llywela: peacock in front of Cardiff Castle Keep (Castell Caerdydd)

Who needs Wonder Woman when you can have Wonder-Layla! Look at that face, that is the face of a baby who knows that she is magnificent. Just turning 21 months, she's as tall as a three-year-old and growing ever more conversational by the day, forming new sentences all the time and taking great delight in learning new words, the bigger the better. 'Tambourine', 'bandicoot', 'octopus', 'xylophone', 'humongous' - say a big word within earshot, and she'll have a stab at saying it. She can count up to ten, as well (except for seven, she always skips seven. And then gives herself a round of applause at ten). She laughs all the time, loves reading books and going for walks and playing with toy cars (and balls, and building blocks, and animals, and just about anything, really), and her favourite cartoons are Bing and Peter Rabbit, which she tends to get very emotionally involved with. She's nervous when Peter Rabbit is chased by the fox or farmer, and upset when Bing Bunny is upset...with empathy like that, this child has a bright fandom future ahead of her! She might even grow some real hair, someday.

On a different note, the fella and I continued our current theme of castles by paying a visit on Saturday to Chepstow Castle in Monmouthshire - a much shorter journey than to Powis the other week!


So, this is Chepstow Castle, which sits atop a cliff at the edge of the River Wye, right on the border between Wales and England. It is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain, dating to 1067 - having conquered England the previous year, William had to consolidate that victory by guarding his borders, and the Welsh border was a particular problem for him!

Picspam and tour continued behind the cut - click on the images to see them full size )
llywela: peacock in front of Cardiff Castle Keep (Castell Caerdydd)
Rush hour in Wales!

Picture taken at 5.30pm yesterday on the A483 a few miles south of Newtown in Powys. Of all the stereotypically Welsh things that could have happened on a road trip through mid-Wales!

But, you know, just picture the M25 at the same time, and it's not as if we were in a hurry - this was just the start of a very long drive back to Cardiff after a truly lovely day out, so we were quite happy to take our time and watch the farmers and their wonderful sheepdogs at work, mustering the flock from one side of the road to the other.

We had just spent the day at Powis Castle, which is at Welshpool in the north of Powys. It's a long way, there and back in a day, but I've wanted to go for ages, and I've got to say, it was totally worth it - we even had glorious sunshine on a day that saw drizzly dampness across most of the rest of the country. Just look how beautiful!


Picspam continued behind the cut - beware very long post! )

The zen of the lovely day out yesterday was then much needed for dealing with the alarums and excursions of today! A car crashed right outside my office this afternoon. It was a really loud bang, brought people running from all over the building to see what had happened. It didn't look that bad from the vantage point of my window, no one seemed to be seriously hurt, but...our street is one of two main arteries north from the city centre, and we had an emergency response vehicle, two ambulances, police, fire service, all sorts - a nice little blockage just as rush hour hit.

And this was not a good day to block up one of only two main arteries north of the city centre, since the preparations for the Champions League finals have hit a fever pitch, with the four day football festival about to kick off tomorrow. And, you know, I love my city, I'm really glad it's got the chance to host such a prestigious event, and I hope it all goes off smoothly and successfully. I have no doubt that the couple of hundred thousand people flocking into the city for the festival will have a great time…but as a local resident, I'm starting to get a bit frustrated with the mounting disruption and inconvenience. It'll be okay once the road closures and diversions kick in properly, I daresay, it's the preparations that have been so disruptive - key roads narrowed by the fencing and bollards going up ahead of the road closures, but without any mitigation in place, and the centre gets congested enough at the best of times without adding new bottlenecks to the mix.

What really annoyed me today was that the main westbound road out of the city centre was closed, putting the central bridge over the Taff out of action, and by closed I mean closed to pedestrians as well as traffic, which had not been previously communicated - and it's a bridge, it's not like you can just nip down a few side streets and come out in the same place! To get from where I work to where I hoped I might catch my detoured bus meant a huge detour, so huge that it simply wasn't worth it. So I just gave up and walked the whole way home, over an hour's walk, and the congestion I saw along the way was so awful I knew I'd made the right decision, way beyond our usual rush hour jams - not surprising, given that we had westbound road closures, that accident on the northbound road, and the state funeral for former First Minister Rhodri Morgan going on in the Bay to the south!

Speaking of which, RIP, Rhodri, I'll miss bumping into you in Tesco in your shorts and sandals, you always said hello, were the most down-to-earth politician imaginable, and the perfect choice for the very first leader of our devolved government in Wales.

I do sometimes choose to walk home from work, but ordinarily I'd walk through the parks, only on this occasion I couldn't face all the fences and tents set up ready for the football festival, so I stuck to the main road, and along the way actually caught up with and overtook a bus, that's how bad the traffic was. I did consider waiting for it at the next stop, but I'm glad I didn't, since having overtaken it, it then never caught up with me again! And I'd even stopped for an ice cream along the road, and had to wait ages for it because the people ahead of me were chatting to the sales person about the black market price of tickets for the game on Saturday, so the bus had plenty of time to catch me up, but it never did!

Yeah, the traffic disruption caused by the road closures is pretty bad. Sue, Carol – we really, really made the right decision, changing our plans for this weekend! No wonder the roads were gridlocked! Honestly, the difference between 5.30pm in Cardiff today and 5.30pm up in Powys yesterday couldn't be starker!

I just hope there are no more bangs or crashes tomorrow, when the football festival kicks off. Our building has been put into lockdown for Thursday and Friday – staff can get in and out through the access controlled doors, but the main door is to be kept locked, so we can better control who comes in and out of the building. I'm expecting it to be really quiet, though. A lot of our staff will be working from home to avoid the disruption and road closures, and although after the events of last week it is wise to be cautious, I really think this event is too high profile to be considered a soft target. Security is really, really tight, there's been a lot of effort gone into making this a safe, fun event for all the visitors. Here's hoping it goes well!
llywela: peacock in front of Cardiff Castle Keep (Castell Caerdydd)
I really love walking to work. Sure, it takes a bit more effort and organisation, pushing myself to leave the house earlier than normal, but after a difficult or upsetting week, there is nothing more peaceful and relaxing than a gentle stroll through almost three miles of unbroken parkland right at the heart of the city.





Okay, there are a few more tents and fences along the route just at present than would normally be the case, thanks to the football next week, but still. It’s a beautiful walk - and this morning, basking in the sun, really felt like summer! And at the end of the walk, for now, we have this guy - still my favourite thing about the Champions League Final coming to town next week.
llywela: peacock in front of Cardiff Castle Keep (Castell Caerdydd)
Looks like Cardiff is beginning to gear up for the Champions League Cup Final on 3 June, now that the two finalists have been decided. This is what the castle looks like this morning!

(It was raining when I came past, so my pictures weren't up to much, therefore I've borrowed these from the ilovesthediff blog

Sue, Carol, I think avoiding this weekend for our get-together was a very wise move!

stuffs

Nov. 23rd, 2016 09:20 pm
llywela: (Cymru-CastellCaerdydd)
Another random flyby update, because time she does fly! I can't believe it's the end of November already - how did that happen? Where did the time go?

For whoever cares, season three of Y Gwyll continues apace on S4C - the English version Hinterland should pop up on one or other of the BBC channels sometime after Christmas, so watch out for that. There's a really huge plot twist at the end of what on S4C was episode two, but on the BBC will probably be episode one, since they tend to merge the two-part stories into one longer episode shown on one night - so watch out for that!

In other telly news, I've been following the new Doctor Who spin-off, Class, and loving all the location-spotting! The location used for the Coal Hill Academy site is just up the road from my office, our shiny new Hadyn Ellis building (I remember when that was just a new build project we talked about endlessly in Estates Liaison meetings, and now look at it). Once I'd recognised it, I remember all the fuss when they were filming up there, and all the fake flower petals all over the road! Also, April's house is just around the corner from where I used to live, by St John's Church. Oh, and there are plots and characters as well, I guess...

In Old TV news, My Power of the Daleks DVD arrived today - a shiny new animated version of a completely missing Doctor Who adventure. Just when we thought the Classic Who DVD range was over and done with, they produce this! I sat down after work intending to watch just an episode or two, but ended up marathoning all six. I really enjoyed it - I'd read the novelisation previously, so already knew the story, but had never made it through the recon. However cheap the animation, it apparently made all the difference for me! The story is long and slow-paced, it's true, but I found it tightly plotted with strong worldbuilding and a sense of tension that escalated inexorably from episode to episode, while the Daleks are really creepy here - so manipulative and subversive. The wholesale slaughter in episode six is a bit grim, but certainly sells the high stakes, while Troughton makes an immediate impression and is well and truly cemented as the Doctor by the time we reach the end of the story - the success of this first ever regeneration is the reason the show is still on air today, 50 years later. Great stuff.

In work news, I am very happy for my colleague J, who has just gone off on adoption leave after being matched for adoption at last - they were approved way back in February, but had to wait until October before they were matched, and now have their children at home living with them at last. A little boy who just turned two, and a baby girl who will be one in December - just 14 months between them and much younger than they were expecting, so it's all a bit intense and chaotic for them at the moment, but such a precious time as they get to know one another and bond. Hooray for J and M and happy new home to little N and G.

In family news, my older sister has a diagnosis at last, almost five years after she was rushed into hospital with crippling migraine and intracranial pressure three times higher than it should be. Well, she has a partial diagnosis, at least, after finally, finally persuading a consultant to look at all her symptoms instead of each one individually. They have decided that she has fibromyalgia and osteo-arthritis. But the outcome of her sleep trial for apnoea isn't in yet, and they still don't know what to make of the oligoclonal banding found in her spinal fluid, so the diagnosis remains incomplete. But at least she is beginning to get somewhere at last.

In other family news, look at this baby getting all tall and chatty!

In the first picture, that's her reaction every time her absolute favourite Bing comes on the telly. Layla-May adores Bing. In the last pic, she is explaining at great length and volume why it is vitally important to stop and bang on every bench we pass. For science. She also tells lots of babbling baby jokes and then laughs at them. Funny baby. One day, she might even have hair.

I have become Yo, incidentally. And she calls herself Yay-Yay!

In other, other news, have some pretty pictures I took around and about the city this autumn. Every single one of these was taken at the heart of the city centre, believe it or not. Having nearly four miles of unbroken parkland stretching through the middle of city has its benefits!


llywela: (Cranford-boating)
After a week away in the Cotswolds, I am now home from my holidays - bringing back with me a burned finger (never cook on an unfamiliar stove) and a bruised back (fell out of bed!)

The holiday was a big family get-away, there were ten of us altogether, including the baby - occasionally fractious (inevitable with so many personalities crammed together) but mostly a lot of fun.

We stayed in a pretty little upside-down-house on the side of a hill in Nailsworth, near Stroud. This was the view from the balcony:


Continued behind the cut - very long post with lots of pics! )
llywela: (Layla-May)


Okay, so this right here, this is what it looks like when you are standing on top of a mountain and a cloud rolls over you.

Ian and I took Chelsea up Pen-y-Fan yesterday. It wasn't as sunny as last time I went up! Being cooler made it a much easier hike, though. It isn't actually that far from the car park to the top - about a mile and a half. It's just steep, gaining over 400m in height in that mile and a half. The peak itself is 886m above sea level, the highest point in southern Britain, and the view is fab - on a clear day.

More behind the cut )

I think my day off up the mountain was all the more appreciated because work is so frantic at the moment, my team now crossing the threshold from short-staffed to critically short-staffed. Although the department is large, my team is very small - just six of us all together: boss Linda, two receptionists, and three administrators, one of which is me, and out of our admin trio, we overlap but each have our own particular areas of work, with me overlapping the most because I'm the only one that's full time. So that's all been fine, but about a month ago one of my fellow admins left to take up a new job in the Law School (where she's been enjoying watching Doctor Who filming in the courtyard recently!), and then plans for a replacement got put on hold because one of the receptionists handed in her notice as she's also got a new job, which starts next week, her last day with us is Friday. Then last week, just to put the tin hat on things, the other admin was admitted to hospital with pregnancy complications and has to stay in until the baby is born (she's 29 weeks, and her last baby was born at 31). So all of a sudden I am doing three jobs as well as picking up reception cover - and the third job had no handover (and half the procedures not written yet, which I'm a bit annoyed about because she's had months and she knew she was likely to go early, although we'd all hoped not this early!)

On the bright side, S has been in for nearly a week now and still no baby - the longer he hangs on in there, the better. She's also bored enough in hospital to be emailing notes to help me pick up the loose ends of her job, for which I'm very grateful. And after the initial panic, it's been confirmed that an assistant from another team is coming to us on secondment, which will ease the pressure considerably once she's trained. Just need to get through the next few weeks intact - next week being the next big hurdle as receptionist#1 will have left, receptionist#2 is on holiday, and Boss is only in a day or two, so for most of the week our once six-strong team will boil down to just me and a temp!

In other news, Layla-May is growing fast, has no interest in crawling but is desperate to walk. Her mother, however, isn't doing so well - the last few weeks she's really started to struggle, the health visitor suspects post-natal depression which is also triggering her autism, but the mental health team are not being helpful. My poor mum is taking the strain, she's effectively Layla's primary carer at this point

But despite the difficulties, the baby is thriving, which is what really matters.

stuffs

May. 16th, 2016 09:40 pm
llywela: (flower-daisy)
In work today we heard that our colleague John G passed away in hospice over the weekend, and it wasn't a surprise, we've been waiting for it since Christmas, he's lasted a lot longer than expected, but even so, damn. I liked John. He was no older than me. And he'd fought and conquered that dragon once already, only for it to take him down in the end.

So let's have some pretty pics to cheer me up, starting with my week off work earlier this month, already a fast-receding memory...

I already posted about taking Chelsea and Layla for a day at St Fagans. We also spent a day hanging out in the sunshine at Cardiff Bay, walked across the Barrage and then took Layla for her first proper boat ride, catching the acquabus back across to the Marina.




I'll stick the rest behing a cut, to spare your f-lists - click for the rest )
llywela: (Cranford-boating)
Spring, she has sprung - despite the occasional shower of icy sleet, just to keep us on our toes. I love this time of year. Everything is coming back to life, all fresh and green. My garden is flourishing and already full of bees, the breakfast bar in my kitchen has become a plant nursery. It's all good.

I went with my Mum to the RHS Flower Show Cardiff the other week, as we do every year, where we encountered this chap:

Yeah, that's the BFG! That famous son-of-Cardiff Roald Dahl was the theme of the show this year.

Cardiff Bay is beautiful in the spring sunshine:


On the day those photos were taken, Layla-May experienced her very first carousel ride:


Me and my girl


I walked to work yesterday - takes over an hour, but so beautiful! This is Thompson's Park:


Blackweir:



The nature path along the Taff Trail:



And Bute Park - specifically, the wall of the Secret Garden Cafe, the Mill Stream, and the Castle:
llywela: (Cymru-CastellCaerdydd)


With Spring now springing, I took advantage of the dry-and-brightness yesterday to go for a short hike along the coast, a (mostly) circular walk taking me from Llantwit Major along to St Donat's and back again.

Continued behind the cut - be warned, this post contains lots of photographs and history! )
llywela: (frosty)
So this has been a pretty wet winter - wet and mild and horrible - but this week the mercury has suddenly dropped, the temperature has plummeted, and it actually feels like proper winter at last. So yesterday I went off up into the Brecon Beacons mountains in search of snow.

The original plan was to hike up Pen-y-Fan, but when we got there it was completely rammed - I've never seen the area so crowded. Everyone and their dog had had the same idea. Plus there was a lot of low-lying cloud sitting right on the mountaintops that didn't look too inviting. So we carried on up the A470 a bit further, took the turn off to the National Park Visitor Centre near Libanus, and spent a few hours pootling around on the upper slopes of Mynydd Illtyd instead.

This was the view from the Visitor Centre tea rooms, which sit on top of Mynydd Illtyd, looking across toward Pen-y-Fan and Corn Du (the twin peaks that are the highest point in South Wales) at around midday - this was pretty much as bright as it got all day!


We stopped for a cuppa in the tea rooms and then set off across the fields - across the valley, the twin peaks of Pen-y-Fan and Cribyn had already vanished into the clouds.


Once or twice the sun very nearly put in an appearance - only to think better of it almost at once! This picture is looking south from Mynydd Illtyd, with Pen-y-Fan to the left (still shrouded in cloud) across from the twin peaks of Fan Frynach and Fan Fawr (marginally more visible).


All the ponds are frozen over


And I don't envy the sheep trying to forage through all this, pretty though it is!


You can just about make out the tip of Pen-y-Fan here


This is pretty much the highest point on Mynydd Illtyd - as mountaintops go, it's ever so gentle! View north toward Brecon here


General icy prettiness



There were also red kites circling overhead, but alas I did not get a photo. Then as we headed home we got buzzed by the mountain rescue helicopter, on its way up to Pen-y-Fan - and got stuck in traffic because someone had had a prang just south of Storey Arms. You don't often get traffic jams like that on the remote A470!

So, a good day out. Except for the person who wrote off their car, of course, not such a good day for them.
llywela: (Cymru-CastellCaerdydd)
Over the spring and summer, I've been walking to work a fair bit. Now, once upon a time this would have been normal, but I live much further out from the centre now, which makes the journey that much more of an effort, so I can only really do it now when I'm really organised in the morning and leave the house early. The walk takes over an hour, but I'm really lucky in that most of it is through parkland or along the river trail - I find it really soothing, first thing in the morning, with no one else around except for runners and dog walkers. And I've taken loads of photos, so I'm going to picspam them now for posterity - warning, this post is going to be long!

Picspam behind cut, because of length )

update

Oct. 3rd, 2015 09:00 am
llywela: (Cymru-CastellCaerdydd)
1. Well, the new semester has just barely begun and already Freshers Flu is rife all through the department. Atchoo!

2. This is how my city has chosen to mark the Rugby World Cup:

It just appeared one morning. Hilarious!

3. It's been one of those weeks. I went back to work on Monday after a week off to find that one of my colleagues had died while I was on leave! Not a direct colleague within my department, but the maintenance manager from Estates. Bless him, Ron is the only person in the entire university who has their name highlighted in my telephone directory, I rang him that often, because he was the person I liaised with every time about redecoration projects and repair work and all the rest of it. I knew he was unwell, and had guessed from small clues that it was cancer, but he didn't like to talk about it - always brushed it off and maintained his image as the chirpy little sparrow. I spoke to him just a week before he died, he was still in work, although probably shouldn't have been. Turns out, it wasn't the cancer that killed him, though. He took his own life. That's what's so awful about it. He had cancer of the oesophagus and was due to have surgery just a couple of days after he died, but he'd already had three rounds of surgery and it kept coming back...it seems he just couldn't take any more. He took an overdose. It's really horrible to think of him being so scared and unhappy and not feeling able to talk to anyone about it. :( Rest in peace, Ronnie.

4. On a more pragmatic note, I have all kinds of outstanding jobs with Ron that will probably never now be completed!

5. Also this week, we've had a two-day bus strike, which coincided with train problems and Rugby World Cup road closures, so that thanks to a combination of all these factors I ended up walking to and from work for two days straight, a journey of over an hour each way. Which...I actually quite like the walk, because most of it is through parkland and along the river, and will picspam on that subject another day, but still! Good thing the weather's been so lovely this week, crisp and clear. I'd have had a harder time of it if it had rained!

6. When I moved into this flat two years ago and began to turn the wasteland out back into an actual garden, I made a point of planting a lot of bee and butterfly friendly flowers, to encourage insects. I wasn't, however, expecting to end up with a whole colony of these guys!

This, apparently, is a speckled bush cricket, although it looks more green than speckled to me. I've got loads of them, they've been living mainly in my mint and salvia all summer, but the one I photographed was chilling on a rose leaf, enjoying a spot of late afternoon sun. This is the rose:

Pretty, yes? It's called Harry Wheatcroft and was the very first plant to be planted in my garden.

7. During my week off work the week before last, I didn't really do much beyond hang out at my mum's house helping out with the new baby, because Chelsea was really unwell after her traumatic birth, but I did take a day to go for a walk along the promenade and cliff path in Penarth, which is always lovely. Look at this view across to Flatholm and Steepholm and the north coast of Somerset:

Timing is everything - while admiring the view, a gorgeous square-rigged tall ship came sailing along from the west, past the islands...

And around toward Cardiff Bay:

All she needed was Captain Jack Sparrow!

8. My Uncle Colin is in hospital having a coronary bypass today - and while his wife is in New Zealand visiting their daughter and grandchildren, as well! Get well soon, Uncle Col!

9. Layla-May is three weeks old today and gorgeous:

llywela: (flower - bluebell)
It's bluebell season! Well, actually, it's the end of bluebell season, which means it's high time I posted some pictures of bluebells.

These were taken on a walk around the Wenallt Hill, which is an old Iron Age hillfort just outside Cardiff, today designated as ancient woodland and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Protected as such, and popular with walkers, because - so pretty!

Of course, I took my bluebell walk just a couple of days after a torrential rainstorm, so a lot of the bluebells in the more open areas had been squished flat by the sheer force of the rain


Deeper into the woods, though, they were more protected and preserved - some beginning to go over, while others were just coming into full flush, depending on how sheltered they were



There's something kind of magical about a bluebell wood



Pretty bluebells!



And after the walk, we had lunch at the Deri Inn and then popped across the road to a little mini garden centre, where I succumbed to temptation and bought plants, including a little fuchsia called Ernie. I'm a real sucker for plants with funky names, which is why I already have fuchsias called Lottie Hobbie, Annabelle and Paula Jane, as well as a rose called Harry Wheatcroft, aquilegia called Dragonfly and Red Hobbit and a ranunculus called Brazen Hussy. To name just a few!
llywela: (flower-blossom)
Some pics from the rhododendron walk at Bowood House Gardens:


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That pretty little cottage at the end isn't Bowood House, of course, merely a lodge within its grounds. I'd seen signs for Bowood many times while travelling up and down the M4 but had never visited - I'd no idea it was such a huge place! We only took in the rhododendron walk - maybe we'll go around the rest some other time. It'd need an entire day, though!
llywela: (flower - bluebell)
Here, have some pretty bluebell pics to celebrate May bank holiday - these aren't quite in full flush, but almost there



It's been a bit of a funny weekend. Chelsea's gone to stay with Deb and Ray in Kent, so I went with Mum and Dad for the trip to Reading to hand her over because they'd decided to take in Bowood House Gardens on the way back - rather than the full shebang, we just visited the rhododendron garden, which was in full bloom. And it was a lot drier in Wiltshire in Saturday than it was in Cardiff, so we planned that well! Then yesterday there were a lot of panic-stricken phone calls because Chelsea was having a spot of bleeding, so Deb had to take her to the hospital to be checked out. She ended up having her second scan in a week, but the upshot is that the baby is fine - the sonographer said she was dancing in there. The bleeding they think was caused by a hormonal dip, and just to keep a sharp eye on her for now. She'll be coming home tomorrow.

I would post some more pics of the Bowood rhododendron gardens, but that would mean sorting them out - another day! Instead, here are some pics I took at Swansea last weekend, when I went for a meet with [livejournal.com profile] welshdreamer and [livejournal.com profile] bagpuss1966 and some others, for a lovely meal and a hike along the coastal path from Mumbles point, and then a trip up the Meridian Tower followed by ice cream!




This is the view from the Meridian Tower - not bad!


In other news, Poldark's first season came to an end. The cinematography was gorgeous throughout and the actors gave it their all, but I was slightly more disappointed than delighted by the adaptation as a whole - I found it quite superficial, skating over the heart of the story and over-simplifying many of the themes, to their detriment. The show set itself out to tell a hero's tale about Ross Poldark, but then had to twist to achieve it (undermining some supporting characters and sub-plots considerably) because Winston Graham's books are not a hero's tale - Ross is not the hero of the story, but the central protagonist in a broader tale about the ups and downs of life in Cornwall in the 1780s, which really isn't the same thing. Still, it was entertaining enough as Sunday night viewing, and inspired me to both read the books and invest in the 1970s adaptation to rewatch.
llywela: (Cranford-boating)
So my sister (the elder) had another appointment with her 'specialist' yesterday - a very last minute appointment, they rang in the morning to say they had a cancellation if she could come in, so of course she moved heaven and earth to get there, she's waited months for this appointment already. The upshot is that the last lumbar puncture she had showed up abnormal results, including oligoclonal banding, which is a possible indicator for a number of things, such as the meningitis they keep ruling in and then out again, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia, none of which are good possibilities. The specialist wasn't happy that her GP has taken her off the medication that's been keeping her symptoms in check, so has put her on it again, and has ordered more tests, because three years down the line after a frustrating merry-go-round of waiting for tests, waiting for appointments to discuss the test results, discovering that the test results have been lost, ordering new tests, waiting for new tests, waiting for appointments to discuss the test results, discovering that the consultant hasn't read the file, etc, we're still no closer to an actual diagnosis of what's wrong with her.

Never be ill in Maidstone, that's the moral of the story.

On a brighter note, I went for another winter's walk on Saturday, a four-mile cross country hike in the Newport area this time, setting out from the Fourteen Locks Visitor Centre at Rogerstone and taking in the Allt-yr-Ynn nature reserve, Wern-ddu wood and Ynysyfro reservoir en route. It was a beautiful day, bright and crisp and clear - cold enough that I ended up with a headache, but still a lovely walk...if a little muddy in places. I think I might have to invest in slightly sturdier walking boots!

The picspam is behind the cut )
llywela: (sunrise-treeoflife)
So yesterday the fella and I decided to make the most of a spot of January sunshine with a walk in the country - a bit boggy still underfoot, perhaps, but we were all kitted out for it. We decided to try out one of Derek Brockway's 'weatherman walking' routes, and selected a gentle 6 mile hike around Dyffryn in the Vale of Glamorgan, taking in the villages of St Nicholas and St Lythan's en route.

Starting in the tea room at Dyffryn House itself, the walk was muddy but beautiful, taking us across fields and through woods.
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Our journey also took in not one but two Neolithic cromlechs, ancient burial sites dating back some 6,000 years - that's a millennium older than Stonehenge.

The first we visited was Tinkinswood, a megalithic burial chamber which was excavated in 1914, when restoration work was also undertaken, including the insertion of a pillar to support the dolmen capstone. The burial mound itself is badly eroded, but the shape of the barrow is still clearly visible.
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Tinkinswood is close to the villages of St Nicholas and Dyffryn, and just along the road again is the hamlet of St Lythans, which boasts a beautiful 12th century church
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We passed through St Lythans at rush hour - three cars and a bike all on the road at the same time!

Also at St Lythans is another long barrow, marked by a prominent dolmen. This site has never been properly excavated, the field used mostly for pasture, the long barrow beneath remaining undisturbed.
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All in all, a good day out!
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stuff

Oct. 24th, 2014 10:04 am
llywela: (FF-taketothesky)
Hey, so remember last year when I was kinda sorta following Agents of SHIELD and stuck with it, on and off, right through the season, even though it had a pretty shaky start...and then after Captain America 2 came out the show suddenly came into its own and got good and I ended up mainlining the last few episodes? Well, thanks to the lovely [livejournal.com profile] justwolf, who has been supplying me with files in the absence of tvtorrents, I am all up to speed on season 2 so far and it has so justified sticking with the show. Really enjoying it. They've fixed the things that weren't working last season, have built on the things that did work, have introduced new characters who bring new versatility and strength in depth to the set-up. Show got good. I am happy with it.

In other news, it belatedly occurs to me that I never blogged about that time I went up the Newport Transporter Bridge over the summer with my friend Noddy. This is the Newport Transporter Bridge (this pic isn't mine, I didn't get a decent long-shot so I've filched this online - the rest of the pics are mine)
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Cut to spare your f-lists )

Pen y Fan

Sep. 26th, 2014 03:26 pm
llywela: (sunrise-treeoflife)
Picspam ahoy! As always, click on the thumbnails for a closer look.

As mentioned in previous updates, I've had a bit of time off work lately - a week and a half, in fact; bliss - and one of the things I did during my time off was hike up Pen y Fan, the highest peak in South Wales. At 886m above sea level, it's a tiddler by the standards of many mountains, but still a good steep hike for a sunny September afternoon.

This was the target: the twin peaks of Pen y Fan and Corn Du, here shrouded in mist, as seen from the fields around the National Park Mountain Centre at Libanus. The shape of these twin summits was once known as Cadair Arthur (Arthur’s Seat)
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mega picspam behind cut )

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