Friday, June 15, 2018

I'm Back Part Three

Still in North Wales, Dalgallau was of particular interest for a couple of reasons. First, it's the town where our host was born. Not only that, but the house that is now the B&B where we stayed, was once the maternity hospital. Taff was born in the very room my daughter and I stayed in. It sounds phony, but the host and hostess of the B&B assured us it was the truth. And in a town as small as Dalgallau everyone knows everything about everyone.
The B&B was very quaint. Each room had a particular character connected with a story. Our room was called "Secret Garden" and was decorated with flowers and animals. The room across from us was "Narnia" and another room was "Alice in Wonderland". Taff's room in the attic was called "Number Six"--which apparently has something to do with "The Prisoner", or maybe it's the other way around. I'm not familiar with that book.
This village was more accessible for me. I was able to walk around, have lunch in a tea house, and so on, while my daughter climbed mountains and followed streams to the sea.

Then we moved on to Porthmadog.

I'm back--Part Two

The second part of this year's trip to the UK was the Wild Wales Walking Tour. My daughter booked it, and I think she thought I'd be able to do some of the hikes. I hoped I might do one or two, but as it turned out, they were either too long or too difficult for this old lady. Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Taff Roberts, the leader, was knowledgeable and always ready to share stories related to the places we visited.
I've been to Wales a couple of times before. When I was about twelve or thirteen, I visited my aunt and uncle and cousins in Swansea, staying with them for about a month, I think. Then, many years later, my husband and I drove through parts of the countryside, and another time travelled there by train. Just last year, February 2017, my husband and son and I took the train from London to Aberystwyth and had a couple of days there en route to Liverpool and beyond.
But this trip, was different. Catherine, my daughter, and I were in the company of Taff Roberts and two couples who actually knew him from their home town of Winona, Minnesota, where Taff now resides.
Our first stop was in Aberdaron. A little town on the tip of a peninsula way up north--but not quite in Anglesey. There we stayed in a modern styled bed and breakfast, and Taff's brother and sister-in-law joined us for a meal. We stayed there three nights. Unfortunately, I couldn't get into the town by myself because the road was long, steep and windy. So I mostly stayed in the B&B and read the book I'd brought along for just such an eventuality. (The book, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, set in London, England--movie notwithstanding--an excellent read). One day, however, Taff arranged for a taxi to take me into town so I could attend a church service. Anglican. I felt right at home. Then, while there, before the taxi came to take me home to the B&B, I visited the local museum.

Our next village was Dalgellau, (pronounced dal-gell-ai, the double L doesn't occur in English, but it's not difficult. Just put your tongue for the letter L, but don't use your voice, just blow around your tongue. Try it!)

I'm back (from the UK) Part One

Left on May 23rd and returned June 7th, 2018. Only two weeks away from home. Almost not worth going! I've never had such a short overseas trip. I would have liked to stay longer, and go other places, but that was not practical at this time. As a result, I'm warning everyone that I'm half dreaming/planning to go back to the UK next year. By myself. No hiking trips, but maybe a bus tour.

The first part of this trip was five days in London. Strange, because I was just there 16 months ago. (January 2017) My English cousins are going to be tired of seeing me. I almost never see my Canadian cousins--it's been decades! Nevertheless, I'd still like to visit each of them--London, Oxford, Devon, and some place called S...something Coal Mines, or something (Sutton, maybe).
While in London, I had a chance to introduce my friend Genevieve to my daughter. I'd seen Genevieve last time, January 2017, the first opportunity to meet since I'd taken her for pram rides in Battersea Park, when I was about 13 years old.
Last visit with Genevieve, we went to the Tower of London, but I didn't really see as much as I'd hoped. I need more information on the Bloody Tower for a middle-grade book I'm researching. So, my daughter and I went back again this trip (just last month, but it seems like ages ago.) Unfortunately, this time the Bloody Tower was closed for preparations for a display. Drat! But, to make up for it, and even better, there was a dramatic performance of the last days of Anne Boleyn--very relevant to the research I'm doing on the Tower.


Turning on this blog, in order to get it up to date, I was confronted with a big yellow notice telling me that I'm supposed to warn followers or readers of this blog that Google collects cookies here. The yellow notice lists also Blogger, Google Analytics, "and other data collected by Google."  I don't know what I'm supposed to do about this. I don't want to know anything more about my readers than they care to post in the comment sections. I don't know what the cookies are for, exactly. But if they worry you, I suggest you give my blog a miss. Otherwise, if you are like me and have nothing special to hide, let's just "keep calm and carry on." That's what I intend to do.
So, I'm supposed to notify you of cookie gathering.
Consider yourself notified.

Friday, May 11, 2018


Catherine, my darling daughter, has been working on the best way to pack for this trip to the UK. I've done a lot of  travelling, but I've never bothered about having to take everything on board the plane with me. I've always tried to pack light, but not take much to stow above or below the seat. I carry with me a handbag that has everything I need on the plane, and let the baggage crew take care of the rest. However, Catherine has other ideas. She came with me to buy a new suitcase that is supposed to hold everything I'll need for the two weeks I'll be there. (She's staying an extra week to visit cousins in Scotland--I saw them last year.) But her suitcase is the same size as mine. Hmmm. I always knew she was smarter than me.
My way of packing my big suitcase (for my husband and myself together) is to use two pillowcases. One for him, and the other--a different colour--for me. Inside the pillow cases, I have plastic bags to pack shoes, and net laundry bags for underwear and for cosmetics.
Catherine wants cubes. So I went with her and got what she recommended. They're a pretty blue, all matching, with labels on them saying "shoes" or "underwear" and so on. Bigger ones for sweaters and pants. Solid plastic ones for shoes or dirty laundry. I have to wonder what the difference is, besides the pretty blue plastic. I'll use them all, of course, but I still plan to put it all in a pillowcase. Just for the sake of tradition, I guess. I'm not going with my husband this time, so the colour of the pillowcase won't matter.
How do you pack?

on the road again

Well, not exactly the road. But traveling again. This time, no travel agents! (Why would I ever use one of them again? I'm not that stupid.) Nope, this time my dear daughter made all the arrangements. So, in just 12 more sleeps, she and I will board a plane for the UK. I guess we have to change planes in Calgary before we'll actually be doing that. Then we'll be in London for six sleeps and head off for North Wales. There, supposedly, I'm to go hiking. Well, I think I'll be strolling in the villages while she goes hiking. Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I would have enjoyed the hikes. Now pushing eighty, I'm not so keen anymore. I've been studying the Welsh language, though, and I hope to have some opportunities to see how well I've progressed in that area.
I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

not ideal

Definitely not an ideal world! Monday, it became clear that Mona was not doing well, she could not keep her food down, and it was a huge battle getting the insulin shot into her without jabbing myself or my husband or maybe getting Mona in the eye. Not a good scenario in any way. So, I had to call the vet and arrange to take the cat in at the end of the day and have her put to sleep. Definitely not an ideal world, or ideal anything. A very teary day for all of us who loved her.
I want to thank Dr. David Kopp and all the techs at Lindsay Veterinary Hospital for their kindness, understanding, and support.