Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Llanelli Wetlands trust day out

 We had a day out at the Llanelli Wetlands and Wildlife trust yesterday.  We started off on the estuary side where we failed to see very many birds at all.  We did see this heron, and some gulls, and a few ducks, but it was pretty birdless so we went round to the other side where they have resident birds.
 They have a family group of Whooper swans - of which this is one.  They had them arranged in continents, though the birds seemed to be declining to stay in their carefully arranged pools and popped up in different pools.
The moorhen wasn't supposed to be in the tundra area for instance.
 This cute child ( don't know who she belonged to) was having a lovely time feeding the geese
This is a very pretty duck but I can't remember what type of duck as there are loads and loads of them.

We had a very pleasant day pottering about.  They offer you the use of bikes for the part with no birds in it, but we decided to walk.  You can also go on a canoe safari which might be fun another time.  The use of the bikes and canoes is included in the admission charge which I thought was pretty good.

The cafe was nice and we had a pot of tea with extra hot water, also the cakes were home made and the coffee and walnut cake Brian had ( and I had a bit of) was very good indeed.  They also had comfy couches which overlooked pools where you could sit and watch the birds in warmth and comfort with tea.  Excellent.

We felt very seriously inadequate on the camera front because some of the camera lenses there looked like they could put the Hubble telescope out of business.  They were huge!  Feet long!  There was a lady sitting reading her book in the cafe so we came to the conclusion she was a bird spotting widow.

However you really do need a decent pair of binoculars to get the benefit of the wild side (maybe that's why we couldn't see any other than the heron)  There was a chap there selling them and I did have a look through some, which did make the distance come really close and were very impressive, however as I don't have £90 to spare at the moment (spending all my extra money on exciting things like guttering and getting Nic's window fixed - ho hum) we didn't buy any.

It was a lovely day, and as we had been working hard the previous two days it was even more enjoyable.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

More Moore.

I have lived in this area for most of my life but have never been to the Henry Moore foundation untill this year and as of yesterday I have been there twice this year. I went with Helen and Brian when they were over earlier in the year and as Trev and I were in the Stortford area for car reasons I suggested going again as Trev had never been. (In the unlikely event we go to the Yorkshire Sculpture park when we are meeting up with Sue in Yorks in October then I could do a post titled More Moore on a Moor! Actually we could go and see Othello first then we would have More Moore on a Moor after the Moor! (I must stop now))
It is a brilliant place. He moved out here during the war. Apparently he came to the village for a weekend and while he was here his studio was bombed so he decided to move here permanently. It gave him a lot of space and that is when he started working on his monumental sculptures of which there are a couple of dozen on display in the grounds.
As it happened the light shower forecast came down in stair rods for well over half an hour so Trev and I spent quite a long time in the converted out buildings chatting to the room attendants. In the maquette shed I asked about some old photos on display. Apparently they are on the land of a wealthy banker in Scotland. During the 50s he had been staying in the area and had been converting a house and wanted bronze taps for his bath. He had heard there was somebody in Perry Green who worked in bronze so knocked on the door. Moore welcomed him in and managed to sell 4 huge sculptures!
It does sound that Moore was a very canny business man. At sometime during the 60s he was paying a million pounds tax a year. It was then that he set up the Henry Moore foundation and he also bought the pub in the village. You have to love that. (Very nice lunch there too)
We went into another barn, which I somehow missed in my earlier visit, where they had a series of tapestries that Moore commisioned near the end of his life. They were created from Moores drawings and they are stunning. All hand woven. The room attendant was telling us about the process of weaving them and it is mind boggling. At the beginning they were actually weaving them from the wrong side so how they knew when to change colour just bamboozles me. She also showed us the wrong side of them where you could see all the ends of wool.

Anyway, I could go on. It is a fascinating and they do good tea and cake too. What more can you ask for?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Some clever cloggs/disney addict noticed this!

Just a bit of silliness on a rainy afternoon! Disney vs the royal wedding!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Secret Garden

London has been going through a tumultous few days so what better time was it for Erin and me to have a day of fun in the city.   A friend had told me about a roof garden in Kensington which I had never heard of.  It is on the the top of what was the department store Derry and Toms in Kensington.  It is open to the public but not that often.  They hire it out for weddings etc.  But if you ever get the chance I would recommend it.  Here are some pictures.  Apologies for the quality but they were taken by my phone.  The  flamingos are real

                                                    Erin looking strangely laid back

It is a little oasis of calm in the city and it has flamingos and ducks.  Just amazing.
We went for a lovely meal at the restaurant in the same building, where I had the curious feeling of being invisible.  I have obviously been for meals out with my attractive daughter before but seldom have I seen such obvious fauning by the waiting staff over her.  Seriously, who was paying the bill here - that's what they should always remember.
As we left the building with the restaurant and roof garden in I joked to the receptionist that we liked it so much we might have Erin's wedding there.  She immediately responded with a "It's much cheaper than you might imagine, I could give you a brochure!"  I quickly informed her that Erin didn't actually have a boyfriend at the moment.
After that we decided to go to Kensington Palace.  Linda told me that it was the one place in London that Christine's girls had wanted to revisit.  It is have set it up as an enchanted palace and it is absolutely brilliant.  Also not very busy at all. I supposethe advantage of having riots in London that an awful lot of people were avoiding it. So it was us and the overseas visitors.   See, every cloud does have a silver lining.  In the grounds they had hung red balls where people had put their secrets or wishes (secret garden again).  Some were really sweet:  I wish I had a dog, I really believe in dragons.  Others were a little inappropriate: Never stay in a loveless marriage.  But the effect was enchanting.

We finished the day with a stroll around the 3 nearby royal parks.  We had tea by the serpentine.
                                                      A heron just near the cafe

We had been thinking of going for a swim in it but it wasn't quite warm enough and besides Erin is scared of geese and might have had one as a swimming companion!   We finished in St James's Park as I had told her about a photo in the paper of one of the pelicans eating a pigeon.  By the time we got there the pelicans must have been sated with pigeons as they were just sleeping.

Still a day of fun indeed and good to go into London, a city I love, and find that it is still the city I love and the lawlessness is just caused by a minority.