'If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.' Marjorie Garber

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Don't Rain on my Parade...

There is a Welsh theme to my blog today. 'Why?' I hear you ponder, well read on and all will be revealed...

Today I am feeling sorry for myself...After a jolly jaunt to Cardiff yesterday with my parents, sister and niece, I found myself feeling rather sickly yesterday evening. Sore eyes and throat, blocked ears, achy limbs...woe was me! So I went to bed and left Hubby to cook tea. I still feel a bit poorly but the steady torrential rain outside is making me feel, well, rather depressed. Is it a UK bank holiday weekend?!

Well luckily I have no plans to go any further than the end of my garden over the next couple of days so let it rain! And I apologise now to all of you who do have plans this weekend and hope it doesn't rain on your parade, or on the Notting Hill Carnival. 

If you're not planning to get away for the last few days of summer (ha ha!) then spare a thought for the poor residents of Port Talbot, Neath and Baglan in South Wales who are currently battling with flash flooding. Say a prayer too for those tens of thousands of people in the US who are awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Irene. Perhaps, a little downpour here is not so bad after all.

Now back to Wales. Last weekend was a special occasion for my Hubby's extended family as we all headed to New Quay, West Wales, to attend his Aunt and Uncle's Golden Wedding Celebration. People gathered from all over the UK and further afield for the party on Saturday and despite the cold and windy weather, we had a great time. The rain held off all afternoon and evening, but the heavens opened just after we had snuggled into our tent for the night. Did I say tent? Yes, we failed to book any accommodation and so at the last minute asked if we could pitch a tent next to the festivities. Of course, the advantage was we didn't have to drive anywhere when the party finished; the disadvantage was that one daughter, who shall remain nameless but she knows who she is, was not at all pleased with the prospect of impromptu camping and huffed and puffed and did sit-ups throughout the night!

I had never been to this particular part of Wales before but Hubby was keen to make a full weekend of it so we visited Aberaeron, just up the coast, on Saturday lunchtime. We ate fish and chips and marvelled that we had made the whole journey without arguing over directions or map reading once! Aberaeron is very pretty and well worth a visit if you are near. I found a lovely shop too called Box of Delights, on Bridge Street, which sells lots of pretty gifts and shabby chic bits.

After waking to glorious sunshine on Sunday, we headed down the coast to Pembrokeshire, and to Parrog, Newport, in particular. 

Parrog was a favourite holiday haunt of dear Hubby when he was a child. He learnt to canoe there and was very keen to go back. What a beautiful, idyllic place. It is only tiny but obviously a real hub for recreational sailing and canoeing. And as we strolled along, who did we spot just on the other side of the small beach - well, Hubby's brother also feeling nostalgic for the place! 

I would say you must visit but I would quite like to keep Parrog to myself actually, because it is definitely a case of small is beautiful.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Everythings Coming Up Rosie!

I've just come back from walking Rosie and I'm glad to say the sun is shining! The day started off rather dull and wet but now it really is a beautiful Summer's day - about time too, I hear you all shouting!

I remembered that I had some pictures of the garden on the camera from last week which I had intended to use for my blog, so here they are, or most of them anyway.

For some reason, my garden is lush and green but I seem to have very few flowers at the moment, so hopefully this sunshine will make a few more bloom. This Clematis has started to twist it's way up through the dense Buddleia to the sky hoping to catch some rays.

And these Mallows just grow everywhere like weeds but I haven't the heart to pull them out, so these pink pretties are by the edge of the lawn.

I've no idea what the other pink flower is in this photo but that also grows everywhere. If you know what it's called, please let me know! It has spikey leaves along the stems, although they are soft to touch not prickly.
This gorgeous Passion Flower is one of the climbers we've added this year. I'm hoping it will fruit next year. We are very well stocked for fruit, especially the traditional soft fruits and orchard fruits but it will be nice to have something more exotic too. We are also really excited to have our first home-grown olives! I'll let you know whether they ripen or not in our English climate. They are looking quite impressive at the moment though!
This small tree had cream hydrangea-like flowers earlier in the Summer but now it has bunches of shiney red berries. I've no idea what this is called either but something is enjoying munching through it's leaves!
We have several Rose bushes and Climbing Roses. Thank goodness for them because they have been the only constant flowers we've had this Summer. Some have very little fragrance but the orange rose pictured in the last post has the most perfect fragrance and grows on long elegant almost thornless stems; everything you would wish for from a rose.
I can't imagine a flower garden without roses.
And I certainly couldn't imagine my garden without this Rosie!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Rainy Days and Sundays

We've had quite a lot of rain this week, and today has been no exception. I had hoped to go off on a jolly jaunt to some nearby seaside resort but nobody else was keen on that idea. The seaside can be so special in the rain though, don't you think..?
So instead, I have been doing the jobs  I like to put off until a rainy day!  

I have washed the kitchen floor - yes, I know rain, Rosie the dog and clean floors are never a good combination but why waste an hour on a lovely sunny day doing such chores when I could be outside with Rosie. 

I've dusted the living room and asked myself again: "Why do I have so many nicknacks and candles?" "Clutter" is how my Hubby refers to all my precious bits and pieces. 
I've remodelled an old favourite strappy t-shirt to make it look a little less nineties!  

I've read issue four of 'Mollie Makes' and was especially pleased to see Dottie Angel on page nine. I love her blog, she always makes me smile! 

I've checked eBay to see if I've sold or won anything, and trawled through the listed upholstery fabrics for any bargains - nothing doing there. 

I've edited and cropped some of the photographs I had taken earlier in the week for my blog and now I'm playing with the layout and fonts and wondering what else I can do to increase my blog following.

But, It's no good, I can't put it off any longer. I need to take Rosie out for her walk even if it's raining - a dog has to do what a dog has to do!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Ship Shape

SS Great Britain
Last weekend was the 40th Bristol Harbour Festival. The festival is always a vivid spectacle of music and dance, arts and crafts, food and drink (lots of it!), and of course, a wide variety of floating vessels from tiny steam boats for two people to huge Royal Naval Mine Sweepers.

We decided to take in the sights on Sunday afternoon. After depositing the girls to go off with friends to enjoy the festivities, Hubby and I took Rosie for her first stroll around the harbourside. We started on the Hotwells side of the harbour, quite a ways downstream from the main event. It was a chance to marvel at how much Bristol had changed since we were teenagers. It really is a beautiful city now, with so much going on and slowly every square inch of it is being revitalised.

Rosie was very good, although she didn't really like the mass of people near the Watershed or the noise of the Top Gear ride by the Arnolfini. 

A tall ship outside the Arnolfini
Everywhere we went, The Matthew appeared to follow!

And no self respecting Bristol Event would be complete without a Banksy. This one is on the side of The Thekla, an excellent music venue  on a ship moored next to the Mud Dock.

Sunday was very warm, so after walking for quite some time we decided to have a nice cool refreshment here:

They do great food too!
Rosie was feeling the heat too.
Then it was time to head back, this time on the other side of the harbour.

No, that isn't Rosie hitching a lift - I don't think she is quite well-behaved enough for that challenge just yet!

About half way home, we stopped briefly at the Olive Shed to listen to the crazy violinist. Excellent - another highly recommended Bristol establishment!

I think Rosie really enjoyed herself. She had a lovely long walk, experienced lots of new sensations and made a few new friends too.

I'm not so sure the swans were that keen to get to know her though, but these familiar faces seemed very happy indeed!