Saturday 31 March 2012


Would you believe that they turned up 3 hours EARLY? I spotted them, and got D to go out - but I thought they were Jehovah's Witnesses as they had kids with them! Oh dear - and me in my cleaning clothes and no bra . . . hastily ran to put that right and met my son as I dashed, bare to the waist, across the landing. He was mortified. It went downhill after that . . .

I answered all their questions with total honesty, but when people ask about woodworm, and you say the entire house has been treated (we have SO many beams) - it was a condition of the mortgage when we moved here, and they clearly have a doubt, what can you do? Perhaps they would have believed my husband? As he's a MAN? (Not normally feminist, but . . .) When they start talking about coping with maintenance I knew they were taken aback by the sheer size of this place. We have managed the maintenance over the past 1/4 of a century and any property you buy - even a brand new one - will have to be maintained. They muttered they didn't know it was this big. We have 19 rooms, of the dimensions in the brochure, you don't get that in something the size of a telephone kiosk. Yeesh . . . So I have failed, or the house has . . .

At least I was able to relax three hours early . . .

Friday 30 March 2012

Soooooooo weary

Forgive the lack of postings this week, but we have a viewing of our house tomorrow and so we have been spring cleaning from top to bottom, inside and out. I keep waking up (and getting up) at 5.30 a.m. and by 7 p.m. I'm shattered. Still, we've been enjoying this unseasonal sunshine. The only day with the possibility of rain is . . . tomorrow, when we could have done with wall to wall sunshine for the viewing. Ah well.

Then on Sunday we are doing the Fleamarket down on the showground, so have been sorting out what we no longer need here in the way of interesting things to take and hopefully sell. I have polished my fingers sooty cleaning the brass and copper!

Have a lovely weekend all, and keep your fingers crossed as these folk are the Holy Grail - cash buyers.

Tuesday 27 March 2012

Mrs Fink-Nottle I Presume?!

OK I will own up. I am now spending a little time each night with a torch, looking at just what is going on in my pond. At the moment, the tadpoles are doing less swimming around in the shallow shelf at night. This could be because the Palmate newts (the count has been going up all week and I'm on 14 plus tonight) are canoodling in the shallows. I have never seen so many together. The rather plump ones are the lady newts. The male newts apparently have orange on the tails. Tonight I could see which ones were males as several were having nose to nose confrontations, obviously one will win the eyeballing competition and the other will eventually back down. I was smiling as I watched them, thinking of what they might be saying to one another: "I'm tough I am." "Well, I'm real 'ard I am. I was brought up in the East End of this pond, I'll 'ave you know." Do you think newts do Glasgow handshakes?! Tomorrow I will attempt to take a flash photo at night of their goings-on.

Meanwhile, I am beginning to understand P G Wooster's Gussie Fink-Nottle and his passion for newts . . .

Sunday 25 March 2012

When do Tapoles Sleep?

I ask this question as my little tadpoles (half a million of them!) have been frantically busy in the wildlife pond, little tails lashing in a feeding frenzy so that they have little rafts of bubbles above them. You would think that by nightfall they would be exhausted, but no - I went out to satisfy my curiosity last night, as to where there sleeping quarters were - the shallow bit which stays warm or the deep bit where they feel safe from predators? Well, as I shone my little torch on them they were still having fun all over the pond, shallow bit and deep water, just as if it were day. In fact, 7 Palmate newts had come to join them and were doing a slow-motion march around the shallow pond shelf. They seemed unbothered by the light - almost as if they hadn't noticed at all!

Anyway, they must, at some point in the night, gather together perhaps in the floating undergrowth of the pond, as it takes a while for them to gather again in the shallows in the morning. I'd never thought of Tadpoles keeping late hours and partying like there was no tomorrow. Makes me smile though!

Thursday 22 March 2012

I've seen a Brimstone !!!

It may not seem like a big deal to you, to see a Brimstone butterfly, but here in Wales I have only seen TWO in all the 23 years we've lived here. One last year, and one TODAY! You have NO IDEA what a smile it put on my face. I don't think we have much Buckthorn here in Wales, which is what the Brimstones feed on.

HERE is a link to a photo (and some wonderful photos of other butterflies too).

The photo at the top is Llyn-y-Fan-Fach again, or rather the approach to it.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Jarvis Goes Missing . . .

Jarvis wasn't here at breakfast time, which is unusual for him. He normally arrives back from a night on the tiles about 9 a.m. and if he hasn't eaten too many bank voles or baby bunnies, he will have breakfast and then snooze on our bed. But not today. He wasn't here at lunchtime. By teatime he still hadn't put in an appearance and I was beginning to worry. I always fear the worst (default setting when it comes to animals and family) and so I decided I would walk up to the top of the hill to set my mind at rest that a car hadn't hit him . . .

The sun had come out just after lunch and the walk up the hill was in sunshine. I gloomily noted that there were only three Aquilegia plants showing growth after a bonanza of a dozen last year. The farm next door often has extra-wide farm vehicles which, on our narrow lanes, carve out chunks of our field bank - always, it seems, the bits with Aquilegias growing in them. Sigh.

I noticed the leaves coming out on the wild Gooseberries in the hedgerow just beyond our field boundary, where there is a strip of box hedging. I think it's quite possible there was a little cottage or dwelling of sorts here once, and later on I noticed a lot more leggy wild Gooseberry bushes along our fence line in that same area.

I plodded on up the hill, calling "Jarvis" and "puss, puss, puss". I thought I heard a miaow but couldn't locate it clearly. I carried on to the top of the hill, and all along the hedgerows was new life growing through the soil - the unmistakable leaves of what my mum always called "Shirtbuttons" and which I know as Stitchwort; Wood Sage, Dog's Mercury, a few chilled-looking Primroses, Celendines, Navelwort, Shining Cranesbill, and flowers on the Wild Strawberries too.

There were a pair of Mallards swimming round on Next Door's pond, and a Buzzard high above me heading towards the river valley. Black Mountain (the very end of the range of the Carmarthen Fans - Bannau Sir Gar) was misty in the sunlight, but it is such a familiar view that the darker outlines against the horizon were all I needed. I was reminded of the morning after we arrived here, 23 years ago now, when I walked my old dog Tara to the top of the hill and was overwhelmed by the view.

I stopped by the gate and pondered whether I should cross the fields and come back along the farm track, but decided against it as it meant climbing a steep little bit of hill just before the farm buildings. Plus, perhaps I HAD heard a miaow by our copse . . .

So I dropped back down, waving to the house on the hill I was facing, where my son's friend Joe grew up, even though he's now living in Swansea! It was a nod to the past. I climbed over our gate and crossed the field to our copse, hoping that Jarvis might be there. I called and called, and I COULD hear a miaow, although I couldn't see Jarvis anywhere. I looked up every tree, walked up along the stream and tried to see through the brambles on the opposite bank, worried that he might be stuck down a rabbit hole, or worse still, hurt and dragging himself homeward.

I decided to call on my husband to come and help, which meant going down to the yard and seeking him out. As we climbed back up the hill, we saw Miffy (Jarvis & Alfie's mum) sat on the post and rail fence watching us, and Lucky - or Fluff - on the water trough. Back at the copse again, we called and called and yes, there were definite miaows. K said they were coming from the brambles on the slope in Next Door's field and we saw something white amongst the tangle of stalks. It was Alfie! Jarvis's ginger and white brother! He thought we were looking for HIM : )

Anyway, we decided to drag back some dead branches for the fire whilst we were up there and came back down the lane. As we reached our paddock, who did we see by my greenhouse but Jarvis, who ran off at the sight of us. Little wretch! At least I will sleep easy tonight.

Home . . . the big old yellow farmhouse next to the farm.

Monday 19 March 2012

All guns blazing in the garden . . .

Where the weeds grow . . . the scene of the action this afternoon.

Ye Gods. Why is that you could lay down and sleep on the head of a pin when you've spent the morning in the garden? I'm just having a well-earned break as my back would rather like to be straight for a while, after being crooked over as I emptied pots and potted on Aquilegias (dozens of the things) and dug up self-seeded plants from the garden to pot up and sell. Weeding and seed sowing after lunch.

As per usual I am over-stretching myself, but after a winter indoors it is so good to be out in the fresh air again. It also comforts me to think that if I can sell some plants on a regular basis this summer, it helps to keep the wolf from the door a bit. So I have been digging up Aquilegias, Foxgloves, Pulmonaria, Welsh Poppies, Cowslips, scented leaf Geraniums etc.

Every now and then my husband will call me and I have to trot across and hold a bit of wood for him whilst he saws it up for his next project. I would quite like to take a walk, but don't think I have time. Tea will be . . . hmmm. I'll deal with that when we come to it.

In the meantime, it's the start of the eight hour days in the garden . . .

And here's one HE made earlier!!!

I was feeling so hornswoggled with tiredness this morning, I had to go back to bed for half an hour. I had started the dough for a loaf, but knocked it back, popped it in the tin and asked my darling husband to "let it rise to the top of the tin and then in the oven for 30 mins." I think he must have turned his back because the wretched thing made a bid for freedom!!!

Some of the weekend's seed purchases which will be started off this morning.

Sunday 18 March 2012

Here's one I made earlier!

Pear and Ginger Crumble

4 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
25ml/1 fl oz apple juice (I used orange)
1--g/4 oz plain flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger (I used chopped preserved ginger)
50g/2 oz butter
1 teaspoon granulated sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)

Preheat the oven to 190 deg.C/375 deg.F/Gas mark 5.

Place the pears in a 1.2 litre/2 pint ovenproof serving dish with the apple juice. Sift the flour and ginger into a bowl, then rub in the butter and stir in the sugar. (I just sprinkled the chopped preserved ginger over the fruit and omitted the ginger from the crumble topping). Spoon this mixture over the pears and press down lightly. Sprinkle with a little extra sugar (I didn't, as my OH hasn't got a sweet tooth).

Bake for 45 minutes until golden. Serve hot.

My husband tells me this is scrummy. I believe him. I try not to eat my own baking - I have enough weaknesses for chocolate or peanuts without adding to my woes and my waistline.

We had a busy weekend, with a car boot sale yesterday (very worthwhile). On Saturday I needed to buy seeds for the garden here and to grow on to sell, but as we are scrimping and saving to try and reduce debts, my OH thought that buying seeds was low on the agenda ("spend no more than a couple of quid" !!!) There's a challenge! Right, thought I as I walked through the doors of the garden centre, this won't take long then . . . Actually, it took a while as I had to try and pare down what I thought would maximise my profits. . . Carters do a range of very reasonably-priced seeds (Lidl are even better, but have a limited range) and I ended up buying 3 packets at 79p a packet. Sweet Peas (for me), Coriander and Courgettes.

After a good car boot sale, I returned and bought more sweet peas, a Mother's Day Polyanthus (Blue Zebra - all stripey and I couldn't resist it!), deep purple Basil, Spring Onions, Nicotiana sylvestris (woe is me if all 2,000 seeds germinate like they did last time!) and a little packet of wild flower seeds which is going to be sown on the corner of the herb bed in the paddock.

It was lovely and warm in the afternoon and I pottered in the greenhouse, warm as toast in there, setting up seed trays of my own (saved from last year) pre-soaked runner bean seeds - 7 trays down and still a load to plant up, PLUS 2 whole packets more left over from last year. I could flood the market . . . I've also sown Nasturtiums (seeds saved from last year) - the lovely Strawberries and Cream one I had in with Geraniums in log planters - and a huge tray of Bo Jangles Marigolds (my own seeds again). I need a bale of good compost though, as my No. 1 muck heap is too rich on its own, and the cheap bag of "compost" I bought is OK for planters etc but no good for seeds. I am fast running out of room - have two layers of a seed stack and one cold frame so I may set up the long strawberry tunnel and put the runner beans under there in the veg. plot (though I shall need to remove all the grass tussocks first!)

I just wish I didn't feel so completely hornswoggled from lack of sleep (awake at 5.30 a.m. this morning, my breathing none too good and tummy paining me, so I got up).

Thursday 15 March 2012

The Lady of the Lake - the legend of Llyn-y-Fan-Fach

This is a story which has been included many times in various folk story collections, from the Victorians to the present day, and of course passed down in Welsh oral history throughout the ages.

Imagine, if you will, that it is 12th Century Wales. A widow lived at Blaensawdde, near Llandeusant (the lovely village where you turn off to reach Llyn-y-Fan-Fach). She had a son, who she trusted to take her cattle to pasture near the Lake. On a warm summer's day he loved nothing better than to sit beside the lake, daydreaming, as the cattle browsed the mountain grasses. He watched the Red Kites fly above his head, seemingly skimming the mountain's edge as they hunted, calling shrilly to one another.

On such a warm summer's day, he was about to collect his cattle and drive them back down the valley, when, looking across the lake one last time, he found he was being watched by the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, amidst the waters of the lake, and almost without thinking, he offered her the bread and cheese which remained from his lunch. But she shook her head at him, saying:

“Cras dy fara!
“Hard baked is thy bread!

"Nid hawdd fy nala”
‘Tis not easy to catch me”

and she dived beneath the water. The young man, despondent at losing her, went home and told his mother all that had happened. She shook her head at him, and said that it was obvious that she didn't like hard-baked bread, so next time he should take a morsal of unbaked dough with him, and offer it.

The next day, he was back at the lake before the sun was barely above the mountain, and as his cattle grazed, he scanned the rippling waters of the lake for the beautiful girl, but there was no sign of her. His cattle, taking advantage of his absent-mindedness, climbed higher up the slopes until he finally noticed their absence and went in search of them. As he began to climb, once again, the beautiful girl appeared by the water's edge and heart in his mouth, he scrambled across and proffered her the unbaked dough, declaring his love of her forever more. Once again she scorned him, saying:

“Llaith dy fara! “
Unbaked is thy bread!

Ti ni fynna.”
I will not have thee.”

but she paid him a kind glance before once more diving beneath the silent waters of the lake, leaving the disconsolate boy alone with his straying cattle. But the memory of that glance gave him hope, and when he told his mother of what had passed, and she advised him that perhaps it was lightly-baked bread that the lady preferred.

Once again, next day he was at the lake whilst the dew was still on the grass, and he spent a long and lonely day waiting, watching the bees gather pollen from the heather, and the buzzards soar high above his head, and listening the ravens croaking from their nests high in the crags above him. He heard the bells of evensong being rung at the little church at Llandeusant, and knew the hour for returning home was upon him. Sadly he looked across the lake one last time and was astounded to see 7 cattle walking across the water towards him, accompanied by the beautiful girl who had captured his heart. As she came to shore, she stretched out her hand for the lightly-baked bread and took it, in acceptance of him as a husband. But she warned him that should he ever strike her three blows without cause, she would forsake him forever, for

“Fri ergyd diachos.”
“Three causeless blows.”

would break the spell which bound them.

Thus she consented to become his wife, and when they were married, she brought with her a wonderful dowry - all the cattle, sheep, goats and horses she could count before she ran out of breath were granted by her father. Once again, the boy was warned that should he strike her three times without cause, he would lose her. After the wedding, she counted rapidly, in fives, and thus her dowry of livestock was indeed a handsome one. But should those causeless blows ever be struck, he was once again warned by her father, not just she but all her dowry, would return from whence they came.

They set up home at a farm called Esgair Llaethdy (this translates to Dairy Ridge) and for a time were very happy. They were invited to a Christening, but the wife was reluctant to go as she felt the journey was too far for her to walk. He encouraged her to catch up a horse from the field to ride, and she said she would if he got her gloves from the house. On his return she still had not moved to fetch the horse, and in jest he lightly tapped her shoulder with the gloves, saying "Go, go!" And so the first blow was struck.

Some while later they were at a wedding and his wife became upset, and bemused by her crying when all others were laughing and dancing, he touched her shoulder to ask why she was so sad. She raised her eyes and told him, "Now people are entering into trouble, and your troubles are likely to start since you have struck me a second time."

May years passed, and their sons grew from childhood to become young men. Their father was always alert to any occasion when by mischance he might be accused of striking that final causeless blow. Her love for him was as powerful as ever it had been - and his for her - but if that blow was struck, then leave him she must, as she had no power to prevent the outcome.

First a christening, then a wedding, had weakened the magic, and it was a funeral which was finally to undo their love. The husband was distressed when he saw that his wife was laughing when all others were stricken with grief and he touched her arm, saying, "Wife, hush, hush - don't laugh." That was his undoing. She flung from the house, telling him, "The last blow has been struck. Our marriage contract has been broken and is at an end. Farewell."

She returned to their home and he watched helplessly as she began to call up all their livestock, every cow, horse, goat and sheep. Even a small black calf which had been killed came back to life and followed with the rest. Four oxen were ploughing one of the fields, but they left the plough to answer her call:

“Pedwar eidion glas “
The four grey oxen

Sydd ar y maes
That are in the field

Deuwch chwithau
Come you also

Yn iach adre!”
Quite well home!”

They reached the lake and disappeared beneath its waters without a trace, leaving only the plough marks made by the oxen.

For many years her sons haunted the lake, hoping to catch sight of their mother. One day she appeared to Rhiwallon, her eldest son, was walking near Dol Howel, at the Mountain Gate (now known as the Physicians' Gate or Llydiad y Meddygon) . She told him that his purpose on earth was to heal the sick and ease their suffering and to this end she gave him a bag of herbs and prescriptions for healing. She foresaw him and his brothers becoming the most skilled physicians in the country for many generations.

Appearing again before her sons, she accompanied them to the Dingle of the Physicians (Pant y Meddygon) and showed them the individual herbs and told them their medical properties and what illnessess they could treat. They became very skilled in their profession, and undertook to write down all they had learned, so that others could also learn and benefit from their knowledge.

Their celebrity brought them royal patronage, and they were physicians to Lord Rhys Gryg, one of the sons of Rhys ap Gruffudd of Dinefwr Castle, and he gave them rank and land at Myddfai. Their descendents practiced medicine throughout an unbroken line until 1743 and the very last of their number, Rice Williams, MD, died in Aberystwyth in 1842. Locally they are also referred to as the Magicians of Myddfai.

I think that these Lady of the Lake folk stories probably had their roots in Celtic folk lore, when lakes were seen as liminal areas between this life and the next. As for a link with Arthurian legend (and Merlin) - I'll let you decide.

Many thanks to this link for the backbone of the story. Click here for the Wikipedia link about Rhys Gryg.

I am glad to add that my "bug" hasn't gone to my chest but it is now making my nose run so I shall assume it was "just" a cold brewing!

Tuesday 13 March 2012


This is an all-photos posting, as I am still unwell - it has taken me two days, on and off, to get all these loaded. Memories of a lovely summer day in June two or three years back, when I finally achieved my ambition to climb right up on the ridge of Black Mountain (the range of mountains known as Bannau Sir Gaer - the Carmarthen Fans).

I had hoped to tell you the story of our Lady of the Lake, and the Magicians of Mydffai, but that will have to wait until tomorrow. Meanwhile, enjoy the walk.

There in the distance, they loomed in the afternoon heat haze.

Great farming country round here - mostly sheep though.

Above and below: a beautiful little mountain stream, beloved of Dippers.

Arriving at the lake, the mountains seem almost primeval - they are almost overpowering.

The little bothy up by the lake. During WW1, Conscientious Objectors were sent here, to build the walling we saw on the way up to the lake.

The panoramic views were amazing - we could see for miles and miles.

As we climbed the very steep slope, we could see the lake as a bird would view it.

The path led invitingly along the mountain edge.

Even on the steepest parts there were sheep grazing, although I don't think I got any in this photo, so you'll have to take my word for it.

The lake is now a reservoir, and you are not allowed to bath or even paddle in it.

We had lunch near this outcrop, but sat well back from the edge . . .

The Cambrian mountains to the North.

It felt wonderful to be so high up and have a 360 degree view.

These ledges, believe it or not, have sheep grazing on them . . .

Looking back the way we came. The ribbon of track in the picture is the one we had recently toiled up.

Above and below - bog cotton blowing in the breeze. The peat upland soil holds onto the moisture - and we get plenty of that here in Wales!

Monday 12 March 2012

Merlin lived here

View of Merlin's Hill from Llangunnor church.

Not in my house of course, but here in Carmarthenshire. Legend has it that he was born in a cave just outside of Carmarthen. There is a Merlin's Hill (where the cave is supposedly to be found) and a Merlin's stone in a field in the Towy Valley, below and close to the hill and we used to have Merlin's Oak, though that was a relatively "new" tree planted around the time of Charles II and poisoned in Victorian times.

Did he actually exist though? Was he purely an embroidered figment of Geoffrey of Monmouth, loosely based on Myrddin Wyllt, a North Byrthonic poet (and madman apparently) and Ambrosius Aurelianus, a Romano-British leader - Merlin Ambrosius ? He was apparently born of a mortal woman by an incubus from whom he inherited his magical powers. Was Geoffrey of Monmouth drawing on local Welsh legends and trying to give them more credence in his book, Historia regum Britannia.

Looking towards Merlins Hill from near Colomendy.

It would take me all day to write a precis of Merlin's history and his connections with Arthur, so I would direct you to these links:Link
HERE is a link to an interesting site which tells you about Merlin's Prophecies. HERE is a Wikipedia link which tells you about Carmarthen and its history, including Merlin. HERE is the Wikipedia link about Merlin, which is excellent.

Forgive me for the abruptly shortened nature of today's post, but two paragraphs in and I became aware that my brain was not in the same room as my body . . . I will try to do better tomorrow!


Carmarthen Castle. Not a lot remained of it after they built a jail there in the 1700s.

As for Merlin's tryst with Nimue, the Lady of the Lake, here in Carmarthenshire we have a legend associated with Llyn-y-Fan-Fach. As with Merlin's there is a Lady in the Lake associated with magic (the Magicians of Myddfai are said to be descended from her). Makes you wonder doesn't it? But that's a post for another day.

Mysterious Llyn-y-Fan-Fach at the roots of Bannau Sir Gaer. Here is an amazing link to a panoramic view. Enjoy.

Sunday 11 March 2012

The Dymock Daffodils and the Dymock Poets

Below, St Mary's Church, Kempley which is on the daffodil trail. Photo taken when we visited for my birthday outing last year. I wish I had a photo of the daffs (which are amazing), but they are on You Tube and you can call up images from Google.

"From Marcle Way,
From Dymock, Kempley, Newent, Bromesberrow,
Redmarley, all the meadowland daffLinkodils seem
Running in golden tide to Ryton Firs,
To make the knot of steep little wooded hills
Their brightest show .........."

This fragment of poetry from Lascelles Abercrombie, one of the "Georgian" poets who became the Dymock poets in 1914 when they had a brief-lived colony in the area, tells you something of the beauty of this area at this time of year. Edward Thomas, of whom I am very fond, was ne of their number for a brief spell.

Here are some notes written by a dear friend of mine (J):

"The daffs used to be picked by local families, including my Granny and all her children, which included my Dad of course. They were sent to Covent Garden to be sold as cut flowers, and earned local families a valuable addition to their income. When they picked the daffs it wasn’t from the woods, but from the fields. The wood daffs, although exactly the same wild variety, tend to have shorter sLinktems, due to environment I suppose, so the longer stemmed field daffs were best for selling. Nearly every field in the whole area was carpeted in them. I remember as a small child seeing them, and Granny still picking them to sell. She used to pick them in bud and have them in the scullery in buckets of cold water ready to go on the milk train to London first thing the following morning.

Thankfully the daffs in the woods have always kept going, but farming practices in the late sixties and for the next few decades, really hit the field daffs. Picking never seemed to bother the daffs, they were abundant every year although the fields were often stripped by pickers – but pesticides, ploughing, spraying verges etc nearly wiped the field ones out, Now they are protected and picking is banned.

Below - we were too late for the daffs in Kempley church yard, but these Cowslips put on a pretty show.

HERE is a link to the BBC iPlayer radio programme about both daffs and Dymock poets.

If you fancy seeing them for yourself, try HERE for details of the Open Day(s).

Saturday 10 March 2012

Is it just me?

The mountain river hurling itself downstream from Llyn-y-Fan-Fach. (I will try and do a posting on this in the next couple of days).

People of my age group (I am 60 next month) were, as a rule, brought up to be polite. Not to complain out loud. To think of others. To be considerate. Not to be rude to people, especially those you know (I can think of an exception to this rule, but she was my m-in-law - does that count?)

Anyway, all this crossed my mind today when I went back to collect my prescription at a certain supermarket (see, I'm so well-brought-up I don't like to be rude about them on-line by naming them and I don't want to get the member of staff into trouble! . . .) I'm sure the woman who was supposed to be serving was just busy. She did appear to be doing something as she talked with the Pharmacist. So I waited patiently to collect my prescription. After a couple of minutes, another couple came to join me in the queue, and together we waited calmly. The lady caught my eye and we both raised our eyebrows at being ignored. Then she said, "I can't believe we do this - just wait like this." I agreed, but STILL I didn't say anything to the woman behind the counter who was still being "busy". The other customer and I exchanged pleasantries and both agreed that really, only the English (although, living in Wales, perhaps I ought to say British) would put up with this. In any Mediterranean country there would be raised voices and gesticulations and crossness! At about this point the gist of our conversation must have been overheard by the member of staff and she finally came through and served us, and I thanked her for my prescription and walked off without a single word of complaint. Then I got back to my husband and promptly complained at being kept waiting . . . Perhaps I should have vented my spleen, but I was brought up to be polite . . . Is it just me or would you do the same?

Friday 9 March 2012

The Friday Post

Some cats know exactly where the absolutely BEST place to sleep is! Banshee . . .

That title sounds important, doesn't it? I've had a busy week, and that was the best I could come up with. So far this week, I have done painting (front hall, kitchen and bathroom), changed the winter-weight curtains curtains in the kitchen for the summer-weight ones, washed all the china in the bathroom and put it back up against a freshly-painted wall, deep-cleaned the bathroom, made bread, had a couple of walks, planned what to do next in the garden, been shopping, volunteered, finished sewing a thank you gift for a friend (photos once she's received it), peeled, chopped and cooked 4 lbs of root ginger which is now hopefully preserved, and mourned poor old Gypsy. Thank you all for your kind comments, by the way.

Today my darling OH decided finally he couldn't put off servicing our old Hergom stove any longer (e.g. it had STOPPED!) I am glad to say it just needed a thorough de-coke and a little bit of air pinched out of the line where the oil level had dropped so low. Though even he didn't expect to find a mummified sparrow when he cleaned it out. Thankfully we have managed (just) to gather together the money for a small oil delivery, so the house is having a day of warmth and then back to being frugal with the oil again.

The walk I gave up on. I had intended to walk along the bridleway and meet up with my OH as he came back from collecting the papers, but after climbing this steep hill, my legs decided that walking was perhaps an over-rated exercise . . .

So I turned around and walked back down to meet him. Past the beautiful Chestnut Tree . . .

And down by the river, where it glissades over the pebbles.

Not a good day for colour, as the mist was late to rise from the fields.

But Wales DOES do green . . .

A big pan of ginger for preserving.

A nice fresh bathroom and CLEAN china . . . probably a lot of disgruntled spiders too.

Have a good weekend all.