Monday, 7 September 2015

Anglesey, dogs, cats, parrot and mountains

The railway station in Anglesey with the very long name!

We left Derby on Tuesday late afternoon after welcoming Tim and Jill back home after their holiday in Florida. Fortunately they missed hurricane Erika that dissipated just before hitting them on the day they were due to fly out from Miami, but sadly not before it claimed some lives in the Caribbean (and split into two sending a secondary hurricane that veered east over to Cape Verde, the first hurricane to have hit there in recorded history). We knew Tim and Jill had sold their house and are proceeding with the purchase of a several hundred year old listed farmhouse, as we showed their purchasers round while they were on holiday, but they were in a bit of a panic as the completion date is now 24th September, only just over 3 weeks away! Good luck to them, just sorry we can’t help them, but we’re fully booked until late October!

The railway platform sign with a helpful 'how to pronounce'
And this, apparently, is what it means
Our next destination, after a two night stay in Alvechurch with Jackies mum, Pauline, to repack, organise clothes for future christening and wedding (next May, talk about advanced planning!), catch up with Sarah, we headed out to Anglesey in North Wales for our next housesit for two weeks.

This one we were a little apprehensive about as it’s in a small village, in a smallish house, looking after three dogs: a black Labrador (Sionyn), a black Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Minnie), an old Spaniel (Cassie), two semi wild cats, Tomas and very old Ginger, plus a very talkative parrot (Bobbie). The dogs are taken out on at least one walk a day, over ‘the forestry’, using their van to transport them, and are not good with other dogs so are to be kept on leads at all times, but only after Cassie has been given medicine an hour before the walk to help her walk a bit better and limp less.

Jackie with Sionyn, Minnie and Cassie
It seemed a lot, but now we’ve arrived they are all good company and we’ve relaxed a lot. Bobbie is such a laugh, chatting away and making noises most of the time we’re here. He can take off the sound of the telephone ringing to a ‘T’, we’ve heard him do four rings, then answer with an exact copy of Ken’s (his owner) voice and then hold an imaginary conversation. He calls all of the animals and himself (Bobbie Williams) all in Ken’s voice, and tries to send the dogs out for pee pees! He is such a laugh! 
Minnie looks tough, but is so soft and really quite lovable (thank you Robyn and Murray in NZ who have a SBT that is equally as soft and introduced us to them), Sionyn is jealous and Cassie is quite lovable, but limps terribly. The two cats are not quite as wild as we were led to believe, Jackie has managed to get Ginger on her lap, has cleaned him, brushed him and he purrs all the time and seems to really enjoy the fuss. Tomas likes a stroke and miaows quite loudly and sleeps on towels in the bathroom. In the morning they are both full of action wanting ‘breakfast’ and Ginger has his head in the bowl before its even out of the tin!

Jackie brushing Ginger
So we’ve been out in the van to ‘the forestry’ and down onto the beach, with fine views across the Menai Straits to the high mountains of North Wales, including Snowdon and the Carneddau’s and the dogs have been fine. Yes, Sionyn and, to an extent Minnie have reared up and really pulled on leads when confronted with other dogs (Cassie has no lead and ambles along in her own way), but generally they have been good and we’re enjoying the walks.

The Manai Straits bridge on left. Snowdon is on the right above the island
The statue of the Marques of Anglesey
It’s fabulous scenery here and very close to the big mountains across the Menai bridge, so I at least am keen to get out and up some of them, Jackie less so due to her achilles tendon problem.

So far, before arriving at the house, we stayed in an ‘airbnb’ for 1 night so we could meet all the animals with Angela and Ken before they went off. We had a room in a house owned by Emma, her husband and young daughter in the town with the longest name in Britain:

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, referred to by most people as ‘Llanfair PG’. Even the signposts don’t have the full name, they call it
Llanfairpwllgwyngyll. Anyway, we walked down to the railway station and stood in line taking photographs along with the many tourists who stop by on their coach tours and visit the local shop to buy souvenirs.

The old church on Church Island. The sign said 'Built in 631 AD'
We had an afternoon out walking round the two bridges, the first built by Thomas Telford in 1826, the second built by Robert Stephenson in 1850 to carry the railway and rebuilt in 1972 following a fire and, in 1980, modified to carry the A55 trunk road. There is a fabulous viewpoint of the two bridges and the Menai Straits with its dangerous currents called The Swellies, a short walk down to the shore which we took, we looked at the Marquis of Anglesey’s statue (he was second in command to Wellington at Waterloo in 1815), sadly neglected on a hill nearby, followed by a walk onto Church Island with its seventh century church.

Inside the church
Aber Falls
Yesterday we drove onto the mainland and did a short walk to Aber Falls, followed by a loop back up over the hills and back to the village of Abergwyngregyn (amusing listening to our SatNav trying to pronounce that one!), afternoon tea and then a drive into Bangor for Jackie. She attended Bangor University there nearly 30 years ago and wanted to go back down memory lane. It seems it’s changed a lot since she was there, but she recognised much of it, telling me how she used to walk up that steep hill, so and so lived there and that bit has changed a lot etc. She wants to go back and try to meet up with Lloyd, who still lives there, I might go for a walk up a mountain while she does that.

So it’s turning out to be a great place, lots to do, cute animals and, according to the weather forecast, we’re in for at least a weeks of good weather as a high pressure zone sets in over us giving settled, getting warmer weather. What more could we ask! Nearly time for doglets walkies….
The valley containing Aber Falls (you can just see them on the left)
Jackie at thestart of the Aber Falls walk. It was barely raining, but she didn't want to go so was showing her displeasure. She took her hood down as soon as I'd taken the photo!
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch may be a very long name but its not as long as this one we saw in New Zealand in 2013 - 85 characters long!

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures and lovely looking doglets! Glad you are enjoying it all. Xx