Category: Photos

Little Me / Big Me

I keep seeing posts that people have made on social media of them when they were little and now they are big. I decided to join the trend as I thought it was a bit of fun, especially since I have changed a hell of a lot over the 44 years between photos. I thought I’d share with you all to, me at 6 years old v me now at 50.

Little Knitter
Big Knitter

Anniversary

Today M and I have been married for 12 years (together 21 years this year), so to celebrate, we went for a nice walk and bought lots of lovely snacks and treats. Due to the way the world is at the moment we did not want to go to a restaurant or pub for a meal. We were not too sure where to go as we tend to drive for hours to go somewhere different, but again due to COVID there are so many places in Yorkshire and Lancashire that are said to be hotspots, so that was out too, and I love to walk on the moors in the footsteps of the Brontes as it is rugged and wild.

We finally set on Lydiate where I grew up and walked along the old railway lines from where Lydiate station used to be back in Victorian Times. (1884 to 1952) and headed south along the lines, then on to the canal bank back to the car. All told we walked 6km. The dogs loved it and are currently sleeping. Mazikeen must have run (as she does not walk anywhere) about 20km, back and forth.

I took a few photos along the way which are below, including some yarn bombing along the way.

Falled Tree
Farm Bridge – Heys Farm
Maghull Brook
Field drains
Pilon
Yarn Bombing on the canal bench
Red squirrel
Hedgehog
Ladybird/Ladybug
Blue Tit

A Drive Out

M and I decided to go out for the day since the weather was going to be good. Originally we were going to go to Hebden Bridge, but after seeing the forecast of rain, we drove south-west and over the border into Wales. We first went to Betws-y-coed and had a short walk there before driving through Snowdonia National Park through the mountains and then on to Bala Lake. There is a cafe on the lake where we had coffee and bara brith, and I chatted to an old guy called Dave, who was doing the rounds chatting to everyone there, he was nice, although a little potty and latched on to us after he asked if we were local, and I told him that my family come from Rhuthun. I let the dogs go for a paddle in the lake which is always a big thing for Mazikeen as she heads for ay body of water to swim in.

After that, we headed for the Great Orme where St Tudno’s church is. Saint Tudno is said to have been one of the seven sons of King Seithenyn, whose legendary kingdom Cantref y Gwaelod in Cardigan Bay was submerged by tidal activity. According to the theory, Tudno studied at St. Dunawd’s college in the monastery of Bangor Iscoed, in order to make recompense for the drunken incompetence of his father, which had led to the loss of the kingdom under the waves.

Seeking a place to live out the religious life, Tudno went to the great ancient limestone outcrop of the Great Orme (Cyngreawdr), jutting from the Creuddyn Peninsula, to bring the message of Christianity to its people. He lived initially as a hermit in a small coastal cave with difficult access known as Ogof Llech, which provided protection from the elements, and a source of fresh water from a spring well Fynnon Llech. From this base, he constructed a church. Nothing remains of this 6th-century church building, although the present 12th-century church, dedicated to St Tudno, stands on the same site, and has a continuous history.

It was a lovely day out covering over 250 miles (I love to drive about), nice vistas, food and people.

St Tudno’s Church Outdoor Alta
Inside the 12th Century Church – Church closed when we were there, this image is care of http://www.greatorme.org.uk/
Dolfechan, the Curates glebe farm house within the grounds of St Tudno’s
One of the oddest gravestones we have come across
Where the tree lies is a lady sleeping on the grave
The sleeping lady
Me watching the girls paddle in Bala Lake
M and me with a backdrop of the Irish sea beyond the cliff face

Topaz Blue Bear – Jack

Thought I would share some photos of Jack M’s dad’s dog. He is gorgeous, but I feel, starved of affection. He was great company for M whilst he was there. We will miss him loads, and were quite tempted to sneak him back with us, our girls would have loved him. His KC name is Topaz Blue Bear, in case you were wondering, and Jack is his pet name. Although we would have either called him Badger or Bear.

Jack
M & Jack
Me & Jack

Prague

Back in February M and I went to Prague for a few nights. I have meant to post about it, but every time I went to I got distracted. Anyway, it was a present from a friend for my 50th Birthday. Part of me didn’t want to go as I just didn’t want to leave the dogs in the kennels. Not that there is any problem with the kennels as Barbara and Peter are really nice and good with the dogs, but Mazikeen can be a funny bugger when it comes to eating, and we tend to have to coax her into eating. Harper, on the other hand, will hoover any food about without a thought, as most dogs do.

Our flight out was at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic and flights were starting to be grounded. As we watched the departure boards more and more flights were grounded, Paris, Madrid, Milan, Hamburg, Brussels, Malaga, Lisbon, and on and on it went. More and more people looked disappointed and one by one left the terminal bar. In the end, our flight along with Amsterdam and a couple of other places were the only 4 left. Not that that was easy, as we were delayed for an hour and a half. As we had transport booked from the airport to our hotel I had to call them in Prague to explain what was going on. Once we boarded the captain said that he would try his best to make up for the lost time in the flight which he did, and we arrived only 45 minutes after the original landing time. However, once we retrieved our bags the taxi company called me to berate me for being late. WTF! I shouted back at him telling that I had called to say that the flights were delayed and his company said that they knew about it and would track the flights and it was not a problem. What an arse hole he was. We were introduced to our driver and whisked to the hotel which was another 40 minutes, and at no point did he talk apart from asking if we minded if he put music on. We didn’t mind and was completely amused at his choice. It was like a mixture of Klesma, rap and folk, quite a different sound. It must be what the youngsters there are listening to. But I am glad it was not all the factory-made crap that the western music industry spews out day in day out.

We stayed at the Grandior which was fabulous. Our room was enormous and I could have fit all three of our double bedrooms into it. There was a beer spar and a casino, but as I do not gamble the casino was of no interest, however, the beer spa was, but as we were only there for a few days I wanted to explore the sights and go out for nice meals than sit in a bath and drink beer, although Czech beer is really nice, then again so it Czech red wine.

We visited many places including the castle, Jewish quarter which included a lot of synagogues, and wandered about taking it all in. The hotel was a short walk from the old town square which depending which way we went took us through some really nice streets with old trams running through them.

We went to a lovely restaurant, Beefhouse Grill & Bar for my “birthday meal”. It was fantastic. I had for starter beefhouse tartare and my main was a 400g Veal T-bone steak with fries, grilled vegetables and champignons. Needless to say, it was quite a lot to eat and I was busting at the seams. We did not have dessert as I could not fit it in, especially after two huge beers.

Prague is a beautiful place, and I will definitely go back there. The weather was mostly nice. However on our first day it went from sunny to cold and rain, driving rain, violent winds and rain, then the sun was out and it was tee shirt weather again. The evenings were cool but not cold which was not their usual weather at the beginning of February, usually down to minus 6 and snow. We did have a little snow the night we left and the aircraft had to be defrosted as the wings were all frozen up, and at this point it was minus 2.

All in all, it was a lovely place to visit, the people were really nice, and the food and drink was excellent. The culture was all around and in all honesty I could have been there for a few weeks exploring the city, and I would have definitely done the beer spa.

Here are a few photos from the trip.

Short-lived…

I have mentioned in the past that I have several aquariums, and with that, lots of fish. On Saturday I bought two Tiger Hillstream Loaches. However, on Sunday, both were dead, no reason for this as my water was perfect, all filters were working, the water was fully oxygenated, and there are no diseases present, so I was at a loss. I have fish in the same tank that needs perfect conditions. These fish, however, are quite tough and only need a flowing tank, mine is medium flowing, so that should not be a problem. I took them back to the aquatics shop and they were at a loss as they tested my water and said that it was fine too. They gave me a credit to use for the cost of the fish as I did not want to get another two and the same happen. I may get some at a later date, but for now, I will give it a miss. If I do get some later, I could always set up another small tank for just them to thrive.

6 weeks later…

I keep meaning to do a post, and then something comes up, and later I realise that I didn’t do my post, and think I will do it now, but manage somehow to get myself sidetracked and BOOM! Forgot to post again. I do not know what is going on with me. So, forgive me for my tardiness!

Fish…

Since last we “spoke” as it were, I finally got rid of my large tank in the lounge. Part of me was glad to get rid of it, and part of me was sad to see it go. The fish love their new smaller home and my Cameroon shrimp seems happy too. Although it was a great tank it took up quite a lot of room, being so massive. We have a unit that we moved into one of the halls when we got the tank, so that is now back in the lounge. My thoughts for getting rid of the tank was to move the smaller tank onto the said unit and get another small tank and finally do a nano reef tank. However, the cost of doing a reef tank is high. I have found a nano tank I like which is £150, but then I need a skimmer and a heater so that’s another £90. Add sand, live rock and all the other bits I need to get it started and I am close to £500 without even adding fish or coral. So, before I take the plunge I have downloaded and printed a book on the subject and intend to read it in full before I decided on what to do. Having spoken to a few people the jury really is out. Some say it is easier than tropical, some say get a large tank as a nano can have problems being small, and others rave on about nano tanks, so there is no real help chatting to others LOL.

I bought an external 12-litre canister filter for my other large tank which works like a treat, but today I added on an extra 2-litre filter canister to that. In essence, water is drawn out of the tank to the small sub canister then passed into the large canister and finally put back into the other end of the tank. I did manage to make a bit of a watery mess as I had not fastened one of the inlet pipes properly oops! I had lost a few fish over the last few weeks, so thought the canister filter would help sort the water quality out. It has UV inside so sterilises the water as it filters. The lighting I have on the tank also decided to die, only 6 weeks after it being exchanged after the first one died after 4 months. Thankfully the aquatic centre where I get most of my equipment and livestock were very understanding and spoke to Fluval who admitted there was a problem that they have now sorted out and to exchange it for me.

Dogs…

Harper with her Birthday monkey

It was Harpers 5th Birthday on Sunday. As always we took them to McDonald’s for hamburgers, then to the pet store so Harper could pick a toy, which this year was a rather large monkey, and two packs of balls. Needless to say, they both had a great time.

Knitting…

Thought about it, even mentally made a pattern for a hat for winter, but that was it, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?

Books…

I was reading The Massacre of Mankind which is a sequel to War of the Worlds and in the end, I gave up as it was so slow and the author was trying to write in the style of H. G. Wells but failed page after page. As most of my readers will know I love classical literature, so have no problem with ancient writing and old English, but this bad, if he had written it in current English it would have been a good read.

Outings…

I went to a joint Christening and Communion party a few weeks ago, got very drunk and had a ball.

Last week we went to Delamere Forest again, which for some reason driving there we managed to take all the wrong turns. I came off the motorway/highway onto the expressway in order to go over the Mersey Gateway Bridge, which when you get to the end of the expressway is straight over the roundabout, however, when you follow this, you end up in an industrial estate and nowhere near the bridge. It would seem the directions for the bridge do not exist, and when you get to the end of said expressway you turn left and ignore the signs. But as I managed to turn the wrong was we ended up back on the motorway heading in the direction of home. Time though was on our hands. My satnav said we would get there at 11:15 when we left home and although I managed to go on a long diversion of 20 minutes we got there at 11:22 thus proving that time travel can be achieved.

Education…

The degree is now on hold. I was so undecided about doing it that I thought it best to put the thought to one side until I was 100% committed to doing it.

General…

After returning from Ireland I had tests and a cardiac assessment done. My blood results came back reporting a lack of vitamin D, which is about right living so far north and the general lack of sun. But I also did not have enough of the good cholesterol either, but this could be due to coeliacs disease. The doctors’ office suggestion was to take vitamin D tablets and eat more oily fish etc. Luckily I found a company that sells vitamins on Amazon and they do a vitamin D that is 4000iu, and when you buy a product they thank you by letting you pick another one for free. I decided on Hemp oil tablets as they are for omega 3 and 6, so that’s the bloods sorted.

The scarecrow festival came and went, and I managed to take exactly zero photos of it. I mean, what is the point of having a great camera, living in the country, and having festivals if I do not record it? Answers on a postcard, please!

We bought new garden furniture, namely a table, chairs and a parasol, just in time for the monsoon season to hit us. Yes, my luck/timing really is in at the moment.

I have managed to have a few barbeques lately, between showers that is.

I finally took the leap into meditation after dipping my toes off and on into it over the last few weeks. I have joined Headspace for a year, and am finding it quite good and just have to add it into my daily routine.

In other news, I had a puncture in one of the rear tyres on the car.

So, how are you all?

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