Sunday, September 22, 2019

From Yesterday to Today

It was a most beautiful day yesterday, in our little area anyway.  We drove the few miles to the town of Leek where all was looking lovely in the bright sunshine.  The antiques and bric a brac market was in the market square with a few food stalls and a display of birds of prey.  Sorry no photos as there were too many people around.

We wandered into Getliffe's Yard after taking a couple of bags of books and clothing to the Staffordshire Wildlife Charity Shop nearby.

There are some lovely shops in the yard and they were all decorated, very tastefully for Autumn.

 It felt like time for coffee and a toasted teacake. So we went into 'Tea-Cake'

We were the first people in although others soon followed.

Coffee was served using such pretty china which had been designed by the owner of the gift shop and cafe.  Here is a link to her website so you can see more.  Fully refreshed we had a look at the market stalls both inside and out before returning home.

The afternoon was spent washing and getting things dry outside including winter dressing gowns which are now clean and ready for when it gets colder.  More work was done on the tedious job of getting the weeds out of the pebble path.

The garden was full of bees and butterflies. There were at least five Red Admirals.

 They were all over the Sedum flowers.

Whilst Commas, Tortoiseshells and whites

seemed to prefer the Verbena Bonarensis.

We spotted a little frog on a lily leaf in the pond.

 He or she had popped up out of the water to enjoy the warm sunshine.

It was nice to see the frog as we've had hardly any in the pond this year.

 The Golden Hop has developed hop flowers.

 The Clematis we thought was lost has flowered

 Dahlias and Japanese Anemones are adding colour to the garden at the moment.

 Giving the impression that it is still summer in their hearts.

 Even though by the end of the day the lawn was covered in the first large leaf fall and silken spider webs were trailing across paths and adding a delicate glitter to the heather.

We've been thrilled that over the last few days the long tailed tits have returned to the feeders joining their blue tit and great tit cousins.

What a difference a day makes this morning we were woken by the sounds of heavy rain and thunder. I'm so glad we made the most of yesterday.

Saturday, September 21, 2019


One of the places we visited on Anglesey was the little village of Moelfre.  We'd spoken to the helpful lady in the tourist centre at Beaumaris and she suggested that we park a little away from the centre and walk in as the parking places there were both few and expensive. 

We found the free car park near the shops as she suggested and walked down a very pretty alleyway onto the main street.  From there it was a short walk to the sea.

It has such a quaint centre with little cottages overlooking the bay.  First thing first was an ice cream as it had had turned from a rainy and damp morning to a warm and sunny afternoon.  There was a lovely ice cream shop at the side of the car park with seats overlooking the sea.

Fully refreshed we decided to explore a little and follow the coastal path.

Looking back at the village from the top of the hill and start of the path.

Along the coastal path.

Above a statue outside the Seawatch Centre.  Inside are interesting displays about maritime heritage.
Fishermen's cottages just off the coastal path.  We'd looked at one of these on a website but at this time of year they were fully booked.  We thought we might check it out for next year but it is fully booked except for three weeks in August.  It must be a popular place to stay and I can see why.

There were lots of cormorants on Moelfre Island.

Overlooking Dulas Bay where The Royal Charter ship was wrecked in October 1859 with the loss of over 400 lives.  There is a monument along the coast which commemorates the lives lost.

Someone had been busy building a stone sculpture.

The RNLI Lifeboat Station 

We went up to the top part of the building where the upper deck of the lifeboat was.  I didn't go down as I have a phobia about the bottom of boats when they are up out of the water.  I've had it for ages and had never heard of anyone else feeling the same way until I heard the choirmaster and broadcaster Gareth Malone say on a television programme that he had this too.

A bunny!  It's always a joy to spot one as I rarely see them nowadays.  There were four in this small field which might actually have been at the bottom of someones garden.

A cormorant resting and drying its wings on a rock near the lifeboat station.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Bangor Pier

When we first visited Bangor Pier we walked right to the end which seemed to be a good way across the Menai Strait.  The photo below was taken in April 2010.

This time the last bit of the pier was cordoned off as work was being done to the building at the end.

 After a warm day a gusty wind had developed which got stronger the further along the pier we walked.

 It was still quite warm in the early evening sun.

The tide was out leaving exposed banks all along the estuary.  The sound of Oyster Catchers filled the air.  The mud banks were covered in them.

 Down under the pier it was wader time

 Grey Heron



 All too soon it was time to leave Bangor behind and cross over the Menai Bridge onto Anglesey.

Where we had another castle to visit.

 Some lovely beaches to walk on.

Tasty food to eat

and a bit of the coastal path to explore.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Penrhyn Castle

We've just spent a few days away in North Wales, mostly on the island of Anglesey.  To get there we drove up to Bangor and decided to spend the afternoon at nearby Penryhn Castle.  We'd visited before, a few years ago but hadn't been inside as the castle was closed and just the grounds, garden and railway museum were open.

 This time the whole of the property was open. When describing the interior words and phrases beginning with 'O' come to mind. 

Ostentatious, opulent, over the top and gloriously outrageous.  In contrast the exterior looks rather plain and severe. 

 The castle overlooks the Menai Strait, the stretch of water which separates the island of Anglesey and the mainland.

The castle was built of Anglesey limestone and designed by the architect Thomas Hopper between the years 1820 to 1837.  The owner was George Hay Dawkins who inherited the estate from his cousin Richard Pennant, 1st Baron Penrhyn.  This new castle built in the Romantic style of Norman revival replaced an early one built fifty years earlier in the Gothic style.

Shall we look inside?

The Grand Hall

 The Library

 The Drawing Room

 The Ebony Room

 The Grand Staircase

 Reveals one more extravagance after another.

 It was carved by local masons recruited from the Pennant family quarry.

 The work is of the highest quality

 It took ages to reach the top

The stair carpet was equally opulent.

The face carvings were amusing

 and yet I'm sure, might be a thing of nightmares too.

As were those in the library.

By the time we reached the bedrooms I was feeling just a little confused between the State Bedroom and the Slate Bedroom.  Above the State bedroom  which Queen Victoria used in 1859.  According to the room guide she preferred this room to the Slate room below.

The bed foot and columns in this room are made of local slate.  Queen Victoria didn't like the bed as she thought it was tomb like.

Let's have a quick dash through some of the other rooms.

Dining Room


After tea and scones in the tea rooms and an obligatory visit to the shop and second hand book shop it was time to look at the gardens and the trains.

The bog garden was lovely with huge Gunnera plants

It was a haven for wildlife especially butterflies and dragon flies.

The day had suddenly become warm

Both insects and humans were feeling lethargic.

Time to say goodbye to Penrhyn Castle and move on.

The Menai Bridge was calling.