It's a hot one.  I went swimming today from the little beach by the house for the first time. I had previously been deterred by ... I don't know. Potential swans (they can break your arm, you know). Green weed. Winkles. Fish.  Etc.  But today it was too hot to worry about any of that. I plunged in. It was great.  

I wore the wetsuit shorts I bought for kayaking. They are a tiny bit too loose for ideal swimming shorts, but then I wasn't swimming very enthusiastically so it didn't matter that I had to haul them up occasionally. 

Here is the sunset yesterday. Looks almost tropical. Most unlike Wales. 

This morning, Pp noticed somethings swimming up the estuary, mostly under the water but occasionally just surfacing visibly. I think they may have been harbour porpoises. Sadly I wasn't able to get a good enough photo of them to confirm. 

It was a stressful weekend because the Shop was down and the support guys were frankly not in any way supportive so I spent ages fiddling around with it myself.  But I decided not to get stressed about it and after a horrible horrible headache on Sat, managed to not fret and tried a few things, and now it's fine. Hurray. 


writing rambles

I am trying to finish off my first Tolkien reverse summer bang story, which is about a slight AU Idril and Tuor.  I hadn't written Idril before (have written Tuor before, but he was a sealion skinchanger then, so arguably not very canon either!) 

I like the idea, and I'm over the minimum word-count, but somehow the story hasn't quite taken wing. 

I think what I'm struggling with is that Tuor and Idril have neither of them done a thing wrong in their entire lives, so far as I can tell, and are also enormously competent. I do like a competent character, but a character with weaknesses is perhaps easier to relate to.   Or maybe it's just a 3/4 done stall and I just need to get the end of it finished.  



Have finally got around to watching the TV series Highlander from the beginning rather than catching the odd episode here and there. 

It's quite watchable, but there are too many Immortals and not enough scenes where Duncan encounters perfectly normal human beings and reminisces about people he knew who were just as foolish two hundred years previously.

It's weird that nowadays it's easier to watch old TV that you vaguely heard about and never got around to, then work out where to find new TV and realise you don't have a subscription to that. 


In The Land of the Red Weed

A bug's eye view of the sedum carpet.  I was a bit concerned that the bees were flying over it to get to the chive flowers beyond, but yesterday the sedum flowers really started opening in numbers, and the bees were definitely enjoying them. So that's good. 

My fig cutting that I took from our Cornwall fig (the one that was originally a 50p label fell off special from a garden centre bargain area) lost all its leaves when I planted it out here this spring. Probably too early, since the poor thing had been indoors over the winter and was not accustomed to wild winds from the sea.  But it has now regrouped and is leafing up again.  I doubt I shall get a fig from it this year, but maybe next, now it's getting used to the place. 


A garden-post

This is what we started with on the lower side of the house.  It's rough concrete, a bit cracked, and with no fence or gate onto the lane on the right-hand side. 

I strung some wire across the driveway so I could at least let the hounds out without them running for the hills, and put down a roll of sheeps-wool garden felt — I was intending to put some compost under it and plant things into it, but the winds here are fierce, and even when wet, the garden felt won't stay put! I still intend to use it, but will need to put some rocks on it to keep it still.  The wind also knocked the wire fencing over a lot. 

view from above.  Those bird feeders attract a lot of birds, including a woodpecker!
view from above. Those bird feeders attract a lot of birds, including a woodpecker!
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A post of many things

I keep vaguely thinking 'I should do a post about that' and not doing it. So to get back in the swing I shall just do a bulleted list of Things in no order. 

  • Today we went to Lawrenny Quay, which is a lovely place some distance up the Cleddau river, looking out onto the resoundingly named Black Mixen Pool. There's a nice cafe, but rather a lot of signs of all kinds — some of them helpful signs about crab sandwiches and toilets, but also so very many 'don't do this!' signs. We watched a man very determinedly attempting to make a verge flatter using a road roller.  It was a fair battle, but I think the verge won.
  • Wally the Tenby Walrus has reportedly taken off to Cornwall, and was seen some distance off Padstow. I imagine the Tenby tourist industry is weeping, but at least the pubs are open again so they can weep into their beer. 
  • In a desperate attempt to stifle some of the rather ugly concrete driveway here, I have covered it with a sedum carpet, the kind they sell for green roofs. So far this seems to be working pretty well. 
  • This garden, or 'concrete and tarmac pad' as you might call it, is very much the opposite of my Cornwall garden. It has practically no soil, is very sunny and extremely windy! 
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I haven't posted here for a month or read here much either and the reason is that I have lost a cat, and I was desperately hoping that he would come back, and then I could post to say he had returned. 

But he hasn't. 

He had been in and out of the house with the dogs a few times, just into the fenced area by the garage, and had come back in when I called him.  This time he didn't come back, and I was tired, and it was late, and so I went to bed and assumed he would be waiting for his breakfast in the morning.  I wish now I'd wrapped up and sat outside to wait for him: we hadn't been here long enough for him to know the place. Easy to be wise in hindsight.  We have signs and posters up now, but nobody has seen him: had one dubious report from a street some distance away, but could see nothing when we went over there.

Pp thinks Fankil has chosen to be a feral cat, and has gone away hunting. I hope he's right. I'm not giving up hope, but it's been over three weeks now.