Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY 25/05/10

Outside my window... I heard my first cuckoo

I am thinking... about contemplation...and trying not to get distracted!

I am thankful for... Slimming World

I am learning that...I still have much to learn!

From the kitchen... I see someone else cooking dinner for me tonight!

I am wearing... my work uniform, black trousers and a cerise polo shirt

I am creating... a vegetable bed and a simple life!

I am going... to try and have a bath tonight

I am praying...for my friend's ex

I am reading... Life of the beloved Henri Nouwen and "There are no limits" Danny Cox, both borrowed from friends.

I am hoping... I get my 1/2 stone award tomorrow

I am remembering...
that I should be doing the ironing

Noticing that...
that bite my nails when I read...

I am hearing... "Freely freely, you have received, freely freely give"

Around the house... things need doing.....

One of my favorite things... laughing with friends!

Pondering these words...
"Any fool can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the apples in a seed" Ancient proverb

A few plans for the rest of the week: Restart my cleaning zones, lunch with a friend, read and study.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Dolly catching sight of herself in the mirror!

Loads of people from around the world are now filling out these pages once a week. Thought I'd have a go!

Have a look at the link below:

A poem and a ponder

A New Perspective

The little cares that fretted me, I lost them yesterday

Among the fields above the sea,

Among the winds at play,

Among the lowing of the herds,

The rustling of the trees.

Among the singing of the birds,

The humming of the bees.

The foolish fears of what may happen,

I cast them all away

Among the clover-scented grass,

Among the husking of the corn

Where drowsy poppies nod,

Where ill thoughts die and good are born,

Out in the fields with God.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

"For Christians, the beginning of the day should not be burdened and haunted by various kinds of concerns that they face during the day. The Lord stands above the new day, for God has made it. All restlessness, all impurity, all worry and anxiety flee before him. Therefore, in the early morning hours of the day, may our many thoughts and our many idle words be silent and may the first word and the first thought belong to the one to whom our whole life belongs "

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Day 10 Homeward Bound!

As the first person up this morning it appears I got the hot shower...P is upstairs in distress as hers is cold...bad enough not being a morning person and needing a shot of caffeine before any sense comes out of her mouth (S don't say a word....) I am waiting for her to descend the stairs with her feathers ruffled...

The Old Mill, now a Youth Hostel

It appears that we are sharing the accomodation which the fit brigade. I have never seen such calf and thigh muscles...and that's the women...It appears we have cyclists and runners in our midst. They are discussing 50K runs...for goodness sake......needing night navigation to complete......(horror!) Little by little they are leaving....with all their lycra....I am sitting here pretending I'm not listening...but secretly fascinated by this alternate world.....but not intrigued enough to attempt anything like it, I'll just admire the landscapes and feel pleased that I coped with the ups and downs on Cape Clear!

Breakfast in the garden, with a lovely view of the hills!

We did a gentle amble around the village, first the castle, now in ruins.

Then down into the village to find a coffee shop and potter around a couple of shops that were open. From here we found a pub that did Sunday roasts...and had free WiFi which is why you have two postings in one day!

So here endeth the blog, well done to all of you who read it through to the bitter end!!!!

Day 9 What's occuring? I'm not gonna lie to you

On the ferry at Rosslare....

So we enter Wales and the sun shines on us.On arriving at a small called Cenarth we spot a Barbie Pink coffee shop and pull in for what actually turns out to be lunch and coffee.....

with handbags for sale...What can I say, for those of you who know P and her ever increasing handbag could we have known? She opened them, closed them, studied straps and handles, brought one to the table, hoping S would be acquiescent....nothing...

We noticed Leek and Potato soup on the menu...well, when in Wales..yep we asked for the Leek...Ah no, apparently it wasn't on today's menu.....vegetable be okay? Vegetable it was. Others of us ordered different things and we sat down. All went well until the ice cream...which flavour? Various ones were ordered, ah, not on the menu today, what about this flavour, ah was beginning to sound like the Monty Python cheese shop sketch....Fortunately, all was done with great humour and we didn't have to resort to the final few sentences where John Cleese brings the scene to its unfortunate climax! You'll have to view it on YouTube.....

Now if any where gets "the most girly toilet award" this place certainly did! I just HAD to capture it on film. See what you think!

It is a pretty little town with the river Teife running through and many little waterfalls and rocks to leap over which some of us did and some of us (me) watched. D gave me a nature lesson on trees (not feeling them Lynn!) just identifying them...again I can't believe how ignorant I am in this area... After S had tormented P a little by attempting to sail her shoes whilst she leaped from rock to road...okay stepped..and after D had photographed the ducks many times and filmed the flowing water, we continued on our way oblivious to our destination.

At some point I asked whether we ought to get some milk and coffee for breakfast and then things started to unravel and the adventure took a new turn. D and I returned with provisions and D closed his passenger door or tried to......the lock wouldn't engage and the door wouldn't close.... S gets out handy Swiss Army knife, attempts to remove panel from joy. After a while D asks whether calling the RAC out might be a possiblity, it is generally agreed, may be wise as there is a limit to how long one can drive whilst someone holds the door closed....and we are still a long way from home. D calls the RAC and we are told it could be up to 2 hours, so P goes off to sketch and I get my Netbook out to write up the blog on WordPad. I need to top up my dongle and I only have an hour left of battery. So here I sit in a town called Tregoran watching the bored youth smoking on corners or lingering outside the pub....We are trying to decide whether to go for the chippie and I am sort of wishing I never mentioned coffee and milk! S is being very matter of fact, I guess it could have happened anywhere and by the sound of it where we are heading is remote....noone is going to be allowed to open that door from now on!

Waiting for the RAC

(written the following morning)

RAC man arrived after 1 3/4 hours, sprayed WD40 into the hole, gave it a thump and bingo, all done in 30 seconds! "I've just driven 70 miles to do that!" he said gruffly. The thing was that was exactly what S had intended but as WD40 was not something he had thought to pack (why would you?) and everything was closed except a Spar, we were on to a loser!

We continued our journey over the Cambrian Hills and saw more sheep and lambs that skipped and ran everywhere, what a huge playground they have! We passed through Builth Wells and not for the first time that day I thought about D and R who will have spent the day there today, I know they will have loved it and the weather will have been perfect! We will have to wait until next year!

S makes a call to the Youth Hostel to check when they closed as we were running late due to the door incident! All is well, but we are all hungry, so a quick petrol refill which conveniently has a co op attached where D and I grab a selection of ready made salads and sausage rolls and we're off again! We arrive at Clun a small village with a Youth hostel that was once a Mill! When I got at of the car D says "Look up" and there above me was the Plough in all its glory, just don't ask me where the North Star was, apparently, I misled you all with my previous description.... It was about 11.30 when we turn out the light. We'll have to see the view when we wake up!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Day 8 "So long!.... and thanks for all the fish!"

The harbour with the ruins of St Ciaran's church

Today, we leave Cape Clear....such a perfect island for sketching P will tell you. It is a most inspiring place and we had enjoyed every minute...even the slight rainy interval, why, because the mist descending added another dimension to the atmosphere and a litle bit of wind and rain on your face can be exhilirating . Now Richard, "I am not the warden" I owe you an apology on two counts, one linked to the above! As our Host, I want to thank you again for the fishing lesson and for removal the said Pollack from my rod...not sure if I could have grabbed the thrashing tail!

The second apology relates, as I'm sure you can guess, to the school photo.....of your father...after whom you were named, you are not "just wearing extremely well" as I had supposed!!!! I just about believe the "eye" story...yes, really I!!!

Having the place to ourselves was more than we could have hoped, added Wifi was a huge unexpected bonus and allowed me to keep up with this! Thank you for making our stay the best it could have been....Five Star? Absolutely!

So now we sail away and wave goodbye to the Capers as we are blown off the Island. It has certainly given us a taste for remote Islands and Ireland has its fair it has....


Just as we entered Waterford, I saw a sight I had never witnessed..this huge lift bridge. Now bridges don't usually do it for me, but this one was something else!!!! I couldn't believe my eyes!

We have spent the afternoon in Waterford and managed to avoid buying any crystal! However the same cannot be said for the aquisition of books....

We found a delightful book shop which has tables and chairs placed around the shop so that anyone can sit and read to their hearts content without fear of comment. There are about 5 floors, one of which sells coffee....We spent at least an hour in there, in my case browsing Irish history (the horrific famine accounts and the mass emmigrations to the USA and Australia need further study) Crafts, Home Improvements and Natural History. I found a book that would have answered all my birds, flora and fauna, sea shore and many other questions....maybe next time....and it is handbag sized! However, when we DID emerge it was with items purchased by the Ps in the form of a computer book, gardening and drawing books, plus some pastels for more sketching experiments...not eye shadows as S would surmise.....

S trying to find P and remove her from said shop, with a promise of a coffee...

The remaining time was spent wandering around gaining a small taste of Waterford history, some vey tragic as in the case of two ships bringing produce sailing two days apart, in 1917, which were both torpedoed by the same U boat on their way to Waterford...many lives lost and the town grieved bitterly....The list of names are recorded from SS Formby and SS Conaburg (or something similar)

The Clock Tower

The river Suir at Waterford

The guy on the horse was also a big name. Having been transported to Tasmania( for political unrest reasons, I believe) he escaped to America and was involved in leading an Irish regiment during the Civil War, quite a reputation and good at heroic speeches! He also had a say in what later became the Irish flag. The orange representing the Unionists, the green, the Nationalists and the white separating the two as a truce.

This church has the most impressive Waterford crystal chandelier.

Now as we were driving towards Rosslare, did I spot a Pinemartin or was it a fox? P saw it too...I think the former and justing by the description on could have been....I've seen a fair few foxes now :( and if I was a betting woman, I'd say it was a pinemartin, one of Ireland's elusive mammals, but found in this area....we'll never know for sure.....but with my experience of "firsts" this week...!

Having eaten (and had the promised coffee) at the Horse and Hound (memories of Notting Hill and Hugh Grant!) we journeyed on to the our final destination of the day, a hotel five minutes from the ferry port, since we were to embark at 8am ready for the 9am crossing to Fishguard.

The hotel, found with ease, D had chosen well, we said our goodnights and headed up to bed. On opening the door to our room we were greeted by what I can only describe as the same feeling you get when you step of a plane in the Middle East....a blast of heat....radiators going full pelt! D was despatched to turn the thermastats right down and I opened both windows to their widest!
The tea and coffee in the room will be a welcome start to the day tomorrow!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Day 7 Pigs, goats and frets

Our final full day here, we're pleased we opted for an extra day when we arrived, I think we will all have felt cheated if we'd just stayed the 2 nights....brilliant idea of Stuarts, to give us the option on arrival.

This morning, the gauntlet was thrown down and the H's were challenged by the P's to a game of Ping Pong. The challenge was taken up and......the H's thrashed them, not once but twice!
Just to rub it in:

P has disputed one point accusing D of a scoring error, which he has denied...this means war!!
We were supposed to be having another match Girls v Boys which S suggested...however we are all to exhausted tonight, having walked up and down hills which have put my calf muscles to the test! As we have a 9am ferry to catch tomorrow (weather permitting, we could be marooned!), I think they will have to "deal with it" and pronounce us the a long shot....:)

Yesterday we had seen a "kennel-like" building, with movement within (!) but it wasn't until we walked passed today that our theories were proved correct! Two piglets with their own enclosure looking very pleased with themselves!

Just to complete the picture , happy cows! Apparently no one keeps sheep on the Island because of problems keeping the lambs away from Ravens....who peck their eyes out and kill them..... It would mean keeping them indoors until they were big enough to no sheep and apparently no bee keepers either. I wonder what honey from gorse would taste like?

We all wanted to see the Island goats being milked. This involved a 1:2 hill, first gear only...or in my case little by little! I tried to amuse myself by singing "High on a hill lives a lonely goatherd", but didn't have the puff to yodel and walk uphill and anyway S was looking exasperated! My work colleagues will understand his reaction..they have a song-free week....there are certain people, Matt, who will be enjoying this experience! The milking is done between 10-12 and due to the competitive edge of the table tennis game, we lost track of time (but NOT score) and found ourselves in the milking parlour just to see a few squirts as udders were pulled. All goats standing in line....I must try this one day!

The guy who owns them and has kept goats here since 1972, arrived and was more than happy to take us down to see his other goats whilst two other workers finshed the job in hand! What followed next was a fascinating insight into goat keeping and temperaments, I could go on but suffice to say, we stroked a lot of goats and listened to a very interesting man who manages to keep 14 goats whilst being totally blind... He knows all the goats by feel and has names for all of them...except the males which you don't name as they go for meat...unless needed for breeding... As you can see they were a friendly bunch, nuzzling up and at one point wanting to take a few chunks out of my coat. We bought some goat's cottage cheese with garlic and some goat's strawberry ice cream and continued on our way.....up hill down dale following D the map reader, to the next port of call The Rock Pools.......

I was just at the point of doubting my husband's map reading, when we turned a corner and before us was a hidden bay and a welcoming sight...a seal in the water who stared at us for quite some time between diving for fish.

P did some sketching , D looked in rock pools, S had his binoculars out and I just looked and imagined smugglers coves etc. After a while I ambled back slowly as I knew the others would catch me up at some point. Then the rain came....It was more as P called it "sea fret" which is apparently what they say in Whitby. D thought it sounded more like something you would find on a guitar....

Thankfully most of the return trip was downhill, but by now my legs were feeling a little like jelly and the rain had seeped in through my trousers. I couldn't see a thing through my glasses, but I was happy as were the others! P had wet socks, neither of the boys had bought spare trousers... We made our way into the harbour cafe, a repeat of the previous day except it was an hour later at 3pm and the ferry had just arrived with a few daytrippers who couldn't see a thing as the mist had come down. For lunch I had the most unusual combination of smoked mackeral, salmon and salad leaves interspersed with melon, apple,orange,pear and banana all chopped and sliced. It was delicious, I meant to take a photo, but forgot...It is definitely going to be one to create at home....but I will choose who to give it to!!

P had a bit of banter going with the owner as they had no bread and butter pudding on offer and she had already sampled the apple pie...She had to make do with the latter for the second time, but had her own this time...apparently she isn't very good at sharing. However it seems that that her sketches could be in demand, so she may have a commission or two! It was awellspent two hours and I was thinking hot fire and cup of tea thoughts...but no...there were more plans afoot and I was outnumbered!

A short walk to the loch was short, say I? I agree as I know I'll probably regret it if I don't and they'll all come back euphoric and I will have missed I was short and it was a road we hadn't walked (believe me we've done most of them!) and we saw a few ducks and birds I didn't recognise....I really must make it a priority next time...although to be fair, we haven't really seen any close enough to be able to identify any, they just look so different that I know I'm missing some interesting ones!

We amble back and S gives me a" Beginners guide to Tides" lesson, I can't believe how ignorant I am! Soon back and kettle is on!

Okay, since I started writing this blog I have been dragged, stiff and achey to a return table tennis match. As expected, it is Boys v Girls....I am pleased to report the Girls won the first game

21- 16 we think, the boys have conveniently forgotten the score.

the second game they won

21-20...see how close it was!

P was up for another game...the woman is competitive, but S called it "an honourable draw" and the bats were laid down. P said it was only because they were hungry....

We have been able to get newspapers and have read bits and pieces of what is going on in England, it all seems a little remote from here.

So tomorrow we leave for Waterford where we will explore before spending the night at Rosslare in a hotel near the ferry terminal. D found it online last night and booked it. S gave us the challege of finding cheap accomodation. The sailing to Fishguard is at 9am on Saturday, where we will enter Wales and will have travelled through England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Irish Republic and Wales all in 10 days! Of course we don't know what awaits us in Wales...

So hopefully a Waterford blog will follow soon! You are all so brilliant keeping up with all this rambling....or maybe I am talking to myself!


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