Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Signing off for a bit ...

We are off for a bit of a break
and take the opportunity
to wish all my lovely followers
and everyone else
a Very Merry Christmas
and a Happy, Peaceful and Healthy New Year
Ann and Other Half x

Sunday, 2 December 2012

A bit of an adventure ...

Well, after that traumatic journey to Cornwall
it was such a pleasure to give my grandchildren their quilts.
They loved them and snuggled up immediately,
and then took them off to bed instead of their usual duvets!

There was some very rough weather in St Ives when we visited.

Even the cormorant was having trouble.
Portreath Harbour struggling with the incoming tide.
The chance to watch my grandaughter's ballet class
when they gave a special show for visiting parents and grandparents.
Very special, as living so far away, this is something I am
not usually a part of.
On returning to their home, grandson then arranged his
own performance on the keyboard, so that he could get some applause too.
A wonderful grannie time.

All too soon on the move again and leaving Cornwall over Brunel's famous bridge!
Still a lot of disruption because of all the flooding in the Somerset area.
But I did get home in one 10 hour trip! 
Other Half was there to welcome me with a loving smile
but I couldn't get to him past the barrier!!
Of course, my ticket was to Carmarthen and I had only got as far as Swansea!
But they let me out!
My experience was only minor compared to all those who have suffered
the awfulness of flooding of their homes.
I was reading of a 90 year old lady whose home was flooded for the
second time this year.  Her rescuers were in shoulder high
water getting her out of her home and she fears she will never return.
I cannot imagine how devastating that must be.
Ann x

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Caught in the Chaos - My Story

DAY 1 - Wednesday

Going to Cornwall for a week to visit friends and family.

OH took me from Pembrokeshire to Carmarthen station to catch my local train to Swansea.  We had a red light stop after 20 mins while another train went by.  Carried on then another stop and silence.  Then told we were returning to Carmarthen because of flooding and a bus would take us to Swansea.  It was all downhill from there!

Minibus to Swansea.  Of course we had all missed our connections.  Fresh itinerary printed out.  I should have changed trains at Bristol Parkway but we all had to continue through to Bristol Temple Meads!  Once there we were told we might be able get a coach to Taunton and then may be another coach to Exeter.  All this was caused by the severe flooding in Somerset, mainly between Taunton and Exeter and the crowds were massive outside the station waiting for the coaches.  Much worse when I was there than was shown on TV in the evening.

By this time it was 3.30 pm.  I had been travelling for 6 hours and was just getting that feeling of falling apart!  Son rang to see how I was getting and suggested phoning J & B (lifelong friends living in Bristol) - which I did and they took me in for the night!

DAY 2 - Thursday

B took me to the station.  I had checked there might be 3 out of the 20 or so trains still running down to Penzance but on arrival there was nothing but a train to Taunton.  I noticed TV cameras filming the chaos again; but it wasn't.  It was the Queen, doing part of her Jubilee Tour.  A couple of us thought she might make room for some of us on her huge train, but there was no offer!!

On the train to Taunton.  At last I am getting somewhere!  At Taunton station they had us very organised - with fleets of coaches down to Exeter.  This fleet had obviously been running all morning and there was a continuous cycle of coaches between Taunton and Exeter down the M5.  Ghastly weather, massive flooding of fields.  No sheep or cattle - just swans and ducks.  I even saw some flamingoes. (honestly!).

Got to Exeter.  Bit of a wait on a freezing platform for the train to Penzance.

Finally on my last train, which was itself held up by flooding on the rails and lots of slow travel.

Got to Penzance to see the welcoming face of my son who took me to my sister's where I was staying.

"Where have you been?" she said.

"You're 24 hours late!"
Hope your weather disruption hasn't been too bad.
Ann x

Saturday, 17 November 2012

My Second Quilt ...

Here is my second quilt - this one is for my youngest grandson.
He loves the sea and has already had a go at surfing -
so I hope he likes the blues in this (difficult to photograph the colours) quilt
and I am certain he will like the dugongs or manatees
(just checked on line and am still not sure which is which).
Plan to visit the grandchildren shortly and am looking forward
to passing over the quilts to them. I hope they like them.
This quilting business is so addictive.
I have the makings already for
three bags (for my 3 sisters)
one small quilt (daughter)
one wall hanging (no. 1 son)
one wall hanging (no. 2 son)
one sampler quilt (just for ourselves)
I love looking at the work all you other blogging quilters do
I do follow several of you
Some of your work is amazing and so intricate,
especially when you do the lovely hexagons and piecing.
That is something else that I am starting to have a go at too!!
Hey Ho!  Not enough hours in the day and I am loving it.
Ann x

Monday, 15 October 2012

Finished at last .....

In June I went to a quilt exhibition and was almost immediately hooked.
In July I bought the necessary accessories and some materials.
I was shown how to put it together and made up some machine quilting designs.
Picked out my backing and am so pleased that my quilting patterns show up well.
Ta Da .....
Completely finished today!  (For my grand daughter, but please don't tell her!)
Yellow Brick Road pattern.
My very first quilt - at 74 years young, I just wish I had started years ago!
My second quilt doesn't have too much longer to go either.
Chuffed to bits - Ann x

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Big skies, big beach, big colours at Freshwater West today ...


Pembrokeshire at its best.
What a wonderful, sunny, gorgeous day.
The only place to go was Freshwater West.
An absolutely fabulous, huge, wonderful beach; especially when the tide is out.
The sky was amazing, the beach was amazing.
I wish I knew more about geology.
The rock formations and colours are wonderful.
The different types of rocks, are so interesting.
We had a great walk in a wonderful place.
Hope you had a super Saturday too.
Ann x

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Last pickings .....

Actually, we do still have some apples, carrots, beetroot and rhubarb left,
but this is the sum total of today's pickings.
These Laxton Superb apples are delicious for cooking or eating.
We have the James Grieve left to pick. Not ready yet.
I couldn't even shake them off the tree!
We had some of these autumn raspberries with yoghurt this evening,
but the rest are destined for a raspberry cheesecake I'm pleased to say!
There still seem to be loads left for picking next week.
They just go on for ever.
These really are the last of the runner beans. Other Half pulled down
the trellis and these were all that were left.
Not many this year, mainly because of the weather.  Here's hoping to better next season.
I was very pleased with my sunflowers, never having grown them before.
They grew to about 10ft tall - very minute after seeing photos of the chap with his 26ft plants!
However, I had left them to go to seed and the birds have already been
delving in to them as there were great spaces where they had already got some of the seeds out.
The rest of the heads have been put in bags in the garden shed to dry out,
 so the birds can have them later in the year.
The evenings are drawing in, the light is softer, the curtains drawn earlier.
A time of fruitfulness.
Living here in West Wales, all our thoughts this week have been with the family of beautiful little April Jones.  We have visited Machynlleth several times and are not surprised
at the outpouring of love and help that the community has given to the family and friends.
We add our love and support too.
Ann x

Friday, 21 September 2012

Oh Dear .....

Sorry, not a pretty sight, but it does get better.

The rain-soaked summer played havoc with all my lovely tomato plants.
Those I had lovingly nurtured from seed.
Especially my Tigerella plants!

There were a few tomatoes that looked OK
But these were all I managed to save (note one lonely Tigerella!)
I hope they will ripen eventually.
My friend made me green with envy today when she told me that all the plants
I had given to her were producing the most lovely fruit and the Tigerellas
especially were delicious!  GRRH! 
She is going to leave us some on the doorstep next time she passes!

 Luckily the apples are magnificent and we should have loads and loads.
The ones we have eaten so far are delicious.  James Grieves and Laxton's Superb.
 We did lose quite a few runner bean plants, but those that are left are doing their best!

Quite a few late flowering roses to try and cheer us up!
Hoping for an Indian Summer.
Ann x

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Milford Haven

The plus side of visiting our dentist is that the practice is in Milford Haven.
I don't have to return for another six months and OH has to go in a fortnight for an x-ray.

As the weather was glorious, what better than a stroll to look at the
magnificent waterway of the Milford Haven estuary and some of the enormous
tankers waiting to be filled at the refineries
Then a leisurely walk alongside the Marina, with all the expensive-looking
yachts (I'm sure some of them only ever get moored, so that we can look at them
but don't go out to sea in case they get wet!!).
The leisurely walk includes checking out all the little shops alongside the
Marina promenade. Quite a few folk about in the autumn sunshine.
Lots of masts, with their ropes 'singing' in the sea breeze. I love that sound.
Finished off sitting in the sunshine with tea and cakes by the waterside.
Hope you have had a lovely day too.
Ann x

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Ironman Wales 2012

We have been out watching the cycling part of Ironman Wales today. 

Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles cycling and after that a 26.2 marathon!

The start was at 7.00 am in Tenby when over 1600 contestants went in for the swim at Castle Beach.
After that they began their cycle which involved two laps coming through Wiseman's Bridge, where we went to watch and cheer them on.  Plenty of folk about clapping, cheering, ringing bells and clappers.  The St John Ambulance were on hand for medical support and were pretty busy.  We saw some riders go by with grazes on their faces and plasters on their arms, fairly soon after one  ambulance had raced by with its 'blues and twos' going.

How they can then go on to do a marathon as well defeats me.  But the first man home was Frenchman Sylvain Rota in a time of 8hrs 52mins 43secs round about 3.30 pm.  The last contestants will still be arriving at midnight!  Incidentally, there are male and female entrants and one of our local doctors has entered.  We shall be looking out for her. 

If you want to check it out Ironman Wales will have all the final results here.  Also 'Ironman Wales' and 'Love Pembrokeshire' have lots of photos on their Facebook page and will probably show the first female home when she arrives (not up yet as I am posting this). 

A good trip out, as our viewpoint was at the pub!  So sustenance was available.
Ann x

(First female home : Regula Rohrbach of Switzerland in a time of 9hrs 45mins 09secs)
Fantastic! All of them - right down to the last one in. 
What amazing athletic prowess we have seen in recent weeks.
I love it!