Monday, 5 September 2011

Straight into Autumn

View along the beach from the headland at Pendine. We sat here for a while, looking out to sea and just totally relaxing.

I'm finally going to write about our lovely afternoon out at Pendine today. It was only last Thursday, but it already seems a lifetime away! This morning I was woken around 4 a.m. by a gale roaring around the house, heavy rain and the thrashing of the trees along the edge of the paddock. I lay in bed for a while, hoping I might get back to sleep, but I'd come to bed early and already slept for nearly 7 hours and sleep evaded me.

I got up to let the refugees in from the storm - WHY do cats go out on such a horrid night? And as it IS so horrid, why do they not come back IN through the cat flap? Lucky is under the impression that it is one-way (out only) but all three boys are more than familiar with using it to come back in the house. They all told me they were starving, and the storms make you REALLY hungry, so now they are fed and have taken to the chairs. Note to self: cushion covers really DO need changing today . . .

Having been under the impression that I was finally MENDED following course after course of anti-biotics, ending in a double dose of anti-biotics combined with a heavy course of steroids, you can imagine my dismay after just two weeks being "healthy", at finding I had chest pains which pointed to another chest infection brewing. I wasn't coughing (yet) but my breathing was compromised. I noticed this on Thursday as we climbed the steps from the beach up over the headland at Pendine, and I was having to stop every couple of steps to pause for breath. At the time I thought it was because we had recently had lunch and my tummy was pressing on my lungs, but on Saturday night I was up half the night with breathing problems and Sunday saw me at A&E. ALL DAY! They were very busy with people limping or holding their arms from injury from contact sports and children who had fallen off their bikes and one poor man who had fallen face-first (I really DON'T recommend trying that one at home, he was a real mess.)

I had an X-ray to check for infection showing (clear), and then found the diagnosis was moving towards Angina and possible heart attack! Blimey! I had bloods taken for testing and an ECG . . . then more waiting. I was very glad I had bought a book with me to read (Philippa Gregory's "The Constant Princess" about Catherine of Aragon) but my poor husband must have been bored witless once he'd read every section of the Sunday Telegraph. Fortunately the tests proved I didn't have heart problems and so the diagnosis swung back to chest infection brewing and I have very strong anti-biotics again, but I can see myself back down to the Doc today as I am having a side-effect which means "contact your Dr straight away". . . (UPDATE: I've just got back from the Doctor's, and since he knows all the details, he listened to my chest, checked my peak-flow (both OK) and said to stop taking the Antibiotics, as he thinks that I am still suffering from stress - from all the problems our eldest daughter has had these past 18 months, culminating in her boyfriend walking out on her for another girl. So, meditation and walking and relaxing with a good book or ten . . . Knowing our daughter was happy again would make all he difference though. I can only hope and pray.)

Meanwhile, Pendine? Well, I forgot to take my camera, so you will have to make do with photos taken on a previous visit. After a pretty grey miserable and often wet August, the sudden appearance of a bright sunny SUMMER day at the very start of September was too good an opportunity to miss. I knew we couldn't afford to go to the Antiques Fair at Builth at the weekend, so we had a local day out instead.

Pendine is best known for being the venue for various land speed record attempts, as its 7 mile stretch of sands from Gilman Point to Laugharne offered the perfect place (a minimum of 5 miles was needed, and the beach was much better than any roads at the time, and what's more, straight and empty . . .) Sir Malcolm Campbell set the land speed record in Blue Bird on 25th September 1924, reaching 146.16 mph. This was subsequently beaten by Parry-Thomas in his car Babs. Over the next four years the two men raised the speed bar to 174.22 mph, achieved by Campbell in February 1927. The following month (3 March) Parry-Thomas set out to beat this record. After practice runs, Parry-Thomas and Babs hit 170 mph when catastrophe struck and the exposed drive-chain broke, killing Parry-Thomas. The wrecked car was buried in sand dunes by Pendine village. It lay there until 1969, when Owen Wyn Owen, an engineering lecturer from Bangor Technical College, was given permission to excavate and restore it. Babs is there now, in the Museum of Speed by the beach. I visit each time, and each time I can feel a tremendous, a HUGE presence in that room. Babs is not "just" a car, and believe me, Babs is NOT alone.

The view eastwards, looking towards the Gower Peninsula.

When our children were small, you were allowed to bring your car down onto the beach and right around the headland. I can remember taking our big red Renault van down and parking more or less where that little stripey tent is. Then they banned cars from the beach totally, and now they allow them again, but place cones in the sand which you must not drive beyond. Unless you are the tractor that cleans the beach, or the coastguard.

Caldy Island (Ynys Byr in Welsh) in the distance. HERE is a link to the web page about the island, and its monks, monastery, perfume-making, retreats et al. Geograph gives over a thousand photos of the island and surrounding area. That should keep you all quiet for a bit.

Cloud masses here in this photo, but last week there was not a cloud in the sky and it was HOT.

You can just see the square shape of the Museum of Speed (housing Babs and a couple of motorbikes which also raced here). The actual village is mostly hidden behind the headland.

Above and below - a squence of caves hacked out by the sea. Perfect for hiding pirates and treasure!


  1. Fab photos as always. I would have loved to explore those caves!

  2. Great photos and what a neat place it would be to visit.

    Sorry you've been ill and under so much stress. Stress will and does make us sick. Hope you are soon feeling much better.

    Be well ~ FlowerLady

  3. FL - I'm about to retire to the sofa with a good book.

    Kath - would that I could show you personally my dear. It's not TOO far from Glastonbury to here you know and we have a choice of spare bedrooms . . .

  4. Hi Bovey Belle,

    It's good to see that you are still online and still living the good life in the South! :)

    I hope you are feeling better soon

    Shayne (Snork Maiden from CL)

  5. Pendine beach looks SO beautiful. Somewhere I would love to visit for a good, long walk.

    I hope you are feeling better BB, after a restful day curled up with a good book.

  6. Hi Shayne - great to see you here.

    DW - it IS a lovely beach. You can walk for miles and miles and not see a soul - unlike Bournemouth Beach!!!

  7. I do think that on-going stress has devastating effects on one's health--and sure to afflict our weakest point. Its a catch 22--the side effects of meds and the possibility of a particular antibiotic losing its effectiveness through the body's repeated use--but when an infection takes hold drastic measures are often needed. I hope that a few days of being good to yourself will see you turning the corner.
    Oh yes, don't cats know how to put on a good show of poor, starving, cold, wet NEEDY creatures!

  8. Luv you blogs! Sorry about the heartbreak your daughter is experiencing. Tears us apart.all we can do is to be there for them. This will pass!
    I think if I could take Canada and squeeze it together we might come up with something that looks like Britain. but no castles, Norman churches , we are such a young country