Sunday, August 19, 2018

Book - BANG! A history of Britain in the 1980s

Well, BANG or rather BANG...BANG....BANG......  definitely defines the 80's.  Strange thing is, it all seemed quite normal at the time, nowhere near as scary as Graham makes it sound.  I can particularly bear witness to the dreadful state of British manufacturing industry at the end of the 70's, beginning of the 80's.  It was very clear to me that humans would not be needed to 'make' things going into the future.  The big question was, if humans were not earning by manufacturing to buy what the robots were now making, what was the point of making anything?  So, Thatcher or no Thatcher, things were going to change radically if we were not to go back to the stone age.  Pop art to politics, and the mix of the two all covered here.  4 on the door for Stewart.  

New Rose Corner

The tidy view, with more and more flowering plants being added to Gek's collection.

My new hybrid rose corner around the corner, 

and the wired wall to take next seasons climbing roses.  There will be a total of 9 planted along this 30 foot stretch of wall. T'will look brill in a couple of years time. 

Llandegfedd Reservoir

 A day out for a stroll along the lake side.

After the 6 weeks or so with out rain, the water level was a little low.  Didn't stop the water fun though.

Quilting, Swansea Style

2019 will see the Ystrad  Quilters again doing thier exhibition at Llancaiach Fawr Manor for which Gek is putting together a book quilt, Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice.  Coming along.

A day out to Swansea to visit the Quilts Fair.  Miss Davies from Penarth was amongst the exhibitors with her very distinctive Japanese quilting.

One of my personal favourites amongst the many.  All you see is fabric.


Finally, after an 8 week nail-biting weeks, we have gotten Gek's UK 'Leave to Remain' visa extention.  The next application in 2021 will be for her 'Indefinite Leave to Remain'. But for now a shampers celebration, thanks to the Lomax's timely gift.  Cheers mi'dears!

Peranakan House

Cavin Teo's blog, with photos of the Changi Terminal 4 Peranakan Gallery.  

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Dyffryn House, Vale of Glammorgan

This present day house was built between 1893 and 1894 by the Cory family, who made their fortune from mining the south Wales valleys. Previous to this Edwardian effort, there had been a mansion/manor house on the site for the last 1,500 years.

How or why a bronze statue of Laozi riding his oxen together with a couple of other eastern statues dotted around the gardens are here, I have yet to find out.  Laozi, from some 2,500 years back, is thought to be the founder of philosophical Taoism.

First stop, the hot house,

 with cacti to view,

 and pose against.

 In another section, loads of different types of chilies of different colours and shapes.

 A more traditional lily pond

and the inevitable classical statue garden.

Definitely a recommended drop-in to see, only listed on the National Trust portfolio since 2013.  

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Book - Fire and Fury

From Ystrad Library!  Of all places. Well, every word rings true. What else to say?  Once you start to read, you have to finish it. Has to be 5 on the door for Michael.

Gearing Up for Furniture Making

Miniature furniture, that this.  New acquisitions, wood-turning tools with a Proxxon grinding machine and Japan whet stones to sharpen them.

First attempts at spindle turning and achieving repeatability.  Thank goodness for U-tube.  But why are all the demos on 'how to do' done by dudes in the US of A?  The calipers and scribes are from Granddad Wilson's toolmakers kit, one with his initials stamped on it.  Granddad taught me to turn wooden bowls way back when, but I don't remember doing spindles with him.  I will master "the bead'. I will............ I will!!!!! Damn it, I have too.

Sunday, July 22, 2018


Granddad  Wilson was here in June 1938 on his epic bicycle ride from Leamington Spa to Bridgnorth and, since we were motoring by,

we just had to stop and stand, more or less where he stood 80 years ago.

Upton House, Banbury

Upton House.

We were here to take a look see at the paintings Gek has volunteered to provide miniature copies of for the houses's dollhouse, a project that is in the making.

Painting 1 

 Painting 2

Painting 3 

Not to be copied but had to be viewed, Upton's very own Canaletto.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Newton House, Llandeilo

Originally built in 1660 and extensively modified in the 19th century, the Nation Trust rescued the house from decay in 1990.

No wonder I didn't know about this house, nor the castle, when I was living not 10 miles from this place in the 1970's.

Dinefwr Castle, Llandeilo

Quite a compact build this one.  Thought to have been constructed in the late 1100's.

A short walk across fields,

 up through a spooky wood,

 to the tiny front door.

another impressive build given the technology available 800 years back. 

 A great wall walk,

with impressive views around. Here across the river Tywi. I guess the views are as good a reason as any to seek out castles.   Out of the 600 castles Wales once had, 100 are still standing in one way or another.  Right, 12 down, 88 to go.


 The standard beach picture to start

 Pen Pyrod, with the worm at it's head.

 It has been just a little dry of late.  In normal times, a damp stroll to the life guard station this is.

Fall Bay, a short amble around the headland.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Burry Port Sunset

The lighthouse being lit from the outside,

And purple clouds reflected in the low tide waters. Extraordinary.

Cefn Bryn, the Other Side

A conveniently placed view identifier, pointing to the Beacon Beacons 38 miles to the north.

And Ilfracombe across the Bristol Channel to the south.

Cefn Byrn, Views From

Just a little breeze to help keep us cool.

The fields differing colours, from green through to yellow make the picture.

Time for a shadowie.

Arthur's Stone.  A neolithic burial site.