Cosmeston Lakes

The last time I went to Cosmeston Lakes was when I was in Primary School.  We went to see the Medieval Village and then had an hour or so of “free time” to run riot around the lake.  There was no gift shop selling pencils and rubbers – what ya gonna do?  Incidentally, my Dad – a retired teacher – took many, many classes to visit Cosmeston Lakes over the years, and on one occasion fell a foul of the whole “free time” thing (back where there was no such thing as risk assessments and one adult to every five kids).  Having overseen the educational side of the visit, he waved the kids off and perched on a bench overlooking the lake to enjoy his own moment of “free time” (precious minutes where there are no children and usually a very large cup of tea or coffee).  Not twenty minutes later, one of the kids came trudging back in sopping wet uniform having “fallen” into the lake.🙂

Dad always says he could fill a book with stories of school trip mishaps.  I think every teacher’s got at least one to tell, right?

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I’ve done the Cardiff to London stint a lot over the years.  A lot.

In case you didn’t know, my husband’s from South East London and so when we left Swansea University we did the long distance thing for a while.  Yep.  I’m over-rehearsed in the whole Megabus routine; you know, getting there extra early to make sure you’re at the head of the queue for a window seat (…oh and then donning your headphones and pretending to be asleep as soon your butt hits the seat to minimize the probability of having someone sit next to you), and then that long lug up the street from Victoria Coach Station to Victoria Train Station.  I’ve driven plenty of times too, the M4 and I go way back; Membury is my favourite Services in case you’re wondering (they’ve got a Subway, y’know), and I’m so used to spending an irritating five minutes re-tuning my radio at Swindon that I’ve got a switch-over station programmed into it now.  Oh yes.  Back when I moved to London, I started to take the train home to see my family instead.  Yeah, it’s quicker (by about 45 minutes), but unless you book months in advance it’s really expensive, and there’ll be swarms of pigeons waiting to welcome you on the platform at Paddington.

Well, now there’s another way.  Last week Sunny’s Mum turned 60, so instead jumping in the car and hitting the M4, I decided to fly to London instead.  No pigeons, no traffic, no pretending to sleep.  I felt very fancy pants🙂

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Instow and Westward Ho!

I’m so excited that Poldark’s back.  As if I didn’t need yet another historical drama to obsess over.  It drives Sunny mad; especially when I start spewing out random historical facts while we’re watching (I’m the WORST – but can’t seem to help myself).  Anyway, the weekend that Poldark came back, we just happened to be in the West Country for a wedding, and while I’m well aware that North Devon is miles away from Poldark’s Truro, the scenery me think of it anyway.

Before the wedding we had a bit of time to explore Instow and Westward Ho!  Instow is a quiet little town that looks out across the estuary to the pretty painted houses of Appledore.  While Westward Ho! (exclamation mark included!) is a small seaside-ish town on the other side of Appledore.  :-)

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Growing an Avocado Tree

Last week I finally got to transfer one of my Avocado seeds into a pot.  Like a mother waving a kid off to University it was kind of a bittersweet, nerve-wracking moment removing those cocktail sticks, tossing the cup of water and transferring it into a very grown up pot🙂 And, I kid you not, I’m now absolutely terrified it’ll die – mostly because it’s taken so bloody long to get it to this momentous step that the thought of it drying out and having to start all over is… well, unthinkable.  I just won’t, is the short answer.  (I don’t think Sunny would let me anyway, he’s getting sick of the size of our leafy brood as it is!)

The process itself is very easy, it just takes a hell of a lot of time and patience!

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Dyffryn House & Gardens

I’m going to hold my hands up here and come clean; I’d never been to Dyffryn until last weekend.  Yeah, yeah, I know!  I knew it existed, but I had no idea how close to Cardiff it was.  Tucked away just off the edge of Culver House Cross – and yet invisible from all main roads – it’s easy to forget it exists and miss it.  But maybe that’s part of what makes it so special – and it really is special.  It reminds me a little bit of Misselthwaite Manor from the Secret Garden – a huge Edwardian Manor (that’s seen better days, it has to be said), and sprawling gardens hiding plenty of secret corners and places to explore.🙂

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