Sunday, 19 April 2015

February 2015

February is not a very good month, we could still get snow but luck was in and we didn't in this part of Wales.   Spring bulbs continue to grow and sometimes we have frog spawn but the frogs were a bit late this year. 

Lovely sunset mid February.

Nothing happening in the pond but don't think it will be long now. 

This group of crocuses has been here since before we moved in 20 years ago.  They have not spread at all and form a circle round this little cherry tree which never grows either!  They look so lovely when they open wide as the sun shines on them 

January 2015 in the garden

Not been good at blogging just recently so will try to do better.  Will start with what is happening in the garden month by month.  It hasn't been a bad winter here with very little snow.

This is as much as we had, not very impressive. 

Flowers started appearing early with the mild weather. 

I seem to have primroses all year round.  Mine come in many colours but this is the colour of the wild ones.  Looks so delicate but very hardy to grow through the winter.

4th January and the snowdrops have pushed through the ground. Wonder if they were expecting snow?

Here they are on 30th January, almost open

I have jumped ahead to 25th February for this picture.  Lovely that the flowers last so long. 

The middle of January and the daffodil shoots also appear.  As the daffodil is the national flower of Wales I always hope to see them flowering for St David's Day, 1st March. We can only wait and see. 

The crocus also appears in January, the bright yellow flowers always shooting up ahead of the leaves. 

Monday, 19 January 2015


I can't believe it is over 2 months again since my last post.  Trouble is this time of year nothing much happens, except for Christmas of course but I was far too busy then.  The week before Christmas my son Imran and family came for the weekend because they would not be here over Christmas as they were visiting Malaysia for his sister in law's wedding and flying out on Christmas day.

Because of childcare problems he asked if I could have the children for a couple of nights.  I agreed with a feeling of slight intrepidation as they have never stayed here without mum and dad before.  I needn't have worried, everything went smoothly.  They slept all night, no  tears or tantrums, and seemed to enjoy themselves.  First morning when two and a half year old Safeya woke up she was concerned that she couldn't find her daddy, but when I told her he was at work she happily accepted that.  No problem putting them to bed either. After a bedtime story they were happy to be left and soon dropped off to sleep.  A bit of musical beds though, they each slept in a different bed every night.

Auntie Sophie arrived for Christmas while they were still here so that was a great help.  Then enjoyed baking gingerbread men with her.  What a mess they made and when I told them so Zachariah told me that auntie Sophie told them grandma would clean it up!!!!

Didn't take many more photos over Christmas but it was rather hectic with 10 people here for lunch on Boxing Day.

I made my own wreath for the front door this year, a nice change from the artificial one I had before

My artifical Christmas tree had its 3rd outing. Not sure the rest of the family appreciate it as we have always had a real one. 

Visited the boating lake one day but Jasmine was only one of the grandchildren who wanted to go. She loves climbing on everything there.  A gymnastic display as she did the splits on top of the climbing frame.

She was reluctant to climb this one but eventually made it

Next we called at Llanyravon Manor to see the Christmas tree which is decorated with ornaments made by the ladies of the sewing group there. 

It started to rain as we were approaching the manor, there was also a rainbow but it doesn't show on the photo. 

It was very cold and Jasmine was shivering by this time so we decided it was time to go home. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Just changed my header photo.  This is me with my grandchildren taken yesterday when we visited to celebrate Jakobs 11th birthday.  Left to right, me, Safeya, Stuart, Zachariah, Jasmine and Jakob.

This is Safeya looking at the camera.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Halloween at Blaen Bran Community Woodland

We organised our first Halloween event in the woodland yesterday.  The idea was Sue Wheeler's, Lynn Higginson and I were roped in to help. We didn't really mind though and it was a fun day.  The weather was brilliant for the end of October. In fact it was better than some summer days.  A dozen or more children turned up and brought their parents with them.  I think they all had fun.

Lynn and granddaughter Faith spreading their spider webs to decorate  Parsons' wood

A few ghosts made an appearance.

Lynn, Sue and Faith ready and waiting for the first arrivals

and our first victims arriving. 

Some great costumes

We started off with a story from witch Sheila, sitting in the storyteller's chair.  Roald Dahl's Three Little Pigs from his revolting rhymes. 

Then a hunt for monsters in the woods. Well only pictures of them, and then they had to make a halloween themed word out of the initial letters of their names. Well two words actually, Haunted House. This did take quite a while but they had a good run round in the woods.

This is Sue telling them what they had to search for and the first picture is on the tree behind them. 

It wouldn't be Halloween without apples

Then of course they had to be an eyeball search in bowls of brains and guts! Deeper in the woods for this.

 Ever wrapped a mummy?  
Not very easy when using toilet paper but we had some very good ones

and even a grandmummy! 

Then we made broomsticks so we could all fly home.  I think this one would probably only fly round in circles. 

Fun round the campfire as darkness started to fall included sparklers and toasted marshmallows. 

Hopefully we will be able to make this an annual event.  Just enough children for a first attempt. 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Blaen Bran Open Day

We held an open day at Blaen Bran Community Woodland on 6th September to celebrate its 10th anniversary. It was a lovely day which started off rather slowly but the visitors eventually started to arrive.  The weather was good for most of the day but sadly it changed halfway through the afternoon.  It didn't dampen the fun though and I think a great day was had by all.

I was helping on the refreshment stall and we were also selling T shirts

Lots of stalls run by local crafters

Stuart resting in the woodland half way through the history walk where we learned about the history of coal mining on the mountain which goes back probably to the mid 18th century

There was a demonstration of horse logging.

And musical entertainment.

Stuart enjoying his lunch of pizza.

The Mayor of Torfaen was there to give his support.

The official opening of the Forest school area by David Parsons.

and the unveiling of the sign for the forest school area which is named Parsons' Wood  after David who is one of the founder members

Here are some of the T shirts we were selling.  Great messages on them. Life is a Beech, Just Larching around and Forest grump. 

Some of the items made in the woodland from wood grown there. 

Lovely garden furniture

People relaxing round the campfire. 

Friends of the Earth advising on helping bees.

Everybody running for shelter as the rain started.

More entertainment, Morris dancing by the Border Urban Morris Side (BUMS)
The rain coming down fast now

Children joined in the dancing and loved it in spite of the rain.