Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Welsh Family Jollies

Sorry to take so long before I write again but have been rather busy with piles of washing and ironing and a little matter of going to work - but you don't want to know about this. So I am back - and am alive, not been swept away by any giant floods. Here we go:-

With car fully loaded we meandered away from out of sunny Leicestershire to Shrewsbury for our first stop. This was to see my dad who was babysitting my 14 year old nephew. Then lunch at Welshpool - couldn't see any wool shops (tragic!). Then as we continued on our journey the rain started.The nearer we got to  Dinas Mawddwy, Machynlleth the heavier the rain got! Then the sat nav said we had arrived but we hadn't because there was nothing there other than grass! So I began driving up various private farm tracks hoping it was our destination. Then Mr P sent me up a really grubby, muddy drive way which then led to a steep narrow road to a farm. It was at this point when I said if you think that is the farm then you'll need to walk up there as I'm not driving! I think he realised that I meant it and after I pointed out that the photographs of the farm seemed to be on a flat road then he put his brain into action and decided to direct me to the other side of the road where the farms were not up some steep hill. I should also say that the rain was lashing down, could hardly see out of the car and I was having to do u-turns on this busy A road! But after a few more turns up incorrect farm tracks our home for the week came into view and appropriately the rain stopped.

The owners came out to greet us warmly, showing us around their amazingly converted cattle sheds to this beautiful home(the owner doing all the rebuild). Then just as the tour was finishing the first of my baby chicks arrived with the dog greeting us first. This first hour was so precious - the excitement of being in a house that is unpredictable and new and then the joy as all my babies suddenly walk in. Great discussions and debates as to who should have what bedrooms. No 1 daughter going around checking the squeakiness of each bed!

A trip was needed to Portmadog, to stock up on food supplies and then we went to Betws-y-Coed. I needed a new rain coat as the one I had was no longer waterproof and a little on the small size. This was the ideal place to get a new coat. Every other shop seemed to sell outdoor clothes. Oh boy is it complicated buying a new coat - so much to choose from, so many different options and a huge price range. We ended up in Cunninghams where a very patient chap explained the ins and outs of the coats. Then I had to make a hasty retreat to a bench outside whilst I tried to understand what I needed to buy. Oh dear guess what Mr P let me buy a very expensive coat, I still tremble thinking about the cost.

There's a lovely train station and on the platform was this bench.

Sorry I don't understand why the writing has changed but it just has! I grew up In Yardley and regularly walked to Stechford to go swimming.

We thought we'd finish the visit off with a quick trip to Swallow Falls, but when we arrived there was a turnstile to go through. But we needed a pound each. Having spent all our loose cash in Betws-y-Coed and no staff around I decided there was no other choice other than to crawl underneath!


Mr P and myself went for a great 10 mile walk along the Estuary from Dolgellau to Barmouth. The sun was actually shining! First stop was by this rickety old car bridge for a cuppa to admire the view.



  Costs 60p to cross this rickety old bridge.




 Then we continued along enjoying the fantastic views, being extremely grateful that we could be out walking in sunshine. 


 Saw lots of wild strawberries along the path.








The bridge in the distance is the railway bridge crossing over the estuary into Barmouth.

 This was the view from Barmouth. I think this was my favourite day of the holiday. By the evening time I became aware of the fact that my face was sunburnt. Never did I dream that I would have this problem and that I would have to go and buy some sun tan lotion!




Was a trip to Bala where we hired sea kayaks and went out onto the large lake. This was great fun and of course ended up with a water fight, started of course by Mr P when he accidentally/on purpose splashed our son-in-law!!! Then into Bala for a lovely warm mug of hot chocolate, cream and marshmallows for the youngsters and tea for me!

The lovely thing about my daughters, daughter-in-law and hopefully daughter-in-law to be is they all love making things and scattered around the living room were many projects - knitting, sewing, crochet and rag rug making. Aren't I lucky to have all my girlies sharing in similar hobbies.

Last day forecasted with good weather so Mr P opted to walk from the farm to Bala, across humongous hills. I did not even for one minute contemplate joining him and instead I headed off to Aberdovey to the beach.


Dare I say it but I got very hot on the beach and was glad when the sun disappeared behind a cloud. Also I sat as near as I could on the soft sand to the sea so that I could enjoy the breeze!

At around 5.30pm I collected a very worn out hubby and even he thought he had bitten off more than he could chew! Home for a shower and for him a well deserved rest in the hot tub.

Woke up to drizzle. So Mr P and me went into the forest at Coed y Brenin for a lovely walk along some waterfalls. Well the views were spectacular and so were the midges. Every time we stopped to admire the view or try and take a photograph we calculated we had two minutes before the midges caught up with us! They were evil. No 4 came with us and he was mountain biking in some shorts, but by the end of his trip he looked as if he had chicken pox! He was covered in bites and they became rather itchy. poor chap.

 Then we rewarded ourselves with a lovely coffee in T H Coffee Shop, Parliament House in Dolgellau. The cakes are to die for, the atmosphere lovely and relaxed.

Games to play with, newspapers to read and free wifi.

Perhaps this a good time to tell you about all the wonderful puddings that some of family ate over the week. The way we divided up the cooking was that each couple cooked the evening meal and there was a bit of a competitive spirit especially when it came to deserts.

Well mine was a bit pathetic as I was going to make a trifle and realised at the supermarket that I didn't have a whisk to beat the cream - so I cheated and bought some spray cream. This did lend itself to some creative bowls!

I should say that No 2 and his wife made a wonderful hot steamed chocolate pudding. There is no picture as I was too busy devouring it!

 No 4 and his girfriend made this huge chocolate cheesecake, in a tray!

No 1 and hubby made this Irish chocolate feast with strawberries soaked in a bit or Irish whisky!

No 3 and hubby made a gorgeous orange and lemon cheesecake with a sauce made from raspberries. Again no picture as I was too busy stuffing my face!


The rain returned, just like it did on the day we arrived. Some of the children went out shopping but Mr P and myself decided to be very lazy and stay in the comfort of the home and watch Mission Impossible 3. Oh it was great fun, totally far fetched. But I loved it - lots of gadgets, a few scary moments. And then the rain stopped and we headed off to Portmerion - where The Prisoner was filmed. I find it hard to describe the place as it is so surreal. No wonder the TV company thought it a brilliant place to film from. I took lots of pictures but I'll only bore you with a few.


Even the trees seemed to be surreal.

I made Mr P stop driving in order for me to take this picture.

The last evening we all went out for a meal together to y Sospan. 
We had a lovely home cooked meal, thanks to my dad who paid for a large chunk of the meal. It was a lovely way to finish a great week together. Back to the farm for a final hot tub session - which ended up with us not going to bed till 12:30. Not good when you've got to be up early!

Loading up of the cars, sharing out the leftover food and sad farewells. Mr P had to drive for a while as I couldn't stop the tears from rolling down my cheeks and obscuring my vision. It was so wonderful to have had this week to spend with my fantastic family, that Mr P and I are very proud of.

Home in time to start masses of washing and ironing. Followed by a special evening at a friend's barn dance and hog roast.

If you've managed to read all of this blog then well done!

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