Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Impromptu Wales

So, we found ourselves in Wales last week. It wasn’t planned, we just decided a couple of days before we went, found a last minute cottage and hopped in the car!

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We stayed in Betws-Y-Coed, a beautiful little village in North Wales. The cottage is above the cafe but it’s built into the hillside so that red door on the left leads to steps up to the cottage which is actually on ground level. Did that make sense?

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The steps to the cottage just kept going up and up – this is the view from the top of the terraced garden.

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Wales has new wonderful scenery around every corner. This is Swallow Falls.

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Betws is in Snowdonia National Park so the scenery just gets more and more dramatic.

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This is Conwy, and that is Conwy castle. It’s huge! I know I keep banging on about it but the scenery in North Wales is amazing – in places it is so wild it seems remote, like there are no other human beings for miles and miles. Then you drive round a corner to find a walled city or a seaside town full of life and kiss-me-quick hats.

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The smallest house in Britain, also in Conwy.

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Llandudno pier.

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These last three are Fairy Glen, (or Fair-Y-Glen possibly). Wales has a lot of small waterfalls, and most of them require a mildly treacherous walk along the edge of a gorge. It’s worth it though because they are all so beautiful.

Well, we had a wonderful time and I wish we didn’t have to come home – I’ve still got more to show you though!


Thursday, 18 July 2013

York Dragon Boat race 2013 – a steampunkish pirate in action!

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There aren’t too many photos of me knocking about but here I am, looking a bit short, about to prove that you CAN row a boat wearing a bustle and corset.

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There were 17 of us rowing the boat, plus a few reserves so there were plenty of pirates on the day!


Every team rows three races and then your best times are used to determine who races in the final. We didn’t make the final – our best time was 1.21 and the winners’ best time was 1.04 – but boy did we have fun!


It’s hard work, splashy and tiring but the whole thing raises thousands for charity and has the feel of a festival.

The College Crew are in lane 2!

I don’t know who filmed this or where it came from but it turned up in my inbox. It’s a video of our second race, which was memorable because we were winning right up until the point when the boat nearly capsized! Near the end you can hear us scream – the water was pouring in, it was quite scary!

We spent most of the afternoon soaked through to the skin but raring to race! We haven’t had the final total for our team yet but we reckon we raised around £1500 for Help For Heroes and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Right, I’m off to bed. I’ve got to drive to Wales in the morning!


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Strawberry picking, yum!

We love strawberries, but there is nothing better than ones you’ve picked yourself. You can make sure they’re ripe and juicy, and have a lovely walk at the same time. Much better than buying at a supermarket.


We went to the Balloon Tree at Gate Helmsley which as well as having pick-your-own strawberries, blackberries, currants, rhubarb, gooseberries, plums (and probably much more) they also have a farm shop, cafe and small plant nursery.


My gran sure knows how to pose with a basket of fruit!


Yum! We got a lot of strawberries, despite the fact that mum is really, really picky!


Did I mention they also have pigs! In fact they have ponies, chickens and goats too!

It’s a great place to spend a few hours, and it’s always good to bring home baskets of fresh fruit. If you are nearby, or plan to be, it’s definitely worth a visit.