I went into town yesterday to see how demolition work was progressing on our once famous tropical village.  From the car park I could see it was still standing, but from the road I could see it was boarded up but a start had been made. They've even provided portholes for the nosey to peer through, which I did of course, but nothing to see but boards :)


So while I was there I took Annie down to the beach. She really appreciated being on the sand and she had a run and a little paddle in the sea. Only a few days left of the summertime dog restrictions and we'll be able to go on our own beach down the road without fear of being fined.


I wonder how long it will take before the cleared site is developed. Work has only just started at the other end of the promenade, in the west end of the town following the demolition of the Victorian funfair  back in 2007. That major development is due to be completed next year, so has only taken them ten years! It's opposite the harbour which I have to admit looks very smart after it's massive revamp and as well as being a working harbour is also a tourist destination.  I really enjoy taking Annie there  for her walks. I like to see the boats moored up and I love the name of the red boat in my photo below.


*click on the photo to enlarge*

Back at home, I can't tell you how many groups of geese flew over on their way south for the winter. I went out to bring the washing in off the line and I could hear them noisily approaching which gave me enough time to get my camera and get it switched on. Unfortunately as we have so many trees and shrubs around our garden I didn't get very good shots as they mostly obscured the geese from view. I finally decided to go down the side of our shed and point the camera skywards. The whole thing occurred over about half an hour and as the last birds flew over the light was fading, and yet it was only half past six. I don't like these early nights, it's another reminder that winter draws on :)







Sunday, 18 September 2016

Waste

I want to show you something our council have recently installed in our local park. A concreted area and a bench. Very nice you might think, somewhere to sit and relax. The first photograph I took is taken from the road and is at the entrance to the park, you can see the bench there in the middle of the grass. The second photograph shows the bench facing a lovely view of... a garden fence and if you were to look over your shoulder there is yet another lovely view of.... a garden fence. The bench isn't even placed near the children's play area or the dog-friendly area of the park, it's just there in the middle of the grass facing the wrong way and totally unnecessary in my opinion.

 

The reason I am showing this recent addition in the park is because this is the same council, in it's attempt to save money, is starting a trial four weekly bin collection as from tomorrow. It won't concern us too much as we are a two person household and are quite good at recycling items which will still be collected weekly, but I'm not sure how families are going to cope with four weeks worth of rubbish piling up. I can see this decision leading to an increase in fly-tipping and potential problems with pests. I feel slightly annoyed that our council wastes money on things like this park bench which will most probably go unused, at the same time cutting vital services paid for in our council tax bills. I wonder if we'll be getting a rebate or see more unnecessary wastes of money.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Journeys


I'm sorry we took notice of the weather forecast this week which said that Tuesday was going to be the hottest September day in a century. It may have been in parts of the UK but it certainly wasn't here, all we got was warm rain! We'd decided to go for a run in the car and headed for the woollen mill as it's years since I've been there and Martyn said he'd never been before. On arriving Martyn asked if we could take Annie inside and they said she was allowed in the shop but not in the cafe, mill museum or weaving rooms. We had a look around the shop but didn't buy anything and so decided we would then head on the five miles or so to Betws-y-coed to give Annie a walk.

Having found a parking space on the grass verge as it was incredibly busy despite schools reopening after the summer holidays, we were lucky to make it to the pub with the outdoor tables before the heavens opened. We found a table undercover, had lunch and went back home without Annie having had her walk.

We tried again to have another nice day out on Thursday and it was lovely. When my blogging friend Eunice spent a few days camping over the August Bank Holiday weekend she visited Carrog and she told me that there was a pub there with an outside dining terrace where you can take dogs, overlooks the river, has lovely views and they serve lovely meals. How right she was on all counts.

We arrived in Carrog at about 11.20 and although the pub didn't start serving lunches until 12 noon, the pub was open and they said we could order food if we wanted to and they wouldn't mind serving us early. We ordered coffee instead and sat for half an hour enjoying the view and the warm sunshine although it was quite misty, before we were ready to eat.


After enjoying a good meal, Martyn had ordered roast chicken again so he could share with Annie who was sheltering under the table, I crossed over the old bridge to take a couple of photos of the pub and the bridge now that the sun was shining.


We then took the short drive to the station of the preserved steam railway hoping to take a ride on the train. Unfortunately due to the very limited timetable we didn't want to wait over an hour for the next train to Llangollen so decided to drive and maybe catch the train there.


Having arrived there we parked in the car park at the start of the riverside promenade and that was what we chose to do, a short stroll alongside the river and a sit down at the cafe in the riverside park for a drink and ice-cream. We could see the train in the station but it was too far to walk and by then it was far too hot to stay out in the sun.



Before heading home I nipped around the corner from the car park into town and bought a couple of Welsh oggies to take home. If you don't know what an oggie is, it's an enormous pasty. In fact I measured one and it is eleven inches long an weighs almost a kilogram. We shared one last night and it was lovely, welsh lamb with carrots, potatoes and onions in a minted gravy, I'm looking forward to sharing the other one tonight.





The best part of the day was the journey home driving over the Horseshoe pass. Unfortunately I didn't stop to take photos as I really do get the collywobbles  being so high up in the mountains. The views were absolutely spectacular with lots of cars in the lay-bys with people taking photos. We were literally driving within feet of sheep at the edge of the road, it's quite some journey.

So Thursday turned out to be a beautiful day here, yet there was torrential rain in other parts of the UK, I just don't understand this crazy weather. Apparently there's some more wild weather on the way this weekend.



Thursday, 8 September 2016

Oscar


I came downstairs this morning to find that Oscar had died some time during the night. Martyn had fed him as usual before bedtime last night and Oscar seemed to be himself then. We think we'd had him from being a baby fish for about about ten years or more, we can't remember the exact date.

I've been looking through my old blogs  and found a post from 2010 when Martyn was offered a full time job as fish keeper at the place where he worked at the time. I'd posted a photo of Oscar and written that we had four fish tanks at home. Pardon the pun but a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then.

Now Oscar is no more we will have just one community tank remaining with four fish left in it and to be honest as the fish have died they haven't been replaced, although we were tempted to buy a silver shark recently but we didn't let our hearts rule our heads. Oscar's tank will be emptied, cleaned and hopefully sold as it is a fairly recent purchase, well recent as in that it was bought when Martyn was working as a fish keeper.

Although Oscar wasn't exactly cute, I hope his life with us was happy and we'll miss him.






Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Travel

I'm currently waiting for Martyn to return from a hospital appointment at a private hospital on the Wirral. He has been given a lift there and is waiting patiently for the driver to return to the hospital to pick him up to make the return journey home.

Speaking of travel, we didn't go anywhere over the Bank Holiday weekend as we really didn't want to be sitting in any more traffic jams. Earlier last week I'd had the bright idea of using our little used bus passes to have a trip out. I'm writing this post as a reminder to myself never to travel along the coast road by bus during the peak holiday weeks of August ever again. The buses along the coast road run every ten minutes and so I never envisaged that a journey that normally takes forty minutes would take an hour and a half.

That stop wasn't even our planned destination but after stopping at what seemed to be every single bus stop and the driver letting two off and another six on each time, we were most uncomfortable. There was a family standing in the aisle next to us with buggies and carrier bags full of beach towels, drinks and such like and were using hand held fans because they needed air, so did we.

We were ready for a bite to eat and then decided we'd catch another bus and go just one more stop which took just seven minutes. We treated ourselves to an ice cream sundae and this view from the window before returning home. Very naughty I know. I had intended to have a knickerbocker glory as that would have brought back childhood memories of myself and a school friend having one quite regularly when we went to town.  I was sad when my friend's family moved away and I don't recall ever treating myself to one one again as that particular ice cream parlour closed down.

I'm sorry if you're on a diet but these are our ice cream sundaes. Martyn opted for the Fruit Fanfare and I chose the Caffe Amore naturally :) Naughty but very, very nice.


The journey home was much more pleasant and we timed it perfectly to be able to catch the bus link from the coast road to our home of which  runs I think, only four or five buses a day. The journey may have been bad but the ice cream sundaes more than compensated :)

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Prom

After a couple of days of very wet and windy weather I was hoping it would stay nice for today's prom day. We arrived early and there was no sign of any stalls having been set up so we assumed the event had been postponed or cancelled. I asked the lady at the window of the takeaway cafe if she knew anything about it and she told me it was being held at the other end of the promenade this year.

We entered the event's site from the very far end of the promenade and first things first was to have a quick look around a brand new caravan for sale. We both agreed that if we were going to own one it would be a new one, it was so much nicer than the one we had stayed in last year, a supposedly dog-friendly caravan but unfortunately was rather sub-standard.


Walking towards the stalls I turned around to see a sheep being walked on a lead. Annie was totally unfazed by it but it's not something you see every day, not even in Wales. The lady in the next photo who was stroking it told me it's name was Horlicks, as in the drink, I've no idea why, I didn't ask :)


Further along was the ring for the animal rescue's dog show and our good friend Sue gave us a big hug each and asked if we would be entering Annie into the show. As there was an hour to wait for the show to start we decided not to wait and said our goodbyes.

There was a stall for the castle's preservation trust which if you remember we went to the castle's open day  last week. They were holding a tombola on the stall,  Martyn bought a ticket  for a pound and won himself a very nice history book. In fact, if he had been able to choose any prize on the stall it would have been that book.


Moving on there was a stall with snakes in plastic boxes but I didn't linger for long there. 



Finally, there was a speed wood carving event about to take place. It was announced that following the half hour display there would be an auction of the pieces, the highest bidder would win. There were some carvings which had already been made which we assumed were for sale and as I quite liked a couple of the wooden houses, Martyn asked how much they were. They were very reasonably priced and as not needing a mortgage I decided to buy one outright :)


It was rather bulky to take back to the car but worth it as it now sits proudly in my mole garden :)



Thursday, 18 August 2016

Walks

The weather was too nice to waste time indoors at home yesterday so we went for a drive to Betws-y-Coed.  It's a very popular tourist destination and although very busy we were able to find a handy parking space just as someone vacated one.

First things first was to take Annie for a walk, through the village green, over the Pont-y-Pair bridge (the bridge of the cauldron) and I noticed that there was new signage for the different walks since the last time I visited. No prizes for guessing that we take the easiest red route, suitable for all abilities and suitable for the disabled, I have to say I have never attempted any of the other walks. The red walk runs alongside the river, is very beautiful and I have always loved this woodland walk.




Unfortunately we had a scary moment as an off lead border collie came running speedily towards us and Martyn had to hold out his walking stick across it's path to stop it in it's tracks. Annie tried to lunge at it but it had sense to turn tail and head back to it's owners who then very sensibly put it back on it's lead. No harm was done and the owner and dog passed us without further incident and no words were spoken.

We then headed back to have a meal and it was nice that all the tables were shaded from the bright midday sun.


Annie was quite content to lie under the table on the tiled area and perfectly happy to be fed her favourite food,  roast chicken :)

It was too hot to be wandering into the shops so we headed back to the car eating a cheeky ice lolly :)