The Grand Erection

Regular viewers may remember the plans for a greenhouse – now that the overbearing sycamore tree has been cut back. And after much dithering, we opted for a Palram hybrid greenhouse with polycarbonate panels. Hmm, it arrived – together with the 104 page instruction manual.

Well, Steven put the galvanised steel base together…trying to find the most level spot – the weather for Thursday was set to be Scorchio, so we postponed the Grand Erection until Friday 0900. Note the hefty instruction booklet!
Short time lapse sequence – it did take over 4 hours with two of us plus the odd appearance of the dog

There were a few worrying moments as the wind got up and those flimsy uprights started to wave about but the kit was good – all the parts were numbered and the panels went in fine. It’s called a hybrid as it has clear side panels but translucent roof ones (82% transmission compared to 90% of the clear ones), should help with shading on hot days. Should we ever get those again.

Finished – with the plastic staging inside (phone camera pic)
Next day pic – (camera) – showing the wire plus tree anchors!
Viv ordered a new water butt – the greenhouse has special corners to direct the rain into a hose – neat plus another anchor point.
All this for a few pepper plants plus Viv’s tumbling tomatoes !

Flaming June?

Well, May was good- had a few hot days but June is proving to be “unsettled”. We were looking forward to Viv’s birthday and it got a bit damp but then the next day beautiful sunshine – we did the same circular walk and took photos and videos to show the difference….

On one of our trips out to the garden centre – we walked down the woodland path to the sea – Toby found a stream.
As is the case everywhere at the moment – deserted – this is Ceibwr bay – wonderful – must return here again.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch – or bar, as we call it – the cocktail glass rests on our bible “365 Cocktails” but this one isn’t in there – it’s Steve’s rather worrying creation: The Body in the pool! Make up a Blue Lagoon, carve out your figure from orange peel then drip grenadine on top!
Viv’s special day started with this view of the webs on the fence
A nice surprise from Chris & Lynsey – a hamper of cheeses from Snowdonia
Another equally nice surprise from Penny & Jenny – a vodka from Ireland! Lovely . . .
And there she is . . . another birthday present – margarita glasses . . . seems to be a theme developing here
With this lockdown, no one got to see Viv’s cards . . .so, a bit odd but here they are . . .
Margaritas:- Tequila plus triple sec plus fresh lime juice . . .salty rims and there you have it!
And on the menu . . .PAELLA! Fresh mussels and raw tiger prawns!
The kitchen was busy. Sous chef (Viv) chops up the onions, garlic and peppers . . what else… white fish, smoked fish, chorizo, more prawns, peas, paellero powder, herbs, smoked paprika, fish sauce and fish stock!
Half way through – Steve bought a new single ring, induction hob – to test the idea of using induction heating – and it is a success – instant heat and very controllable – see temperature settings!
Nearly done – put tiger prawns, mussels and red peppers on top – switch off and leave for 10 minutes.
Next Day, the sea fog rolls in . . . . a strange sight . . .
Two short videos joined together – to contrast the Pembrokeshire weather! Total white out of fog for a few days then the sun came out again.

The B-Movie

Wildlife filming is quite tricky. Having watched Springwatch for the last few weeks, where they make it seem so effortless, I thought I’d make my own mindfulness video of our bees. There’s 9 minutes of basically flowers with the odd bee!

There’s a point for each bee spotted and a bonus point for identifying them!

Walks, Cock Tails & Trees

Struggling for novel titles now. Not a lot to write about really. Still managing to keep my mental head above water although the constant feeling that I’m out of my depth and will quietly slip beneath the waves any moment is gnawing away . . . .

So what have we been up to? Apart from near continuous Tweeting, Off Your Face booking, avoiding all BBC news but enjoying the odd ray of sunshine – such as Grayson Perry’s Art Club! Who’d have thought two very non-arty scientists would watch such stuff. But he is very unassuming and down to earth and we even liked some of the art work too. Springwatch has started up again and is much better for the very physical distancing of the presenters – so much better than them all stuck in a barn and trying to like each other.

So we struggle on. Had a few boat viewings but no buyer yet. Purchasing anything other than food n drink is on hold until that sells! Fingers crossed there’ll be a huge rush now – people preferring to holiday in the UK or even trying a new lifestyle afloat – we live in hope. Which is more than I can say about the UK government . . .yep, over 60,000 dead and the worst ratings in the world for handling the virus. Why aren’t people up in arms about it? New Zealand reports that they are virus free and have started to go out and hug each other, nice. My teeth are falling apart but the chance of seeing a dentist looks remote. On the bright side we have discovered more footpaths and walks in our locale. Started buying in bits and pieces to make elementary cocktails – seeing as though we’ll be publess for many months to come – trying to limit ourselves to “just the one, Mrs Wembley?” remains hard. Tomos from Tomos Trees came and carried out the tree work we booked him for back in March and a very professional job he did too.

An hour’s walk from Trefin towards Llanrhian and then up to Llanon and back through the fields
A view of Trefin from Llanon – the old Hafan we used to rent on the far left and you can just about see “our tree” in the middle top.
Back at our familiar spot
It must be very wrong to start cocktail hour at 1700 but who’s looking? Here we have a tequila sunrise (or sunset?) and a rosita……
The big sycamore at the junction of three gardens and now actually grown into the fence itself. Both neighbours threatened to chop bits off that were overhanging their garden and were annoyed at all the seeds that sprout up. Small gardens, not the right place for trees that belong in parks or the wilds . . .
How many men does it take to cut down a tree? Answer Tree Fellas. An old joke but yes, we did actually get three fellas, three vehicles plus a tracked vehicle to chop the bits . . .three hours work too. Highly recommend Tomos Trees.
The Western Cypress was almost touching the house and cast a shadow – it has normally been pruned, so Tomos cut off some of the lower branches…
A lot more light. That’ll do for a few more years.
Weather station relocated to the top of the shed – hopefully a better position – higher up and a bit more open to receive more of the pembrokeshire weather –

Sunsets, Space Rockets, Toby & that beach!

Well, it’s now June. And are things getting any better? Creo que no! They reckon there’s about 60,000 dead now. 60,000 people who won’t see this summer. The Cummings effect has meant more than 20% of folk have gone out and eased themselves out of their lockdown.. The roads and beaches were crowded on the hot weekend. I’ve been following Janey Godley, who does a wonderful, expletive filled voice over for Nicola Sturgeon – here’s the latest:

Meanwhile back in Wales . . . . some wonderful sunsets and a walk out to see the SpaceX capsule pass overhead on its way to dock with the ISS. It must have been a special atmospheric evening (in a meteorlogical sense) as we could see the outline of the Wicklow Hills in Ireland as well as the 2 quick flashes from the marker buoy outside of Rosslare.

A new edition of Private Eye came out this week and my blog wouldn’t be right without some rant….so, looks we’ve won Eurovirus! I think the last paragraph is a bit worrying too.
Now for the sunset pix . . this one taking with my arty hat on, taken down at the old Mill, Aberfelin . .could make a reasonable postcard?
a few minutes later, trying hard to catch the sun’s dying moments reflected on the sea
And then the stroll out to the point – aiming to see the SpaceX (2nd time around). Turns out we could’ve seen it from the garden but it was nice to be out at 2130 – so warm. And we wouldn’t of seen the coast of Ireland and the navigation lights.
Hmm, only a half-hearted attempt to photograph a wee thing, the size of a small car, travelling at 27,000 km/hr . . .I’ll ask my neighbour if he got a better picture but it was visible. The bright blur is the moon!

And now some Toby photos . . .

Poor old Toby. We think he’s going deaf. We go out and when we come back, he doesn’t hear us and come running like he used to. Still, he enjoys his walks, the water and chasing a ball.
Lots more to see in the natural world . . . . several kites flew overhead yesterday and today a lone kit e circled the house . .
Off at 0900 to the beach – this time with my trusty, old bill hook, to hack down the ferns and bracken
I spent a wonderful hour there… stripping off for a quick swim and just sitting on a rock chilling. Cool.
a short vid of the beach