Monday, 24 April 2017

Monday, Mail and Me - teaching the Satnav

We took the satnav out for a training exercise. Mr M is convinced that if he keeps saying no and ignoring her she will learn that we don't like narrow lanes with grass growing in the middle. I have my doubts. 
We are taking a special couple out with us next Saturday and we needed to see which way Ms Satnav would take us given the chance. It was mostly narrow lanes with grass. At one point she took us off the direct route onto lanes only to bring us back onto the same road! I think he is going to have to reduce her options a little more
 We started the day by going to The Parson's Nose in Dingestow (note to self: the church is dedicated to St Dingat NOT St Dingbat). On the way into the village Mr M said "OOh, you must get a picture of that on the way out". and on the way out he actually stopped! Yes, I was surprised too. We bought sausage and bacon rolls and some other delicious comestibles and because the rolls were warm they soon filled the car with the aroma of sausagey goodness.
 This is the sort of lane that Ms Satnav loves - actually this one isn't too bad, it's the ones with high banks and hedges so you feel hemmed in
we arrived here behind a driver called Richard Cranium, at least that's what Mr M called him and just as he was about to start a bit of a rant I mentioned that you don't often see a Gypsy wagon being pushed by the horse. Mr M suggested that it could be Irish, but my Irish ancestry refused to laugh
OH OH can you see the dirty splatt on the windscreen? A Seagull in North Wales did that, bloomin' birds.
Mail this week. A letter from the Doctor's surgery telling me to make an appointment for my diabetic review and the DVDs of the first two series of Hinterland because I simply have to understand and seeing all the episodes again will help ... yes it will, I know it will, it has to help.

My thanks to Sian for inventing this meme and keeping me writing

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Monday, Mail and me - Up North for a Christening

We went to Rhos on Sea for a Christening. On the way up the A49 we decided to stop at the Secret Hills Discovery Centre for a cuppa. After a quick use of the ... facilities we saw how long the queue for the refreshments was and we moved on. We stopped (for the first time in the 30 years we have been travelling this road) at the Lazy Trout. We had a very enjoyable cuppa, read all the funny signs and continued on our way.
 Wrexham was closed ... or perhaps just full. There was a huge traffic jam between Oswestry and Wrexham turn-offs so we took the next exit which led to Llangollen - it's very pretty but the mountains are so steep they were oppressive so we didn't hang around. We were eager to get to Rhos-on-Sea so we could see these lovely people
 Eldest Son with our youngest grandchild. Isn't she a cutie? She is giving that look to her mum and grandpa who were supposed to be holding up her new quilt for Grandma to photograph it
 She had a long and interesting conversation with her Big Brother who had also travelled up from South Wales to be at her special day.

 The Minister put cold water on her! she gave him that same look too. She was not impressed and went back to Mum and told her all about it - VERY loudly.
Cousins! Please note that Miss Boo has one on either side of her. Red Shirt adores her and follows like a shadow. White Shirt just makes sure he claims as much of her time as his brother. The little Gray Jumper is cousin to the boys and little Miss Blond is at the head of the table, as is right on her special day.
We spent several hours enjoying their company before admitting defeat and going back to the hotel for a rest. I woke up after three hours and we tootled off to Llandudno for a delicious dinner.
Monday Morning we popped around to say goodbye and to get our cwtch levels topped up then we headed for Caernarfon for fuel before turning south to Beddgelert for Icecream. I was going to show you pictures of the icecream then I remembered what had happened to every other place we like. We can't get in them anymore because so many other people have read my praises. Just be assured that you don't want to go there even if they do have 52 varieties of home made icecream - nope, no you don't want to go to Beddgelert for icecream -EVER!
We then headed on an interesting Sat-nav led tour of the Welsh and Shropshire hills before arriving at the OK Diner in Leominster - you don't want to go there either, even if they will do your burger without the bun.
Then home via Hereford and Abergavenny to find that the parcel that Amazon said would be delivered Tomorrow had arrived on Sunday. Thank goodness Youngest Son was at home.
What was in the parcel? seasons one and two of Hinterland. I am hooked, even though it is very dark and it rains a lot and I cannot remember where I am with the plots - hence the purchase of seasons one and two - I still have to watch.
I am sure we drove along some of those deserted Welsh roads on our way home.

My thanks to Sian of FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing

Monday, 10 April 2017

Monday, Mail and Me - Real Mail!!

 I'll get to the Real Mail in a minute first I have a question - kind of rhetorical but ...
Why do people talk about the Wye Valley as picturesque? I ask this as a lifelong resident of the area. In winter I can understand it a little bit because the trees are bare and you can actually see the river but from now until October anyone who visits will find a narrow, poorly maintained road that wiggles and squiggles between thick trees and undergrowth from Chepstow to Monmouth with only one real chance at a view in Tintern, and you can't park anywhere to admire it. Pause for joke that still makes us laugh after thirty years
"Tintern Abbey"
"Tis, it's a big church"
We took a little tourist laden trip Up to Monmouth then back down to Raglan.
 A Loo stop and a pause for refreshment at Ragaln Garden Centre where I used to work - many moons ago when I was young and fit. The coffee and Rocky Road cake are mine. The tea and cherry sponge are for Mr M.as for mail this week
Well there was one thing. Mr M was watching one of those shopping channels. Why? because he doesn't like watching adverts in the advert break so he changes channel and this time it was to a demonstration of the GTech AirRam2. I like GTech. Lord and Lady Bluefunnel bought their electric bikes and the deal they had and the customer service was such that they bought the AirRam too.
It arrived on Friday and as soon as Mr M came home from work he opened it and I was able to play. Now you have to remember that I don't do housework. We have a Henry and when Mr M saw how many bags came with it he said "That lot should last you a lifetime." There were six bags.
This tells you how often I do any vacuum cleaning.
We have had the AirRam2 three full days and I have used it twice. I love how easy it is to use. No wires, so easy to empty and you don't get a faceful of dust when you do it. The battery lasted through the whole of downstairs and would probably do upstairs too but I am not that keen. Easy to charge and doesn't take up huge amounts of space - oh and the additional bits come in their own neat bag. It has a two year guarantee.

Yes I think I might keep this one.

My Thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing

Monday, 3 April 2017

Monday, Mail and Me - recovering

I was ill. A virus got me and I had "The Cold". Apparently it has been attacking people everywhere, well, I don't like it. For one thing it made me feel ill for days and days before it finally matured into something and then it put me in my chair, with a big box of tissues, painkillers and lots of water. On Sunday I woke up and it was gone! Leaving me feeling weak and feeble but able to breathe without coughing and able to walk from the car to the diner and back (with a pause for a cuppa)


 The first picture shows what Mr M calls a "Simpsons Sky". I have to take his word for it because I have only seen the starting credits of the programme before I leave the room and go to my computer or to knit.
 I am still keeping an eye on the Mistletoe situation. This example is near Kinnersley (google maps should find it in Herefordshire or possibly Powys) We are on this road because the car in front of us at a previous junction was being driven by one Richard Cranium. I was surprised that Mr M knew his name. He might not have used those exact words, using the familiar Dick as the forename but you get the picture. Anyhoooo we saw dear Richard indicate that he was turning right so we went left.
We paused at the Old Railwayline Garden Centre where they do a really expensive bottle of diet Coke and a reasonable coffee and then we went to Leominster for lunch. We have told so many people about how good the OK Diner is that everyone and his wife was there. So don't go! stay away! their club sandwich is not delicious their Birgers and not juicy and full of flavour and their onion rings are definitely not moreish - honestly ... oh, well perhaps they are quite good but don't go you'll have to wait 20 minutes for a table and then another 20 minutes to get drinks ordered and then another 20 minutes for food - pesky customers.

We then went to Morrisons to do our shopping and when we got back to the car Mr "Eagle Eyes" M saw this little one in the middle of a partly cut shrub in the car park. We suspect that the landscapers were trimming the shrubbery back and discovered a nest with this still fluffy little babe warming in the sun and watching closely as bumble bees flew over his head.

We came home to find part of the M4 closed, sending traffic to "our" roundabout so Mr M put his local knowledge to good use and avoided the queues and joy of joys there was a parking space in the street close enough to the house that we didn't need to call a taxi to get home.

Mail?Oh I haven't opened any yet, not even looked at emails because for some reason Virgin Media won't let me see my mail.

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing

Monday, 13 March 2017

Monday, Mail and me - family history

Mail? oh yes, I had really 'citing mail but first Mr M shows us the missing letters. We are asked " lease kee of the obbles" It just tickled us and I thought I would share. Now to the mail

Lakeland have Bagel Moulds (they always have something I desperately need) and I confess now that I am a gadget freak. I love trying new things. Sometimes I pass them on to darling granddaughters for their own kitchens. Sometimes I try something and instantly decide that I will never use THAT again and if said granddaughters don't want it either then it goes to the charity shop.
I used the bagel moulds that arrived on Sunday first thing this morning.
 They are silicone so you make the dough, prove it, then cut and shape into bagels and prove again. Then you dip each one into boiling water for about ten seconds before shoving them into the oven for twenty minutes.
These have to be the best bagels I have ever made and I have been trying for years. So easy These will not be leaving my kitchen. I have already found the oats and poppy seeds ready for post-dipping application and tomorrow morning the breadmaker will be working hard making the dough
We also had happy mail from a friend who said she "saw this and thought of you". I will photograph it later and show you soon. I have such lovely friends.
now I am just waiting for a message from Wicked Uncle Cliff (Miss Boo calls him that) telling me when he is coming to stay with us. He did serious damage to his leg last year when his thigh muscle parted company with his knee. This meant surgery followed by six months in a rigid cast and then really mind tearingly painful physio-therapy. The train strikes around Christmas made him decide that the convoluted route from the south coast to us was beyond his stamina so he was dearly missed over New Year. Now he is coming to stay and we are all buzzing with anticipation.

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing

Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Year of Mistletoe

This year we have noticed that Herefordshire seems to be covered in Mistletoe. Actually we had noticed it last year, before Christmas and wondered if we could nip out with one of those really long pruners - did you ever see the ones that extended to about 12 feet long and had a rope thingy that you could pull to cut the very top branches of the fruit trees? Well one of those and a white van and we thought we could make our fortune at the markets. Then we thought about the cold and wet when gathering the stuff and then standing about in the cold selling the stuff and it suddenly lost all its allure.

 Since then we have taken to pointing out how much Mistletoe there seems to be, and not just on fruit trees although it does like those best. These three pictures are just what I managed to get today when we did a twelve-county tour*. Please keep in mind that this is 40mph photography at its best.
 The last picture is the line of trees by the River Wye at Glasbury
Your mission this year, should you care to accept it, is to photograph the Mistletoe growing on trees in your area. I would be interested to know if other places have such a heavy crop.

*The Twelve-County Tour Starting In the County Borough of Newport to Monmouthshire, then Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire,Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire (again), Powys, Monmouthshire, Torfaen and back to Newport.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Monday, Mail and Me - what? Nothing?

Well, not strictly nothing. I did get a letter from the Department of Work and Pensions telling me that my pension is to increase to the princely sum of £32 per week. That was all. Once again everyone else had parcels and letters except me. Mr M did offer me the junk mail if I was desperate. I sniffed and declined.

 We went to Franco's in Aberavon for lunch on Saturday ... actually we initially went in with the intention of having a cuppa so that Mr M could use the facilities but when we got in there it was so nice and so clean we decided to stay and eat lunch. Just look at those onion rings! They were gorgeous and that's the "Small portion Menu" Haddock and chips, more than enough. The servers were really good and so friendly and as I said it was so clean and tidy - oh and no loud music. It was also quite busy considering it is March and the seaside is usually closed.
This was our view from the window as we ate. looking across Swansea Bay. It would break your heart to have to look at that every day on your way to work eh?

Sunday was going to be quiet until a text arrived that said "Roast here?" I said yes and at the appointed time we went up the hill to dine with Lady B always a good meal and always a good time. We caught up on family news and then gossiped put the world to rights.

Altogether a quiet weekend but still really enjoyable

My thanks to Sian at FromHighInTheSky for inventing this meme and keeping me writing.