The evenings are filled less and less with the late night hum of tractors and combine harvesters. The last of the baby birds have flown the nest. The plums are beginning to make an appearance, ripening each and every day. The bushes are spilling out on the roads mainly because the council cut them the wrong time of year (usually at nesting season! ) and so activity on the roads need more care than usual.
Bel and I usually take a detour up into the hills where we can’t be disturbed. Over the last month, we’ve been trying out the Upper Ceiriog Trail. From my house to Llanarmon where the trail passes by, it’s an uphill mission on the wet and stony ground but it makes for some spectacular views.
We’ve only been doing around 3 miles each walk because since the hot summer has set in, the grounds have been too steamy for her delicate paws. Not to mention the hassle from Cannibal flies. My current walking mileage is 533 miles so far this year of ‘boots on’ walking.
July has been about catching up with friends and recovering from recent travels and adventures. I had a much-needed date day and night with Rik, trying out my McConks SUP board, whilst he practices his kayaking skills, finished off by food and canoeing courtesy of our friends at TnR coaching. The views from Trevor aqueduct are stunning but I don’t think Rik will be coming canoeing with me again anytime soon, it seems we need to work on our communication…. 😉
I’ve spent a lot of July down by the River Dee and Llangollen Canal, there’s something about water that just instantly calms me. My best friend even came to have a paddleboard lesson with me. He, like me, has a bit of a fear factor when it comes to water but it was great to see him embrace SUP before his SUP activities in the Philippines. Like hiking, SUP has become an activity I just adore and so I’m in the market for a first time board hence why I’m testing out the McConks one. The plan is to test a few on the market so I can write an honest guide for beginners heading into this wet sport.
The garden was at its best last month. The roses came out in bunches, the lilacs had many butterflies and bees pollinating, the potato crops stood proudly and I couldn’t get enough of watching my Fuschia flower – a gift from my nan the year before which we thought the frost had got to! Month by month, it starts to take shape. I love when you can see the progression.
My appetite has been reawakened since I’ve gone dairy and egg free, I’ve been on a mission to create some delicious foods, more so than when I was veggie! I can’t get enough of cooking with coconut oil, sprinkling chia seeds on my porridge, experimenting with avocado and cacao puddings, and adding crispy kale with a lashing of sea salt as a side to most meals. I’ve even had the pleasure of getting Vegan ice cream locally (there’s only 1 flavour so far – coconut) but it means I no longer swelter on hot days! That was the day I got ice cream before a massive dinner because why not?
Oh and I discovered a lovely place to eat in Aberystwyth on the pier called Baravin. We celebrated my little sis’s birthday. I never need an excuse to eat by the sea.
Now I look back, it seems it hasn’t been as quiet as I’d thought!
I’m beginning this month, August, ( which has started off quite wet and windy here in Wales) on holiday in Cornwall. This was our first proper holiday together 3 years ago and this time we’ve our bundle of joy – Baby Bel. It holds special memories for us, Watergate Bay. Surf, SUP, coastal walking, campfires and no social media – I need to switch off. Don’t we all?
Before I go, you can now read my recent Fife adventures and we’re also due to launch our first printed magazine copy of Creative Countryside on August 9th. There’s going to be a Crowdfunding campaign which means you’ll get some seasonal gifts in return for your love and support.
I’d love to hear how your summer is going so far?