Week 11 #Project365 – 2015 – Nissi Beach, Cyprus

This week we’ve been at Nissi Beach in Cyprus.  We’ve been to Cyprus quite a few times but this was the first time we’ve been to the north of the island.  So apologies here that this will probably be a longer post than normal.. 🙂
Last January I won a week at the Nissi Beach Resort. The only trouble was the holiday would only be available in March or November – out of season. By the time the organisers and the hotel stopped fannying about with dates it was too late to go in March last year and in November the resort would be pretty much closed for the winter.  Continue reading

Week 30 #Project365 – 2014

This is a dual post for #365 and #Countrykids

We didn’t do much at the start of the week.  Just pottering about in the garden and the house.

Monday – Started on a summer selection from Hotel Chocolate – review to be done next few days. – So far very nice!

Tuesday – #Countrykids We had Ashley for the day and took him to Greenmeadow Community Farm.  We used to take our boys there when they were younger. We had a lovely few hours  there. As we went in there were bags of food for the animals so we bought some for the chickens, rabbits and goats.
Our first stop was the Cwtch Corner where Ashley got to cuddle a small chicken, he didn’t like it very much! We went on to feed some chickens and rabbits which he liked better as the animals were enclosed.
Next up was watching a cow being milked, followed by a short tractor ride. When we got off the tractor we walked through the main barn to look at the cows, pigs and goats. Ashley loved looking at them but didn’t like having food put in his open hand to feed them.. although he doesn’t say much he knew how to say ‘ they bite me’!
We then went down to the picnic area to have our lunch, making sure we all thoroughly washed our hands first!.  After lunch we walked around the bottom pens where there were pigs and sheep. Then back up to see the Dragon, the water gathers in it’s mouth and tips open to splash you a little. (this used to be an open area where kids could get wet but the H&S police have arrived now!!)

Ashley was a pleasure to take, he’s so calm now and prepared to still still while things are going on.

Soosie wales, Greenmeadow Community Farm

Greenmeadow Community Farm


Wednesday – Orange Wednesday – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. We hadn’t planned on watching it but the previous film – Rise of the Planet of the Apes had been on TV earlier in the week and we watched that thinking if it was good we’d go to see Dawn.  Must admit it was really good and Andy Serkis is phenomenal as Caesar.

Thursday – Pottering about the house – Hubby’s idea of watering the garden – sitting on his sunbed and aiming the water – he makes me laugh!!

Friday – Hooray the new window panel arrived. For those that don’t know – they made a unit that bore no resemblance to the original so they took the old one away and used the glazing bars inside it to make a new unit.  Only took 2 weeks!!

Saturday – Nothing going on – sitting here doing this post and baking in the heat!

soosie wales, Above – One last one of Ashley with his lovely grin, Orange Wednesday, Watering the garden, Chocolate!


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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Week 29 #Project365 – 2014

It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster week for me.  (If you want the happier part start at Wednesday!)

The start of the week was spent reviewing our finances now that Hubby’s JSA has ended.  Making a decision whether to take his personal pension when he hits 60 next year or to leave it in to accrue for a few more years.  Working out how long our savings will last if neither of us get a job soon. We’ll actually do ok for a good while but I’d prefer not to use the savings we worked so hard to get.
There’s also the realisation that we’re not likely to have another ‘posh’ holiday – that makes me really miserable!

I’ve  been missing my son in Australia.  I really should stop watching programmes showing Australia! They remind me of just how far away he is.

Wednesday – No Orange Wednesday again so we decided to curl up on the sofa with drinks and sweeties to watch Warhorse.

Thursday – Needed a cheer up – Hubby suggested a day out so we headed for Blaenavon to take a look at the Iron Works and the Rhumney Brewery visitor centre.  The Iron Works are very interesting and there are also Ironworkers cottages to take a look at. A good area to spend an hour or two. I’ve always been interested in local history and enjoy seeing Cordell Country.
We also popped along to the Rhumney Brewery. You can see beers being made and you also get to taste some.
On the way back down the valley we stopped off in Cwmbran for a late lunch and ended up in Tiffins – an all you can eat buffet Indian. It’s usually very good but today it was mediocre at best. I can make a better curry than the ones on offer today!

Just after we got home we had a visit from OS and Ashley.  Ash has settled down so much in the past few weeks, he’s much calmer and doesn’t run about all the time. We sat in the garden while he played on his bike.

Friday – woke up with an almighty migraine. I’m so glad my medication works reasonably quickly.  I didn’t feel up to going food shopping so just made a list – argh – so much store cupboard supplies running low.  That’s what you get for not going to a proper supermarket for 4 weeks. Aldi just can’t cut it for a full shop – plus the place depresses me and I’m already falling off the sane wagon!!
We had a daytime visit from a small hedgehog.  We gave it a little bit of cat food and it eventually went on it’s way. Hubby stayed in the garden to make sure Molly Cat didn’t bother it.

Saturday – food shopping today – a proper full shop in Asda.

blaenavon ironworks, rhymney brewery, hedgehog


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Week 27 and 28 #Project365 – 2014

Week 27

Sunday and Monday was spent mooching about the house and garden.

Tuesday – A visit to Cardiff  for the Hotter shoes shindig. A blogger evening spent trying on shoes and meeting up with some lovely ladies including TheBoyandMe – Yes I met Me!! and Mel at Diary of a Jewellery Lover  whom I’ve been pals with online for sometime.

Wednesday – Orange Wednesday this week was Mrs Browns Boys D’movie. I love the BBC series and it can leave me breathless with laughter but the film… oh dear.. very disappointing. If you’ve seen the trailer you’ve seen all the funny bits.

Thursday – Today I found out that I won a 3 night stay at Aqueduct Cottage at Goytre Wharf for this weekend.. EEKK…It may be only about 20 miles away but a weekend away is a weekend away!!

Friday – Spent the morning sorting out the packing for the weekend. We set off at 2:30pm and was sat in the cottage less than an hour later.  We were the first guests to stay there so it is all new and clean. It’s well equipped and had some lovely touches – a welcome tea/coffee tray, kitchen pack with t-towels, cloths, sponge, washing up liquid and kitchen towel. The big downer though was no interwebs.  Data connection on phone virtually non-existent and wifi signal too poor to register with local service. Oh well.. guess I’ll have to talk to Hubby then! 🙂 (you can read more about the cottage here)

Saturday – Drove up to Hereford, lovely city and was pretty busy. They have a new small shopping centre too which is just across the road from the main city centre. I can’t understand how this is a thriving centre with lots of shops and outlets and yet Newport is failing and full of ‘cheap’ shops. Something wrong somewhere!

soosie wales, hotter shoes, hereford, orange wednsday,

Week 27

Above: Flower head in local garden, Hotter Shoes,  Gl ass cut to size,  Orange Wednesday, Hereford Cathedral, Aqueduct Cottage.

  WEEK 28

Sunday – Discussion over breakfast on where to go today. Options were Brecon, Hay-on-Wye or Big Pit. I know Hubby was keen to do Big Pit so that’s where we went. I wasn’t keen on the underground bit and wouldn’t be keen on doing it again to be honest. The museum part is very interesting and brings home how dire the conditions once were.  I’d highly recommend it, children can also go underground!  As it’s a Museum of Wales site all you pay for is parking which is currently£3. (More about Big Pit here)
By the time we ended our visit it was gone 2pm so a bit late for a pub Sunday lunch. We popped down to Pontypool to buy a few bits and bobs and a drink and made our way to Pontymoile Basin and sat at the canal edge with our impromptu picnic. We planned on going to the local pub for our evening meal – what a palaver we had.. they don’t do food on Sunday evening, neither did the Wainyclare or the Horse and Jockey! We ended up in the Harvester near Pontypool!

Monday – We bid farewell to our weekend away. Back home to water the pots and baskets. When I logged into my email I noticed that I had over 3 thousand emails. I panicked a bit,  then realised I was looking at the copy folder (I send a copy of all my emails to a folder then double check this one for wins.. what a saddo!!) There was only a thousand in the Inbox!!  That’s what 3 days of hardly no wifi does to you!!

Tuesday – Off to Cardiff again – this time at the Millenium Centre to see a production of Warhorse that we booked last October. We had Circle front row seats so had a great view. It was wonderful, powerful, emotional, sad and funny.  It’s pure class.

Wednesday – no cinema this week. There’s nothing we fancy seeing. The road opposite was closed off so that some supplies could be craned in to where a new house is being built.

Thursday – Son, DIL and Grandson came and we all sat in the garden for a while. DIL is getting quite big now, only about 10 weeks to go now I think.

Friday – One of the window panels in the bay was due to be replaced as it had gone cloudy. Despite lots of photos by the window company it didn’t come back from the manufacturers looking anything like what we had. So they decided to fit the ‘wrong’ panel so that the old panel can be taken apart for the glazing bars to used in another try at the panel!!  So they are doing what I suggested at the start!! MEN>>>>>

Saturday – decided to buy one of those Karcher Window cleaner things as they are on offer in Currys. I’ll update you all next week on what I think of it.

soosie wales, big pit, warhorse

 Above : Window before the replacement, crane lift, Big Pit, Warhorse, Emails.

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TRAVEL: Big Pit – Blaenavon

Big Pit is now a museum dedicated to the industrial and Coal Mining heritage of  Blaenavon, South Wales.

It was a working mine from 1860 to 1980. After it closed it was turned into a museum and reopened in 1983. It became part of the National Museum of Wales in 2001.

If you are travelling there from the Heads of the Valleys road you’ll come down the valley and the panoramas are spectacular. When you reach the site there is a Pay and Display car park (currently £3) and that’s all you pay.. the museum is free but please make a donation to the site.

soosie wales, big pit

When you walk into the museum you are invited to join an underground tour. You are kitted up with a helmet and torch and taken 90 metres underground by a coal miner – our guide was Russell – all of them know how tough it was and really brings to life what the conditions were like.  The tour takes about an hour.

When you come back up you can visit the rest of the museum.

  • The Mining Galleries – an innovative multi-media tour with a virtual miner.
  • Exhibitions in the Pithead Baths – the shower rooms, boot room and lockers. There are notices on some of the lockers that tell you about some of the miners and other people associated with mining. Some also have ‘sound bites’ playing.
  • You move from the Baths onto the main exhibition room which show you how mining changed over the years. Around the walls are pictures of what life was like for the families.

There is also a good cafe on site situated in the Miners Canteen

The Museum is a great place to visit if you are interested in the South Wales / Valleys history.  The Ironworks are also close by which would round off a visit nicely.

You can read more about the museum here : National Museum of Wales – Big Pit. 

Soosie wales, big pit

I have written this post to share my thoughts about Big Pit. I was not asked by anyone to write it.
All pictures and words are my own and cannot be reproduced without permission. 

TRAVEL : Goytre Wharf and Aqueduct Cottage

Goytre Wharf is part of the Monmouthshire – Brecon canal it’s about half way between Pontypool and Abergavenny.

At the Wharf you can berth your own barge or small boat and you can also hire boats by the day or longer. There is also a cottage you can rent.

Aqueduct cottage has recently been taken over by ABC Leisure and has been refurbished.

It’s a good base for exploring the Heads Of Valleys. You can get to places like Pontypool, Blaenavon (for Big Pit), Abergavenny, Hereford, Brecon and many more.

goytre wharf, soosie wales,

Goytre Wharf

Aqueduct cottage:

We had a warm welcome from Stella and Sue at the Redline office. We were given some information on the area and given the keys and instruction on how to open the waterways gates. (the main gate to the wharf is locked at night)
We were the first guests to stay after the refurbishment.  (I actually won the 3 night stay from their Facebook page).
The cottage was very clean, with basic furnishings.

They provide a good local information folder and welcome tray of tea and coffee. They also provide a handy kitchen pack, tea towels, washing up liquid, kitchen roll etc.
The kitchen has every thing you’re likely to need to cater for yourself. First aid box and torch provided too.
The living room is comfy with a small sofa and chairs, dining table and a couple of small side tables. Cozy electric log effect fire and an electric heater. TV with integral DVD player, Freesat and small music player is also provided.
Up the stairs which are very steep – as you would expect in a house like this – there are 2 bedrooms both with 2 single beds, bedside tables, chest of drawers and small wardrobe.

There is WIFI available via ‘Iwantbroadband’ but it needs a minimum signal of 2 bars and I couldn’t get that. The only WIFI all weekend was a quick connection in a pub in Hereford and Pontypool. At first I hated not being able to connect but soon got used to locking my tech away and ‘Looking up’  (Search Google there is a great video on the subject – Look Up)

We really enjoyed our stay, the beds are comfy and it’s really cozy in the evenings with no traffic sounds to disturb you.

When we left we were asked if there was anything that they could improve on at the cottage. There is very little to change it’s just ‘tweaks’. This is what I passed on to them :

Good: Welcome tea tray and provision of kitchen pack.

Things to change: The lighting in the living room. Either lower wattage bulbs or installation of a dimmer.
Hang fridge door on left. You have to step around it or reach over the door..could result in breakage/failure.
Wardrobe in bed 1 is a bit wobbly it needs either moving or packing under one (or more) corners to make it more stable. They could also attach it to the wall (via a strap) to prevent it being pulled over.

Would be nice to haves: A bedside lamp or at least a switch near the bed to turn the light on/off.
One bin provided .. Would be good to know if contents will be sorted for recycling or provide recycling bins with details of what could be recycled. Most people do this these days and would continue to do so.
The freesat remote controls the TV if not pointing it exactly at the box. Is it possible to change the frequency to prevent it doing it? (they were aware of this)
In the welcome folder – add details of where you can buy basic provisions. Where is the nearest shop ?
Wifi-See above – Most people would expect WiFi to be included as standard. Alternately promote it as a place where you can ‘Look Up’.

Aqueduct cottage, goytre wharf, soosie wales,

Aqueduct Cottage

If you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet and good cozy weekend take a look at Goytre Wharf . 

I have written this post to share my thoughts about the Wharf and the cottage. I was not asked by anyone to write it.
All pictures and words are my own and cannot be reproduced without permission. 

Bank Holiday outing #Countrykids

Who can resist going out on Bank Holiday when the forecast is dry?  Yes, you’ll have the traffic to contend with and trouble parking but it’s usually worth it!

So as it was forecast dry we invited my son and grandson to a trip to Roath Park in Cardiff. (DIL was working!) I made up a picnic to take with us and we headed off with the balance bike, picnic, teddy, toy cat and ball in tow! We found a parking spot and headed to the park.

We’ve been to Roath Park many times, it’s great for everyone, gardens, greenery, paths, kids playground and the lake with all it’s wildlife.

Ashley rode his balance bike, he’s still very slow on it so please don’t all shout that he should be wearing a helmet… I know.. Daddy is getting him one!!

We took some stale bread to feed to the ducks, geese and swans. Ashley held some out for the swans but when they came near he dropped it.

We headed over to the playground, it was very busy, Hubby took Ashley up to the big slide and he insisted on going down head first! At the bottom he shouted ‘again’ so his daddy took him back up. He also liked bouncing on the jiggly see-saw – well until he saw his bike! He climbed on and we were off again!

roath park

We found a nice spot and a bench to have our lunch then headed off to a bit of lawn to have a kick about but Ashley was having none of it. Now that he can control the bike on his own there was no getting him off.

We had a lovely few hours at the park – sunshine and fresh air!

What were you up to over the Bank Holiday? If you were out and about why not link up:


Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Week 15 #Project365 – 2014

We had a good week – bargains, cinema and days out.

Bargains – I take part in online surveys and managed to accrue over £60 in the past year. I cashed in £50 for Sainsbury vouchers and set about finding special offers on My Supermarket! Most of what I bought were things that we normally buy that they had offers on.
I also spotted a bargain on MSE – 3 x 30 wash Fairy Liquitabs in Waitrose. Normally £10 each and the offer was 3 for £18. BUT – if you also have a Waitrose card you get 20% off the full price item taking the cost down to £12!! BUT that’s not all if I had bought them online via the ClickSnap link on Quidco I would have had £5 cash back with them. I didn’t go that far as the minimum spend was £50 and the £5 would have been eaten up with Waitrose higher prices.

Cinema – This weeks Orange Wednesday was Noah. We all know the story of Noah but this was the story on steroids! Rather weird with the Watchers and the fact that this was only 10 generations away from Adam & Eve they were very advanced – tailored clothing, making metal tools and travelling across the whole earth (The start of the film stated that Cain left Eden to build cities all over the earth). It was a really enjoyable film but still leaves you with more questions than answers. The main one being how would the human race repopulate when there is only Noah and his family left.. (Oh and if Cain went out in the wilderness to build cities where did the other people come from…)


On Sunday we looked after Ashley and here he is being tickled!
The traffic jam was caused by an accident just beyond the Brynglas Tunnels. It looked more like a normal Friday!

Ashley at Dyffryn House

Ashley at Dyffryn House

Drawing at Dyffryn House, saying Hello to the Lion, running off when we were eating our picnic lunch, my favourite one this week – posing on the wall.

On Friday we had a lovely day out at Dyffryn House (Using the voucher I won from TBAM last year!!) Ashley had fun running about and exploring. The gardens are well kept by the gardeners and volunteers who were hard at work weeding while the sun shone. The house is still in a state of repair, lots of work still to do!
There was a time when I would have refused to pay to visit a place like this as it was all built by the Coal and Iron Masters – they lived the life of Riley while their workers lived in poverty. However I know feel that we should visit places like this and make sure future generations know of the history of the Valleys. – They should also read the Alexander Cordell novels!!


Dyffryn House

Dyffryn House and Gardens

Above – Topiary – I’d love to the clippers out on some of these! – Fields of heather of every shade – The House – beautiful colour on the Hellebore. 


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#Project365 41/52 Catch Up!

Hold on to your hats this is big one!!!!!

Week39 – 22nd September to 28th September

We flew out to Brisbane on the 22nd, it was a long, long journey! The first flight was to Dubai and we had just over 3 hours at the airport. Then it was on to Singapore for a refuel stop before the final leg to Brisbane, arriving at 11;30pm on Monday.
We spent the next few days with our son and his fiancee before moving down to the Gold Coast – Broadbeach for the wedding.

We went to see the Brisbane Festival light show – lots of lights and water jets to music held on the river.
The day before the wedding I went to the Brides Mum’s house for a ladies Morning tea, lots of fun. Games and quizzes and ending with us making a wedding outfit out of loo rolls!

They got married on Broadbeach by the Bride’s father. Lovely ceremony and at the end another pastor joined her dad to say a blessing.
When the group photos were being taken someone noticed some whales leaping in the ocean. It just couldn’t have been any better!

Week 39 part one pictures:

  • Me in Dubai airport Zen garden.
  • The view from our hotel in Gold Coast (Meriton Broadbeach)
  • Brisbane Festival lights
  • BWS Drive through – a drive through -Beer, WInes and Spirits!
  • Ladies morning at the Brides Mum’s house – dressing the bride!

brisbane, broadbeach

Week 39 part two – A selection of wedding pictures:

  • Bride and groom
  • Groom and one of the 3 best men…don’t ask….
  • Hubby and me in our outfits
  • The blessing
  • Cutting the cake
  • The cake

39-52 (2)

Week 40 – 29th September to 5th October

We hired a car on 29th and started the drive down to Sydney. The first stop was at Byron Bay, it’s a lovely town full of surfer dudes and very olde world feel, it reminded me of Newquay, Cornwall.
Our second stop was at Coffs Harbour, it was very windy and quite dull when we got there.  There’s not much of a town and to be honest Coffs was quite disappointing.
On the third day we decided to push on to Newcastle – a 4 hour drive so that we could arrive in Sydney on Thursday rather than Friday as planned. Not much in Newcastle either although the drive along the Pacific Highway was very pretty.
We arrived in Sydney on Thursday to a very heavy clouds and by the time we booked in at the hotel it had started raining. Although we had no coats or brolly we still decided we weren’t going to waste a minute of our time there. We dashed in and out of shops and when the rain stopped just after lunch we went down to the harbour. We didn’t know until we got to Sydney that the Fleet Naval Review was on. It celebrated 100 years since the navy’s arrival at Sydney Harbour. You may have seen it reported on the news.  It culminated in a HUGE fireworks display in the harbour on Saturday evening. Apparently there were over a million people at the harbour – there certainly were more people in one place than I’ve ever seen!!
Sydney is a fantastic place – so much to see and do both on land and sea. Plus you get to drive in over the Harbour Bridge and sit on the Opera House steps.
We flew back to Brisbane on Sunday 6th October to spend the last few days with our son and his bride. They had gone north to Port Douglas and Cairns for their honeymoon and were due back the same day.

Week 40 part one pictures:

  • top left – Coffs
  • bottom left – Byron Bay
  • top middle – bush fire fighting helicopter
  • top left – Byron Bay
  • bottom right – Coffs Harbour.

coffs harbour, byron bay

Week 40 part two – Sydney pictures:

sydney harbour, harbour bridge, opera house, fireworks

Week 41 6th October to 12th October

It was great meeting up with our son again and we made plans on Sunday afternoon to go to Australia Zoo on Monday. Lee found a site that did an inclusive trip which would take us almost door to door.  The zoo is owned by the Urwin family and the best known of course was Steve Urwin who was killed by a stingray 7 years ago. The zoo is huge and thankfully has water misters at regular intervals to cool you down – it was 36 degrees when we were there!!  You can get up close to most of the animals too. Some are carried about by the handlers and you can touch and get photos taken with the animals. I touched a koala and a kangaroo.. !!
They also have a great show to show off the crocs and the birds.
The only photos for the week will be of the zoo visit – I’ve been too jet-lagged to even think about taking photos!!

Week 41 – Australia zoo

koala, australia zoo

So there you have it 3 weeks in one big post.. I hope you made it down to here!!  I’ll be putting up more posts in my Travel category over the next week or so with reviews of the hotels and eateries we went to and my tips for traveling to Oz.

Have you been to Australia? Would you want to go? Have been to a wedding on the beach?  Go on leave a comment.. share your thoughts.
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TRAVEL: Bristol

In September last year I won an overnight stay and River trip in Bristol via Gold Radio, it also included National Express coach travel.  The River trips are seasonal so I opted to wait until the new season this year.
I contacted the PR company dealing with the prize in April and arranged for the trip to be on 19th August.

I also won Sunday Lunch with wine with the Hotel’s Walters Restaurant via Twitter. I contacted them and asked if we could dine during our stay instead and they were happy to oblige and offered us the 3 course set menu with wine – 2 prizes rolled into one. Continue reading