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heleninwales
I ordered two items on Monday. Neither was next day delivery, so I knew they wouldn't come while we were out on Tuesday. One item (a Welsh rhyming dictionary) arrived by post yesterday morning, the other item still hasn't arrived. The delivery company have a parcel tracking system, so I decided I'd better check it's status.

The website then kindly informed me that at 04:33 this morning, my parcel was logged as "Routed to incorrect depot". Heaven knows where it is!

It's not that the item is urgently required, but I need to go out shopping and don't feel I can go until either the parcel turns up or I get a definite notification that it won't come until tomorrow.

Current Mood: frustrated fretful

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heleninwales
This is the trip we were going to do last Tuesday but then decided not to, due to the weather.

For my non-British readers, the Llangollen railway is a preserved steam railway that has operated for many years. Unlike most of the preserved railways in Wales, it's a standard gauge with full size engines and the train we travelled on was just like the ones that I remember from when young. Initially, the railway ran from Llangollen to a tiny village called Carrog, but last year they extended the track to reach Corwen. At the moment the railway operates from a temporary platform in Corwen. Work is continuing to take the track right up to the main car park where they are building a new station. The old station is now the home of Ivor Wiliams trailers.

Here is the temporary booking office. As you can see, the weather was beautiful yesterday.

Temporary Booking Office, Corwen

More behind here with pictures of trains and horsesCollapse )

The end point was, as I said where the canal takes its water supply from the river at these lovely falls.

Horseshoe Falls

From here we retraced our steps and then hung about at the station for 20 minutes or so until it was time for our train back to Corwen.

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

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heleninwales
Today has felt unproductive because I had the things I needed/wanted to do clear in my mind and then at 9 am G declared that he was bored and wanted to go out for the day. Of the three places he suggested, Corwen and a ride on the steam railway to Llangollen seemed most appealing, so I did a hasty review of my task list to sort out the essential things, washed, changed and rushed out to collect my tablets and the perfume I'd ordered from Boots. I also dashed round the Co-op and grabbed food for dinner so I wouldn't have to shop when we got back.

And then just as I got back home, it started to rain. Suddenly the prospect of going for a walk along the canal at Llangollen didn't look so appealing.

So we didn't go out after all and I don't seem to have got myself back into gear to do the things I meant to do before the day out was proposed. Well, I suppose I did do some photo-processing and I photographed the jam I made yesterday. But that didn't really take all day.

Anyway, here is the jam. There was enough fruit this year (2.75 lbs in total) to make seven jars of jostaberry jam. That's just about right because I'm the only jam eater in the house, so there's no point in making huge quantities.

I actually picked the berries a few weeks ago, just before we went to Exeter, but I didn't have time then to make jam so I just prepared the fruit and froze it for later.

Jostaberry jam

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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heleninwales
33/52 for the group 2016 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: G is for Grand

I was at a bit of a loss as to what to photograph this week. We don't have any grand buildings near home and having already had a couple of days out, I couldn't really go on an expedition in search of grandeur.

And then I remembered the old type of picture postcard and thought that one of my snaps from the visit to the beach might be just the thing.

Having a grand time!

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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heleninwales
This morning I did a load of washing and hung it out in the garden to dry before popping into town to drop off my prescription renewal and do some shopping. And then we drove to the beach where we sat for a while enjoying the sunshine while we ate a picnic in the form of a Co-op meal deal.

Barmouth viewed from Fairbourne

After lunch we walked to the end of the spit to look across the estuary. If you look carefully, you can see a small, two-coach train crossing the bridge.

Barmouth Bridge and Mawddach Estuary

At the end of the spit is the terminus of the miniature steam railway.

Fairbourne Railway

The journey back was made more interesting by a slow-moving cavalcade of tarmac laying vehicles. They seemed to have got a rolling process going and were happily laying a new road surface on the move. One huge vehicle poured tarmac, another coming behind tipped grit, another rolled everything flat. Cars were just expected to overtake. Unfortunately, they didn't seem to have the STOP/GO controls sorted out properly because we got stuck behind the cavalcade while a stream of traffic was coming the other way. So we had to proceed at the pace of a string of heavy vehicles laying tarmac whilst trying to climb a very steep hill. Our old Daihatsu really didn't like being asked to move that slowly. Eventually there were no more approaching vehicles and we reached a wider section and could overtake.

Current Mood: relaxed relaxed

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heleninwales
32/52 for the group 2016 Weekly Alphabet Challenge

This week's theme was: F is for Fall

The weather has not been very good this week but finally it brightened up a bit yesterday and I went out photographing some of the plants and trees that grow around the edge of the town playing fields.

Of course it's not really fall/autumn yet for a few weeks, but the first hints are appearing. Blackberries are ripening, conkers are ready for collecting, and the rowan berries are bright on the trees.

Rowan berries
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heleninwales
I'm currently taking part in a 7 day challenge on Facebook to post a photo of some aspect of nature each day. So far I've already posted all the photos here, but this is one I took yesterday en route to buy food for dinner.

The weather is not at all conducive to going out for walks, but I spotted this feral buddleia growing by the fence between a builders' merchant's yard and the Co-op car park.

Buddleia

Current Mood: working working

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heleninwales
Today I went out to sort out a friend's email, so that felt productive and I got to visit somewhere I haven't been for a couple of years. We normally meet at Quaker meeting or I see her in town where she has a stall at the Thursday market. I don't often get to visit her cottage.

It's up this lane...

Lane near Trawsfynydd

And here's the view looking north...

Hills near Trawsfynydd

She lives in the middle of nowhere with two dogs and several slug-eating ducks.

For quite a while I thought I would never get the email set up. The ISP's help page listed certain settings, a forum of users said something slightly different. In the end, I looked at the settings on the old computer, made a couple of tweaks and suddenly a flood of emails arrived. Eureka! :)

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished

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heleninwales
It's been a rather blah day, and I feel I have wasted a lot of time. Trying to be positive, I have crocheted half another small tea cosy and caught up with proof reading G's latest book, but that's about it, other than routine daily tasks like a load of laundry and changing the duvet cover.

Last week was a busy one with unusual things like the trip to the Eisteddfod and a visit from my brother, but I wish it didn't take so long to get back into making progress with my various projects after my routine gets disrupted.

Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful

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heleninwales
As usual, when I'm busy doing things, I have no time to blog, and when I have the time, I have nothing interesting to say. So, it's time for a few catch up posts and I'll start with the most recent and work backwards.

The National Eisteddfod ends today. It runs for a full week but I went just for the day on Tuesday. This was the end point of my 2015-16 long-term goal to improve my Welsh language skills. To make it measurable, my goal included the following points: Attend the Eisteddfod and be able to hold a natural conversation for 10 minutes; have read a Welsh novel; and be able to transcribe a podcast.

While I was at the Eisteddfod I had two conversations with people I'd never met before, which probably lasted about 10 minutes each. I haven't really hit the reading target, though I have read half a novel, and for the transcribing, I did some transcribing of song lyrics at the recent Welsh summer school. I'm therefore considering that I did well enough to declare my goal was achieved!

So, back to Tuesday...

When I was planning my trip, I had considered staying overnight but in the end decided that one day of wandering around on my own would be enough and Abergavnny is just about doable as a day trip. There and back is 5 hours of driving, just under 200 miles. I left at 7.20 am and at 9.45 I was just overshooting the turning into the car park! I quickly doubled back and discovered that they were operating a Park and Ride system of shuttle buses due to the Eisteddfod being right on the edge of the town.

Soon I was exploring the maes (field). The Eisteddfod has been in Abergavenny before, in 1903, so now I know the answer to the question: if the Eisteddfod returns, do they re-use the old Gorsedd circle? The answer seems to be "no" because they had built a new one. The Gorsedd circle is where some of the ceremonies take place.

New Gorsedd Circle

I spent time in the Learners' Pavilion and attended a talk by Dr Lynda Pritchard Newcombe to launch her new book. I didn't buy it because I have her earlier, more extensive book on the same subject which was based on her Pd.D. work. But the new version is probably more attractive to the average learner as opposed to ones like me who did their undergraduate dissertation on teaching Welsh to adults!

More wandering around ensued which took in the stands selling books and t-shirts (bought one of each) and also, probably my favourite place on the maes, the Tŷ Gwerin (Folk House). I watched part of a workshop given by the triple harpist Robin Huw Bowen and later returned to watch a folk duo (Ryland Teifi plus A N Other).

Tŷ Gwerin

One more photo giving a general impression of the maes behind this cutCollapse )

The weather was mixed, but though it rained on the drive down, it was dry through the morning with only the slightest threat of rain and there was even a bit of sun in the afternoon.

Next year the Eisteddfod is in Anglesey (it alternates N-S), but it's not really going to be much nearer and will take at least as long to drive there due to the roads in Snowdonia being much busier in August than the A470 down through Mid-Wales. Possibly next year I might stay over and spend two days at the Eisteddfod? We shall see...
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