Half term is upon us…

..which means Mike and I, very happily, are busy catering to guests rather than bashing the building about. On top of which, the weather here has been so wet and windy, it hasn’t been safe to even think about doing the roof. So instead, some more photos of our lovely break in Thailand….

Here we are in front of the view from one of the Thai restaurants that Carrie’s brother and sister in law took us to…

…and here we are at the same restaurant, after our visit to the elephant sanctuary, but with the coconuts growing on the tree behind us.

Back in the real world, and despite the very wet and windy weather, Teg has continued to come with his owner to give Lola her extra walk each day, for which we and she are most grateful.

Just in case you want to check out the family resemblance, above is my big bruvver Mike (centre) with his twins Max and Emma…

…and here we have my sister in law Yuko with their youngster, Mia. All of them are fantastic hosts to whom we send very grateful thanks for a magnificent holiday!

Great memories – but probably back to normal properly next week….

Into each life…

…a little rain must fall, but storm Ciara brought us more than just a little water. For anyone concerned about us, Plas took a little damage from the wind but nothing serious. Less lucky was Betws y Coed which we understand lost the Miner’s bridge, and parts of Llanrwst were well under water. Cars in the Co-op carpark in Llanrwst and in the Siabod cafe car park were bobbing around in the floodwaters.

At least the bridge is still standing…

Given the general wetness and the high winds, we decided to work inside rather than on the roof. I know – how pathetic are we?! We cleared out the corridor below ready to replace all 17 windows on the left hand wall (part of which is not in view, in case you are counting).

The long corridor aka the cloister

As we have replaced glazing a few times before at Plas, this is now quite a polished activity. We clear off the exterior putty; remove the brads; lever the window out from the inside; clear the margins of old putty; apply silicone sealant; insert window; add sealant and beading, and then tack beading into place.

Most of the double glazed panels are misty

See – it’s simple. This week, we have replaced 10 of the 17 panes, and (even though the windows need cleaning) this is already letting a lot more light into this corridor. I hope you can see that the right hand pane below is more like a window should be than the panes on the left.

…so the clarity of the replacements is great to see

It has not been our most productive week, however. This is partly due to jet lag still working its way through our systems, but mostly because Charley dropped by with our grandson, Teddy. Mike has insisted that I include the photo below, which I would normally have found a reason to exclude due to its unflattering nature, but as a dutiful partner, what was I to do? There had been much rocking and pacing and cuddling to encourage Teddy to drop off to sleep, but once he had dropped off, I didn’t dare move his head so needed to sit down with my forearm propped on my leg. What you can’t see is the laptop screen I am reading as I check emails (how is it that emails are still taking over my life?!?) which might explain the slightly strange expression…

Which one is the more tired, I wonder?

…so I thought I would share a better shot of the delightful Teddy so you can enjoy his loveliness more fully.

Hey gorgeous!

We are not sure what we will be doing next week, given storm Denis is due in and our rooms are due to be quite busy during half term. We will let you know next time.

Can you guess where we have been?

We have had a brief break from the building work, so hope you won’t mind if we share some snaps with you.

My brother is currently living in Phuket. Just before Christmas, he suggested we could both do with a break from the physical toil and spend a few days with him…

The unheated swimming pool was at cool bath temperature

…and maybe even enjoy his pool, even though it is winter in Phuket at present.

Mike’s casa…

What we hadn’t realised was that even in winter, the day temperature was around 32 degrees, and nights at about 24 Celsius. We wilted pretty quick!

…and Mike’s family

Here you can see us enjoying a relaxing evening drinkie, just off the beach…

Dinner at a ‘pop up’ Zuma

… and here you can see the pudding plate for Sunday brunch at one of the swankiest places in town. Above you can see the fresh fruits along with a sublime chocolate pud, a banana cake, selection of ice creams. Sadly you can’t really see the integral ice sculpture from this angle.

Yuko (my sister in law) took us to lunch one day at a restaurant in the hills with a magnificent view of part of the island, and with a group of resident monkeys. There are signs warning you not to feed these monkeys but sadly we were still reading them when…

Mike’s mugger

…one moved astonishingly quickly to relieve Mike of his water bottle! He pinched it, then ran to his seat and punched a hole in one end and proceeded to empty the bottle.

It was hotter than this looks

We spent some time relaxing on beaches – this one was so hot we had to sit in the shade, except when we swam with the yellow and blue striped fishes

Hello old boy, how lovely to meet you, says someone.

and on our last day, we visited an elephant sanctuary which is busy adding high level walkways.

The idea is that as they acquire more elephants, the humans will be walking above them, leaving room for herds to form and move unencumbered – but we couldn’t help feeling the whole place will look pretty much like Jurrasic park.

In the afternoon we visited a gibbon sanctuary, which is slowly moving them to more remote areas until the point they can be released to the wild.

All in all, we had a fabulous week away – thanks so much to brother Mike and family – and also thanks to Yvonne and Julie who did a fantastic job of looking after Plas during our absence.

We have returned ready to get back to work, as soon as we have recovered from the jetlag and spent the next few days running the cafe. So I hope you enjoy the change in photographic content: we will be back to normal next week!