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Wednesday, 18 February 2009


I saw my first new lamb of the season yesterday but was driving and could not take a picture. More will follow quickly now. The mild weather has brought on the buds and the birds are building nests. I hope they haven't jumped the gun.

Cheers Gillian

Sunday, 8 February 2009


The Blackbird sits on the top bough of the tree at the bottom of the garden. It hasn't any experience of snow so it must be relying on some sort of instinct. It is high up and surveying its domain. It may well be disconcerted by this new STUFF but it copes with it all much better than we humans seem able to.Here it is with a better surround. The local snowman is its only companion. Behind the two of them is the footpath into town, heading off to the left behind the hedge.It's amazing what you suddenly want when you can't have it. Luckily, I was snow bound with a bag of knitting, a sudoku challenge booklet, my camera, my computer, great cooking opportunities, wonderful company and a warm cosy home. But I missed Tigger and I'm sure she missed me. Boy! did she shout at me all the way home. Eventually D dug me out of the driveway and checked me to the local petrol station. From there I arrived home with a score of 20 Stobarts and a happy cat.

Still very concerned about the fires in my home state of Victoria.

Cheers Gillian


The cat was ensconced in the Cat Hilton at Gainford, and D and I went off for a short break at Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales. We upgraded to a suite as good as Tigger's and were greeted by the usual chocolates, bottles of wine, two flat screen TVs, jacuzzi, teas/coffees/biscuits and glorious white towelling bathrobes with one-size-fits-all towelling slippers. Well, one size fits nearly all and NO! I did not take a picture of my own feet.We drove up on the first day of snow and made good time because the media had done a really good job of frightening everyone else into staying indoors. They made out that most of England had turned into Antarctica. Anyone who travels up and down England much will know that there are quite a few large vehicles around with "Eddie Stobart" claiming ownership. His gallant band of truckies was still about and between Junction 18/M1 and the end of the journey on the A55 I spotted 50. A record score for a single journey since I first started counting them in 1963.
The next day was spent touring the castle, its portrait collection and playing with its interactive toy museum before heading off to visit the coastal resorts.Llandudno was first. What a grand little town it is. Fabulous sea-front hotels, mostly Victorian, some Edwardian and a great shopping area one block back from the Promenade. This delightful shop was like a re-creation of the set for"Are You Being Served?" We spent happy time riding the lift. One of those old fashioned ones where you have to close the outside cage doors first and then the inside ones and then press the button for one of the four floors. Sadly a recording lets you know when you have arrived, not a lift attendant in uniform resplendent with buttons and braid. The shop and lift are well worth a visit if you are in Llandudno. It houses an eclectic mix of market stall bargains and designer label clothes and apparently the top floor tea-shop is a town favourite.Much of the town rises steeply up the Great Orme. You can see the stanchion on the top that carries the cable ride. But at this stage I was on a mission. I had noticed the inviting signs of a fish and chip cafe on the way into town and after browsing the shops and noticing it was well after one pm, headed towards it. There's something about being at the seaside that makes me want Fish and Chips. There were shops selling "rock" with Llandudno written all the way through it but I'm at the age when I treasure my teeth too much to have some. Fish and Chips it was.
I have no pictures of the rest of the day because I was too gob-smacked to take any. We drove East and after being smitten by the quaintness of Rhos-on-Sea I was shattered by the awfulness of Caravanland near Rhyll. It goes on for many miles and must cover countless square miles of seafront/coastal area. I know there are millions of people within a 75 mile radius who use this area as their getaway zone and who appreciate it for it's proximity and facilities, but it saddened me for some reason.
Before I sign off I want to say to all my friends in Australia, particularly Victoria, how much I'm thinking of them all at the moment. The bushfires sound horrific and I suppose the death toll will get worse. I sincerely hope that none of you or your loved ones are involved.
Cheers for now, Gillian