Yet another sunny day in Wales. As ever, on the plus side we saw a house that looked like a hobbit house, we met quite a few cows, one which looked suspiciously like a bull and we walked through grassy fields with a view over the sea. We arrived back at Harlech castle, where we treated ourselves to some delicious home made ice cream, and splashed out on some fruit loaf. We decided to skip the castle in favour of the dunes and soon had cast aside our boots in favour of the Irish Sea. Icy pains shot up our legs as we paddled around, but it was very pleasant once we lost all feeling in our legs from the knee down. Beautiful!
The Roman Steps and Butch Drws-Ardudwy
It was only an eight mile walk and the book stated that the only difficult bit was the descent at the end. The sun was beaming down and the greatest danger was getting sunburn in Wales in April. It was a fantastic walk in that we meandered up and down stony paths surrounded by the most beautiful countryside imaginable. We reached the forest to find most of it had disappeared and then headed down the next valley. It got boggy in places and we did sink. Thank goodness it had not rained all week. Not far to go, only the steep descent. The book failed to mention the steep ascent beforehand. It seems so obvious now. We meandered slowly to what we thought was the top, only to find another climb beyond that. So we ascended again (and guess what?) And so it continued. The book did have the decency to mention there was no clear path, so we hopped from grass clump to grass clump, trying not to sink too deeply in the bog. But what a sight when we reached the summit. I think we all agreed it was worth it. The steep descent, was further complicated by a couple of smaller ascents as we did end up in the wrong valley. I don’t think I have ever been so pleased to see a path before. It was truly a fantastic walk (all seven hours of it).
I have not blogged for ages, because I now have a new hobby. I have taken up being a taxi driver. Every day after a long day at work, there is nothing I like more than to spend my time driving my children from one club to another. They have signed me up to all sorts of things that they want to do and tell me where I need to be and when. As they are now older, the clubs go on later and so I find myself sitting in dark car parks until the late hours of the evening, wondering if I will ever see my friends again. I did suggest to my eldest that as I spent so much time taking him to various places, I might as well join the clubs he has joined and make friends with his friends, so that I would at least have some semblance of a social life. The suggestion was met with a stony silence, which I took as a ‘no’. So my life is reading books by torchlight, waving to my husband as we pass in the hallway and texting my friends to say that I can book into see them in about 5 years time. I love being a parent!
I am one of those sad people that late one evening had to make an emergency trip to the garden centre, to bail my husband out. He was off to a birthday party and needed a present that would appeal to his gardening loving colleague. So off I hopped, in January, to see what would inspire me. Despite if being very dark in the outdoor plant section, I managed to procure a rather lovely plant and went into a mercifully empty store. There was a lad behind the till, who looked about 17. I smiled as he scanned the plant. ‘Beep’. I looked up, it didn’t sound like an electronic beep. ‘Did you just say beep?’ I asked. He nodded and laughed. ‘Yes, you’ve been the only customer for the last 3 hours, I have to do something to get job satisfaction’ And then there is the silly question brigade. I recently went to the post office with a parcel that I wanted to send. Whilst I placed it on the scales, the sour-faced lady behind the counter asked me and I quote ‘In the interests of Health and Safety, I have to ask you what is in the package.’ I have to admit to an overwhelming urge to say something totally inappropriate, which could have caused complete chaos. However, she didn’t look like she had a sense of humour. But it did leave me with the question, ‘How is it in the interests of health and safety to just ask, surely if you were up to no good you wouldn’t admit what was in the parcel?’ And then there is the lady in the newsagent. I needed 12 first calss stamps and she told me that she couldn’t help me because they only sold them in packets of 6!
It is a while since I last blogged, as life has got in the way. However, at last Christmas has come and I have had a chance to stop. Yes, I am one of the few people who has stopped this Christmas! I took delight in getting my shopping done early and I decided that I was not going to strive for the perfect Christmas. The result….. a perfect Christmas! We stayed at home this year and no, we didn’t have the whole family round. No offence, but I wanted to stay in my pyjamas, drink wine and eat cheese on toast if I wanted to. We all put our favourite dish on the menu, got up at about 10am and rolled downstairs. Turkey was ditched in favour of duck. The boys wanted to try plum sauce. Did I have a trial run, to ensure that it was perfect for Christmas day. Did I heck! I had the wrong plums, the wrong sugar, the wrong stock, even the wrong onions. I popped it all in a pot and it tasted great. Did I moan about peeling potatoes on Christmas Day. Nope! I peeled to Classic FM carols and sang along heartily. My eldest refused to get out of his pyjamas. No problem. My mother-in-law wanted to go for a walk. Great. The neighbours wanted to sing us carols. Fantastic (we joined in) We had had quite a bit to drink by then. So…..? Strive for the Christmas you want. I highly recommend it and what is best of all. It is entirely stress free.
This weekend was the Lord Mayor’s Show in London. We did not make it down, due to a ridiculously complicated morning of activities. However, we arranged to meet my nephews and brother to see the fireworks on the Thames. We wouldn’t normally be so silly as to go to something incredibly popular in London, but it seemed like a good plan. If it was too busy, we would do something else. To our surprise, it was fairly straight forward. We joined the masses at Charing Cross and headed up on to the bridge. It was a little bit pathetic, that some people behind us stared to push, almost sending my son head first. I did ask one large man what the rush was, and if he got there ten seconds later, would the world really end? He seemed to get the hint. My rbother and nephews had a prime standing spot overlooking the Thames. I half-expected a complaint when our boys joined them at the front. Everyone seemed so good humoured though. And so at 5pm on the dot, the first firework raced up into the sky, with a beautiful backdrop of St Paul’s Cathedral. They were beautiful. The sky was filled with glitter. Ten minutes of oohs and ahhs followed and then it finished. ‘Is that it?’ asked one person, after we had seen tens of thousands of pounds worth of fireworks go up in smoke. ‘What a waste of the taxpayer’s money.’ grumbled a woman nearby. Well I don’t care, what these miserable, over-demanding people say. What a sad world we live in, when we can’t enjoy something so beautiful. To me, the best part was how many people we laughed and bantered with whilst we standing on the bridge waiting for it to start!