Thursday, 31 July 2008

The sights of Bath...and the heights of South Wales

The weekend found us in Bath for the last triathlon I will be attending this year. Bath is a wonderful city, full of tourists and pretty things to see. The Thorntons there make the nicest rum 'n raisin ice cream and I pigishly ate a medium instead of my usual small. Ah well, ice cream on holiday doesn't make you fat, it makes you happy. In the morning before going to Bath and while waiting for Andrew to get back from Bristol I took myself off to the field at the top of the road. I like to not look back towards the houses and just be totally 'out in the middle of nowhere' I also like to take off my shoes and feel Wales under my feet. I, however, had to promise to not go back there by myself...it is not safe :(


Bath Abbey.

Bath is 'the place to be' on a hot and sunny weekend afternoon.

On Saturday evening on the way home from Bath we went through Wentwood and climbed up Gray hill. It doesn't look like much from the road, but it was a pretty steep climb...and I was wearing totally inappropriate shoes once again. We made it to the top without incident (me plummeting to a painful death) and the view was worth it, as I was promised. Luckily, we found a more gentle and meandering path down the hill on the other side and managed to get out of the wood before the sun went down.Sunday was the triathlon at Bath University. The swim was in the pool so I got to witness it this time around.
Andrew before the swim. He came in first in his lane - orange hat, lane three...I got some great video footage of him aggressively overtaking some bloke. High Five! Dear Triathlete.



Tuesday, 22 July 2008

'Nothing pleases like Maltesers'

Tuesday morning and I feel a little queasy after putting away a bowl of hot salty and vinegary chips for elevenses, when really a slice of jam toast and a cup of tea would have sufficed. I’m also trying to kick my bag-of-Maltesers-a-day habit. I’m finding it not so easy.

Actually, since I’ve mentioned it, the toast and jam sounds pretty tempting…

I yielded.

It’s quite a miserable day and I’m thinking that this is it…there is no more sunshine to be looked forward to. It doesn’t make a lot of difference I suppose, and so long as I’m kept in good supply of industrial-sized barrels of hair straightening creams and straightening irons, I should be alright.
Porthcawl - South Wales. Andrew competed in the Tuska triathlon and I took photos.
Don't be fooled by the sunshine...it was only six o' clock in the morning and the wind was freezing. My warmest top in South Africa is just not warm enough for the British summer.
A contemplative triathlete on the beach in the morning.
The start of the swim part of the event. A swim in the Bristol channel.

A hill in the Brecon Beacons a few kilometers outside of Crickhowell. We went for a walk with the dogs. I got to the top of the hill and the wind was cold and crazy. Andrew wouldn't let me sit and rest on the rock because my face was turning blue.
Rolling, dung-filled hills. The kind you'd like to frolic in...if it weren't for all the droppings. I felt a huge urge to sing the theme song from Heidi. Unfortunately I couldn't quite get my breath enough to sing...and sadly, I don't know the words.

I can see myself getting lost in there, and spending days walking around in circles and panicking. Still, isn't it pretty?
I've been listening to some awesome music that Andrew (bless him) introduced me to. I'm loving the Levellers, Johnny Cash and Ryan Adams. The Johnny Cash version of 'Bridge over troubled water' is lovely. I've also been playing a fair amount of David Bowie and Amy Winehouse. Amy is just 5'2", but her talent is huge. I do love colourful characters.
Enough chit-chat though, I'm off to visit with Bethan and Owen.


Thursday, 17 July 2008

A long walk

This past week has gone by so fast. Everything is going well and I am pleased to announce that I am happy. On Tuesday night after spending most of the day in Newport city centre, Andrew and I drove to the Brecon Beacons to see if we could get some star gazing in. However, when we got there, the clouds were so heavy that not a patch of sky could be seen, never mind any stars. Still, it was a nice drive and just a little bit creepy when Andrew started going over possible scenarios involving "the liver man". Ooh...shudder.
Yesterday was spent at the Newport Wetlands. A huge area of land along the Bristol channel devoted to bird wild life, some sheep and a group of cranky cows. The day was cool, windy and moody looking, the clouds were heavy, dark and threatening and the sun was trying to shine through, rather unsucessfully. We must have walked for 3 hours before finding our way out of the reserve and on a road, quite luckily leading to "The Farmers Arms". I had fish 'n chips and shared some beer shandy with Andrew. We walked back to the car park along the road and got back to the car within an hour or so. It was wonderful to remove my shoes and nurse my blistered feet...I need to invest in sensible walking shoes instead of the silly flimsy ones I was wearing. I am, however, pleased that the silly shoes are now officially worn in...though it was a harsh way to have it done.


Goldcliff from the sea wall.


The Farmers Arms where we had an awesome and much needed lunch after a three hour walk.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Belvoir (Beaver) - fest

My alarm went off just before half past three this morning. It's never a welcome sound, but after just 2 and a half hours of sleep, it really was not something I wanted to be hearing. We left the house after four and got to Belvoir Castle at around seven. The weather was better than it was last week at Bournemouth, but it was still cold and windy. Belvoir castle from the road.

Andrew getting into his wetsuit before the swim in the lake.
video
At the finish line.

A friendly, fuzzy-faced cow on the way out.

A pleasant and long day out at Belvoir. Andrew did very well and this time around I actually found the finish line and got to meet him as he came in...which was awesome and very clever of me indeed. We had a lovely all uphill walk to the castle and gardens and rewarded ourselves with ice cream. The ice cream and peacocks were excellent, as was the woodland walk.

But now, all warm and fed my eyes are feeling heavy and I think a nap on the couch would do me very well.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Bournemouth

Sunday was the beginning of a five week in a row triathlon-fest. On Saturday we drove to Bournemouth so that Andrew could register and at 3 o'clock on Sunday morning, we drove back to Bournemouth for the event. The weather was awful, windy, rainy and cold! Not ideal conditions for a morning at a seaside resort.




Saturday was sunny and we ate "The best fish 'n chips in the world" which was atually pretty darn good.



I should probably back track a few days though. To Thursday I think...somehow, I found myself in Matlock in Derbyshire on Thursday late afternoon. Matlock is 'the gateway to the peak district'. I can only image how beautiful the actual peak district must be if the gateway is so amazing. Still, even with its beauty, it was an easy decision to make in the end and over an over-cooked steak at Weatherspoons I decided to go back home. Home of course, in the city of Newport. And just for a laugh, we're going to spend a weekend at The Grouse and Claret...the only place in Derbyshire to serve food after 14h00 and before 18h30, besides of course, Weatherspoons.

Happy days have found us again.