Tag Archives: Wales

Bread on sticks, lunch on the Beacons and dinner on the beach – a few days away

The beginning of this month has been lovely – in spite of the heavy rain.

I have been on holiday and started this week, and a new month, with an evening spent with friends in the park cooking bread on sticks over our bucket BBQ’s and making ‘grass dolls’ as we didn’t have any corn, wheat or barley. This was to mark Lammas; another step closer to the end of the year. We chatted and cooked supper out and then played hide and seek in the dark – a treat in the longer days of the summer.

The view from the Brecon Beacons: August 2013

The view from the Brecon Beacons: August 2013

Then the next day I travelled up to Borth, stopping on the way to have lunch in the Brecon Beacons before carrying on to arrive in time for a paddle in the sea and a chance to lazy around watching the waves lap at the sand before back to a nearby camp site to cook dinner of pasta and cheese on a fire of drift wood.

Borth beach; August 2013

Borth beach; August 2013

Kite surfer; Borth beach August 2013

Kite surfer; Borth beach August 2013

Campsite BBQ; August 2013

Campsite BBQ; August 2013

A rainbow over the campsite after a sudden down pour; August 2013

A rainbow over the campsite after a sudden down pour; August 2013

The next day was spent at The Centre for Alternative Technology with time to call in on old neighbours before reaching home.

Giant sunflower on teh edge of one of the many organic vegetable beds; CAT August 2013

Giant sunflower on the edge of one of the many organic vegetable beds; CAT August 2013

Cord wood centre piece; CAT August 2012

Cord wood centre piece; CAT August 2012

Centre for Alternative Technology; August 2013

Centre for Alternative Technology; August 2013

A short catch up

Well, I have now finished my course and handed in my final essay and am just awaiting the results before I decide what to do next. Fingers crossed they will be good, I got 72% on my first one so am holding out hope that they will be. 

Whilst I’ve been busy with my course lots of little things have happened that I have wanted to blog about but not had time to, things like our TB tests went clear about six weeks ago which was a big relief after our last test. Chloe was disbudded at the same time and hardly even seemed to notice. 

I have been away twice last month, once to Rhys’s brothers wedding and then away for a weekend to mark my birthday. Both weekends were lovely but my birthday weekend especially, we camped near to a beach in South Wales and spent the whole of my birthday walking along the coast in glorious sunshine, with quite literally not a cloud in the sky, then cooked Mexican wraps on a BBQ. I got some lovely presents, almost all of them were off of my wish list so I am now the proud owner of a number of cloches, a head torch and a lovely wax jacket (which I still haven’t had any need to wear yet, but winter will be here all to soon I’m sure.) 

Last years leek bed with what was left - 3rd of May 2010


At the end of the day; weeded and planted with onion sets - 3rd May 2010

I spent the Bank holiday at the allotment which is going along slowly but getting there, I turned one of the beds from this (left) to this (right).

Other than the onions, garlic and carrots there is not much planted up there, other than the potatoes that still haven’t appeared but are still there as I dug down to find one to check they hadn’t rotted, but at home there are leeks, parsnips, red and green cabbages, red and green sprouts, broccoli, two types of squashes, sweetcorn, tomatoes, sweet peppers, french and runner beans.
The weather is looking good for Sunday so I’m planning on spending a couple of hours up there. I made some soft cheese out of the milk from the freezer the other evening and I’m hoping to make a cheesecake out of it over the weekend too.


I have been in Wales for the weekend with a group of children and young people from work. 

Bucket and spade - sometime over the weekend 23rd - 24th January 2010


It was a lovely weekend and we had a lot of fun. Now it is time to return to normal life and catch up on some sleep that I have missed…

Wales, back to work, then London

8725_1228356821481_1005885323_30702014_7145580_nI don’t feel like I’ve been at home for the last few weeks, and when I have been at home it’s been to sleep or do as much as I possibly can for the next time I’m out. 

The days of last week of my two weeks off slipped away very quickly after we got back from Brean, without anything much feeling like it happened.

On the Wednesday I went to a carboot in the ‘big city’ as part of my de-cluttering plan, and sadly came back with all but a few things that I took and a pitch fee lighter. Still I have tried it and I didn’t let the temptation of staying in bed get the better of me. I would so like to become an early morning person, I seem to enjoy the day so much more than if I let myself sleep in but bed seems such a nice place to be in the morning, especially now that the mornings are chillier. Then that evening me and Rhys went out for dinner as it was his birthday.

On Thursday I spent most of the day driving round trying to get home after a road being closed after an accident, I don’t know where I was meant to end up but I did ended up over the other side on Gloucestershire after making my way through lots of little lanes trying to find somewhere I knew or had heard of to head towards.

8725_1228355661452_1005885323_30701985_4598601_nOn the Friday we went to Wales for a night’s camping, we stay on a wonderful camp site in the middle of no where. The camping field was on a smallholding, Gwalia, where they produce most of their own fruit and vegetables, eggs, meat and milk. It is always nice to have a look around other peoples holdings to see what they are doing and pick up ideas. They have a lot more land than us, about nine and a half acres, some of which is put down to food production but there is also a lake that they have dug with a long list of wildlife that it attracts, including Otters, and on the edge there is a small turf roofed hut which they very kindly let us stay in as it was raining and getting late when we got there. Inside the hut is big enough for two single beds down either side of the room and then room in the middle for moving around and a chair. Outside it the roof has an over hang with a wooden step running the length of it, where me and Rhys step the night reading by fire and lamp light. On some more of the land, and around the lake partly, they have planted a mix wood land that includes willow which they harvest for winter feed for their goats. They also make their own haylege in barrels.

8725_1228356021461_1005885323_30701994_6251604_nApart from having a look round someone else smallholding and having a nice night camping, the trip to Wales was to visit the Centre for Alternative Technology, I hadn’t ever visited before. The day that we went on they were holding a food event which had some very interesting sounding talks, unfortunately none of the staff seemed to know where they were so I didn’t get to see any of them.

After Wales it was back home, and I decided to skip the local food festival in favour of spending the afternoon on the allotment. Even though it is very much the end of the growing season there are still lots of bits and piece that can be done. I am bring on some more ‘raab 60’ plants at home to transplant when they are a little bigger for an early harvest in the spring, I have some pea seeds that can be sown this month for an early crop next year, which I will do if I can ever find the packet again and of course it will soon be time for broad beans (yuck!) which I think I will try fresh and home grown ones but have never liked them.

On Monday it was back to work, and it is very disheartening how quickly it gets dark after I get home, then after my week at work I have travelled down to London to stay with family for a funeral.

And tomorrow it all starts again… Half way through October already!

Awaken your senses

This last week as been a very busy week, and very busy with things away from home.

At the start of the week I went on a work retreat, we stayed on a camp site not far from Swansea called Three Cliffs Bay, it was a beautiful camp site that look right out across the beach and sea. The weather wasn’t brilliant but we still spent most of our time on the beach with a fire, cooking meals or making tea, while we held our ‘meetings’ and planned.


Then for the rest of the week I have been working at a festival in Tewkesbury called Awaken Your Senses, we have been working on the Abby lawns making willow lanterns in the sunshine. On Saturday night we stayed until 8.30pm with the lanterns hung in the trees for people to come and see, and they did look magical hanging from the branches of a massive copper beech that stands in the ground.

I have enjoyed working at the festivals in Tewkesbury over the summer, but it is so far to travel. I know many people drive for an hour and often longer, to get to and from work but that amount of traveling time added onto the working day really wouldn’t work for this kind of life style. Still it is OK for the odd one off.