Saturday, 14 May 2016

Saturday 16th April 2016

Today I received a present from Leeta my sister, that I hope is going to open up a new chapter in my life. It is a book called ‘Writing from the Heart’, inspiration and exercises for women who want to write.
Leeta, has, for a long time now, tried to encourage me to write, and the first thing I am going to do is to keep a weekly diary here, of my life.  Sometimes it will be mundane and boring I am sure, and at other times more interesting, but I will at least be writing.  This will just be a little off shoot of other things I hope to do.  At the moment I do a weekly exercise with Leeta. 
When Sindie was alive, she gave Leeta a box, filled with hundreds of little strips of paper, each having a subject typed on them.  Whatever is written on the piece of paper that Leeta picks out at random, is that weeks exercise.  This is the box she did for Leeta.  So much thought and time went into it, that we are both enjoying using it as it was intended.

I will write again with any interesting news :0)

Sunday 1st May 2016
We went to Chris and Sarah’s for a couple of hours.  It was a wet, cold and windy day, but we had fun building a Profiterole cake with the boys. Each profiterole was filled with fresh cream, and the whole thing, when built, was drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauce!  It was delicious.  When we left, there were still two of the largest layers of profiteroles left for them to enjoy in the evening, (if they lasted that long)!

Tuesday 3rd May 2016
First sign of summer after a long miserable winter.  The sun is out and it is warming up. The boys, Joe and Jake are coming tomorrow and staying until Thursday, as Sarah has an ‘inset’ day and the school is closed.  Having my hair cut at one tomorrow as well, before preparing the boys favourite dinner, a roast.
Looking forward to having them again.

Wednesday 4th May
After my haircut, Lennie collected the boys this afternoon, and they all enjoyed a nice roast chicken dinner.
Thursday morning Lennie took the boys on an adventure.  They went for a very long walk in Penllergaer Woods.  They left at 9.30 a.m. and at midday I received a phone call from Lennie saying that they were lost! It was a good hour later that they finally arrived home.  After a nice lunch we took them to Fforestfach to look at their favourite shop, which they always enjoy.  We also went to the pet shop where they enjoyed looking at the rabbits, fish, Bearded Dragon and all sorts of insects. We then took them for a drink, and on the way home they also saw a beautiful owl on a lead!

14th May 2016
Last week, Lennie sat on a garden chair and went straight through it.  I was just turning my camera on to video the garden, and missed it!!  However, he was unhurt, but to avoid a more serious accident, (namely me falling through a chair!) we purchased 6 nice wooden garden armchairs, and Lennie took our other eight wooden chairs to the local recycling centre.

Tomorrow we are going to buy a wooden Steamer Lounger and cushion for me!  I have to have my legs up for comfort and medical reasons, but don’t like laying down, so it will be ideal! I will put a picture on after we have collected it.
On a more sombre note, poor Pickles is getting less and less able to walk any distance, and it takes her two or three goes before she can manage to lie down, as her hips are so stiff. She begs Lennie to bring her upstairs to me while I am getting ready in the morning, but she can't go upstairs on her own.  Lennie has to take her two back legs and 'wheelbarrow' her up.  She is perfectly happy doing this, and is quite happy in herself as well, sometimes making an effort to attack and chase her little dog treats round the kitchen floor, albeit slowly!  Realistically, we know that it is only a matter of time before the painkillers she has, which control her pain well, (but not her stiffness) will cease to work as well.  She is on the maximum they will give her, so I don't know what the vet will decide then. She will be 14 years old in July, and the vet said that dogs of her size rarely live as old as she is.  It is the fact that she has German Shepard in her that make her hips vulnerable to arthritis unfortunately.

An exciting thing has just happened!  Chris popped in this afternoon for a visit after his long cycle ride in the mountains, and I mentioned that we had bought a pedometer each, which turned out to be rubbish!  We sent them back for a refund!  He said that he and Sarah have a lovely one each, and that he would buy us one each as well.  This is the one he is getting us.  You can even receive texts on it :0)

vívosmart® HR
Overview Specs In the Box Accessories
Smart Activity Tracker with Wrist-based Heart Rate
Sleek band is comfortable to wear all day, and the always-on display shows your stats, even in sunlight
Displays steps, distance, calories, heart rate, floors climbed and activity intensity
Receive text, call, email, calendar and social media alerts²
Control your music and your VIRB® action camera (sold separately) all from your wrist
Reminds you to stay active with move bar and vibration alert
Wrist-based Heart Rate
vívosmart HR smart activity tracker¹ with Elevate™ heart rate technology1 measures heart rate at the wrist 24/7. That gives you the freedom to work out with no additional heart rate strap needed. Using heart rate, vívosmart HR provides calories burned information and quantifies the intensity of your fitness activities, providing better credit for your efforts. You can even use your vívosmart HR as a heart rate strap on your wrist when paired with other compatible Garmin devices.

More Than Just Steps
In addition to measuring steps, calories and distance, vívosmart HR measures floors climbed with its integrated barometric altimeter. Whether you’re going for a run or trying out a new gym class, it measures your activity intensity with intensity minutes. This feature lets you monitor your progress against activity goals recommended by health organisations.

Smart Capabilities
Stay active and connected with vívosmart HR activity tracker. Each time you receive a notification from your compatible smartphone, it gently vibrates and automatically displays the information. Simply touch and swipe the screen to read more. Other connected features allow you to control music and your VIRB action camera (sold separately) or find your misplaced phone.

vivosmart HR
Beat Yesterday, Every Day

Monday, 12 October 2015


We had to pop round to Chris and Sarah’s house while they were out.  We let ourselves in, and turned off the alarm, then set about the little job we had to do.
After about five minutes, I heard Lennie shouting something about the gate being left open.  I looked out of the front window, and sure enough, we had forgotten to close the large gate across the drive.  Lennie was nowhere to be seen, so before I went out to close the gate, I looked out of the window into the back garden. 

There was Lennie, frantically waving his arms in the air, and making all sorts of strange noises.  I quickly popped outside, thinking maybe some wasps were attacking him or something.  The sight I saw was hilarious!  He was surrounded by seven sheep, all happily munching away on the lovely grass, completely ignoring his arm waving.  However, as he got louder they began to move, some of them going out of the side entrance to the front, then doubling back again in the other side entrance!  He eventually managed to get them out of the garden on to the front drive, and was successful at shooing them back out of the gate, and closing it.

He spent the next ten to fifteen minutes going all over the garden and drive picking up an unbelievable amount of sheep droppings, which he deposited in a bag, and put into the boot of our car!  On the way home they were put into one of the many ‘doggie bins’ in our village.

One thing is for sure, we won’t forget to close the gate again!  I must say, we had been warned by Chris and Sarah when they first moved to that house that the gate was to be kept shut at all times.  It only take a minute or two for the sheep to realise that a gate is open, and as if by some sort of telepathy, they all start making for it!

Friday, 2 October 2015



We had a lovely day out including a tour of  Llanelly House, part of my birthday treat from Chris and Sarah.

They have just completed a 10 year, £6m restoration, and it is an outstanding  1714 Georgian Town House.  It was the most interesting and amusing tour we have ever been on.  As we were taken round this huge house, dressing table mirrors, framed pictures, and even a complete wall about 27 feet long, came to life, with characters such as Sir Thomas and Lady Stepney, talking to us directly about the ‘goings on’ in the house at the time, all dressed in the costumes of their day.  On the huge wall, which included many picture windows, (which seemed to disappear) we were shown the history of the house and surrounding land with animation and drawings, which was superb.

In Lady Stepney’s bedroom, the dressing table  mirror was the next thing to come to life, suddenly turning into a TV screen, with Lady Stepney showing us how she made up, with that awful white powder with lead in it, and with those little false black spots that were stuck on as beauty spots to cover up any blemishes on the face.  She was saying how vulgar it was to have a tanned skin, whilst looking round the room with disdain at all of us!

We were also taken up some extremely steep stairs to the servants quarters, so steep in fact, that I had to come down again in the lift as I know I would have lost my balance on the stairs!  This was quite a small room, considering it housed five servant girls.  One young servant girl, who was made pregnant by the son of the Lord of the house, had to swear that it was the head butler who was the father.  She then committed suicide by taking a large quantity of laudanum (an alcoholic solution containing morphine, prepared from opium and formerly used as a narcotic painkiller).  In her bedroom was a long standing mirror, which again turned into a screen, and we were involved in the court case that went on after her death, with our tour guide asking them questions, and they in turn, answering our tour guide! These people were life sized.  It is now thought that she was in fact forced to take the Laudenum, and a suicide note (which it is believed was false) saying that the head butler was the father of her child. The signature on the letter, and the hand writing were not those of a servant girl with no education.

At the end of the tour, we had two portraits talking to us.  One was Lord Stepney, and the other Lord Cowell.  It was written in the will that only legitimate sons may inherit the house, and Lord Stepney, who was a kind and forward thinking man was set to inherit it.  However, the next in line, if there was no legitimate son, was Lord Cowell, and he went to court stating that as Lord Stepney’s parents were married in France, which was not recognised in England, then that made Lord Stepney  illegitimate.  He unfortunately won the case, and the house went to him, my namesake!

There was lots more information, which didn’t quite sink in, but it was certainly a very interesting and unusual tour, and I recommend anyone in the area of Llanelli to visit the house and take the tour.

They have a lovely little restaurant there, and our day was finished up with a very nice meal, including a sweet, and of course a latte!

Unfortunately, although armed with our camera and camcorder, as usual we were not allowed to use them, so have no pictures to show you. I did, however, manage to take this picture of Lady Stepney’s bedroom, with the talking dressing table mirror from the brochure!

Sunday, 27 September 2015


Today is my 73rd birthday.  I can't believe I am talking about me.  The years have gone so fast!

The day started beautifully, with a black coffee in bed at seven, and lots of lovely birthday cards. One of the cards held a Boots voucher from my son-in-law Gary, and a very pretty parcel contained a beautiful Willow Tree ornament to add to my collection  titled 'Me and Grandmother' from our lovely granddaughter Emily, who never forgets my  special days :0) The majority of my little collection is from Emily.  Todays present is the one in the centre.

After the excitement of the morning, we were off to spend some time with my son Chris, daughter in law Sarah and our three cheeky grandsons.  We went to The Three Cliffs coffee shop  in Penard on The Gower coast and were treated to a huge scone with jam and cream, and a giant latte!
Afterwards we went for a little walk along the cliff tops.  It is a glorious day, and Wales is so beautiful along this coast.  These are some of the photo's taken on the walk. Just click on each photo to enlarge it. The video is a bit dark as I was filming into the sun.

We had a really lovely couple of hours, and on Wednesday we are being treated to a day out with tours in an historic house, and a nice slap up lunch, all from Chris and Sarah.

I had to add this video taken last week.  This was probably the last long walk Pickles, our dog will have with the boys.  She is now thirteen, and has very bad arthritis in her hips.  Although she enjoyed it, she could hardly walk by the time she got home, so, on vets orders, only short little walks from now on, which is very sad.  She can't understand why, when the boys are getting their walking shoes on, and getting ready to go out, she can no longer go with them :0(  Now about the video.  Joe, the one in the check shorts, is always getting into some sort of mess, falling into streams, getting covered from head to toe in mud,  or coming home from a walk with his wellie boots full of water!  On this occasion he was seriously sizing up if he could get across the river by balancing on an old tree branch!

I hope to have some more video and photo's of our day out on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015


Tuesday, 1 September 2015


       The Lost  Handbag

I forgot to tell you.  The other day I was in Lidl, and there, in the middle of a completely deserted aisle on the floor was a very expensive, large black patent handbag.  I picked it up and carried it around until I found a member of staff to hand it over to.
Anyway, a bit later I got to the checkout and the lady in front of me went to pay.  She was a very elderly, very classy lady, dressed all in black, and very well spoken.  She was panic stricken when she realised her handbag has gone!  I told her it was okay, I had found it and handed it in, so she thanked me again and again,  still in a state of shock, and got her bag back.  As we were going through the till, she came back to me and said in front of everyone
'Are you Church or Chapel'? I asked her to repeat what she had said, as I had been concentrating on my shopping, and again she said 'Church or Chapel'?
'Oh, neither' I stammered, wondering why she asked such a thing.  Everyone was listening. Then she tried to hand me a note, (I don't know if it was five or ten pounds) to 'put in the box when I go'. Of course I didn't take it as I don't go to Church, so she was at a loss how to repay me for handing her bag in.  In must have had a lot of valuable stuff in it.
I just said that I was done a favour a while ago and was asked to 'pay it forward' so perhaps a time may come when she could do someone a favour too and pay it forward :0) Everyone was smiling and 'aahhhing' when she tried to give me the money.  What a sweet lady.  I certainly knew I was in Wales when she said 'Church or Chapel' !!!