Monthly Archives: June 2021

20210619 – A Staycation in Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, Yes I Know It’s In Wales







Saturday

As America and France are still closed to us, it looks like we’ll have to settle for a Staycation in the UK.

This time it’s a trip to one of our National Parks, we’re going to use this imprisonment to visit all of our NP’s. So we’ll have to grin and bear yet another trip to Wales.

Two choices of how to get there. Option 1 via motorway about 5 hours. Option 2 drive down the middle of Wales on 2nd rate Welsh roads, also 5 hours and a lot shorter. Go for option 2 as I’d rather drive a dump truck full of nitro-glycerine down rock field than suffer yet more motorways and traffic jams. Oh the joys of UK roads.

Lounge

Well it takes a good 5 hours with only one 10 minute hold up, but 5 hours of driving on these roads built for horse and carts is really no fun. For some bizarre reason the satnav uses its’s initiative and takes us down the coastal road through Aberystwyth – not a place to go on my must visit list.

Arrive at our VRBO. It’s delightful, modern, spacious, quality fittings, comfortable and best of all good wifi. The best VRBO we’ve ever stayed in within the UK.

There’s wine, red and white, plus beer, and basic foods. Greeted by our friendly hosts with a refreshing draught lager.

Trip to Tesco for tea.

Quiet night in with a bottle of Italien wine from the Piemont region – it’s awesome, must ry more of these wines even though in the EU. Try and stay awake through Mosquito Coast, that good wine has its effect and these settees are so comfortable; it’s got Wendy whining on about a new settee again.

 

 
Difficult to be positive after such a journey but our rental and the greeting from our hosts has to be the delight of the day and makes it all worthwhile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Says it all.


Sunday

Solva

After a lazy start we’re off to explore the coast down from Solva to Milford Haven. Weather grey and miserable but thankfully we’re spared the rust invoking rain.

Thankfully the National Park is quite compact. It’s only 15 miles up to Solva and then about 20 miles winding our way down the single track coast roads. Have a wander around Solva, nothing to hyperventilate about. Has the remnants of some Lime Kilns, a not very picturesque seaweed infested harbour and a dilapidated main street with the usual touristy grot shops full of STUFF that no one needs but may think they want for a short time – soon to be in the trash bin where they belong.

Then drive down the coast and stop off at most of the little beaches. The roads are single track, would be easier to drive a car through the Kaaba doors, but fortunately there are plenty of passing places. One plus point is that most of the car parks are free for the first 30 minutes. Just enough time to saunter down to the beach, explore, be glad we didn’t have to pay to park and move on.

Finally end up at Milford Haven Marina. It’s been recommended to us but pretty dismal and most of the shops and cafes are shut, not even worthy of a coffee stop. Back home for afternoon tea, followed by some of the beer provided and the rest of that lovely wine.

 

 
Some great beaches and and coastline. Very beautiful.

 

 


Monday

Off out early. Well, 10:30 is quite a record for us. Heading down to Stacks Rock – no chance, you would end up with a 9mm round in the backside or wiped out by a mortar round, the Army firing range is in use. No chance of visiting the Govan Chapel – built into the cliff face – red flags flying there too. Next head for a walk around the Lilly Ponds – no chance car park full. Let’s drive down to Staypole – no chance the road is closed for repairs. Please, please, pretty please get me out of here and back to Park City with its wide roads; plenty of free spacious parking; no chance of being shot, at least not by the Army; good weather; so much to see and do.

Tenby

Yet more narrow single track Roads some of them tighter than a ducks arse. Visit a few beaches and then decide to give up the ghost and drive on to Tenby.

Tenby is a classic Victorian seaside resort infested with coffin dodgers and zimmer frames. To be fair it does have some spectacular beaches but there again we’re not into sitting on a beach. Wendy has lunch overlooking castle beach and then we have a saunter around the town. Been there done that I won’t be bothering going again.

Call in at Pembroke. A dissapoining and tired market town with very little to offer. Aldi has to be the highlight of the visit. How sad is that.

The joys of an open top.

Set off back home with a little stock at Aldi call for our tea.

Fortunately the weather turned out better than forecast with a mixture of sun and cloud. Quite pleasant although very windy on the headlands.

Afternoon tea sat out on the patio and then a quiet evening in watching yet more Netflix.

 

 
I suppose the best I can say here is be grateful we can get away and enjoy a National park. There seems to be some awesome coastal footpath walks.


Tuesday

St Davids

Up and out early. It’s a gorgeous sunny day. Time to get the roof downed enjoy it – Wendy pulls a face.

First stop St Davids. We’re lucky enough to get the last parking space. It seems that the Welsh tourist industry is founded on the basis of “Early bird catches the worm”. Have a saunter around and mange to get two Oggies – see rant below.

Lunch spot.

Then we drive onto White Sands bay. Lovely beach with facilities but £4 to just park your car for a 30 minute saunter round and lunch causes my plastic to go into a catatonic state – we pass. Drive onto Abereiddi beach, which is recommended in one of the tour guides, another car park that would gives my plastic an epileptic fit – eating Leeks must cause greed. A grey sandy and rock strewn beach – I’d rather pitch my chair and eat lunch in the middle of a mine field. Find a little cove with some “free” parking nearby. Sit and have lunch overlooking the cove and an old mill.

Drive onto Stumble head and then Fishguard – nothing to have an orgasm about. Finally get to Castell Henllys, a recreated Iron Age hill fort built on the exact location where roundhouses would have stood 2,500 years ago. It’s a tad disappointing but I really wanted to visit. There are some amazing roundhouse re-creations and interesting talks from Iron Age villagers.

Iron Age hilltop fortress

Then, on the way home, to my great delight we come across the signs to Pentre Afan Dolmen (burial chamber). A dolmen (/ˈdɒlmɛn/) is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of two or more vertical megaliths supporting a large flat horizontal capstone or “table”. Most date from the early Neolithic (4000–3000 BC) and were sometimes covered with earth or smaller stones to form a tumulus.. I just have to take a detour to visit it. Wendy gives it a miss, to her it has all the appeal of a visit to the power tool department in a DIY shop..

Then the perfect end to a glorious, sunny, open top drive day as we sit out on the patio, me with a beer and Wendy with a tea. Our hosts pop out for a chat and a draught beer.

Finally, a well earned Oggie for tea. It is awesome. So much better than a Cornish pasty. Filling is tastier, the Leeks are really good and pastry is so much lighter.

 

 

Doleman burial chamber. I wonder whether I can get one of these in Belthorn graveyard ready for when I kick me clogs.

The highlight of my day has to be coming across the Pentre Afan Dolmen. Don’t ask me why but these ancient burial sights just fascinate me.

 

 

 

 
Let’s talk about Enterprise.

St Davids main claims to fame are: the cathedral; because it has cathedral it is the smallest city in the Uk; the Welsh Oggie – Like the Cornish pasty evolved for tin miners, who, unable to return to the surface at lunchtime had a hearty, easy to hold and eat, lunch, the Oggie was born from the same premise. Oggies are much, much larger (hence the name Giant Oggie), with the crimp on the top and a slightly lighter pastry and contain ingredients more familiar to Wales – lamb and leeks. .

As always I love to try the local delicacies so I’m like a guided missile searching for Oggies. The first shop just sells Cornih pasties, not an Oggie in sight, how un-patriotic and typical. Then the only other shop is a delicatessen with a 15 minute Covid compliance queue. But I’m determined. Finally get in and zoom to the distant deli counter where surprise there’s yet another queue but at least my sensors have spotted just two Oggies. Finally get to order them and are told how lucky I am as they are the last two. On interrogation it seems that they sell out most days about 11:00 but haven’t yet had the wit to figure out to provide more – lost opportunity cost. You really cannot make this dozy apathy up. Just typical of the lack of enterprise in the UK. Get me back to the good old USA where at least the mighty dollar, the American dream and capitalism reign supreme.


Wednesday

Up for a lazy breakfast. Chuck all the clothes back in the suit case, pack the food and we’re off. It’s a 5 hour drive whether via the motorway or up the middle of Wales. Go for the scenic route up the middle and make sure the satnav doesn’t unilaterally decide on an alternate route. Slow and tortuous but at least it’s not as boring as a motorway. Six hour and a lot of cussing later we get home. Our roads are really a disgrace. Temporary traffic lights seem to spread more than Covid and sadly most of them seem to be for no other reason than the lights obstruct the road. Does no one assess the need and remove them when not needed.

 

 
Finally getting home.

 

 
There’s some amazing and really clever software out there but in nearly every case it is spoilt by a poor Human Computer Interface (HCI), bugs and a lack of common sense.

20210602 – Theme Parks, Adventure Parks and Tenpin Bowling







Wednesday

Prompt start to the day, that means we’re out by 10:30. While we get ready and motivate Wendy, Jasper plays on iPad and Switch, sometimes both at the same time. We seem to spend all our time charging up his devices. Trying to tease him off the iPad to go out is a nightmare, yet once he’s out he loves it.

Then it’s off to Twin Lakes theme park at Melton Mowbray, just 25 minutes away. Jasper can survive that long in the car without any problems, especially now he wears his accupuncture sick wrist bands.

Wow, is it expensive? £65 for a day at a theme park. This is no Disney but has plenty of rides and things to do for Jasper. Weather is gorgeous, but you forget how tiring it is just walking around, queueing nad having to go on some pewk inducing rides. Good thing about this park is it has some imaginative play areas for kids of all ages. We can sit and have our picnic whilst Jasper burns off more nergy. By mid afternoon the queues are getting intolerable. 15:30 time too escape back home.

Our VRBO rental may be weird and funky but it stays amazingly cool.

For dinner we’re off to The Wheatsheaf at Edith Weston, home to the best ribs ever in my experience. Bearing in mind I’ve experienced ribs all over America and yet these are still the best. We meet Dave and Joyce at the pub. Rest of the foods pretty good it was just the 1 hour wait, slower than a herd of turtles stampedin’ through peanut butter, that spoilt it.

 

 
Another great day out with Jasper and sharing some of the rides with him, even if they did turn me green.

 

 
You just have to watch this unbelievable video. Only in America!

https://www.facebook.com/TracyGuns/videos/1168479650295051/

 

 

 

 


Thursday

A lazy start today. How unusual.

We both start the day off with a visit to the opticians for a long overdue eye test. Seems so much safer here than in scroat infested, anti-vaxer, Blackburn.

Jasper gets a tour around Oakham castle. Not really your traditional style castle but a lot of horseshoes.

Off up to Nottingham. Visit my mum and dads grave to put some flowers on. As Jasper says, “it’s sad”. Then go to look for a playground and a stones throw from the dead centre of Nottingham is a superb little playpark with some really imaganative equipement on. We have our picnic lunch whilst Jasper enjoys himself.

Then it’s the highlight of the week for Jasper as we head to Nottingham Bowl. Must be over 55 years since I bowled there. Used to be one of my regular teenage haunts. In its day it was the largest bowling alley in Europe with 48 lanes.

Jasper is so excited and so enjoys two games. Pity about the appalling customer service and the lying bitch of a manager who has no concept of customer service, the reviews were right.

Back home with a food stop at Sainsbury’s. We were going to the local pub but alas it’s steak night so Wendy didn’t fancy that.

A pleasant evening in watching more Sons Of Anarchy and Jasper finally gets to play with Oren.

Another great day but spoilt as usual by the never ending tidal wave of stupidity you encounter.

 

 
Watching the sheer excitment of Jasper playing bowls.

 

 

 

 

 

 
The wokes and do gooders have scored yet another home goal. Recent article from WSJ:

The movement to “defund the police,” which rose to prominence after Floyd’s death, has actually gotten innocent black people killed. As police have pulled back, our neighborhoods have been left unprotected. Crime has skyrocketed. Major American cities saw a 33% increase in homicides last year as a pandemic swept across the country. Preliminary Federal Bureau of Investigation data show that the U.S. murder rate increased by 25% in 2020. Between Dec. 11, 2020, and March 28, 2021 (after the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a budget that shifted $8 million from the police department to other programs), murders in Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, rose 46% compared with the same period the year before.

Homicide rates in large cities are up 24% since January. Criminologist Joseph Giacalone, an adjunct professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former sergeant with the New York Police Department, predicts they’ll increase even more this year. A recent Gallup poll found that 81% of black people say they don’t want less police presence in their communities.

AS THE RADICAL PROGRESSIVES CONTINUE TO TRY TO DEFUND THE POLICE, OUR FAMILIES, FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS HAVE PAID THE PRICE. THE DEFUND-THE-POLICE MOVEMENT HAS BEEN A DEATH SENTENCE FOR INNOCENT BLACK CHILDREN. PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS SUFFER MIGHTILY FROM THE GRIEF.


Friday

Weathers a tad dodgy today with the possibility of some rain but at least still warm.

Jasper decides he’d like a picnic, adventure playground and Bug Zoo.

It’s raining for the picnic so we have it in the car overlooking Rutland water. Then Wendy takes him to the bug zoo. He really enjoys it and has taken loads of photos to show me. Head to the adventure play ground for an hour. We were going to play crazy golf again but the weather’s a tad unreliable, Jasper’s quite happy to go home and play with Oren. Easily pleased.

Joyce and Dave come round for Fish and chips from the local chippy and to see our funky abode. Jasper’s quite content to play with Oren.

 

 
Fish and chips with friends, Joyce and Dave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing isn’t it when Trump proclaimed Chian’s guilt and the china virus all the snowflake journalist dived for cover or lambasted him. Now it seems that Bidens finally figured it out and of course the snowflake journalists are lapping it up.

To me it has always seemed obvious. Chinas only “secure” bio lab was in Wuhan. They were doing research on corona virus and bats. They scoured bat caves for sources, with very little concern for safety. The Batwoman woks out of there. All too much of a coincidence that it all started there. And now they’re trying a cover up. GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION.

As to the conflicting articles that they tried “gain of function manipulation” to weaponise the virus. Some virologist say no evidence, others say “The Science Suggests a Wuhan Lab Leak The Covid-19 pathogen has a genetic footprint that has never been observed in a natural coronavirus” – https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-science-suggests-a-wuhan-lab-leak-11622995184.

AGAIN MY MONEYS ON CHINA’S GUILT.


Saturday

Yet another adventure playground.

Easily pack and depart our funky abode. We’ve enjoyed it but a week was enough. That shower was like trying to shower in a plastic burka on ice with a dribble of water leaking in.

Jasper dons his sick bands and we’re off. Call in at Melton Mowbray for the all important 5 pork pies and 4 stilton’s, presents for me and our sons.

Then it’s a fairly uneventful journey up the M1 with a stop for MacDonalds of course. Amazed at the M1 nearly 4 lanes all the way and even more amazing is the lack of roadworks. Jasper takes the journey in his stride and has he can see the satnav not a single “are we there yet?”.

What a great village Market Overton is. Even has a village hall and a very active community. Thatched cottages and so much more charm than the tourist infested Cotswolds. How I would love to live there.

 

 
What a great week we’ve had with Jasper. No Tantrum, tears or trouble and best of all not a single plea to go home. He’s been great company and kept us active. How lucky can we be?

 

 

 

 

 

 
Not yet another request for a meter reading.

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that I have a Smart meter. Gone are the days when you just looked at the meter to take reading, now have to be a touch typist – multiple button presses – and nuclear physicist to read my meter. Why am I even having to read it myself? Seems it’s not Smart enough to send the reading to my supplier. Prgress for you. Stupidity reigns yet again.

Don’t you just love the daily dose of stupidity served up every day without fail. Worse than that daily serving of thick brown cod liver oil forced down us as a child.

20210529 – Market Overton. Where’s That? Near Oakham. Where’s That? Rutland. Where’s That?







Saturday

Our funky new home for the week. The old blacksmiths forge at Market Overton. It’s won awards for restoration.

Off for a week to Market Overton. Where’s that everyone ask? Near Oakham. Where’s that everyone asks? In Rutland. Where’s that everyone asks? Smallest county in England, next to Leicestershire. Where’s that everyone asks? I despair the Midlands.

The lounge.

Jasper is coming with us. Typical, his parents then said, what about the other two? One’s enough for now. Within 30 minutes of setting off, we’re stopped by the side of the road as Jasper’s feeling sick. The journey continues with that all common phrase that can drive every parent crazy as a bed bug. “Are we there yet?”.

Then we get lost as my navigator misses a turn we should have made 5 miles back. Whatever was life like before satnav? 18 miles going round in circles, then we’re back on route.

Office / TV room with yet another bizarre settee.

Now someones starving and if we don’t see a MacDonalds soon will probably die of starvation. Compromise and settle for a Burger King. Everyone agrees their chips (Fries for those who drive on the wrong side of the road) and Chicken nuggets are better than MacDonalds.

Kitchen and bizarre dining table / bench.

Finally arrive in glorious sunshine, 21 C to the Old Forge in Market Overton.

Jasper’s so excited. He thinks the “cottage” is so cool. His bedroom is 10/10 cool. We have to admit it’s probably best described as very funky. But it’s well equipped with a welcoming bottle of red wine, chocolates and basics in the fridge for us. He loves the lava lamp and Star Wars on the wall in his bedroom. The big question is will he sleep in it. He says he will.

We get unpacked and setup TV and chargers etc. Then it’s the delight of a trip to Tesco. Abandon hope all yea who enter there. Finally get back home for a well deserved beer and some wine – a Grenache, which I am pleased to say was good, will try some more. TV for the adults, more Sons of Anarchy, and ipad for Jasper.

 

 
Joy of taking our grandson on holiday for a week. Great for us and will do him good too.

 
So why did we come to Market Overton?

What’s its claim to fame and the attraction.

Well here’s a summary:

  • There was a magnificent Roman Temple nearby
  • First metioned in the Doomsday Book 1086.
  • Sir Isaac Newtons Grandmother lived here and he was a frquent visitor. There is a bust of him on the wall of the Summer house in the corner of the garden of the Doctor’s house.
  • Edward Wingfield lived here and became president of the colony of Jamestown. Virginia, in1607 and is credited with the survival of the colony through the first terrible Winter.
  • Major Walton Clopton Wingfield who invented lawn tennis lived here.
  • But perhaps to my mind the most important son of Market Overton was Eric Claude Edwards, my father. Hence the resaon for uur visit to discover more of my heritage.
  • Teh village is just how you would imagine an Englosh village; thatched cottages covered in wysteria; village hall; village green complete with ancient stock and an old Blacksmiths Forge (where we’re staying, a somewhat funky conversion). This place is like The Cotswolds on steroids without the hoards of tourists.
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    Sunday

    The village green, complete with stocks.

    Great news, Jasper slept all night in his 10 out of 10, cool bedroom, so didn’t need the blow up bed. Perhaps we should buy a lava lamp and put some Start Wars on the wall back at home.

    Had a saunter around the dead centre of Market Overton. Wow, there are some old gravestones there. Your 6 square feet of inconvenience and immortality, well almost! The church seems really busy all of 6 people attended the Sunday service. Love the stocks on the village green. We really ought to bring back some of these old punishments to deal with the scroats.

    Perhaps an alternative to the naughty step.

    Then after the usual lazy morning start, we drive to Oakham and pop in to see Dave and Joyce (my cousin). Take Jasper to a local park for a picnic and to play.

    Then it’s a trip into Oakham to buy Jasper some of those wrist bands that allegedly stop car sickness. I’ll believe it when I hear it, but at least it might just be a placebo effect. Wendy, also needs some brandy. They have a nice choice of brandy but most of them are just too expensive to be polluted with lemonade. Settle on a bottle of Asbach, German brandy, haven’t seen it for a long while.

    Fun at the park, using the theory of conservation of angular momentum. Jasper can explain it.

    Then we drive down to Rutland Water to price up kayaks and bike hire ready for Tuesday. As you would expect on a bank holiday weekend it’s busy, with more people than good bacteria in a healthy gut.

    Finally back home with plans for dinner at the Black Bull in the village. Oh sorry we’re not doing dinner tonoght. Typical. Never mind home for Hofbrau, cheeseburger and wine.

     

     
    Enjoy a picnic watching Jasper enjoy playing on the park. The simple pleasures can be great and once you prise him away from his iPad he really enjoys himself.

     

     

     

     
    What a good job we left this socialist, snowflake, Kakistocracy.

    Evil Union – BRUSSELS bosses have been slammed for splashing British taxpayers’ cash on dance and puppetry lessons for asylum seekers.
    Eurocrats spent almost £350,000 on the projects to help migrants fit in.


    Monday

    Jasper, teeing off and he gets a hole in one.

    Another success with Jasper, he sleeps in his own room, no problem. He’s obviously getting in training for being a teenager, 08:30 he saunters out of bed.

    What to do with an 8 year old. Actually, it’s dead simple just let him stay in and play on his iPad. Trying to get him out is the hard part.

    The motley golfers.

    We set off to Rutland water for a game of mini-golf, he really loves playing this, so excited. Then onto the adventure playground for an hours play and a picnic. Have a leisurely stroll down to the reservoir. Wow it is so busy. But Jasper really enjoys himself here.

    In the evening we go to Joyce and Daves for dinner. It’s a great pick me spread including Melton Mowbray pork pie and Stilton cheese, not forgetting red wine. Awesome. Jasper has a MacDonalds, so much simpler.

     

     
    Enjoying dinner of Melton Mowbray’s finest and Joyce and Daves company. I think Joyce is my only remaining living relative ALways good meeting up as she knows all the family history and scandal.

     

     

     

     
    You really couldn’t make this lunacy up.

    Hundreds of people have gathered in central London to protest against the coronavirus vaccine rollout. Some people claimed the pandemic was a hoax while others were protesting against vaccine passports.

    One man, who did not give his name, told the PA news agency he had come “because I want to be free and I want you to be free and the Government are lying to us”.


    Tuesday

    Simple joy of swings on Oakham’s park.

    Lazy start then we’re off into Oakham.

    Go to the play park there and have a picnic. It keeps Jasper happy. Same park where I used to play over 60 years ago. They’ve got rid of the see-saw since then, health and safety no doubt, and no longer have a paddling pool.

    The joys of sit-on kayaks.

    Then we’re off to Rutland Water to go kayaking. rent a three-man sit on top kayak. Jasper’s so excited and loves it. First time “I’ve been on a sit-on kayak. Certainly not very comfortable, kills your back and within 30 minute my foots gone dead, but they all seem to be going to sit on’s, I suppose they’re a lot safer if they tip over. Having said that they’re very stable and I wonder how many people ever drowned in a sit-in kayak? Give me a sit-in kayak any day.

    Then it’s off to Aldi, followed by dinner at the Old Buttercross, not easy to find and a pretty good menu but all the foods pre-pared by a microwave operative, no chef needed. Everythings just microwaved.

     

     
    Being fit enough to take my grandson kayaking.

     

     

     

     
    More from the loons. America seems to have a surfeit of real crazies, crazy enough to think the sun’s not real because it went dark at night. Just remeber these people are allowed to vote.

    Rick Wiles, a right-wing Christian talk show host and anti-vaxxer has been hospitalised with Covid-19 after saying vaccines would wipe out “stupid people”.

    Less than a month ago, Mr Wiles said he would never get vaccinated. His website, TruNews, announced over the weekend that had been infected and taken to hospital where he had been given oxygen. The announcement was reported by Right Wing Watch.

    The right-wing broadcaster told his audience last month that he wasn’t getting vaccinated because he believed the vaccines were being used to commit a “genocide,” to kill hundreds of millions of people.

    “I am not going to be vaccinated,” Mr Wiles said. “I’m going to be one of the survivors. I’m going to survive the genocide … The only good thing that will come out of this is a lot of stupid people will be killed off. If the vaccine wipes out a lot of stupid people, well, we’ll have a better world.”