The Future Wasn’t Supposed to be Like This

Strange how music comes round again. Steve loves his 1930’s stuff,especially Carroll Gibbons but we also like modern music – our favourite is MUSE but also The Killers as well as OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark). One of their more recent albums (and yes, they are still going) is English Electric . . . some of the lyrics seem uncannily up to the moment . . .the future you were expecting has been cancelled…..the future wasn’t meant to be like this . . . have a listen and maybe a little dance?

“Please remain seated” – might as well say . . . and 2m apart!
The Future will be Silent – well, it will be if we all die! Love the lines . . . the future was not meant to be like this . . . . where was the paradise that we were promised? The future you anticipated has been cancelled. ?? Maybe the Sunlit Uplands of Brexit? If we get 20,000 dead we’ll be doing OK!
From the same album – a great bass filled dance number – chance to lighten the mood, maybe as we re-arrange the deckchairs?


The video camera was set up for the fourth night running to try and capture the hedgehog. The food kept on being eaten but no video was captured. Then at 0225 this morning we were outfoxed! I think this chap is called Kinky, locally, owing to his tail having a slight kink.

Grey Sea of Approval

Plucked up the courage to attempt the tricky path down to the wee cove at Pwll Llong. I’m keeping this a bit secret as it is kind of unofficial. The lads have been improving the path down but it had become a bit overgrown with ferns and briars – scratched legs to prove this! I went early, around 0900 and was rewarded with a stunning beach, tranquil surroundings but I was not alone – a big bull grey seal kept me company in the bay.

The short walk along the coastal path (not closed here)
Looking down to the bay
Looking back up the path…hmm, hardly seems to be visible
the lads have made some rough steps, which helps the last bit . . .
But well worth the struggle down for the view – looks almost Mediterranean . So quiet, so peaceful and all mine . . . apart from Silas, the bull grey seal . . . .
He can talk to the animals . . .
A great spot just to sit and stare; putting the madness and stress of the world behind you
Goodbye Silas! See you again sometime – the bay is all yours now.
Time to go, one last look back…. got to go and nurse my scratches! Next visit, take a bill hook to deal with the ferns and briars.

Country’s Gone to the Dogs

Well, not this country but certainly England! I think we’re around 47,000 dead and I just found out yesterday that the whole of the Canary Islands only has a few 100 dead! What did we get so wrong. Sorry what did BoJo et al get so wrong??

Meanwhile, over down by ere . . . we had a trip to a garden centre – yippee – time to get out! We bought a few plants (see pix below) and a new hoe – I wondered if Apple made them, then it would be an iHoe . . .! The centre at Penrallt beyond Moylgrove was very good and had everything you could need. Life in Trefin goes on. Very quiet. We’re still getting the fish n chips from the Shed and the local shops in St Davids seem pretty well stocked too.

Cala lilies in a shady corner
Wall Pennywort – such a strange plant!
And to make up for the lack of Toby photos in the last post, here he is . . . getting on a bit. Aching limbs and stiff joints,
But down the beach, ball in mouth, he’s a puppy again, heading for the water.
Ball, ball, fetch master!
Life in the old dog yet . . . Toby too.
Back at the house – some new arrivals – House Leek or sempervivum tectorum – someone has a new app called Seek. It’s very good. Just point the phone camera at something and it goes away and identifies it . . .usually!
Another sempervivum
This is an Edelweiss – Leontopodium nivale
And another sempervivum – Bronco!! A great thing about these is that you can pull off the little babies and plant them to make more plants.
And out on the walk to the promontory – an arty shot of the wall leading to the Longhouse
Panorama views of the point – lots of plants to snap and identify… common ramping fumitory, kidney vetch, sheeps bit, common sorrel, ribwort plantain, sticky mouse-ear chickweed, red campion . .
Looking towards Abercastle . . hopefully we can walk there soon . . . .
Nice blue butterfly . . .
Back at the ranch . . . . my sous chef prepares her special dish – lasagna!
Decent green pasta from Italy- the Hammerite is optional!
What isn’t optional is a G&T

Wales remains in lockdown

Sorry there’s been no blog for ten days but two things have happened – firstly, not a lot and secondly, the black dog days have been encroaching. Still, the daily walks go on, it is getting warmer and the beer needs bottling.

Kind of spot the difference here. Both packets unopened but the lower one only has six crackers and not nine!! After a few emails, Crawfords sent me a £3 voucher! Hooray. And probably a note to their quality control department.
Back on the usual route for our daily dog walk…. down the road and into the wooded lane to the field. Here a weird panorama shot.
With spring low tides occurring at sensible times , I’ve taken to going down to the beach and just sitting on a rock . . . . nice.
Even in monochrome . . .
Another recent discovery has been to find small seams of iron pyrites or fool’s gold- just a few shiny seams- no mother lode of gold, sorry.
A drive back home via Llanon and a distant view of Trefin
more bee pix – these ones seem to be smaller and either have a yellow/white rear or orange
More garden surprises – a corner section with Cala lilies
The third Cranog brew has been bubbling for a while and it’s time to bottle. A first here, as we usually just decant it all into the barrel but we have found (oddly) that we just don’t get through it all and end up having to bin it (Nooo!). So this time it gets bottled. We have kept the 2 dozen or so Bluestone Brewery bottles and with the aid of a Vic Capper, we can re-use them. We also have lots of ex tonic bottles too. Needs a lot of rinsing, then sterilising, then more rinsing . . . .
Great fun with the capper
The Happy Brewer “I wouldn’t go that far” Steve…..
Well, we are learning lots about nature since we moved in . . . birds, plants, bees, geology and now seaweed! I saw a couple collecting seaweed on the beach (a commercial and allowed operation) and they told me that there’s a variety called spaghetti seaweed or thongwort… edible raw or cooked like spaghetti. Hmm, might give it a go . . . .
Ah, time for some proper food and not cooked by me! Tusind Tak to The Shed for doing their takeaway service – here hake, chips, lemon, tartare sauce and mushy peas!!!
Not on the menu (yet) but a moth seen in daylight, trying hard to camouflage itself
Ah, knew that old fridge from the lock up would “come in handy”. The beer cooler . . .just need the Summer now.
Lastly, another shot of the ridge… with eerie clouds . . . spooky

Another three more weeks!

The lockdown is even getting to Ted & Idris . . . .

They go wherever we go . .. picture in the background is them on top of Crooks Peak on the Mendips, happier times.
Life goes on . . . but not perhaps for anything caught by this guy – Sparrowhawk!


Eats, Walks and Bees

Well, it’s week x where x=>7? And yes, we’re all getting sick of it. At least we’re not getting sick . . . . yet. I still feel extremely anxious and there’s no way of knowing whether this time next year or next month , we’ll still be alive. Meanwhile, we plod along. Plants are growing. The sun’s out. All we seem to do is eat n drink or at least plan to eat . . .

Eats. Yes, tried a few different recipes . . . this one was down to “What do we do with all this butternut squash” (kindly delivered by the Veg Patch)- answer – Green Thai butternut squash and prawn curry with pineapple. And it was pretty good too. I think it’s a BBC Good Food recipe.
And with the rest of the huge tray of veg, we made ratatouille from scratch, excellent . . . the Prohibition whisky is optional (but not when I’m cooking)
On a walk out to the fields, we saw some small birds – Wheatears! Mr & Mrs.
obviously social distancing
And these inquisitive beasts
More eats . . . a favourite of ours (thanks to Lucia!) – “things on sticks” – here cheese, salami, olive, gherkin/silverskin onion, tomato and pepper . . . . note the new Bluestone Brewery beer Cragfast!
And the last food item – trying to vary the breakfast a bit. Take a small bit of chorizo (the one you get as a whole sausage), chop up really small, fry until brown, agitate two eggs and deliver into pan, fry black pudding and smoked bacon. Use bread to soak up the bright red goo that’s left . . . fusion food?
Back at the low tide at Aberfelin . . our dear old dog, Toby proves he’s not quite done for just yet and even goes in for a swim and ball retrieval. He’s not been too good recently, partly due to eating sheep poo! Bad dog.
Ah, yes, the bee bit. Having taken an interest into the natural world, since we’ve moved here – especially all the birds we are now seeing, we are also amazed at the abundance and variety of all the bees. They were flocking to the lungwort (pulminaria), which has gone over now and so have been visiting the Granny Bonnets (aqualegia or columbine). They are also all over the berberis….there are 250 species …so some studying is required and I’ve dsicovered it’s very hard to make them stand still for a photo. Busy bees indeed.
How do they fly? This one is fully loaded . . .
A familiar sight of Summer for me – foxgloves, just starting to open.
the coastal path is a great carpet of flowers
Another Stonechat? Maybe the Mrs?
A Chough – always seen at this point of the walk – there must be a nest in the cliff close by

Low tide at Trefin

Chance to get out of the house in these trying times and go down to the beach at the old mill, Aberfelin is a great place to explore. At low tide, there’s an expanse of rocky shore to investigate. Rock pools. Lava landscape and hidden caves . . . and also a good chance just to sit and stare.

The stream that used to feed the mill
Aberfelin beach – the remains of the old mill above.
Lots of um, beach things . . .
Quite a dramatic lanscape – such a variety of rock formations
Sharp crags, smooth sand and flat igneous (?) rocks
A lone oystercatcher?
That smuggler’s cave?
With a side entrance too
A very tranquil beach, so much so I sat for several minutes making a video . . .


Yes, for those of a hatred of the wee creepy-crawlies – look at another post (by God, there’s enough of them but it keeps wee Stevie busy). Out on my own for a coastal path walk – with the aim to photograph some amazing caterpillars and I meet a Stone Chat on the way . .

The boys have been busy in their unofficial beach path . . . I look forward to a big beach party . . . one day
Looking back at Our House
It was in the month of May, when the lambs, they skip and play . . . I must sing this to you, one day . .
It’s beginning to feel more apocalyptic – as if I was the last man on Earth – there’s no one around and it’s starting to feel a bit creepy. Meanwhile, can you spot the bird? Centre photo – it is obviously protecting a nest. Mrs Stone Chat is sitting on eggs somewhere. Meanwhile, he toyed with me, for that can only be the phrase, as I walked along, he nipped from twig to crag, chirping . . .
My trusty Lumix DMC-TZ40 is so handy. It’s only got a 20x zoom and 13MP but it works. In contrast the new phone camera has a 48MP camera and records video in 4k! Is the kit or the chap behind it??
Yep, I wasn’t following him – it were t’other way around

I think he came out to have a look at me – not seen one of those for quite some time.
Ah, the creepy crawly bit. I think these are tent caterpillars. A general term for these bugs that form a protective tent against predators. We think they are the standard eastern tent caterpillars – please comment if you know better!
This is how they look – attached to a bush. I think it has to be a particular one, so they can eat it.
Yep, spot the stone chat – on stone this time.
Looking back across the fields to home . . . . it’s good for the mind to get out and just “be” in the big outside
I’m no farmer and know nout about cows but this one seems to be in trouble, she could hardly walk. Fortunately, by evening time , looking back across the fields, she was gone, along with the rest of the herd for milking.
Viv took this pic. A good sunset? No, it was a dawn photo. Looking across to Pwll Deri ridge.


A short post containing photos of some of the many and wondrous flowers you see over by here in West Wales.

The Triffid plant finally reveals his true colours – an oriental poppy – our garden is full of them
Pink Campion
Ox Eye Daisy?
Sea Scabius? We’re just putting the word “Sea” in front of everything
Sea Campion
Sea Squill ?
More Sea Squill? Or are we just making it up?
Bluebell (Surely, Sea Bluebell?) And a peacock butterfly