Thursday, 28 April 2016

Thursday's Off Road Day

The morning started so nice, the sun was shining and we made an early start to go Off Roading.
Joining the route we had been taking all week following Tulip maps taken from a 4x4 magazine we drove to the start of the tracks.
Talk about scary, the track was extremely eroded and most of the time the twist and turns had us leaning at angles I thought were impossible even for a Land Rover Defender, a brief respite and then it got even worse with the camber so bad and the drop off so frightening I got out the car.
I walked, well should I say clambered ahead, to make sure Chris was not too near the edge even though the car was lurching at 90 degrees. I really do not know how he managed it, maybe the prayer I was repeating helped.
Chris then decided to call it a day so I know it was bad.
We headed back to the comfort of the Granary and then the heavens opened and the rain came down side ways!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Rest day

As usual I was up about 5.30 am, I love this time of day and watching the sun rise. This mornings sunrise was beautiful and I hoped for a lovely day, how wrong can you be?
By 6am the snow was coming down hard, I felt sorry for the little lambs in the field outside as they huddled next to their mothers.
Chris decided we would have a rest from Off Roading and go out for lunch. About half an hour from here is a great complex of shops called Harry Tuffin. The shop sells everything from food, garden plants, pound shop, post office, newsagent, cafe etc etc.. We bought a few things in the shop and had a fish and chip lunch with hot drinks for £10.30.
Back at the house we spent the afternoon, Chris on his laptop, me crocheting or playing backgammon on my iPad. Between snow and hail showers the sun shone brightly such a strange weather day.
Sun rise and hardly a cloud in the sky

working on my Mandala

Having chosen the colours myself I am really pleased with the way it is turning out.
Choosing colours is not something I usually do, I am a pattern follower!

The hills are covered in snow


Awoke to a covering of fine snow! The weather report for the day is  2 degrees and snow showers so not looking good for off roading.
Guess "we" are made of sterner stuff as we then spent the day up in the hills trying to find as many sheep as we could! The route today was across great swaths of barren land plus the odd bit of excitement when the car was leaning too far to one side for my comfort. A few fords, always Chris's favourite, plus a river trip ( pity we didn't have a boat) plus about 28 gates to open and close made for a fun trip.
first gate we met a flock of sheep on the move

the views are amazing

pretty lanes

we meet the river, Chris goes to investigate, the exit is near the bridge in the distance

splish splash here we go

love this sign

crossing the causeway Lake Vernwy

side of the lake

we never pass up a toilet stop, but this one was really special

start of a bone shaking lane

lots of pretty waterfalls

narrow bridges to navigate

as we complete the route for today we are again held up [not that we mind]

Monday, 25 April 2016

Monday Off Roading Day

We continued our Off roading adventure today. The weather had turned cold and misty rain occasionally fell but we had a great time and after opening 38 gates [ yes I counted them today!] we called it a day after about 5 hours.
Sheep sheep and more sheep

the mist rolling in over the hills as we drive along

A large forst area has been cut down and is now being replanted

enough cut logs to keep a fire going for years

Narrow lanes

even narrower bridges, this was only inches wider than the car

pretty countryside

babbling brooks

Our first off road day

Sunday I awoke to a beautiful sunrise and although the forecast again was not good we decided to go off roading. How wrong can the weather people be? We had lots of sunshine with about three spots of rain as the mist rolled over the hills.
Chris had planned routes from the coast back to where we are staying. Wales has some great off road lanes and tracks. We started in Fairbourne on the coast and travelled along tiny lanes edged with crumbling stone walls, tracks through farm lands and at one point along extremely rough stone forest tracks.
The views and absolute silence are amazing. In fact during the seven hours off road we only met three other 4 x 4 vehicles and they were all travelling together.
Our packed lunch was spent overlooking a pretty valley and surrounded by hills, this is the life.
Tired and ready for dinner we headed back to the Granary, the journey is to be continued....

first of many gates

70p Toll bridge

very narrow gates

The Welshpool & Llanfair railway

After a good nights sleep in a very comfy bed (gosh I sound like the advert!) we drove into the village to catch the 10am train to Welshpool. What a treat riding in this beautifully restored Light Railway.
Built on 2ft 6inch tracks to allow for the tight curves and steep gradients the railway originally was used to link farming communities and closed in 1956.
In 1960 a group of enthusiasts began to reopen the line and the work still goes on.
Sitting on wooden slatted seats, opening the window with a leather strap and the 'fish and chip' sound as it chugged along were all very nostalgic. The train travelled the eight mile journey stopping at lanes and road crossings through the delightful Banwy Valley.
Half an hour wait at Welshpool and we chose a different carriage to make the return journey in. This time the carriage was a gift from Austria with small compartments. £11.80 return ticket well spent.
waiting for the train

Beautiful scenery

Carriage to Welshpool

returning in a different carriage

Welshpool Train station

The age of steam

Llanfair Caereinion

Friday we arrived in Wales at Llanfair Caereinion. The day was forecast wet but we had a lovely sunny journey. The start of the journey had been almost cancelled as a flare up with my knee had meant a Doctor and hospital appointment before we left. Strong pain killers and the thoughts of living on one level we decided to go.
We arrived at the Granary to be met by Eileen the owner and her son. The cottage is excellent, well furnished and has everything you could possibly need. Eileen had made us a cake and there were lots of goodies in the welcome pack. We are very impressed with this fairly new barn conversion.
the Granary is on the right hand side

Kitchen kitted out with
everything you could possibly need


Bedroom with views across the hills

View through the kitchen window

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The Mandala

I bought wool and downloaded the patterns for another crochet project to take on next weeks holiday, BUT I could not wait and had to start and now cannot stop working on it.

The wool is from Wool Warehouse, Stylecraft Special DK, one of my favourite yarns to work with.
The pattern is a free downloadable CAL [crochet along] called Queenies Mandala designed by Annamarie Esterhuizen. I joined her facebook group to be able to access the patterns, all quite easy and there are many different translations available.
Each week another part of the pattern is released, I am currently working on Part 5.
Winding my wool ready for use.

Work in progress

There are so many free patterns available and I have been hooked on collecting a few free CALs. I may have to live to be 150 if I want to complete everything!
Bluebird and Daisy by Tracey Driver I think will be next project as I would like to use up some of the wool I already have.
Jane Crowfoot's Frida's Flowers Blanket has some yummy flowers that are in my file of "must do".
Helen Shrimpton's Mandala Madness is just beautiful and again I am collecting the patterns.
Looking at the work in progress on all these CALs is so inspiring I want to make them all.