30 April 2020

Bike to Dinorwic

Ever since I realised there was an asphalt road to the top of Dinorwic, I had wanted to bike it. But you know how that goes: life gets in the way! But when driving places to go for a run, walk or bike ride became outlawed, it suddenly became a much more attractive option. So one fine day I decided to go for it.

I biked out of town. Soon I was on the devilishly steep road to Mynydd Llandygai! I'd only biked it once. This time I had less luggage. I had started with three layers on but soon that got reduced to two. And after the steep bit it's a fair stretch you don't have to do in smallest gear. Nice and relaxed! But I was keeping a pace up as I was here for my exercise.

When I got to the actual access road to the reservoir things got serious again. Another layer came off! And I struggled my way up to the junction where the road to Dinorwic (rather than to the reservoir) starts. It's steep! I was sweating like a daft person. And it had taken me 45 mins to get there.

The rest of the way was not anywhere as steep as that access road. And the road is a bit dull but it has its own beauty! And I saw one cyclist coming down, with a big smile on her face.

After exactly an hour I was at the quarry. You can go in there! But I didn't; I was heading for the top. Eight minutes later I got there. I stopped, took a few pics, and got on the bike again. Strangely enough, the way back was a lot quicker! And soon both layers of clothing were back. This had been fun! And it turned out I was just in time; soon after, biking more than a 'reasonable walking distance' got banned. And this is 24 km and 600m ascent! Not sure that counts as reasonable...

Me at the junction where the road to Dinorwic splits off the one to the reservoir

The Snowdon Range comes into view

At the top

Moel y Ci in the distance

29 April 2020

Cousins online

When I am in the Netherlands, I always try to have dinner with my sister and as many cousins as we can round up. That tends to be: one or two. And I had hoped to be in the Netherlands this spring, and have another one of those dinners. But that's not happening! Evidently. But then I suggested we'd do one virtually. And the ladies were up for it! But it wouldn't be a dinner; one of my cousins was actually recovering from the virus and was too tired in the evenings. So we settled for coffee!

We had agreed on a time. It was still a while away. And then Whatsapp video rang! Oh, duh, one hour time difference. I picked up and there we were! It wasn't the same as physically being together, of course, but it was good to see them. And this time there, of course, were the added family members and pets making cameos. And I could show off my house!

Apart from the one illness, everything was well. No personal tragedies here! Fortunately. And we chatted about how we all coped with working at home. And how the various non-present relatives were. And that sort of stuff!

If this lockdown lasts a  lot longer I will suggest a follow-up. Maybe then with my Canadian cousin too! That will have to be in the evening due to the time difference. An unexpected advantage of the current situation: maybe we can muster three cousins (or maybe even four) next time!

WiFi in entire house

When I have my dinner parties with Jaco and Marjan, I always sit in the garden. The weather has been great! And Skype is perfectly happy there. But I have tried other media too; FaceTime, Messenger video, Whatsapp video, Teams... and these don't tend to like the garden. They seem to struggle with the 4G there! And are happier with my wifi. But the wifi only covers the old part of the house. None in the bedroom or conservatory! So I had my last dinner party with Kate and Fiona in my kitchen. The software worked fine the second time around (not so much the first time around), but I had to stay in the old part of the house. And that meant the kitchen, as there I have a dining table. Dinner on a coffee table doesn't really work! Especially not online. So the dinner table is nice, but the view is not. I like to at least see the garden over dinner when it's spring. And I can see it from the bedroom (where my breakfast bar lives) and the conservatory. So I figured I had better get wifi there too! So I googled what a good but affordable wifi booster would be. And ordered it. And decided it could take a while, given how busy delivery drivers are. But it arrived in no time!

Then I had to set it up. The technical aspects were easy. But where to put it? Too close to the router and it would not reach the bedroom. Too far away and it would not work. I tried it in the landing. That was too far from the bedroom. Then in the only socket in, what to call it, the vestibule? But that was too far away from the router. Hmm. This was a precision job. I decided I had best try it in the corner of said vestibule closest to the router. But that required an extension lead! But if that's what it takes, that's what I'll use. So I dug one out, installed the extender, and checked how it worked. And it did! Lovely wifi in bedroom and conservatory. I have not yet tried how far into the garden it reaches. But I'm chuffed! I should now be able to do all my video calling from at least the entire house!

Not pretty, but effective; the wifi extender

28 April 2020

Day off

It has been gorgeous weather for pretty much all of lockdown. It is a bit of a pity to spend all that time in my chilly office when it's so sunny outside! And there was a lull in the amount of work. I had finished the first round of marking, but the second wasn't far. There would be three big deadlines coming in at the same time, and then another big one in the same week. So that would be it for a while then, regarding escaping from the office! ! Of course there was still enough to do: we had to be able to do an entire semester online. Will we have to? Maybe not! But if we only start preparing would it become clear we'd have too, that would be too late. But if you never go out and have some fun until you have no work at all to do you never will! So I got bold and decided to take a day off.

I wanted to go for a long walk. I had picked a target: Llwytmor Bach. I hadn't been yet! An excellent reason to go now. And I contacted Chris. Would he be interested in joining? It would be quite something, having to walk in from Bangor! My feet wouldn't enjoy that. But he has different feet. And he was up for it. So we decided to meet at Bwlch-ym-Mhwll-le. I was early! And a bit sleepy. I positioned myself strategically and lay down for a snooze.

When it was the actual time I was surprised I still had not seen Chris. He's punctual! I stood up. And then I saw him! Looking elsewhere. I hadn't been that strategically placed after all! He'd been standing there for ten minutes. But now we could start. We had a long way to go.

We walked to y Gyrn, up y Drosgl, to Bera Bach, and there turned towards Bera Mawr. It was lovely walking weather! We also bumped into a dog walker who seemed to be quite glad he could exchange a bit of small talk. It was all very pleasant! And over coffee we decided how exactly we would go on. We had a plan! But first we would have our coffee. And then visit Bera Mawr. That one I hadn't done yet either!

We had some fun on the top of Bera Mawr. But when we came back I saw Chris limp. So I questioned if we should push on to Llwytmor Bach. Or Llwytmore Mawr, for that matter! I figured we should not. I didn't want him to end up home in agony! I have walked myself into agony way too often myself. It's not fun. So we decided on a plan B. We would walk down the hill to the path that would loop around the mountain and get us back to y Gyrn. We had seen it from Moel Wnion and I had found it rather tempting-looking. So that way I could tick both Bera Mawr and that path off the list. Not bad!

We drank the rest of the coffee not far below Bera Mawr. And had lunch shortly before we were back on the plain. And one more drink where we had met that morning. And then it was time to say goodbye! The walk had been shorter than planned. but nice anyway, and Chris had a long way home still. And I still had some feet left so I could still do some work in and around  the garden. Which I did!

Later it would become clear this would be our last walk together until further notice, due to tightened restrictions. I'm glad I took that day off! I got that walk done while I still could!

Hike selfie

Llwytmor Mawr and Bach as seen from Bera Mawr

Chris on Bera Mawr's summit

27 April 2020


I had bought three kilos of pizza flour. And my reason for doing that was baking bread. But it would be rude to not make at least one pizza, wouldn’t it? So I gave it a go! My bread machine comes with a pizza dough recipe and I went with it. I added garlic though; I figured that would be nice! And it worked; in not much time I had a nice blob of dough. And half of that was a pizza base that night. The other half will have to wait a bit.

I plonked on the pizza what I happened to have lying around: mushrooms, aubergine, olives, artichoke hearts, and goat's cheese. A fine pizza if you ask me! And I had made it for my weekly dinner party with Jaco and Marjan. By the time it came out of the oven I had to quickly lug it to the garden to be on time for the video call, so I don't have a picture of the finished product, but I thought it was lovely! And it fed me two days. Look forward to using that second blob...

Pizza dough

And the pre-oven product!

26 April 2020

First round of marking done

It's marking season. I suppose that's a good thing! Marking is something you can easily do in lockdown. All submissions are digital anyway. So I spent a lot of the last weeks marking essays and presentations (digital, of course). There was some feedback on drafts going on too. Including of a MSc thesis! But now I got the first batch out of the way. Next week the next wave will hit! And then the exams start as well. First the MSc exams; the BSc's have them in May. So then I'll be stuck in my office again. I'm a lot faster at presentations and exams than at essays and dissertations. But I'm sure it'll be OK! And then later we get the exam board meetings. I wonder if this year looks different from the previous few! I hope not...

25 April 2020

Second round of veg

With my peas and butternut squash having moved outdoors it was time to plant some new veg. The dedicated raised bed was full, but I can put veg in pots. I have inherited plenty from the previous owner! And lots of compost too. And I decided I could use the conservatory for it. I tidied it up! It had my caving kit in but that can live in the garage. And I had let some paint cans accumulate there so these went garagewards too. Now the conservatory looks cavernous!

So as I knew where to put them were they to grow up (as the leek most certainly isn't doing) I sowed some more veg. Spinach, carrots, aubergine and cabbage this time! I hope it all comes up. And then fills up the conservatory a bit. I might be on my way to a more diverse harvest!

Spinach, carrots, aubergine and cabbage planted! Now I wait

All that space! 

24 April 2020

Weekly walk: pumping station edition

There's a little pumping station on the big empty plain between the Marchlyn Reservoir to the waterworks on the outskirts of Llandygai. I had walked past it with Roelof once, and near it with my American friends; not sure I've been more often! But I like that empty space. So we decided to use it as a destination for the weekly social distancing walk.

We would  meet up on the outskirts of Mynydd Llandygai. When I walked there I bumped into the neighbour! And I saw an opportunity. I had a bottle of hand sanitiser ready so I used it, and then gave the dog a cuddle! That way it's safe. But then it was time to resume my way as I didn't want to be late. I was anyway, but only a bit!

We set off. When we got onto the empty plain Chris suggested a small detour. There was a big rock cannon there! Cool! I think that was only my second, after the one in Cwm Eigiau.

Me on the rock cannon. Pic by Chris

We moved on. When we pretty much got to the actual pumping station we sat down for the first coffee break. It was a lovely day with lovely views! No hurry.
The leat near the pumping station

Chris in the pumping station 

Stream coming from the reservoir

We had got to the destination so soon we needed a new one. So we decided to walk on to the road to the reservoir, and from there around Moel y Ci. We had another coffee break on the way, and lunch when we were on the hill, straight above where we had started. And then it was time to say goodbye again! It's nice to see a physical person once in a while. And we had had plenty to talk about.

We already have an idea for the week after. Let's hope the weather plays ball!

A small wooded section on Moel y Ci 

Views when coming out of the woods

23 April 2020

Bike to Abergwyngregyn

I had enjoyed my exercise on bike the week before. So I wanted to do it again! And I figured I could head for Abergwyngregyn; the village at the mouth of the valley that has Aber Falls at the head.

It was the greyest it had been in days! It even rained a bit. But not much. I set off through Rachub and Llanllechid, and then off into nowhere. I had seen people in the villages but beyond that, I only saw one runner! It was that quiet. And it was a bit overly easy on the way out, but I knew that would be the case. I got my heart pumping on the way back!

I was back in about an hour! It had seemed so far away as I had always only walked, run or driven it. Walking and running does make it far. And if you drive, you make a bit of a detour. But it's evidently a piece of cake on bike. And pretty, of course! I'm enjoying these bike outings. Not only do I like biking, but I also can get my exercise without using up my feet quota. If I want to do a long walk it's a good idea to not run the day before or after so my feet last. And I can still run any other day! And this way I am also getting to know my surroundings rather well...

The small road parallel to the A55

The church in Abergwyngregyn

22 April 2020

Veg patch full

My courgette plants had been living in the garden for a week. And they were doing well! One had collapsed a bit and looked like he would not made it, but the others were fine. And that means I still have ten plants! If they all grow up to grow courgettes I won't be able to keep up with the eating. But the peas had been growing indoors and it was time to move them. And the butternut squash too! The spinach still wasn't up for such a step. Maybe never will be.

I put the squash in first. And then the peas, who need support. I didn't quite have enough space or support for all peas. Three plants have to keep living indoors for a bit! But we'll see; maybe not all pea plants will survive and that would mean a space becomes available. Although I am aware I have planted literally everything closer together than recommended. I'll see how things go!

With most plants now outdoors I had space indoors again. I will soon do a second round of sowing! Although I will have to ponder where to put the results. I think I can grow not-so-big plants in the conservatory, and maybe I can make some space in the raised bed with the berries for some more larger plants. I have seeds for carrots and kale and cabbage and pumpkin and aubergine. I should get my hands on seeding potatoes (and find space for them) and then if I can get it all to yield food I'd be almost self-sufficient!

The pea and butternut squash plants ready for planting outside (pic taken Apr 18)

All outside!

21 April 2020

Trying out all the apps

Digital dinner dates are quite a thing these days! In my life, anyway. Soon I established a weekly one with Marjan and Jaco. That's on Skype. And I have had more since! But I started with two-screen dates. I had ones on Facetime (but that seems to only work indoors) and Teams (works outdoors too, but not as well as indoors) Sometimes with three people, but two of them then sharing a screen. But it was time to widen my horizon. Time for a three screen version! And I tried it with Kate and Fiona.

We started out on Messenger. Fiona got me first. That all went well! Then Kate joined and I could barely hear her. That sucked a bit! I went indoors to see if that helped. And cranked up my volume all the way. But I just couldn't hear her. And I felt a bit weird leaning too closely into the phone. I would look like some menacing Thunderbird character! So we then tried something else. We chose Whatsapp.

Whatsapp was a bit better. I could sort of hear both! But Kate kept cutting out and Fiona had loads of disrupting background noises. If she as much as moved it sounded like she was tearing the house down! So it wasn't a very relaxing dinner. But it was still nice to see them.

When it was over I realised I still had my volume cranked up to the max! Maybe that explained the background noises. I should not do that again.

A week later we tried again. This time we tried Zoom! And I had to eat indoors, and even in the kitchen, as I needed fairly good internet signal for it. But both audio and video were impeccable! I know what I vote for next time. I know it has its issues but I can have dinner with my friends!

20 April 2020

Pizza flour

Britain has a flour problem! I haven’t seen any in a shop for weeks. And I’m not the only one. Shops that sell it are like hen’s teeth these days! And people have turned to ordering online in such throngs you can’t get any there either anymore. Also already for weeks!

The situation seems to be due to most flour, by far, is bought by commercial consumers like bakers and restaurants and such. And the bakers might still be going but the restaurants are not. And the entire country seems to have taken up home baking. And that depleted the supermarket stocks. And the grinding mills are not organised to package in small bags. So they only sell by the 16kg bag, and don’t have the transport capacity to send every bag to a different address. And all delivery companies are at full capacity. So there is flour but not in the right place!

This awkward distribution of flour happens locally too. There is a nearby pizza place which is now closed. And pizzerias have flour! And now they couldn’t sell it in their pizza bases. So they asked on The village Facebook site if people would be interested in buying it. And the response was ‘yes’! And it seems the go-to place for as hoc selling seems to be the parking lot next to my house (a local fisherman uses it too!), so that’s where they decided to go. And I decided to go too! The flour seemed to work for bread.

When I showed up there were some people milling around already. I joined them! And soon a van appeared. That seemed to be the one. So we formed a queue and the flour selling commenced.

Social distancing queuing 

I was just going to buy a kilo! I mainly use wholemeal. And they had asked for precise payment. I only had coins for one kilo! Soon it was my turn, and off I was with my kilo, in a recycled flour bag. Then I went for a run. The queue was quite long when I came past!

When I came back I saw they were still there, but without a queue. I checked my phone; they said they still had more and would linger a few minutes more. I decided to go back for two more kilos! By now they had all the change in the world. And maybe I should make a quiche! And pizza. And banana bread. I figured they wanted to be rid of it.

I had a little chat. The lady recognised me from a Welsh class! And then it clicked. She was the lady who works for the university and lives in Bryn Hall, a house cum youth hostel at Bryn Hafod y Wern. It was mainly her bloke who ran the pizza place! But not now. At least her job is still going.

I have already googled a recipe for bread machine made pizza dough. I think I should try this! And quiche dough. I am getting inventive in the kitchen! As many people, I think...

19 April 2020

Easter lockdown hike adventure

I had intended to go into the hills over Easter. With my tent! Just take a bit more time than normal to enjoy the surroundings. But then lockdown happened! Could I still do this? Well, we had been encouraged to use our common sense. So let's think. What are we not allowed to do? Travel. What are we allowed to do? Take our exercise. And what is the rationale? Well, if you travel you might be bringing the virus to where it hadn't been before. Say you go to your second house; if you have one, you are likely to be urban, and the cities are heavier hit than the countryside. So go to your second home and you may be touching things everybody else touches too. Doorknobs, touch screens, that sort of thing. Bad idea! But I can go for a walk in the hills. So could I spend the night? I pondered it and decided yes. Given that I can go on two mountain walks in two consecutive days, and that I will be only touching stiles and gates and such on the outskirts of town, it's actually better if I spend the night. Then I only once leave town and get back into it. And in between? I may touch some grass and some rocks but who else would touch them? Pretty much nobody. It's so quiet in the Carneddau! So I decided it give it a go.

I thought I would go on Sunday, but the forecast gave strong winds, so I decided to postpone. A good choice! It was even blowing a hoolie in Bethesda. Just imagine the Carneddau. And the Monday would be still a tad windy but the Tuesday would be still. So I packed my bag and set off in the middle of the afternoon. I headed in the direction of Ffynnon Caseg, the lake at the top of Cwm Caseg. I had been going in that general direction many times! The last time I was in that valley was the week before, when I had walked back from the zigzag. But I had never followed it all the way to the top.

I walked out of town. With my little bottle of hand sanitiser ready for the gates and stiles! And soon I was out of reach of such obstacles, and of other people. I made good progress. I expected to sweat a lot, and need lots of sunscreen, but the wind was too cold for that! I was soon walking in long sleeves. And the sun was on its way to the horizon.

Getting into the valley which already has long shadows

After almost 2.5 hours I got to the river coming out of Cwm Bychan. I saw a potential camping spot I had actually seen before; when I had come by here with Chris on a January walk I had already pointed it out. And I was hungry! And it looked sheltered. And it looked like to would just catch the setting sun. I decided to go no further! Not for now, anyway. So I threw off my bag, bathed in the idyllic pool underneath the waterfall I was pitched right next to, and got my dinner stuff out.

Made me a home for the night!

I had a nice quick dinner! I had just brought a tupperweared leftover. Not proper hiking food but for one night it will do! And I pitched the tent. And then I decided to go have a look at that elusive lake. I ignored some suspicious looks from nearby horses and walked up. And soon I was at the lake! Chris had recommended it for bivvying and I could see why. It was beautiful there! And lots of even ground. And, of course, the lake. But it was a lot darker than my spot!

Chris had also mentioned a level there. I soon saw it! It was too wet to go in (it was going to be a cold night and I didn't want to get wet feet now) but I had brought my strong torch. It seemed to be able to light up the entire level! I didn't expect it to be big; it had very little spoil. But now I know.

Ffynnon Caseg

The cliff at the head of the cwm. Notice the man-made structure on the left

Hole in the ground!

I pottered around a bit and then went back. It was lovely! And I was back in time to see the sun go down. And then I read a bit, and drank some more tea. And then went to bed! I hadn't brought my superwarm sleeping bag as it was April. But that way I did end up with cold feet! (Imagine how much worse it would have been with wet feet and shoes!) The rest of me was warm enough though. And that will do.

Sun setting over my camping spot

I woke up at five as I needed the loo. I knew I wouldn't get an awful lot of sleep after that as soon it would be light! And that came true. But the sun wouldn't shine into the valley until a fair bit later than sunrise so that was nice.

I got out of bed and made breakfast. Very nice! And I filled my flask. And packed my stuff. Time to go! But where? As my feet weren't feeling too well I thought I'd get the quickest way home. But after only a few minutes my feet felt better and decided to turn back and take the long way home. I went up the ridge just south of Cwm Bychan and went up the Carneddau horseshoe. Most of the climb was in the shade but once on the ridge I was in the sun and it would stay that way until the end! But once on the ridge, where to go? Straight home? It was tempting to go sit on Carnedd Llewelyn (which is in the opposite direction, but not far) for a bit. So I did! I had it entirely for myself, in a sunny still bank holiday weekend. It was magic! It was so silent.

Getting breakfast ready

Looking down the other side of the ridge

Selfie on Carnedd Llewelyn, with Snowdon in the background

Then I left. I would go back via y Drosgl. I had coffee on Foel Grach, And lunch on the flank of y Drosgl. And then a last drink on the flank of Moel Faban and then I was home! It had been amazing. I hadn't seen a soul between halfway up Cwm Caseg, and the flank of y Drosgl. And the weather was amazing! But with a cool enough breeze to wear long sleeves all the way and not needing much sunscreen. (The puddles on the ridge still had ice on them by noon!) And when I got home my feet were properly done, but I was glad I had gone. Maybe more before this is over? Maybe not quite such distances but a one-nighter once in a while is very nice!

Heading for Foel Fras

Coffee break

Puzzled ponies along the way. The one on the right was so fast asleep when I approached I thought for a second it was dead! But it clearly wasn't. 

18 April 2020

Bike ride for exercise

My bikes are for transport! If I want some exercise, I’ll go for a run. At least, that was my point of view when things were still normal. If I commute by bike I spend some 1:45 hr on it each day. That's enough! But now with me working from home I don't touch it. And that had two effects: one was that my feet did all the weight-carrying associated with my exercise. I was starting to feel that! And the other one was that I lost that 'I've been on my bike enough lately' feeling. So one day I decided to go take my bike for a spin! And not my commuter road bike; I wanted to bike my running route, and a lot of that is on slate gravel. And road bikes are better on roads. Smooth roads, preferably! These thin tires are for speed, not gravel-negotiating. So I got my old black bike out of the garage and set off.

The first thing I noticed was that I enjoyed myself. The second was that biking isn't an awful lot faster than running! At least not when most of the way is uphill. I wouldn't have to bike all that far to get enough exercise for a day in. I biked my normal route, and then went on towards Ogwen Cottage. I had run that before, but never biked it. Some bits are a bit steep but it was doable! And it's a beautiful route. There were a few more people out on that road.

Empty road ahead of me! 

Compulsory view from the top of the valley

When I reached Ogwen Cottage I decided I hadn't been far enough yet. It had taken me some 45 minutes. And it's only 8.5 km! But that's what you get with steep bits. And some gates. And some stopping for pictures. But I was up for some more so I continued a bit along the A5. I stayed on the pavement. There was nobody else there!

I went to the far end of Llyn Ogwen and then turned around. It was weird to see no parked cars whatsoever even though it was a Sunday and the weather was nice! But that's lockdown for you. You are not allowed up the mountains, and not allowed to drive to a beauty spot. And clearly, people stuck with it!

Tryfan, and the empty parking lots

My view when I turned around

I turned around and biked back. This time I stayed on the road. I had it to myself! And then followed the old road again. I noticed some buildings I thought had featured in the film Gwen. Some of the farm outbuildings here have not been affected very much by this century. Or much of the previous one.

On the way back I was still glad I was on my black bike. The asphalt isn't perfect here, and if you do the downhill bits and you hit a rough bit on a road bike, you bounce like the clappers. This heavy, big-tired bike just absorbs such irregularities.

Again I couldn't resist the mirror on the road! 

I got home satisfied. It had only been 21 km but that's OK for a day. I think I'll do this again! And I might even take my bike to Dinorwic one of these days. There is an asphalt road to the top of the quarry! And if I am ever to bike that, then now is the time!

17 April 2020

Easter: also time to relax

I went for runs and hikes and toiled in the garden and did all sorts. But I also did some relaxing! I had been looking forward to some of it. Lockdown so far had mainly been work and running for me! With my job just continuing, be it in a different shape, I hadn't really had more time than usual for that sort of thing. So on Saturday afternoon in the Easter weekend I sat in the garden, spoke with a friend, and read a bit of my book. It was lovely!

16 April 2020

New tradition: the social distancing walk

The previous week we had done Moel y Ci. This week we would start at Llanllechid church, and take it from there!

Chris and I both liked  we could see actual people, as long as we stuck by the current restrictions. So we decided to do it again! And we would go in the direction of Moel Faban, pretty much the nearest hill for me. And we chose Llanllechid church as the meeting point. And that worked! From there we actually decided to skirt around Moel Faban and head straight for Moel Wnion. I hadn't been yet! But we took it easy. In the plain above Bryn Hafod y Wern we had the first coffee break. It's nice there!

Morning light on the lane to Bryn Hafod y Wern 

The light did strange things

The view from the first coffee break location

And we went up the side, where there is no path, so we made things a bit difficult for ourselves, but we were rewarded for our efforts. We reached the summit, if you can call it that; Moel Wnion is a bit of a blob so the top is wide like a football field. But we had more coffee there and enjoyed the view. Y Drosgl is actually quite impressive from that side! And you could see the path coming from the direction of Aber Falls. We had actually seen the falls along the way. And it was hazy so the mountains looked quite mysterious! I also changed into my shorts as it was veritable summer weather.
The summit of Moel Wnion

The view from the summit

Heading towards y Gyrn

From there we went back to loop around the hill. It was slowly downhill so we moved fairly fast. And we discussed the local industrial relics in the valley. And at the southern end of Bwlch-ym-Mhwll-le. There we had lunch! It was warm. And it's only mid April. Would this go on?

We then went back. Through the gorge, down into Rachub. There our ways parted. I decided to stretch the walking on public footpaths. There are still more to discover! And I found I was quite tired actually. A good walk! And next week we'll head in the direction of Mynydd Llandegai...

 Bonus public footpath just outside Rachub

15 April 2020

From weed patch to vegetable patch

It didn't take long for my garden to get a vegetable patch! My sister's family cleared it out, and soon I planted carrots, sprouts, radish, leek, potatoes, and whatnot. But success was elusive. And in busy times I let it get overgrown with weeds. Oh dear! But now in lockdown it's time to try again. And with Easter in addition I had time to give it a second start. When the courgette plants really became too big for little pots I had to snap into action!

I grabbed some tools and started murdering the weeds. It was a fair amount of work! But I made progress. And soon I could put the courgettes in. That also freed up the pots for my pea plants and butternut squashes. Whether my spinach will grow up sufficiently to be planted out in the garden remains the question! And I have even less hope for the leeks.But the courgettes are doing so well they can probably fill the entire patch on their own. Hm! It's clear I'm doing this by trial and error. I'm not ending up with a varied offer! But one has to learn. And if something grows well and produces food that's already a success!


The courgette plants ready to move outside (pic taken April 10)