New Blog

Sorry I haven’t been writing any new material for some months now . . . .I was diagnosed with advanced but localised prostate cancer and this has somewhat taken up my time and thoughts. I shan’t be mentioning that on here, as I want to keep this a Trefin blog and not everyone wants to read all the gory details – as I’m not going to hold back on my experiences. Hopefully the blog will help other men who may be travelling down the same road:

It’s Viv’s Birthday!

Another year goes by and so fast – obviously we must be having too much fun! We enjoyed a lovely and impromptu birthday breakfast at our local cafe (Caffi y Ragna) together with our good friends & neighbours, Lynne & David. The major celebration was later at the Golden Lion in Newport . . .smashing meal and home for some XP Brandy.


What day is it? What season? Will the wind ever stop blowing? How have 1 in 400 people been allowed to die in the UK? Are you all basking in the glory that is Brexit? Meanwhile….try to be upbeat Steven . . .reading Failures of State – good book. Watching films, playing games, getting jabbed, keeping our heads down, barely going out, definitely not meeting people . . .the usual.

Just what we need to “look after ourselves” – chocolate and CBD oil
Dusted off this old game – Viv won in just over an hour! Oh well, back in the box
I kept getting these cards . . . .
Managed to get back to Whitesands and walk up Carn Llydi – amazing atmospherics allowing us to see the bishops and Smalls lighthouses plus follow the Stena line ferry almost into Rosslare . . .
Even though we’re now allowed to move around Wales, there’s little traffic and few people – here’s an almost empty Whitesands beach . . .apart from that ubiquitous doggie
Spring comes to St David’s – a very good year for bulbs
Planted some of last year’s seeds – red and yellow chillies . . .surprised so many came up . .must pass some on
Veronica’s bulbs all come up – so many more than last year – must be 2 year cycle? I counted over 200 in all the garden
The Spring equinox saw a very low tide (some 30cm!) allowing us to venture right out into seaweed land – lots of pepper dulce and sea lettuce.
My order of “Six hot chilli plants” arrived! And very healthy they looked. Potted them up.
Who’s for a few million Scovilles then??
It seems to be a good year for blooms – the gorse is quite amazing and against the blue sky, fantastic. There’s that dog again.
New lambs
A new walks for us – Pwll Strodur and inland to Aber mawr. A different aspect to see both Aber bach and Aber mawr.
Thanks to Mum for some Easter eggs – not had these for years! Also some of our tulips.
“….this week I be mostly drinking Kombucha Plum Green Tea!”
Steve’s latest creation – moving into his purple phase . . .keeping watch over the greenhouse
And finally . . .short walk out to Pwll Long – a keen eye will show a guy building a sitting platform, 2/3 of the way down . . to watch the sunset. When it gets a bit warmer . . . .

It’s March – a lost year

Yes, another year goes by . . .it seems a long time ago that we were sat in the bar of the Square and Compass, listening to the phone ringing and hearing people after people cancelling their Mother’s Day meal . .. Covid was coming. So what news? Spring is here – hordes of daffodils everywhere, which is nice. The greenhouse has gone back up – but will it stay up? Viv’s cross-stitch is coming along nicely. Grayson Perry’s Art Club is back on – which is really great and uplifting. The bird camera has been redeployed to record our night visitors – badgers!!

Is that Steve or the Mad Druid? Hoping to see the Mother Ship . . .again . . . no chance
Viv’s cross-stitch is coming along nicely -hours and hours of work in this . . . .
Down at Aberfelin, the cottage garden is full of daffodils
Yes, 8 hours of solid labour and the greenhouse is resurrected – some new bits plus 2 anchor lines and cable ties to stop the panels from blowing out – shall we run a sweepstake on when it’ll all come down?
A short video of my “Robot Dreams . . . .of Bacon” . . .shimmering in the sunlight

You can just make out the anchor wires and also the cable ties which go through the plastic panels
Seven minutes of spliced together short videos of our night visitor . . .watch out for the guest appearance of the cat!

Life Goes On

I suppose you have to be positive. UK deaths now, due to Covid, over 120,000. People are getting their jabs but schools look set to return soon and you know what happened last time . . .

Life in Trefin creeps on – Spring flowers are blossoming. It’s slowly warming up – just getting to double figures now. The new batch of beer (Willl’s Olde English Ale) is done and bottled. We’re just wishing that the wind would stop (more 50 mph gales today) and gallons of rain . . .still, last Feb was far worse…..

Toby seems to be OK – getting older – he keeps us awake at night – always moving around, panting and then going out at 0400.

The many birds visiting our garden don’t seem fazed by the big, black dog watching – no threat, obviously.
Eating & drinking are the go-to activities in lockdown and we’ve done plenty of that. Still getting thru the turkey and the frozen seafood.
Necessity can lead to art. Here, to cover a nasty sharp spike, I put a block of oak. Then I painted it. A week later I added more stuff . . . . I’m sure Grayson Perry would like it . . .
Signs of Spring – the lungwort (pulmonaria) flowers – one of the earliest and a magnet for all types of bees.
Our bit of coastline – note the waterfall – not always seen and this time in quite a flood.
Steve’s obsession with chillies goes on – here a Naga pepper chutney on top of tzatziki . . .yum.
This batch of beer was a bit odd – the yeast took off within hours of throwing and then seemed to stop – perhaps it got too cold? But a gentle stir and an increase in temperature, using a heating belt got it going – Will’s Olde English Ale – now all bottled – note the use of the new bottle rack – very useful. Next batches will be: Red Ale, Bohemian Pils the Russian Stout for the winter DV.
And if you fancy a laugh and wonder what to shout at the TV when Boris comes on . . . .

Seven Swans a Swimming

A trip to Pwllcrochan to check on our friend James, saw us visiting the pond to see some new arrivals – seven swans. Looks like mute swans – two adults and their offspring – Mum, Dad and the kids!

Pwllcrochan pond – originally used, we think, for the Pembrokeshire Spuds. Pwll Deri ridge in the background
Smashing birds to see – not sure where they’ve flown from but it’s due to get very cold here . . ..

Toby has a new toy – the Chuck-It device, to er, chuck a ball. He really loves it. I can throw the ball so much further and also pick it up – not using my hands! But the after effects mean one very tired doggie . . .

Did you come here to die?

Well, time for a blog post. I keep putting it off as, tbh, I fear that putting pen to paper will only cause an big outpouring of grief and venom but . . . it needs to be done. And one reason for this blog and the previous narrowboat blog, was to provide a visual diary for when we are (more) gaga and need a reminder of what we got up to. But in this blog, it’s more of a time capsule for those survive the virus and dig this up when we’re gone . . .any day now, if this government (UK) has it’s way.

We feel we are just sitting at home waiting for the virus to come to us. Every news story seems to be bleak. We look at other countries and are amazed at how things are back to normal – my nephew in Perth . . .back down the pub*. Only 25 dead in New Zealand. Only 909 dead in the whole of Australia. . . .here, the UK has 106,000 dead, so far . . .to us, it seems so simple, close the borders but no, it looks like they are putting the economy ahead of the people, again. I came across the Swiss Cheese model for damage control – originally for disaster analysis in health, aviation etc but much more significant for this current virus:

The original graphic that went viral – it went thru many versions – later one has a vaccine and also little mice nibbling away at the layers – these are meant to symbolise the anti-vaxxers/covid deniers/rule breakers etc. Worth a read on the virologydownunder website:

I think that this an easily to understand analogy – the trouble is we haven’t had that many layers and people need to understand that no single layer (like getting a vaccine) will be 100% successful. To be really safe you need more layers – such as CLOSE THE BORDER. The virus has no legs, IT doesn’t move – people move it! In fact today (02/02/21) we hear that 20,000 people/day are entering this country, bringing in different variants of the virus . . .thus making your recent jab less effective . . .maybe only 50-60%. But then, the main reason we are one of the worst countries in the world (more deaths per million) is that we have this chap in charge:

*more about the recent Perth lockdown – one person (yes, just one person) tested positive and Wham! The Oz gov shutdown the border instantly, tracked all his contacts – published them. When I say, shut down, I mean a hard border with barriers and police . .not a vague Tier 4… leaving it up to the populace to lockdown

But no one seems culpable – no one accepts the blame – no one resigns . . .this New Statesman article is brilliant at describing Boris . . .

Meanwhile, life, for the time being, goes on . . .Steve is making his 4th batch of beer and has bought a bottle washer and a bottle stacker plus some bottle caps – although unsure of the name (imported from Italy, lucky to get them but Corona?). There is some sign of Spring as we have daffodils coming up along with crocus, snowdrops and tulips . . .

Is it a new weapon? No, its a 50 bottle drier
Ah, great more bottle caps – hmm, not quite the name I was hoping for . . .
And just like the BBC News – always end with a soft item . . . . here snowdrops near Abermawr
And our rockery – lots coming alive . . . .Spring is coming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .for some . . .

Sunday Stroll

With the police on patrol to enforce the illegal gatherings of the populace at car parks and lay-bys . . .we went for a Sunday afternoon stroll from the house . . .out along the Abercastle road, turning off to Pwll Long, across the fields to the coastal path and round to Abercastle but turning up to Carreg Samson and then home on the road.

Still very impressed by our local environment – just a short step away from the house and we’re on the coastal path with views out to sea
I went down to the beach the other day – just to check on the path and apart from a few briars, it was fine. I long to be there when it warms up.
Got to introduce a bit of melancholy here – the view back across the fields
Approaching Castell Coch – it looks like Viv is causing the earth to move just by staring at it!
Toby – probably 14 this year but still very energetic out on a walk, he’ll be crippled later but he does enjoy his walk
Round towards Abercastle
And up past Carreg Samson – strange vibes from this ancient burial mound gives weird photo effect
And back up the road we noticed that there was a thin rainbow-like apparition to the left of the sun, yes, it’s a sundog! You can see a much better one from our blog some years ago:

How time flies when you’re having fun . . .

Thought I would add a few photos out of the 100’s taken over the last three months….a lot has happened. We’re now in Lockdown 3.0 – the worst sequel ever! They said that if we had “got away” with just 20,000 deaths from Covid we’d be lucky….well, as I write it’s 100,000 – bing! Another world beater, eh? Could we have done better – I think so . . .some countries are surprised to get one death . . (China) and many others have almost returned to normal . . .Oz, NZ . . .. Facebook post below is interesting . . .

Christmas! Yes, that came and went . .usual mixed messages and U-turns . . .have Christmas, Don’t have Christmas, Go to school, Don’t go to school . . .it is panto season after all and we have a clown in charge. A brief hail storm left this picture and you can see the free Xmas tree – courtesy of our village community group (GTI) – in aid of cheering the place up . . .
In other news . . . the new plug-in Prius is doing well, we have the Octopus Go tariff – 14p peak and 5p off peak, so we charge up the car at 0100 – brings cost of driving down to 1p/mile – the old Prius costs 10p/mile. Not that we have anywhere to go . . . . .
Welcome to 2021 . . . Mum’s had her first jab . . .we may get ours by the Spring . . . .
Combining trips to shops, chemist, vets with a walk for Toby – here at Fishguard fort
We can still get to local beaches – which we seem to have to ourselves . .
Another casualty – the Pembrokeshire winds did for the greenhouse (23rd Dec – gusts over 40 mph) – luckily it’s all plastic and so I’ll rebuild it in the Spring . . .the sellers have agreed to send a few spare parts and an anchoring kit – so thumbs up for Palram greenhouses.

There are lots of photos but I’ll leave you with this one – a lucky piece of timing, from our garden and maybe an optimistic view for the future . . . .it’s life, Jim but not as we know it!