Oh what a picture

As you know the ones that follow my blog, I like to take a picture or two whenever we go somewhere, or I go out on my bike etc. So our latest couple of trips out were no different.

We were told about a place called Abersoch, a small seaside town on the Llyn Peninsula which is the bit of North Wales that juts out to the left facing Ireland. Abersoch is on the bottom edge of the Peninsula.

A day off and a bit of a plan to drive out to have a look and have some lunch. I was told there was some surf shops there and lots of places to get food so it was all looking good. The name Abersoch means mouth of the river Soch. Aber means mouth of river and Soch being the rivers name, so there you go you have learnt something today. It’s the same with Aberystwyth and many others in Wales.

We found the small town and parked up and went in search of the coast. The town itself was busy and a lot of the eating places closed apparently due to staff shortages, the two surf shops were pretty boring and had what seemed like all the stock they could not get rid of the last two years hoping someone from inland would buy it as they would not have seen it before.

And now I was getting hungry and with so many places closed and one pub packed out Nikki spotted a small little deli but it had a queue. I don’t like queues and I had spotted a chip shop with no queue, not always a good sign but I was willing to gamble for the sake of my rumbling stomach. So I nipped across got served straight away and stood outside eating my chips while Nikki queued for whatever she was going to have. And yes they were loverly chips.

Then we decided to head for the beach. Found some loverly old beach huts made from corrugated tin, I expect they had been there years and with a coat of paint every year to help protect them they still looked good.

Old tin beach huts.

And even better were the beach huts behind them, looking like real luxury small houses. The photo I took of them is one of my all time favourites. If I ever win the lotto and Nikki gets her dream of having a little property as a bolt hole I will get this photo put on canvas and hang it on the wall. Oh what a picture.

My favourite photo

The next day off I went off to the bike park for a blast doing some different trails than I have done before. The view was fantastic up high above the treetops with rolling mountains in the distance.

What a view

Then we had to go back to work and look forward to our next bit of time off. Luckily for us our next long weekend off was in the middle of a loverly heatwave and being our long weekend off we decided to take the camper out and go away for a couple of days. So we went up to Anglesey to a campsite. We took the bikes because I had looked on google earth and worked out a route to get to a pub on the coast only using small back roads. Nikki was with me so it needed to be a short ride and no traffic. She was very happy with the idea of a pub lunch and this is what was making her get her bike hat on, check her mirrors, and lights and select a gear.

The small bay we were aiming for is called Red Wharf Bay and the pub is called the Ship inn. A proper olde world pub right on the sea front. Originally a row of cottages built in 1740 with a small pub on one end serving ale to the many sailors passing by. The whole building is now the pub.

All Covid secure, Nikki had to queue again to get a table, I was guarding the bikes, well mine anyway. She got to the front of the queue and asked if we could have a table in the shade with space for the bikes. The waiter pointed to a table but said the bikes could go over there a completely different area, Nikki called me over to tell me this. My reply was sorry but I don’t leave my bike away from me. He then gave us another choice when he realised I love my bike which as it happens was a better view and in the shade for Nikki. The tide was out which was a shame as it would have been nicer but sometimes you just can’t have everything. A seat in the shade, Bikes within touching distance and a loverly lunch with a view and of course great company.

Lunch with a view

We were actually sat just behind these tables but the view was unspoilt because that section was closed. Back to the campsite and a BBQ for tea sat outside under the sunshade as it was so hot. The next day was spent just chilling in the shade, it was way too hot to go out on the bikes.

Our spot for chilling on the campsite

So that’s us up to date. Other news is we completed our application to become site managers and got through to the interview stage which was via a zoom call. That was a whole new experience for us but we think it went well. We find out next week if we were successful or not. Will keep you posted.

Ear Two Ear

I get trouble with my ears blocking up. Nikki thinks it’s just excuse to say I never hear what she says. After two weeks of putting oil in them to try and free off the wax ( sorry if your having your lunch while reading this) the wax was still in there and would not come out. So I had to find an audiologist. That’s a person who removes earwax and charges you what he/ she wants knowing you are going to pay because you have no choice. And saying you didn’t hear how much it was going to cost does not wash with them.

The nearest one to us is in Colwyn bay. So an appointment was made for another two weeks time at a cost of £80 for both ears. That give me time to save up and keep putting the oil in my ears and praying the wax would come out on its own and I could save the £80.

On the day we headed off towards Colwyn bay via Surf Snowdonia. Surf Snowdonia is a lagoon with a wave machine in, so for land locked surfers they can still surf. I wanted to go and have a look and it was sort of on the way to Colwyn bay. When we got there there were no waves until 2pm so we just had a look around and left.

No surf Snowdonia

We decided to head on to Colwyn bay have lunch and then go and get my ears hoovered out. We parked up right by the bay and spotted a cafe so headed straight for it as we were both hungry. We didn’t realise the cafe is famous, or so we were told by someone in the carpark. The cafe was called Bryn Williams. We had not booked so the only available seating was outside which is what we wanted so a table for two it was. Then we looked at the menu WOW how much. We decided on a starter each and some chips to share. Sorry they were not chips they were fries that’s posh chips, I told you it was famous. It was nice though.

Nikki’s lunch
Mike’s lunch

After our snack with a three course price tag the plan was Nikki was going to go shopping and I went off to get my ears done. I had a half hour wait so wandered around Colwyn bay. Not my cup of tea at all. I found a loverly old restored clock and the rest of the town I won’t talk about. I wandered into the ear clinic quarter of an hour early as the door was open and went straight on in. All Covid secure with receptionist and ear doctor wearing masks. Sat down, he shoved a camera in my ear and showed me on a huge screen the problem, I showed him my empty wallet and pointed out my problem.

He then stuck a small tube in my ear, a bit like a Hoover and it sucked all the wax out. From entering the building to leaving was 15 minutes and that including paying the £80. I wish I could earn that sort of money. I did point out to him he should be called Dick Turpin and wearing a mask. Then I realised he was wearing a mask.

Loverly restored old clock
Empty Colwyn bay

The following weekend was our time off and time to give the camper a run so we decided to go to a site called Shawsmead which is near a village called Oakford, inland from Newquay, that’s the Newquay in wales below Aberystwyth about a two hour drive from us. We know the wardens there so it was a good chance to catch up with them. It’s only about 70 miles but I don’t think there is a straight level piece of road in that 70 miles.

The site is so nice and peaceful and has lots of areas left for the wildlife which I really like. The bees and insects are so important to us and more should be done to help them. We had a great time and did nothing apart from eat drink sleep and then repeat. A real chilled out couple of days.

Chilling at Shawsmead

The time went way too fast. We had to start back at work on the Wednesday lunchtime and would normally go back on Tuesday afternoon but the sun was out the beer was to tempting so we decided to stay another night and leave early in the morning. So that’s what we did. Up and on the road for 6.30 am. Back to base set up and chill before work.

A couple of days ago we had some friends we met in Spain come to visit us as they were only an hour away from us on holiday. Loverly couple. We met in the pub opposite the campsite for lunch and a good catch up. We had not seen them for two years.

Before meeting them at lunchtime I wanted to go out on my bike so I got up early and was down the bike park and on the trails at 6.15 am. As I was driving there I thought I would do one of the black trails, that’s a severe one. I had wanted to do this particular one for a long time because it involves some huge big rock slabs that you ride down.

The trail is about 12 miles long altogether with some long uphills and some very rocky downhill parts and of course the four big slabs. Not for the inexperienced or faint hearted. I really enjoyed the trail and survived to tell the tale. And even took some photos to show Nikki but she felt sick just looking at them.

One of the slabs
Long way down

It’s hard to capture how steep the slabs are unless you’re into mountain biking then you would understand. A lot of peaple have fallen here and with some nasty injuries.

My favourite one

So that’s us to date. We are now off for two days but not going away, just chilling at base but we will have a day out somewhere and I expect I will go down the bike park. We also have a application form to fill in to become managers. We are really busy at the moment and bookings have gone mad. And I can’t believe we are halfway through the season already. This time in four months time we will be driving out of here to where ever and next year we will be somewhere totally different.

Stay safe everyone we’re nearly there.

The Mawddach trail

We had a couple of days of so wanted to do something of our list of to do things while in Snowdonia. It’s a big list and we will not tick them all off.

Nikki has not been out on her bike much since falling of last year. A couple of weeks ago along the canal path was her first outing on the bike since her fall so a good little run to get her bike legs back. The weather was looking good fo our two days off. I went down the bike park on day one and let of steam down the slopes, round the berms, over the humps and bumps for 18 miles of pure fun.

Down the bike park

Day two we decided to bike the Mawddach trail. The Mawddach trail is a walk/ cycle way which is a old railway line that runs from Dolgellau to Barmouth following the Mawddach estuary. It’s about nine miles each way and totally flat. I told Nikki it will be a gentle ride and plenty of stops for photos etc.

Bikes loaded up in the morning and only a 25 minute drive to get to Dolgellau and park up in the carpark at the start of the trail. There is a hotel/ pub along the way at Penmaenpool with a loverly old toll bridge which we have seen before while out for a drive. We thought it would be nice to sit by the estuary and have lunch there.

Because we were early getting on the trail we decided to have a light snack to eat when we got to Barmouth and then maybe lunch at the pub on the way back.

Nikki at Penmaenpool

So of we set. Now I really enjoy biking along these trails with fantastic views but it’s a bit slow for me compared to Nikki’s average speed. But this was her day so most of the time I stayed with her only now and then did I have a little speed moment and then wait for her. I looked behind at one stage and there she was biking along hair flowing in the wind nice and upright and more importantly still on the bike, another reason for me not to go off to far in case I have to come back and pick her up off the floor. But she was doing good, she looked like Mary poppins.

We had plenty of stops to have a drink, not pub stops just water from our bottles and to take in the scenery.

View from the trail

The last part of the trail into Barmouth goes across a bridge which also has a railway line going across. The whole thing is going to be refurbed at a cost of 25 million pounds starting soon. The views from it are fantastic. On one side you have the harbour of Barmouth and the other side you have the estuary going towards the mountains. And then sometimes you get a train coming towards you.

Stay on the right Nikki

We arrived at Barmouth needing a drink and a bite to eat. And Nikki needing a sit down to rest her legs even though she had been sat down all the way. We found a little cafe with tables outside so i sat down and guarded the bikes while Nikki went in and ordered a coffee and toasted tea cake for herself and a hot chocolate and a sausage sarni for me. Looking over the harbour and watching the world go by and at the same time keeping an eye on the bikes life was good. And the thought of the food was in my mind. Nikki came back out with the drinks. Where’s the food ? Stopped doing food at 11am. Drinks drunk and off around Barmouth to find a chip shop.

Barmouth is the sort of place you love or hate. We don’t really like it, it’s to much like an English version of Benidorm with all the kiss me quick hats and amusement arcades. Peaple with jogging bottoms and football shirts on and they even have donkeys on the beach. We were only here because it’s the end of the trail and we were hungry. We soon found a chip shop and again I guarded the bikes and this time Nikki came out with a portion of chips, and very nice they were too.

The bridge at Barmouth
Barmouth coastline

Now it was time to head back to Dolgellau with a stop at the George 111 hotel / pub at Penmaenpool for another snack. Going back was easier because we had a light breeze behind us but there was more peaple by this time but not enough to be getting in the way. We got to the hotel/ pub got a loverly bench outside overlooking the estuary. Again I guarded the bikes while Nikki went in to get us a nice big glass of cool drink and some menus. Again I was looking at the scenery and peaple watching and she came out with two pints of Diet Coke ( other brands are available )with ice. And no menus, they had run out of food and this was only 1pm. That explains why we could get a seat out side. Still the drink was nice and luckily we had a couple of serial bar snacks in our back packs.

Our table for lunch

Drinks drunk and back on the bikes for the last leg of the ride. Only a couple of miles to go I shouted to Nikki as she climbed on to her bike with a few groans. But I had promised to take her to the pub back at base for a nice glass of wine and we knew they would have food. So that’s what we did. Got back to base showered, a nice cup of tea and then over the local pub for a drink or two and a nice meal.

Well done to Nikki for biking the twenty mile round trip. And after the pub in the early evening we slept very well.

Birthday weekend

It seems like ages since I updated the blog so here I am. The campsite has been busy, the weather has not been very good for this time of year. I think the trouble is we are comparing this May to last May when we were furloughed and basking in loverly sunny weather.

A couple of weeks ago I had a nice ride out in my bike up in the hills and lanes and was rewarded with spectacular views.

Lake Trawsfynydd in the background.

The ride was only about 18 miles but mostly off road which is what I prefer. Only saw one other human, an old farmer who was busy fixing some fencing. Saw lots of sheep but that’s normal in these parts.

With my birthday coming up and it just so happened to fall on our days off we decided to go away for a couple of days. I like to to take the camper out every month just to give it a run so the timing was just right. Shame the weather could not have tried harder to get it right.

We decided to go to Chirk only about 50 miles away but a nice run. We have been to the site before and liked it. There’s a canal nearby and a couple of nice aqueducts. The plan was to get there Saturday and leave on the Tuesday. Sunday was a chill out day. I went for a early walk down to the Aqueduct not far from the site. Amazing structure built all those years ago. This one is in two parts, the upper part is a railway line and the bottom part for the narrow boats. At one end you are in Wales and if you walk across it you are then in England.

Chirk Aqueduct

We planned to take the bikes and to get Nikki on hers. The canal path would be ideal for her being flat. She’s not been on her bike for a long time after falling off when we were in South Wales.

We worked out we could cycle along the canal path to the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct about 5 miles each way. There’s a nice cafe there converted from an old chapel. We would have to sit outside because there no way I would leave my bike outside and go inside for a cuppa. So off we set with a bit of rain forecast but that wasn’t going to stop us. The canal path was quiet so good for Nikki. Just as she was getting her confidence back we came across a tunnel. Nikki is not very good with bridges and tunnels. She would never walk over the aqueduct. So we stop at the tunnel entrance, it’s long and dark, there is a barrier to stop you falling in the canal. Nikki looks scared, there is no way round it. It’s either go through the tunnel or turn back. I would never make her do anything she did not want to do.

She decided to go for it so she put her lights on and walked through. I was behind with words of encouragement. I was so proud for her for doing it. I think it was the thought of a nice hot cup of coffee and a toasted tea cake that did it.

We got to the cafe and the tables outside had umbrellas luckily as it was raining by now. The waitress came out and said it’s horrible out here come inside. I explained I would not leave my bike outside. No problem she said bring them inside. So we took our bikes in the cafe and sat at a table beside them. They were happy there, I offered them some of my hot chocolate and a chip but they declined.

Bikes in the cafe

On the way back I saw a narrow boat going over the aqueduct so on with the brakes and camera out and got a picture of the Pontcysyllte aqueduct with a narrow boat going over it way above the ground. By now it had stopped raining and the tunnel loomed again and yet again Nikki went through it. Back at base I cleaned the bikes off and put them away while Nikki rested her legs. Time to shower and walk down the pub for a birthday meal and a pint.

Don’t look down.

The pub we went to, well it’s a hotel (The Hand Hotel) not like a big posh hotel our birthday budget wouldn’t run to that. It’s a four hundred year old hotel. We have been there before and it’s a bit like going back in time. It’s now had a refurb while closed in lockdown and is very nice. we had a good laugh with one of the bar staff and had a few drinks and a very nice meal. All at a reasonable price. Walk back to base and crash out. Another birthday done.

Yesterday we came back to site because friends had come from Cheltenham to see us in their motorhome. We haven’t seen them for about three years so you have to do what you have to do. That’s right go over the pub and have a catch up. Back to work today.

A bench to sit and think
Bike, boat, must be a plane somewhere up in the sky.

Six months wait

The days have been passing, the months have been passing until the lockdown rules are changing. I know they have been changing at different times between England, Scotland and wales. And I also know it’s been longer than six months for all these changes.

The thing is the six month wait refers to me and Nikki having a proper day out. The last time was when we went to Lincoln last October to get our new fridge in the camper. We then spent a day in the old part of Lincoln, had lunch out and then a meal and drinks in the pub in the evening, a proper day out.

Yesterday was one of our days off, the weather was hot and sunny so a day out was planned. And most important the pubs in wales were opening for outside drinks and food. And we just so happen to have a pub right across the road from us.

But first our day out. We decided to go to Portmeirion, we never got the chance to go last year. We booked our tickets online and planned to get there early to avoid all the crowds because I wanted to take some photos.

Portmeirion is a tourist village designed and built by Sir Clough williams Ellis between 1925 and 1975. It’s styled on an Italian village and is now owned by a charitable trust. It’s famous for the filming of the film The Prisoner. There’s a hotel there, gift shops and cafes. It’s only a eight mile drive for us to get there and they opened at 9.30am so no need to rush although we were first through the gate.

The buildings are all brightly painted and the views from certain points are amazing. We timed it just right with the sun out and as it sits on the edge of an estuary the tide was in and with no wind the water was calm.

I took about 120 phots but won’t bore you with all of them. These are just some of my favourite ones I took.

As you can see the colours are fantastic. We spoke to a painter decorator there and he said how busy he was all the time. We wandered around and then decided to have a spot of lunch. Just sat outside in the sun watching the world go by. It was good to be out again properly. There is a coast/ woodland walk from there also which we did after lunch. Again fantastic views from certain points.

After our walk we went and sat down in the sun again and just watched the world go by thinking how nice it was to have a proper day out. Sod the expense this is what we work for, to enjoy life. After arriving at 9.30am and having a good look around etc we left at 1 30pm. Admission was £13 each and lunch was £20 we never ate in the hotel.

Back to base for a chill out for an hour, then shower and then off to support the local pub which opened at midday. The sun still shining which was good as all the seating is out side. All the tables set out with plenty of space and table service only. A few drinks and a nice meal and that was us done in for the day. A short stroll home to bed. The end of a great day which we had waited six months for. Just got to save up now for the next one.

Have a rest

We had snow

When I said we had snow what I meant was we had a dusting of snow unless you were up on the mountains or on top of Snowdon itself. But even so the weather has been strange. We got battered with up-to 70 mph gusts of wind, then it all calmed down and warmed up enough for us to sit outside in the sun with a cool beer and get the BBQ fired up thinking summer is on its way.

Then the wind turned on us from the north and east and although it was sunny it was bloody freezing. Then Easter Monday we had snow. Just a dusting on low ground but it did look nice.

My Snowdon garden
Dusting of snow

Ellis from the small holding across the road bought us some eggs over from his chickens. They range from small bantam eggs to turkey eggs. And all were very nice. He has a collection of chickens ,Guinea fowl and four huge turkeys. They Rome around on his land and out side on the lane etc as free as they like. He has to search here there and everywhere for the eggs. We always check them by putting them in a bowl of water. If they float they are bad, they should all sink. We have never had a bad one and they are very nice.

Free range Easter eggs

We have just had our long weekend off so decided to go away, gives the camper a run and gets us off site. We chose a site up on Anglesey, just over an hour away. We had not been to this one before but stayed on one just two miles down the road from it last year. It’s in the middle of nowhere but the idea was just to chill as it’s been busy here and a lot going on.

The site was called Penrhos and is just outside Brynteg. There was only two other units on site on Sunday. But there was another twenty booked in on Monday which is when all the travel restrictions were lifted but still not busy. Fantastic views from the site across the fields to the mountains of Snowdonia and Snowdon itself in the distance all covered in snow.

We had a loverly area all to ourselves for the first night and then two others came in but plenty of space.

Our peaceful spot
View from the driveway of the site.

We saw a red squirrel while walking around the site and lots different birds including, pheasants, partridge, woodpecker, blue tits, great tits, long tailed tits, goldfinches and we even managed to sit outside in the sun while having a beer so that was a bonus.

This site at Penrhos was the 70th site we have stayed on since getting this camper in February 2014. That’s seventy different sites and some we have been back to. That seventy sites include sites in England, Wales, France, Spain and Portugal. So as you can see we do use our camper. Some peaple only go away once or twice a year in theirs Have wheels will travel is my motto.

So that’s us up to speed with you all. It’s good that the country is slowly coming out and about and getting back to some sort of normal. The pubs here in wales are still closed and don’t open until the 26th April and then only outside. We are back at work this afternoon and thinking it’s going to be a busy season. But we will still get away once a month on our long weekends off. Stay safe everybody.

Open for business

We are now open for business but you can only come here if you live in Wales at the moment. That’s what Mr Drakeford has said so Nikki has been busy phoning peaple who have booked from England, sorry but you’re not allowed to come here to stay at the moment. It’s been a busy time getting everything ready but worth it.

We opened the gates last Saturday and had four arrivals who were all pleased to be getting away. Nikki was also very pleased as it meant I had someone else to talk to. A steady flow of peaple have been coming in over the last week.

Nikki went off shopping and on her way back she said she saw three police cars speeding towards Porthmadog. It turned out there had been a murder. Apparently a 65 year old man was killed by his son.

The site is looking nice and now the weather has gone from 60+ mph winds to 18 degrees and sunshine just as it was our two days off.

We decided to go for a little trip out on one of the days to Borth Y Gest a small village on the edge of Porthmadog. Nikki made a picnic up and managed to fill my backpack with other come in handy stuff we might need on our small hike around the coast path to a small beach.

Borth Y Gest

We parked up and loaded the rucksack onto my back and as my legs sank to the ground with all the come in handy stuff we laughed. Getting back to my feet and off we went along the coast path. The tide was in and the sun was shining. What a beautiful day. The coast path is so nice and the spot I wanted to get to meant a steep climb down some steps.

Steep steps up or down.

Nikki managed the steps ok even with her little legs. We got to our destination and sat on the bench just staring out across the estuary at the mountains and the small bay arcing it’s way from us both left and right. The only noise being birds singing and a small child screaming now and then who was with his parents.

Peace and tranquility.

At the end of the headland you can just see a house. It’s called the powder house. Built in the mid 18th century to store explosives because they did not want the explosives stored in Porthmadog harbour, so the ships would drop it off at the powder house. Very carefully.

It’s now used as a holiday let and valued at £464,000 and what a location. I left Nikki sitting on the picnic bench and went off exploring the coast path a bit further, up to the house and just around the corner. I loved this other bench with the wording I found on my way. It says Smell the sea, and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly.

I sat here for a while and then made my way back to eat our picnic food. At least that made the rucksack lighter for on the way back. A three mile round trip and a great day out followed by a BBQ and beer when we got back. Life’s good. I saved my favourite photo of the day until last. Stay safe everyone we’re nearly there.

Leave only footprints.

Mike = 1 Nikki = 1

How bazare is that. Just an hour after finishing my last blog post and saying to you all that me and Nikki are so young it will be ages before we have our Covid jabs. Nikki went online and could book my first jab and my second one but not hers as she is that little bit younger than me.

That’s good but it’s not that simple. Because we live in Devon but are working in Wales it meant that when you fill the online form in and put your postcode of where you are, us being in Wales the nearest place we could get it done was Oswestry about 55 miles away meaning a round trip of 110 miles to have someone stick a needle in me. The welsh don’t want to stick needles in English folk.

So a drive it was to Oswestry, about an hour and twenty minutes. Even though the government advice is don’t drive, the government are also saying go to Oswestry to get your jab. You work it out I can’t. Still it was a nice drive out and it all went well. Really well organised at the hospital and in, jabbed, and out in less than 15 minutes and back on the road home to site. I stopped off at lake Celyn to get a photo as it’s so nice. The road between here and Bala is such a nice drive.

Lake Celyn

A week later Nikki could book hers and has now had her first jab. Another 110 mile round trip. We tried to book our second ones on the same day just to save a trip but they can’t do that as it’s not in the time scale. I can’t see how a week makes any difference but the powers that be say it does so who are we to argue, the main thing is we will be both jabbed. So by the time we have both been jabbed twice we will have travelled 440 miles and had four trips out. We both had the AstraZeneca. They said there could be side effects. I felt achey all over that night and was shivering from head to toe and the next day felt like I had been run over by a bus but then all ok. Nikki felt ok but then yesterday felt a bit rough but is ok now.

The day after my jab was the first day at work to get the site ready. We both worked really hard, going in everyday for eight days and the site is looking good. We are due to open on the 27th of this month but only to the welsh because the English cannot travel. Why the welsh and English can’t agree on things and make life simple so everyone knows what they can do and can’t do is beyond me.

Although we will be open to the welsh, the pubs and high street shops will not be open and all the attractions will be closed. Madness. So we don’t expect it to be really busy until the travel restrictions in England are lifted.

We are now furloughed until further notice. Plenty of time to go out on bike or walking.

Out on the trails

So that’s us up to date again. Weather has been very windy up to 70mph gusts but has settled down now. Spring is on its way and the plants and flowers are showing signs of life. Life’s looking good. Stay safe, get jabbed everyone, we’re on the road to recovery.

Nearly there.

Work clothes ready

It’s good to be back here in Snowdonia and on site. We have had all sorts of weather since we got here including snow, frost, hail, heavy rain, light rain, wind from a breeze to 60MPH gusts and we have even had some sunshine.

The snow was a joke really just a light dusting and all gone the same day. I was hoping to get some nice snow pictures but that didn’t happen. The week we had that was dry but with a bitter wind was nice, being that it was dry but the wind cut right through you. I even thought about putting some trousers on but the thought went out of my head. In this cold spell our fridge freezer in our garage stopped working, just switched itself off and said it’s too cold. I didn’t realise they did this but with some research it’s true. It is fine now it’s warmed up a bit. At least the beer and wine were chilled.

We have been out for walks and of course I have been out on my bike on the dry but cold days, the wet and windy days are spent in the camper and for me in the garage pottering about. The photo below is part of one of the walks. I love this bit with the moss covered walls and the way the sunlight has caught it giving it a lovely colour. The horses are always pleased to see peaple.

On our walk
Give us a kiss

Nikki has been doing some baking while being stuck inside which is very nice, not the being stuck inside but the cakes and pies she has been making. It’s a good job the bad days are only one or two days otherwise with her baking and us eating if the bad weather went on for a week or more we would not fit out the door. It was all very nice.

Apple and choc chip muffins

Walking around the site it’s nice seeing it all come to life with the daffodils starting to come out and the buds in the trees. I put two bird boxes up in our compound last year and they are getting viewings from the blue tits so hopefully they will nest in them. Reliant is still about, he has been spoilt through the winter but has started to come in the garage again now. There are piles of acorns on the ground everywhere from all the oak trees and the squirrels are feasting on them.

Last years fall of acorns

This weekend apart from being a big weekend for the rugby when England play Wales, it’s also a big decision for me. I have not had a haircut for four months and not had a shave all this year so I look like Robinson Crusoe. I won’t post pictures of this as I don’t want to scare you all or put you off your food. So it will be out with the clippers and razor and decide what to do.

We start work next Thursday getting the site ready even though it’s not going to open on time at least it will be ready. We think it’s going to be very busy this season which will be nice. So that’s us up to date. Hope you’re all staying safe and are having your Covid jabs. Me and Nikki being only youngsters, it will be a long time before we get ours. Stay safe everybody we’re nearly there.

Some colour on site.

Crossing the border

We made up our minds it was time to head back to North wales for our work season. (Essential travel) With wales and England being in lockdown we knew the chances of getting stopped were high, especially for me in the camper and even higher crossing the border into Wales.

We set a date of the fourth of February which was a month before our normal time of getting back but it was time to move on. I kept my eye on the weather charts and they were not looking too good with lots of heavy rain and snow. Last year the A5 in certain places was flooded really bad and also got closed because of snow at one point. Even if we had to change our day of travel by a day or two it did not matter.

Nearer the time the weather charts were looking good so we were on plan A to travel on 4th February, we had a letter from the club we work for saying that we were employees and travelling for work. It’s not the getting stopped that was in our minds it was the getting stopped and answering a lot of questions and how many times would we get stopped and have to explain ourselves once again, all this eating into our travel time.

The journey was 285 miles via the A361, M5, M6, M54, A5, A494, A4212 and the A470. Travelling in two vehicles but not sticking together as Nikki stops more than me. The weather was good even sunny for most of the journey. Nikki stopped about five times and I only stopped once for a pee and then at a service area on the outskirts of Oswestry where we had planned to meet up. I arrived first with Nikki only five minutes behind. We ate our sandwiches which Nikki had made the day before, refuelled the camper and onwards again for the last leg of the journey.

The whole journey took six hours from leaving Devon to pulling onto site. In all that time I only saw two police vehicles on the M6 and some parked up at a police station on the A5. They must all be furloughed. Did we get stopped? No we sailed through every county border even Wales. I am sure there would be lots of peaple on seeing the camper on the road muttering what’s he doing going on holiday etc without thinking about why I was out driving it. You should always know the facts before commenting or saying something.

It’s good to be back on site although I don’t think they will open on time but at least we are here. The next day after getting here I washed both camper and car to get rid of all the travel muck and today the sun is shining and I can see snow on the tops of the mountains. Looking at the forecast we are in for some cold weather next week with the temperature not going above freezing and then some snow later on in the week. I don’t care now I am here and would love to have a load of snow for a few days.

So that’s us up to date, back in wales now for nine months and hopefully doing some of the things we wanted to last year but never got round to because of lockdown etc. Stay safe everybody.