Saturday, 18 May 2019

We went to Bodnant Gardens today.National Trust.

 At this time of the year it is azalea and rhododendron time but there are other lovely plants.Look at these gorgeous irises.
Below is a willow sculpture of Emily Pankhurst to celebrate the Suffragette Movement.

 More irises.I always associate irises with France and especially Monet' s garden.
 Blocks of azaleas.Gorgeous colours.
Finally a photo of me in front of an enormous rhododendron.
We then went to the West Shore at Llandudno for some lunch and sea air.All in all a very pleasant trip and only 50 minutes from home.
We were on Anglesey on Thursday but I never took any photos.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Easter Monday and hardly a car in sight!

 We live in North Wales which is very popular with tourists so with the promise of glorious weather this weekend for Rhe Bank Holiday our general rule is stay off the roads!!We have done that for three days but fancied a bit of a ride out today.When we have been going to Snowdonia (the quiet way) we go over a bridge in a little hamlet and there is a road off to the right going up the river valley but fairly flat at this point.I have been intrigued by it so off we went.The idea being have a quiet walk along the river,fairly flat(I like flat).Within a couple of hundred yards we came upon this church.No sign on the road to it.It was open so we went inside.It is the 13th century church of St Michael on the banks of the River Alwen which flows into the River Dee.What a surprise .We have drive along this road for 40 years and did not know this church existed.This landscape has inspired poets and writers for centuries including William Wordsworth.How amazing is that.Wordworth's poem Vale of Meditation was based on this.

 A lovely bunch of primroses outside the church.

A view inside.The photo at the top was a carved Druids chairs close by.
I really have no idea how the photos have gone out of order.Sorry.
So our little trip gave us a brilliant find and we encountered no traffic only wonderful views.A little bit misty for photos.
The church was in the village of Llanfihangel.

Monday, 1 April 2019

A very happy a Mothers Day.

Normally I don't see our son on Mothers Day because he lives four hours away but this year we went down for the weekend.I had said "no presents just a card" but of course he ignored this and spoils me rotten.We wanted to set off home about 2pm on Sunday so Matt decided to do brunch.He had found a BBC recipe and bought all the ingredients and cooked for us,his wife and the two boys and it was delicious.On the way back we called on our daughter and had a cup of tea with them so I saw both children,a first for many years.
We decided that we would call at the National Ironworks centre near Oswestry on the way to Cambridge.Massive iron sculptures of mainly animals but other things as well.Quite bizarre.I will post some photos tomorrow.We were still a bit early for arriving so did a quick detour via Ely which has a very impressive cathedral.A lovely weekend with the family but very tiring.We are both shattered today.Been to the cinema this afternoon to see "Can you ever forgive me?"C briefly fell asleep!An early night tonight methinks.
Back tomorrow with some photos.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

A few busy days.

Thursday was my Reading Group.We now only have 6 in the group.On Thursday there only four of us and two hadn't read the book.It was a book of short stories called Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri.The co-ordinator in whose house we meet had not read even one story but she had found some questions from a website called Reading Group Guides.I came home exhausted when there are only two of you answering the questions.We need new members.
Friday was a very busy day.It started at 10.00am with my weekly catch up with my best friend over a cup of tea and a teacake in a local cafe.12.15 it was lunch out.Some very close friends of ours sold their house here and decided to move near their daughter who lives in Royston near Cambridge.They are living with her at the moment because houses down there are double the price they got for theirs up here but can't find anything.They were up for a few days and so we were lunching.C then went off to band practice for two hours until 5pmand then it was back to the theatre for 7pm to see Ronnie Scott's All Stars,the story of Ronnie Scott's jazz club
.There were films clips and a commentary but four great musicians and a singer playing live.A pianist,double bass,saxophone and drums and they were brilliant.We went with the friends who were visiting and another friend who always comes with us.Drink in the bar afterwards and then home.
This morning we had coffee with the visiting friends and two other couples.We all used to go out for meals together.A bit of a breather this afternoon and then back to the Film Theatre to see The Green Book.An excellent film.Catch it if you can.
Nothing on the agenda tomorrow.Thank goodness,just the usual Sunday cleaning.

Friday, 22 March 2019


Have you done anything to convert to Google+ or will it happen automatically?

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Ian McKellen was amazing.

Last night we went to Theatr Clwyd to see Sir Ian McKellen in his one man show to celebrate his 80th birthday.He is playing multiple venues all over the country.He wanted to do it in our theatre in Mold because he used to come to North Wales for holidays as a child.We were very lucky to get tickets and it seems there were 200 people on a waiting list for cancellations.The Theatr holds 550 in the main theatre ,250 in the smaller theatre and a film theatre holding about 100.Sir Ian was playing in the large theatre.The first half was mainly about his life and how he got into acting.Lots of quotes and he was also funny.For most of the second half he got out books of all the plays that Shakespeare had written and challenged the audience to name them all which we did.As each one was selected he got the play and then told us if he had played in it and which part.Lots of speeches were performed and he was truly magnificent.It started at 7.30pm and ran until 10.15pm with a short interval.How at 80 years of age you do this night after night and remember all those speeches.Amazing.Sir Ian is not taking any fee from any theatre he does the show in.All money taken goes to that theatre.It is his way of paying back .A truly memorable evening.

This morning was our Art Appreciation Group.The talk was on George Bellows and the Ashcan school.He was American and lived from 1882 to 1925 and was noted for his expressive portraits and seascapes and some lovely paintings of New York.Painters in the Ashcan school included Robert Henri,George Luks,John Sloan etc.They were a group best known for works portraying scenes of daily life in New York often in the poorer areas in the early 20th Century.
I liked George Bellows paintings.I had never heard of him before today .Always good to see something new.
We could have gone to the theatre again tonight to Jazz night.We were offered some free tickets to hear the Tina May Quartet but we passed on it as we are there again on Friday and it is a busy week.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Why does Sunday come round so quickly?

Why does Sunday come round so quickly?Sunday morning we clean.One week I do upstairs and C does downstairs.The next week we change.You see different things that need doing.I hate cleaning and just have to convince myself that I am burning calories.
Sunday I always speak to my brother.We decided to do this many years ago because he never phoned me.Now we speak at lunchtime when he has come back from church.Today I got up feeling quite down.Yesterday Sarah's birthday was great.All I can put it down to is that I have a very busy week coming up and perhaps I am a bit daunted.A bit of cleaning sorted that out.
C decided he needed to mow the front lawn and I decided I needed to tackle a dead Kerria Japonica.It died last year and when I googled it the RHS said it is caused by a disease which affects only Kerria.We have a new battery powered hedge trimmer so I set to with this and did the job.I felt quite pleased with myself.We have the possibility of a new problem in the garden.We have squirrels but they have started building a drey in one of our trees.I really do not want a family of them.They bury conkers in pots and beds and the lawn and then dig them up.Googling squirrel deterrents got me nowhere.The only suggestion was chilli flakes.They don't like the smell.The man in the garden centre  also suggested this.I haven't got chilli flakes but a bottle of very strong chilli sauce which we have liberally spread round the trunk and on the fence.I bet you haven't got chilli sauce in your garden!!!
Tomorrow we go to the theatre to see Ian McKellen in his one man show for his 80th birthday.C went to the same school as him and has left some reviews of a school playIan M was in aged 15.
More tomorrow.Barbarax

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Today has been wild and windy.

Today has been really wet and windy.Tomorrow hail showers are forecast with a high of 6 degrees.I am really fed up with this weather.I am missing short walks and my weight is going up.In three weeks time I am having a medical check up which I am paying for.I had it done last year and didn't feel I was ripped off.My big problem is that I have put on 5 lbs from this time last year.You get all the results and then it is up to you if anything shows up whether to go to your GP.Too many of my friends have been to the doctor about something quite minor and then found themselves at the hospital only to discover it was nothing.
My weight isn't helped by eating out twice this week.We went to a local Chinese restaurant on Tuesday with a group of friends,eat as much as you like for £14.99.Then today it being Sarah's birthday we met up in Chester and went to Moules a GoGo.We had a set menu and that included dessert!!
Wales beat Ireland in the Six Nations rugby and won the Grand Slam.
Wrexham beat Maidstone in the football and I finished a 1,000 piece jigsaw while this was going on.
Hope you have had a good day.

Friday, 15 March 2019


For my first daily blog I picked a day when nothing was scheduled!Normaly on a Friday I meet a friend for tea and toasted tea cake but she couldn't make today.The weather here has been wet and windy for days so I suggested a trip to Marks and Spencer's at Cheshire Oaks.This is the largest of their stores outside of London so good for a bit of exercise.I went in thinking there would be lots of new Spring clothes in but it was just full of racks and racks of sale items.I really do think M&S have lost their way.I didn't buy anything but I am not really into clothes.What I have suits me fine.We had had an email so say there was a wine sale.All the spaces where they had been were empty.
Back from there we did the Tesco shop.C usually does this on his own while I am meeting my friend.
After lunch it cleared up a bit so into the garden we went.We spent two hours out there.We have three enormous trees in our garden,two with TPOs(tree protection orders) on them. Autumn is a nightmare but we are still raking leaves up and it is March.Where are they coming from?I shall probably be very stiff tomorrow.
I promise tomorrow will be more interesting. It is our daughter's birthday and we are meeting up in Chester.The forecast for tomorrow is dire- again.It is back to raining and blowing a gale here.
I have just poured myself a glass of rose ,my weekend treat, and I stall have a read of my book ready for Reading Group next week.It is Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri  and is a collection of short stories.
Back tomorrow.Barbarax

Thursday, 14 March 2019


I haven't blogged for a while.I struggle between only blogging if I have something to show or not doing it at all. Some people blog every day about their daily life.I am tempted by this but think would anyone be interested in my comings and goings.I love reading these blogs!
Anyway,by the by,I have just had a text from my daughter saying that Ruby,our youngest granddaughter,aged 11 has had an NSPCC person in school today.They had to say three places that made her happy.She said her kitchen,Grandma's (our house) and  Talacre Beach.I was so touched by this.It brought tears to my eyes.Bless her.
So,I may blog every day.
Watch this space.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

My finished blanket.....

My finished blanket minus the border.I have enjoyed doing Attic 24 s CAL.Never have I done a blanket so quickly.Back now to "using up my stash" blanket..

Thursday, 14 February 2019

A Grand Day Out.

 My first attempt just disappeared so here goes a second time.
We woke up to a lovely sunny day and a good forecast so with nothing else planned we set out for the coast(North Wales) .Our first stop was at Colwyn Bay (40 minutes from home).We walked one way and then the other.There was beautiful sunshine and everyone out there walking were all very smiley.
 We had a good walk and then headed on down the coast to Conway Marina for lunch in the Mulberry pub.
This is the view from the pub.There were some amazing boats in the marina.Who owns these I wonder.People with loads of money
lunch was Mussels and a glass of lager.
(It is now not letting me scroll to add comments.Grrr)

 In the pub.

We decided not to go back up the coast but via Snowdonia.We were hoping to see lots of snow on the tops but there was only a little bit.This is on the edge of Snowdonia.
We arrived home at 3pm thinking how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful and unspoiled area of the country.We are very lucky indeed.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

How many pairs of socks does a girl need?

I think I counted 13 pairs of socks here.All newly washed and ready to wear.As you can gather I love knitting stripy socks.There does not seem to be as much stripy yarn around as previously.Any suggestions of suppliers please?
Four more stripes ( there I go again) to do on my Sweet Pea blanket before new instructions tomorrow.Then when that is finished I am going to make a blanket for the homeless/refugees using up my stash.I bought six virtual cups of coffee the other night.You pay for the coffee and volunteers from Shareaid take them out to the homeless with a message from me.Another charity I support is Lend with Care.You loan money to get people going in businesses and then they pay you back in countries like Ecuador,Rwanda The Phillipines etc.No one has defaulted and when they pay me back I lend out the money again.Not big amounts,usually £15.
Back soon.Barbara

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Sweet Pea blanket.

It is growing and I am managing to keep up.
Has anyone crocheted the animals from Edward's Menagerie.All week I have been working on an alpaca/llama from the book for Ruby..I just cannot get the head / face right.

After posting my snowy pictures on Wednesday, my day went from bad to worse.We came back from our snowy walk and had lunch.About 1 pm my O H came into the room I was in to say he didn't feel well.He was dizzy,nauseous and clammy and said he was going to bed.I took his temperature which was fine.We have to be very careful as he has no spleen.He was sick a couple of times.I am thinking that if I have to rush him to A and E we have a quite long gravel drive with 5 inches of snow on it and the prospect of minus 5 over night.So, out I went and started shovelling.I managed to get two tracks clear,had a rest and went back and did more.I managed to get the car into the garage,a very tight fit and waited.Eventually about 7 pm he started to feel better and is fine again.Fancy being ill with 5 inches of snow!!!!Bad timing and a worrying few hours.I did manage to speed read my next Book Club book.The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.Not impressed.

We met up with Sarah,our daughter and Emily and Ruby today for a cup of coffee in John Lewis at home.I love that store.Beautiful but expensive things there.Our granddaughters are growing up so fast but are lovely girls.Very special to us.
Anyway,onwards and upwards .A new week and a busy day tomorrow.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

This morning.

This is what we woke up to this morning here in North Wales.We had a lovely walk into town.The snow was really crunchy.The forecast for tonight is for it to get down to minus 5.Going to be very tricky tomorrow!!!!

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Progress so far.

 This is how far I have got with the Sweet Pea blanket.Apologies the colours are not true but I am getting fed up with the green.Green was the colour of my school uniform so not my favourite colour.I think I have got about six rows to do to keep up with CAL.

I have been held up because I was doing a bit of scarf making.Chester Cathedral are having a knitting exhibition with various scenes from the Bible.I am not a church person but am interested in the knitted scenes.They are partnering with ShareAid which is a Chester/North Wales charity which helps the homeless and refugees.They are having what they are calling the River of Life which will be made of scarves,fish etc running from the Chapter House into the Cathedral.So I have knitted two scarves for the project and delivered them yesterday.The exhibition starts on Saturday and runs for about three weeks.More details on Chester Cathedral website.I got to know about it rom when my OH played his ukulele there in December.

Yesterday was a beautiful day with blue skies but cold.We had a walk in Ness Gardens and had them almost to ourselves.There were lots of snowdrops out and a couple of witch hazels.I do like witch hazels.

My OH bought me some freesias,yellow and orange.Lovely.I am waiting for the first daffodils to appear in the shops.

Today it is grey but we are going out to lunch just to a Brewers Fayre .Cheap and cheerful but it saves cooking.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Sweet Pea blanket.

 I am ready to start my Sweet Pea blanket designed by Lucy at Attic 24.I have put a sample of each shade on a lolly stick just in case I lose the ball band(as recommended by Lucy)
I have got a new phone so I hope this works and my photos are of a better quality.It is a Samsung Galaxy J6.Fingers crossed.
Anyone else doing the CAL?