Monday, August 12, 2013

Nature and Other Stuff

Nature Notes

A few wonderful brushes with nature during our week away in west Wales.

First, the ritual of sitting on the jetty at Newquay watching the sun down down. A glorious evening was topped off by the sight of two bottlenose dolphins in Cardigan Bay. They seemed to be enjoying the evening as much as those gathered to watch them.

A couple of days later we visited cardigan Island Farm, a visitor friendly farm overlooking Cardigan. the walk to the cliff edge overlooking the island was rewarded by several seals peering backing at us. We counted at least three, although we were told that the day before 15 had been seen. A real treat.

On our final day we went Llanerchaeron, a National Trust house and gardens. during our walk around the walled garden we were swamped by butterflies. Yellow, white, orange, tiger striped. Everywhere. A beautiful view. Since then I've seen features saying that thie year has been a good one for butterflies and moths. Good news.

Agricultural Notes

Went to the Vaynor Show on Saturday. I've seen the ads for it around Merthyr for years, but this was our first visit. Its a very scled down version of the Royal Welsh Show, with sheep, cow and horse competions, a fur and feather tent, and even a gymkhana. A very gentle day out, which Ava enjoyed because of the face painting and the candy floss.

TV Notes

Footie is back. Meh.

And BT Sports has made a land-grab for ESPN. In the drive for more and more footie on the box, ESPN America has been a bystander casualty (or casuality as Satellite City would have it). So now there is an occasional baseball game buried in ESPN's schedules, and no Kornheiser/Wilbon analysis in PTI.

I shan't be shelling out, BT.

Travel Notes

Driving and commuting has been far less of a chore this past few weeks with the summer holidays in full swing. No if they can only get the trains to run on time.

One notable exception. It seems that Ebbw Vale is having wholescale roadworks. The have taken the big bang to roadworks, and it seemed last week that it was almost imnpossible to get in or out of town. Still, I'm sure it'll be nice when its finished.

Film Notes

Went to the Chapter Arts Centre for some scoff and a filum. The range of vegan, vegetarian, halal and kosher meals always makes we smile, and I always rebel against all of it by ordering the burger! A reasonable selection of beer though, and a nice pint of Rascal washed down my hunk of red meat.

Anyway, went to see The Bling Ring, which is based on the true story of LA wannabees burgularizing (their word, not mine) the homes of celebrities when they are away. Paris Hilton left the key to her house under the front mat, and several others simply left their houses unlocked. Some had som much "stuff" that they didn't even know they had been robbed.

Its a boggling story of wealth and vacuousness, and proves the adage that fools and their money are soon parted. The movie was far better than I had been expecting. A Vealey thumbs-up.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Holidays and Other Stuff

Ava's Diary

Nice week in Tresaith. It was sunny almost all week, so I spent most of it on the beach. Sandcastle-building, jumping waves, collecting shells and my first go at surfing meant a busy week.

One rainy day and so that was a trip to the cinema with dad to see The Smurfs 2. It was smurfing funny.

The pcture is the view from our caravan park, Gwalia Falls, down to Tresaith beach.

Cricket Notes

Went to see last Friday's T20 game between Glamorgan and Northants. Good crowd (7,000 or so), good start but an inability to bat consistently and not give away cheap wickets cost Glamorgan dear. Four catches at long-on or long-off shows a spectacular lack of learning. And the odd poor ball meant that Glamorgan failed to build pressure in he field, and consequently the result was never in doubt.

Other thoughts on the game: The four that was a six. A pull from Chris Cooke cleared the boundary by a clear yard. The umpire asks the nearest Northants player Muhammad Azharullah who shrugs. Umpire has no option but to signal a four. Next year's guide will list Azharullah as qualified for England by residency but for Pakistan by cheating.

Marcus North. His 7 off 100 balls (probably not actually 100 balls) was torture to watch. Most others teams have overseas players who add to their teams, in Glamorgan's case this is another expensive mistake.

Travel Notes

Different pace of life down in west Wales. A lot of  the roads around Tresaith are single track, which means quite a bit of squeezing past and reversing to lay-bys. All of this is done with very good grace, and an extraordinary array of cheery waves. I have been growing my portfolio of waves to other motorists. A nod, a salute, a regal wave, the list (Robert Crampton-style) continues.