Parallel key, anyone?

It seems an age since I last wrote, but that’s probably an illusion partly due to my having just seen the last photos showing a slight coverage of snow, and remembering that it persisted for only about a day and since then we have had very mild weather.

For a change, I will share the news in reverse order(ish), starting with – we had a super day today.  We were both rather tired after yesterday’s activities, so we declared today a day off for Mike and I (after we ran some errands, such as a quick trip to deliver some cakes) and then drove through Blaenau Ffestiniog on the road towards Porthmadog and stopped at Plas Tan y Bwlch (now the Snowdonia National Park Centre).

A picture of the grounds of Plas Tan y Bwlch
A picture of the grounds of Plas Tan y Bwlch

 

and a view from Plas Tan y Bwlch of the surrounding area
and a view from Plas Tan y Bwlch of the surrounding area

We spent a relaxed hour or so pottering around the gardens, which inevitably lead to discussions of what we might do in the grounds at our Plas.  We then finished the day by nipping into Porthmadoc for a quick whip around the shops and returned home for dog walking etc.

Yesterday I made the radical decision that, as the weather was dry and unseasonably warm, I would do some gardening.  It took all day, but I managed to slate-edge the flower beds visible outside the cafe fire exit, which also defines one edge of the grass path.   Next time I am in the garden, all it requires is for me to edge the far side of the path; weed the soil to the left hand side; and plant both edges (mostly with plants we brought with us, or are nurturing from plugs in the raised beds) and voila, we will have…a slightly better view (I hope) from the cafe!

Before...
Before…
...and afterwards
…and afterwards
Three new beds (on the right) have been added to the two Mike built last autumn
Three new beds (on the right) have been added to the two Mike built last autumn, currently nursery beds for ground cover plants

 

And the beds are now filled with topsoil that previously lived where the labyrinth now stands
And the beds are now filled with topsoil that previously lived where the labyrinth now stands, and will soon be planted with broad beans and spring crops.

Mike meanwhile has worked his cotton socks off, and completed the installation and filling of the three new raised beds.  You can see above that he has made fantastic progress, and can also see below why his working day is often less than optimally productive, as he has to keep in touch with the neighbours and their news…

 

well, as I was saying only the other day, that Mr Trump seems a very nice man, and Mrs May seems such a nice woman, and the EU are such a lovely group of people and...
Well, as I was saying only the other day, that Mr Trump seems a very nice man, and Mrs May seems such a nice woman, and the EU are such a lovely group of people and and yes isn’t the weather unusual for this time of year and I seem to have lost a parallel key from the drive shaft on the digger so if you do see it please do let me know…

Monday was my day in the cafe whilst Mike was building the raised beds; and Sunday was Mike’s day in the cafe whilst I visited church and then relaxed with some paperwork.

Saturday saw Mike working on the kitchen door (which had swollen sufficiently during a wet spell to become sticky but is now moving freely) and also putting bolts on various strategic positions, alongside repositioning some of the signage for the cafe/restaurant.  I was in a more destructive mood which was useful, as I had to dismantle some 1970’s built-in furniture; cut up and remove the carpet; and steam wallpaper off the walls in one of the bedrooms.  We are trying to prepare ourselves to be ready to strike as soon as we get the plan go-ahead, hopefully in the next couple of days.   None of this work is particularly photogenic though, so I will leave things here, until the next post.

Its a good job Jane is here most days to run the cafe for us!