What could have been

This blog entry should have been about a fantastic birthday present I had from Em – a flight in a Tiger Moth biplane over Gloucester. I’d booked the flight a few weeks ago and carefully, nervously watched the weather forecast as the day neared. It became clear that I’d picked the day quite well – on Tuesday and Thursday they were predicting torrential rain but Wednesday would be clear in the afternoon.

Of course, I hadn’t factored for the unexpected. It seems that with all the rain, Gloucester airport flooded! I spoke to the pilot before leaving Swansea (he sounded like an airline pilot with that clipped clear pronunciation) and  he confirmed that ‘it’s not really Tiger Moth weather’. He said the runway was flooded and no flights would be taking place that day. To say I was disappointed would be a major understatement. I can book again, so the present isn’t lost.

So we decided to head off to St Fagans instead. I like the museum of Welsh Life – as you’ve probably gathered from previous entries, I like all things historical but really enjoy being in amongst it over reading about it. So we spent the morning walking through the castle (really a stately home built on the ruins of a Norman castle and resembling in feel Dunster castle). Then we visited the 16th and 17th century cottages, collected from all over Wales and rebuilt here. The chapel was tiny and you could picture the minister in full flow, with the congregation hanging on every word.

After food, we drove back to Swansea and had a look around the Winter Wonderland – now renamed the Waterfront Wonderland or the Winter Waterland, or perhaps the Frontland Winterwater.  Anyway, all the favourites were there – the ice rink and a smaller rink for kids, the big wheel, our favourite roller-coaster. I didn’t see Santa’s grotto but that was probably a good thing after last year’s experience.

Then it was home to find a great swathe of scaffolding around the house. Not a surprise, though, as I’m having the house’s make-up replaced. You’ll probably read about that here sometime soon, if you’re unlucky.

All in all a busy day, and while not quite what I was expecting, enjoyable thanks to the company.

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Frost and sand

Up late this morning, well for me anyway. I opened the bedroom curtains at 8am and outside was a beautiful autumn morning. So I decided to walk down to the beach before breakfast. One cup of coffee later, I was wrapped up against the cold and out through the door.

I haven’t done this walk for a while so it was nice to be off out with no particular goal other than to reach the sea and stretch my legs. Singleton Park was white with frost but the sun had started to warm things up and small patches were beginning to thaw. The trees carried golden leaves ready to scatter and were surrounded by more that had already fallen.

The tide was in when I reached the seafront so I waked along the sand occasionally having to step aside as a wave broke a little further up the beach. Dogs were splashing about in the water or chasing after balls and sticks; I wished I’d brought Rufus with me as he would have enjoyed.

I walked as afar as the old bridge, or more accurately, the piers of the old bridge as the metal span was removed and relocated further down the path because it was unsafe. I remember crossing that to go to the beach in years gone by, and using it to take photos up and down Oystermouth road when I first started taking photos of Swansea to document the changes.

Then it was time to head back and I walked through a now thoroughly defrosted park and home to breakfast.

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