About Me

Llantwit Major, Wales, United Kingdom
I am mother, librarian, avid reader, sf fan, writer (unpubished), singer(amateur), animal lover, needlewoman.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympic opening

Well done Danny Boyle.

I am not that keen on watching sport, and not really very interested so the Olympics are lower on my radar than on many others (the likes of my son in law for instance).   However I have been impressed by the torch route and the efforts to make in involve so many people, and have been curious about the opening ceremony since I heard Danny Boyle was doing it.  The Chinese reached the limit of marching bands and synchronised people so what next?  After our acceptance bus with Boris anything would be an improvement, and I think it took some vision for Coe to give it to Boyle and let him get on with it.

I thought overall it was brilliant.

I loved the opening film sequence from the source of the Thames, and then we had the horses and maypoles plus cricket as promised.  But the change to the industrial revolution, the forging and flying of the rings were stunning.  The use of the lights in the audience was genius.  Mr Bean was hilarious. Liked the drumming, the kids choirs (noted that the Welsh one was the only one singing in harmony).

Got a bit bored by the story and the journey through pop music, and think they should have left Paul McCartney off the end because it was so stunning up to then that he was - old Beatle fan that I am - a bit of a letdown.

To my surprise I had tears in my eyes when the people were announced who were carrying the Olympic flag.

I love, love love the cauldron, made by the kettles carried by every nation.

I loved the youngsters lighting the cauldron.

Loved James Bond, especially the helicopter flying through Tower Bridge.

It was original, some of it much too British for others to understand but - so what! 

It was inclusive of lots of people who will never achieve sporting excellence, or gain fame and celebrity which was refreshing.

I shall set the tv to record the cross country event on Monday while I am at work, and watch it when I get home (equestrian) and maybe see Nic who will be there.  I  like the horses and the gymnastics, and the rest will watch the highlights so I can see the exciting bits (I am someone who thinks all football matches should be penalty shoot outs).

Plus the National Eisteddod is taking place in Llantwit Major this year.  This is an annual celebration of Welsh culture with competitions for poetry, prose, singing, speaking(public), visual arts, and lots of other things.  It moves every year, one year in S Wales, next year in the north, and this year it is here.  Although I don't speak Welsh I will go next week when it opens, because it is a little like the local cultural Olympics.  The main tent is brilliant -  literally - because it is vivid pink and looks like it escaped from Disneyland.  Pictures to come.

Friday, July 20, 2012

What I did on my holidays

Actually - a surprising amount.  It includes the following , which is not a complete list as I have left out a lot of stuff about shopping, cooking, reading, tv etc.

Saturday - went to RSPB sanctuary in Newport, bought my monocular (joint birthday present) and had a lovely walk round.

Monday - painted the bathroom

Tuesday - tidied under the stairs, the office, cleaned (really well) my bedroom

Wednesday - packed, drove to Pembs, went for a walk to join up two bits of coastal walk

Thursday - went to a concert given by the local junior school, with B's recorder piece being played.  He got given a big thank you card and 6 bottles of beer

Friday - long walk between Strumble Head and Goodwick.  With mist and a lot of mud.  Was heartily grateful to get into into the tea shop at the end.

Saturday - attacked the garden.  We pruned, weeded, planted and moved things.  It looked a lot better by the time we had finished

Sunday - nice weather, sat in the garden and read

Monday -  wet.  Sorted out Choir Tour photos

Tuesday - home for Nic's birthday supper.  Too much Chinese, but lovely evening.

Wednesday - Went to Hereford Cathedral (excellent), Leominster ( bit blah) and Ludlow (lovely).  Stayed near Ludlow overnight

Thursday - went to Presteigne (nice little town), Hay on Wye (lovely).  Went to Capel -y- Ffin (really lovely) then Llanthony Priory ruins (beautiful) then to Tretower Court which really could show Hampton Court how to present a kitchen.  It was brilliant.  They have made oak cupboards and chests, and had lots of stuff out.  Really excellent.  The to Usk for a pint in the sun before home (traffic jam in Newport)

Friday - art exhibition in Newport by friend of B which was worth going for even though we got lost coming out of the car park and wandered round Newport for 15 mins before finding the gallery again. Interesting exhibition with thought provoking pictures.  The on to Slimbridge Wetlands trust to wander round looking at birds.  Very entertained by the number of pigeons around who get near the water as  if to say - look, I'm a water bird, feed me too.  The another drink in a nearby pub and another traffic jam in Newport before home. 

i think we will have a quiet weekend before going back to work on Monday.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Beside the seaside.....

Yesterday was sunny, though unfortunately I spent most of it packing or driving.  However when I got down to Pembs we decided to take advantage of the weather and go for a walk.  We have, over the past ???? years done lots of bits of the Pembrokeshire coast path.  We have done some bits a lot, and other bits once or twice.  Last year we decided to be more completist about the whole thing and join all the bits up, so we did lots of joining up walks last year.  We also used the shuttle buses that Pembs provides for walkers, parking the car, getting the bus to the start point and walking back to the car, and that works really well.  So by the beginning of this year we had done all the coast from Little Haven round to Strumble Head, except for a little bit which was awkward to get to.  As we had 2 cars yesterday we left one at one end, drove to the other, walked it, then collected both cars.  We also helped 2 straying German hikers find their B&B.

Today it has rained.

However B wrote a little piece for the recorder group which won it's class in the Urdd Eisteddfod, and today he (and I tagged along) was invited to the summer show, where the piece would be played.  It was great.  We also had a Pirate Adventure by the youngest kids, and a rather lacklustre choir.  Brian had to take a bow and got a lovely card and some beer.  Excellent.  The kids all got medals which they were wearing during the performances.  We decided to skip the second half though.

We are now ensconced indoors and remaining so for the rest of the day.  We may venture out tomorrow.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bird reserve

 Yesterday we went to the RSPB wetlands reserve the other side of Newport.  It was created out of the lagoons where the power station used to put the waste ash, and is reed beds and coastal.  When they built the barrage in Cardiff they permanently flooded an area of wetlands - Site of Special Scientific Interest - so they have developed the Newport site instead.  It has a very good visitors centre and a very helpful chap helped me look at binoculars, and I bought a good monocular. 

This goldfinch was one of many on the feeders near the cafe - nice coffee too.
 We didn't see many birds I could get photos of.  We did see a whitethroat in the distance - or so someone told us when we were trying to work out what it was.  We also saw a reed warbler.  This is a juvenile moorhen.  There were lots of other helpful people who has set up big scopes for people to look through, and the local Ornithological society were doing a quiz.  We did on of identifying birds, and by a process of elimination we did pretty well.

This is the finished wind break.  The awning is attached with carabiners so I can take it down anytime, and it makes the deck under it surprisingly dry.   It  is also really warm and not windy under it, so I am really pleased with it.  Of course as soon as we finished it the rain started and has barely stopped.  We actually took the awning down on Saturday, but put it up again yesterday and did sit out a little bit.

I am on holiday at the moment,  but as the weather in not very conducive to walks and other outdoor activities, I decided to tackle some jobs around the house.  Today I painted the bathroom, and by the time I finished it the sun had come out!  So I had an hour or so with a cup of tea and a book in the garden which was both unexpected and very pleasant.  Tomorrow I am tackling some serious reorganising in the tips under the stairs and in the office. 

Looking at the weather forcast it is just as well! 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Busy week

This has been a busy and sociable week, which has been lovely.

I went to NWR and we wrote limericks which was very entertaining.  During a discussion about the NWR archive Chris mentioned that she had looked into setting up a website to share things like that, but hadn't got very far with it.  I said a blog would be easier, and then agreed to set one up.  I have done it in WordPress instead of Blogger though, as Kate thinks it is much better.  I don't know if it is much better for setting up, but hopefully it will be quicker to load photos than Blogger is.  We shall see.

Then last night I had the book/dinner club and a lovely meal in very good company. 

I am on holiday for the next 2 weeks which is great, but I do wish we had the prospect of some dry weather.     All this rain is depressing.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


We are writing limericks for tonight

Here are mine

A young fashionista called Tess
Bought clothing and shoes in excess
When asked why she said
I covered floors and the bed
And I can't find old stuff in the mess

The hols of a family called Payne
Started off with delays on the plane
The hotel was twice booked
The food badly cooked
But what finished them off was the rain