Saturday, 26 June 2010

Jungle Climbing Frame

Ever since my son was born, two½ years ago I have thought about building some kind of funky climbing frame in the garden to blend with the 'jungle' look of the planting. So, for the past 3 or 4 months, I've been working like a demon to transform the garden from an 'overplanted plant collectors plant collection' into a family garden with a backdrop of handsome architectural plants, and a Jungle Climbing Frame!

Using a mixture of materials I got free from work, materials I had left over from previous projects, and stuff I had to buy, I designed and constructed this....

It proved a real headache to consider all the safety issues for a 2½ year old (and for a 38 year old!) and I still have a few concerns about one or two things, but I can always modify things as I go along. My little boy loves it!

Sugarloaf sunset

Spur of the minute decision to take a short walk up the Sugarloaf (a local extinct volcano near Abergavenny (which means ''Town at the foot of the fire breathing behemoth' in Welsh)) yesterday evening to watch the sunset. It proved a good idea...the temps had dropped enough, the light was great, the hill was deserted, which meant I could arse about with the self timer at the summit, and generally just enjoy the experience.

Sunset over the Black Mountains

Wife pointed out that it was unsual to see me with an impressive erection between my legs...

A light jacket was needed later on as the breeze picked up...or maybe I'm just soft as sh*te..?

The sheep wouldn't keep still for the pic...

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Ogmore by the Sea.

I love Ogmore by the sea. So many childhood memories. Spent many a great day there, exploring caves, rockpools, sand dunes, fishing in the river, shivering in the sea. The best thing about the beach area at Ogmore is the total lack of tourist attractions. No funfairs, restaurants, hotels...just the beach, car park and a toilet block.

My little boy, who is 2½ absolutely loved it on Sunday when we explored the rockpools and sandy nooks and and crannies for a few hours. Just a great beach.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Sgyd yr Eira and other waterfalls

A blazing hot week, and a blazing hot sunday and Monday to follow, interspersed with a soggy, rain sodden Saturday. And which day had we picked to go yomping? You got it. Low hill fog in the Brecon Beacons plus 'persistent rain' persuaded us to alter our plans for a peaks walk to a low(ish) level Waterfall walk around a 9 mile circuit near Ystradfellte in the Southern Beacons.

It turned out to be a good choice as the tree cover that we had for most of the route sheltered us from the rain. I was christening my new (and first) pair of Invo8 Roclites and I love em! Very comfy, very light, good grip, blah blah.

The rivers (Afon Mellte and Afon Hepste) were very low following the recent dry period. There were lots of groups of people doing some kind of coasteering (ironically about 4o miles from the coast!) which looked fun...and cold.

Chopper and Nicholls think I'm obsessed with moss, so I humour them by taking photos of it. Honest, I don't really like moss.

Halfway stop was the entrance to the famous and impressive Porth Yr Ogof cave system. This is a timer shot on a one second exposure hence the blurry figures. Nicholls and I went for a wander into the first cavern with our headtorches, whislt Chopper sat on his a*se and ate Malt loaf and Welsh cakes.

The last fall of the day was the well known Sgyd Yr Eira which allows people to pass behind. It was very busy, but very picturesque, as ever. Chance to play with exposure length and gorillapod.


Other News

As I previously mentioned, it's been a busy time of year for me and I hope to make a number of posts in the next week/month/decade.

I've been relandscaping my garden and the light at the end of the tunnel has just started to glow. I should have 'designed' it this way years ago but I got the 'plant collectors' syndrome and spent ridiculous amounts of cash on ridiculous plants that would never do well in our ridiculous climate! Ridiculous really. Anyway, a post to follow soon with before and after photos.

I've also gotten (right word??) back into art after a number of years being a pencil free zone. One particular commission I just completed is worthy of posting here, but I'll wait until its been presented to the new owner as a birthday surprise, just in case they read this blog (which is doubtful!)

Into my busy schedule, I shoehorned a 9 mile walk around the Ystradfellte waterfall circuit last Saturday in proper Welsh drizzle. Photos and report to follow. I wore my new Inov8s - first time I've owned a pair. Comfortable!!

Bike Theft

Some mugging little Chav B*****ds broke into my in-laws garage on Monay night and relieved me of my mountain bike! It was the only thing they took so I imagine they must have spotted it whilst perusing the area. The ironic thing was that three weeks ago we heard of two other burglaries in the street and I mentioned to my wife...'I hope my bike's safe in their garage!'. 'Yeah, it'll be fine' was her response! :( It wasn't a particularly expensive bike and I didn't use it that often, but that's not the point.

Hopefully the insurance will payout. It seems these burglaries are rife at the moment. The police said they will try and send someone out if they have the resources.! WTF? I know it's just a mountain bike but reactions like this simply suggest to the thieves that they can go ahead and steal whatever they want.

Goodbye dear friend - I hope you collapse and maim the person who currently 'owns' you!