Sunday, 17 January 2010

No Tobogan needed..

What a difference a week makes. Temperatures have risen to dizzy heights compared with the Arctic depths we experienced then. So it was nice to still find enough snow to enjoy higher up in North Wales's Carneddau.
Me and Jim took ages getting up high! Holiday bellies, soft legs and hard winter boots took their toll on our humour. But of course the rewards of a blue sky on the summit, celebrated by a hot choc from the flask spurred us on to a rapid, fun way of returning,,,

Monday, 4 January 2010

Llandwyn Sunset

Yesterday I had one of lovliest walks, at one of my favourite places, Llandwyn Island. No two visits are ever the same. This one was quite special given the calm sunset in the cold clear winter air.

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Half Pass and Wild Ponies

This wild pony cantered past me, close to Aber Falls. His flowing mane mirroring the cascading water.

On Friday I'd booked a classical riding lesson at Pen Llyn. I'd driven down earlier and went for a walk on the beach, then something caught my eye and I found myself half way up the hill behind, before suddenly realising it was time to go...
So it was straight into things...not quite late! The very talented pony I was riding needed little warming up. Soon we were shoulders in...leg yielding, all things I know. Then Lucy described travers to me. Must admit it all sounded a bit complicated at the time, but with her help, we soon sort of managed that. Before I had time to chew over that.."how about trying half pass?" Well ok!? So we did. Now I've had chance to think about it and read elsewhere what it's all about, I'm very pleased with my achievement. Like learning many new skills...I felt a little confused and not totally with it. Next time I'll know what to expect and do, a little more. Also for the first time since I started riding, I had some muscle pain the day after...right in the middle of my bottom. Clearly this is new ground for me!
Very inquisitive foal, high up on open ground above the falls, with Anglesey and Puffin Island in the distance.

On the way home I stopped to have a contemplative walk to see the spectacular waterfalls at Aber. It had rained all night. I haven't the camera to do the falls justice, but caught sight of one of the many wild ponies living in the surrounding hills. It's flowing mane mirrors the water falling over.
Aber Falls from a distance...

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

End of an Era..

Ready for take-off! Probably my last 747 departure...but who knows what the future holds?

In my working life I am a Licenced Aircraft Engineer. In 1985 I started with a major airline and was quickly introduced to the Boeing 747. I have worked on them all through my career so far. Today I probably departed my last 747. Our contract has finished and we have relinquished work on these magnificent aircraft in favour of more modern types. All our 747 work has a sad day in some respects. Of course there are still so many flying, that I'll be able to see my favourite aircraft for years yet. But I'll miss getting my hands on this most impressive machine.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Lovely Lusitanos

Last week I attended the first day of the Lusitano Breed Society's 25th Anniversary show at Hartpury Equine College in Gloucestershire. My interest in these horses stems from a chance trail ride I took a couple of years ago in one of my favourite parts of North Wales. More recently I have been lucky enough to be able to take riding lessons at Pen Llyn Lusitano Stud and Riding Centre. My riding ambition is very simple. To be able to ride a good horse well. My realisation as I now progress a long and forever lengthening, but interesting path, is that to ride well requires so much more than I ever imagined.
In the collecting ring, Purebred Stallion Tigre warming up. Something approaching the picture of where I see myself one day!

The Pen Llyn horses stole the show with very strong results in all classes entered, only coming second when one of their own had taken first!. The show stopping stallion Uivador Da Broa took 1st, in the class of the show, with an amazing performance. I was both humbled and inspired by both the quality of the horses and the skill of the riders. I left with a clear image of where I'd like to go and am lucky to have found the right people and place to attain it

Sunday, 5 July 2009


Mussels are delicious! For me they bring back memories too. Long ago on those dull wet days on holidays to Wales, when the sand was no good to play in and the sun hid well away. My parents needed to be quick to keep four young boys from squabbling and fighting! There is much truth in the saying "the devil finds work for idle hands", which often started out in some sand slinging, but quickly escalated into all out sticks and stone fights! So what a pearl the mussel is. Who can find the biggest and best mussel? Everybody busy and food for the evening sorted out...
Lots and lots of good size mussels in a surprising location...

I find it very hard to pass up the chance of picking mussels. I'm always looking and have had some lovely ones from my closely guarded locations. I found a new spot recently and though they were well barnacle encrusted, proved heavenly once cleaned and cooked. There is something so rewarding to finding your own food, preparing it then cooking and eating. What a treat...

Quick fried onion and garlic, pinch of herbs then steamed over a camping stove..ready in minutes, irresistibly tasty!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Ponies of Trwyn Talfarach

View across Porth Neigwl at breakfast!

I think it was probably nearly midday before we set out for a walk. This was on my recent little camping trip to the end of the Llyn Peninsula with friends. We'd spent all morning slowly barbecuing and eating a hearty breakfast, whilst slowly cooking in the clear bright sun ourselves!
Sheer delight..finding the herd on the steepest, trickiest part of the headland.

Last year I'd visited this headland for the first time and had been delighted by finding a small herd of ponies. The land is owned by the National Trust and I presume they have put the ponies here for conservation grazing. This is a wild and beautiful place and their presence just seems to add that little extra surprise.
Boss hoss in the middle watched me very closely and I kept my distance..

We followed the rough path that leads to the rocky outcrop which marks the end of sensible walking. Sat eating our butties, admiring the views. Up till now there was no sign of the ponies. Although this was not my main aim of the day, I was curious as to where they were.
I was so busy watching below that I hardly noticed these two to my right. You couldn't have asked for a prettier pose!

By way of a distraction I looked down to the sea below and wondered if I could possibly, safely, make my way to the water. The going was steep with rock ledges half covered in ivy, long grass, heather, bracken and gorse. Every now and then I found little tracks..pony tracks. Then almost unbelievably there they were, right below on the lushest most inaccessible part of the whole headland. How I wished I'd not said I'll only be ten minutes to my friends on the cliff top. I'd 've gladly stayed here all day.
View from Trwyn Talfarach across Porth Ysgo towards Bardsey and the Irish Sea beyond.

We continued our walk with a rugged descent, with Choughs dancing in the air, to a rarely visited beach, where we were overflown by a Red Kite. I managed to confidently guide us up a non existent path in the heat of the day. Sandals and shorts now not such a good idea. Which eventually took us on to farmland and an interesting chat with a friendly farmer about the sheep shearer shortage. Perhaps an idea for a second income?