Week 35 #Project365 – 2014

I’ll get my good news in first this week – I got the job! They called me on Friday and offered me an admin job in the cash office, minimum of 20 hours. The days / hours have to be confirmed and the pay isn’t wonderful but it’s a step in the door and better than having the zero income we have as the moment.

My second news – all the blood tests came back OK, one of the tests had a raised level so will have to be repeated but nothing to be concerned about. The lightheadness when I look up has been put down to a bit of arthritis in my neck that may be pressing a blood vessel. So ladies when you are  in labour and the midwife says don’t push into your neck… I slipped a disc giving birth to my second son and it wasn’t picked up for over 6 months, so the damage was already in progress.. 30 years later it’s still haunting me.. ah well could be worse!!

Anyway – onto the past week.

Sunday – Time to cut the conifer hedging. Hubby now has a petrol trimmer which is better than having cables trailing.  Lots of exercise for him up and down the ladders. He’s a wreck when he’s finished!

Monday – Short walk around the village – someone had fly tipped tyres, looks like they came from a large vehicle too.

Tuesday –  We didn’t do much today – pottered about the house.

Wednesday – Orange Wednesday this week – LUCY – about a young woman who takes a drug that increases the capacity of your brain and makes it work to 100%.  A film to switch off your own brain to ignore the plot holes – why was no one else affected? what the heck was the ending about??  It was ok but if you want to see a similar film watch Limitless which is far better.

Thursday – Took some pots on our walk with the intention of getting a lot more blackberries but we only managed enough to make a small crumble for tea. Most of them have been picked or are turning mouldy.

Friday – Our local Pensioners housing is being renovated.  The paint was peeling off the walls and they weren’t well insulated. The council has fitted new windows, new insulation and skimmed the exterior walls, replaced the roof and fitted solar panels. The bungalows are looking very smart now and it’s good know the residents will be warm and cosy every winter.

Saturday – Walked along the main road for a longer walk to the local shop.  The local brown road-sign always makes me smile – Historic Square.. you can walk around it in under 5 minutes.   Not exactly worthy of  a tourist sign – in my humble opinion.

This weeks pictures in 3 bites.

 

soosie wales, orange wednesday, hedge trimming, fly-tippingOrange Wednesday – Lucy, Hedge trimming, Tea-time Treat, Fly-tipping 

soosie wales, hedgerows, tourism  Mouldy Blackberries, Caterpillar, Historic Square ?

soosie wales, renovation,

Before and after renovations.  

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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. 

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

TRAVEL: Playa de las Americas – Tenerife

I booked this holiday via Easyjet Holidays and chose to stay at the Sunprime Coral Suites in Playa De Las Americas.  This hotel appealed to us as it is aimed at adults only – no kiddies crying and jumping about to disturb you.
It’s our 5th holiday to the island and the 4th in Las Americas. Continue reading

But I was only doing just over the limit!

OK I admit it, I am a speeder. I got caught doing 35 in a 30 mph zone by one of those dreaded static cameras. I saw it flash and thought ‘oh bugger’.

30 speed limit

30mph limit

It happened after I dropped Hubby off at the hospital for his operation. I probably was thinking more about him than what speed I was traveling at.
I had the summons about a week later and thought ‘ oh for goodness sake I was only just over the limit why don’t you go catch proper criminals!‘ The letter offered me the chance to take a Speed Awareness Workshop for £85  instead of getting a £60 fine and 3 points on my license. I opted for the Workshop but wasn’t looking forward to it. It was going to be a waste of 4 hours, someone preaching to you about going too fast.. what a bore!! Continue reading