Shropshire mini break 

Tuesday 8th August

There was a problem with dialysis so we were late leaving. Arrived in Ashton Bowdler just south of Ludlow about 7.15. Quickly got settled in to Orchard House B&B then out to the Charlton Arms at Ludford 5 minutes away. We both had beef carpaccio starters and I also had a cheese soufflé starter. We shared a bowl of chips. Not bad.

Wednesday 9th August

C had cooked breakfast and I had continental. Finally got out about 11. First to Richard’s Castle to look at the nice old church with a great deal of discrimination on seating. From cheap seats to a massive box. Also an interesting screw thread on a huge old beam which stops the building from falling down.

Then to Knighton where cash machine ate Carol’s card grrr. But the bank itself wasn’t open on a Wednesday. To Aardvark books at Brompton Bryan where we lingered and ate cake. Then to Haye Park Wood near Ludlow for a short walk. Back to Orchard House and out again to The Baker’s Arms 7 minutes away in Orleton. C had chicken and mushroom pie with chips and salad and I had nut roast of the day with chips and salad. Chips were better than the night before. Nice food but a bit slow to arrive.

The very grand seats
Falling wall
The cheap seats
Cider press type screw

Thursday 10th August

Both had continental breakfast today. Out to Knighton early to see if the card can be recovered but no the machine has not only eaten it, it has destroyed it. Then to Bucknell which has a nice old post office and onto Bromfield to the Food Centre which is a sort of giant farm shop like Tebay services. Got some bits for lunch and supper. To Church Stretton but the road we wanted was shut so a long way round to get to our walk on the Long Mynd. Set off, had picnic, very warm in sun. C not really up to walking back so sent her on to road 300m away. I walked just over 1k back to the car and drove round to pick her up. A long way and it took ages because the road was narrow and there was lots of driving onto verge and backing up. Some drivers find this so hard to do and are completely unable to reverse using their mirrors. I know I shouldn’t get cross but if I can do it why can’t they?! Finally collected Carol who was loitering with some wild horses. We had to go back down and round following the road mending lorries which were way too big for the road and went very slowly until steam was coming out of my ears. At last they went left and we went right. Back to Church Stretton along with some more numpties. It was hot, just like the last time we were there. Wandered about and then back to Orchard House. Had our snacks downstairs. Out to cross the railway line to see the church but it was shut. It’s right on the River Teme, beautiful spot and Ashford Bowdler is a cul de sac so very quiet despite being poised between railway line and the A49.

Ashford Bowdler church

From the Long Mynd
Carol’s pals

Ye olde poste office
Friday August 11th

We had a rough night but managed to get up and leave the B&B in good time. Had a quick look in the little church which was now open, very peaceful and in a lovely location. Having been brought up in the church, I still love churches even though as Carol says, I’m a complete heathen.

Drove into Ludlow, parked up and wandered around. C got the card sorted out. Drove to the Green Cafe as unlikely that C would get back up the hill very easily. C had an omelette and I had pasta with tomato sauce. Simple dishes done very well.

Stopped at the Food Centre after leaving Ludlow and then headed for home which took a very long time indeed.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

MAPandCOMPASS

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CCP Aberystwyth to Borth

26th August 2017

Early breakfast in Coffee 1. Drove to and parked up in Borth. Bus back to Aber. Whilst waiting for the bus, a young lad started talking to me and I am still wondering about him, I thought he was getting on the bus but when I looked back he had disappeared. I think he wanted something but he didn’t get it whatever it was.

In Aber, I went on the Cliff Railway because the last time I went on it was with Chris about 30 years ago, it was just the same, the newer cafe looked just as rubbish as the old one did.

Then I walked to Borth. After the Llanrhystud to Aberystwyth stretch being devoid of people, this was like being on a motorway. It’s a short walk but with a lot of up and downs per kilometre. It took me a bit over 2 hours.

I just walked as far as my car. I decided to finish my CCP at Borth. Drove to Ynyslas to eat my lunch because Chris loved it there, it was pretty busy in the bank holiday weekend sun.

Had a coffee at the community cafe, started for home and then called in at the Dyfi Osprey Project that Chris also loved. I never managed to make it there with her and wanted to see it, what a brilliant place, and I saw Monty the osprey who will shortly be setting off on his travels.

I’m raising money for amyloidosis research which is vitally needed, to help with early diagnoses, joined up care, more than one amyloidosis centre in the whole of the UK, and treatment that works. It’s a vile disease and it would be great if we can do something to relieve people’s suffering. Please visit my JustGiving page.

Some of the ups and downs
Possibly another lime kiln, near a huge house
What a location
Sunny Borth
Accidental photo

Llanerchaeron

25th August 2017

A day off from the CCP.

Met up with Hilary and Gerry and Bobby the dog. We went to Llanerchaeron because Chris, Gerry and I had a very happy day here just over a year ago. Chris did everything she wanted to do, ice cream, shopping, raffle tickets, sitting in the sun, wheeling around the lake and the walled garden. She was very happy that day. I’d also been here with her in slightly better days the previous year.

July 2016
July 2015

This day, Bobby wasn’t allowed to go around the lake or walled gardens so we went along an old railway track including old station remnants. Lovely walk and Bobby just about managed the stiles.

Lunch beset by wasps. What is the point of a wasp?

Back to Mwnt to say goodbye to Andy and Kaye and Charlie the dog. Then to Aber, staying in the Premier Inn. Medina for more excellent calming food and another good lager.

Bobby, Hilary and Gerry
Ye olde shed
Old station at Llanerchaeron

Ceredigion Coast Path Aberaeron to Llanrhystud

23rd August 2017

Andy and I both drove to Llanrhystud and then he taxied me back to Aberaeron. We had some lunch and then I finally dragged myself onto the path away from Kaye’s temptation of ice cream!

It took me just over 3 hours to walk back to my car, a little longer than I thought because I stopped and chatted to some very pleasant folk along the way. First a man with a huge beard who was clearing the path with a brush cutter. He plans to reach Cwm Tyddu by Friday, it looked hot heavy work. Next a woman walking the path in memory of someone who had died from sarcoma, then a young woman who was great and asked if I minded dogs, she had a very well behaved youthful husky.

It was gorgeous walking weather. I didn’t like the last bit where there was about a kilometre along the road. I managed to skip under fences where a great many cows were coming, I decided not to be scared of cows. That said, once I got on the road, there was a bull behind a little fence who gave me some very leery looks.

Checked into Penybont B&B in Clarach, clean, comfortable and welcoming. Into Aber for saucy meatballs at Little Italy on North Parade. Bottle of Peroni.

I’m finishing off my CCP which is from Cardigan to Borth. It does continue to Machynlleth but I’m stopping at Borth, don’t want to do the flat bit along the bog, and then drop in at Ynyslas because Chris liked it there.

I’m raising money for amyloidosis research which is vitally needed, to help with early diagnoses, joined up care, more than one amyloidosis centre in the whole of the UK, and treatment that works. It’s a vile disease and it would be great if we can do something to relieve people’s suffering. Please visit my JustGiving page.

Back to Aberaeron
Forward
One of 4 lime kilns
A dingly dell

Goodbye, darling Chris 

22nd August, what would have been her 64th birthday.

We gathered at Mwnt, some travelling across the world. There were people from all parts of Chris’s big shining life. It was good to reconnect after 30 years, with Roselle. The first place that Chris and I lived together was with Roselle and Pascale in Hinton Road in Bristol and I haven’t seen her since then. Beginnings and endings.

Marc Treanor rocked up with sticks, rope and rakes. Those who wanted to, joined in with creating the sand circle. It was Chris’s tattoo with her name at the top. It was amazing watching it take shape from above.

When it was done, we formed a human circle around the circumference with Chris’s family, friends and complete strangers from the beach. I had Andy in one hand and a very small sandy hand belonging to a skinny little boy in the other. We sang happy birthday to Chris.

As the tide came in those of us left gathered around Chris’s name. Andy scattered her ashes in the lettering. The tide came in and Chris took her last swim.

A beautiful day for my beautiful soulmate. Champagne as the sun went down. Let your love lift me up.

In Antwerp for a Bruce gig

Video of the sand creation, by Marc Treanor

Music: Lift me up by Bruce Springsteen

CCP Llanrhystud to Aberystwyth 

24th August 2017

I stayed in Penybont B&B in Clarach. John kindly drove me in to Aber. I had a coffee in Coffee #1. Hopped on the T5 I think. Anyway it took me to Llanrhystud. Carol rang just as I got off the bus, great relief as had been having no response to messages for 2 days. It turned out she had been sleeping a lot.

Back on the path. I felt like an old donkey all day and did it very slowly. There were a lot of ups, seemingly more than downs! Used my poles most of the day because the grass was slippery after the early heavy shower. No rain on me, sunny and windy. I only saw 2 people on the path all the way to Aber so it felt oddly remote. It took me about 5 and a half hours to get to Aber but then I felt pretty tired so had an ice cream in Pizza 25. John came and retrieved me.

There were signs where they weren’t really needed, e.g. Straight on or in the sea and also a lack of signage when it was. The path went through a field of cows but I coped.

I ate in Medina. Good food, good service. I had 3 salads and a Hell lager. Felt calmer.

I’m raising money for amyloidosis research which is vitally needed, to help with early diagnoses, joined up care, more than one amyloidosis centre in the whole of the UK, and treatment that works. It’s a vile disease and it would be great if we can do something to relieve people’s suffering. Please visit my JustGiving page.

Just loved this tunnel
These were massive, dinner plate size
I think it’s a chaffinch but please correct me if I’m wrong
Gateway to the sea