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Crikey! it's been nearly two months since I posted something here. I must try to do more frequent entires both here and at lj.

lol Flaming June came, flamed and went away to be replaced by cold wet july! Now we have cool damp august. I'm quite appy for the weather to be cool because I don't do hot very well. And when I was growing up summers were cooler then and there was rain to a greater or lesser degree nearly every day, in fact you could tell who were the tourists because they were the ones without the umberellas!

The problem with all the rain is that I can't get out into the garden, it was going to be my project this year to try and keep it all under some kind of control but *sigh* that hasn't happened yet. The grape vine as romped down the fence, attempted to strangle my rose bush and jump the gap between the fence it is growing up against and the house! It at least is producing some grapes and they are a bit bigger than last year but I have no idea if they will be edible or not. However it does look pretty especially in the autum when the leaves begin to change colour. I have chopped off the offending tendrils now so hope fully it will not try and take over everything that comes near it.

The apple trees are once again absolutly smothered in apples, I thought that because the blossom was a bit later this year coming out than last that it would mean fewer flowers and so fewer fruits but it seems that is not to be the case. So the trees are weighed down and even though I pruned them back to keep them out of the neighbours garden the are once again leaning over the fence so I guess in the winter I will have to do a more drastic pruning.

The other monster in the garden is the rhubarb. It is a plant that was originally in the garden when I moved in to the house in 1989, I have tried on several occassions to get rid of it but it just keeps coming back bigger and stronger. I gave up trying to remove it about 15 years ago. It produces a huge amount of fruit to. Saturday I think I harvested a good 10 lbs of the stuff. The leaves go into the compost bin, the fruit into the freezer. Rhubarb crumble anyone?

It's amazing how much something grows when you're not looking. I went away for a few days and when I came back the grass was looking like the Seringeti! The cat looks like a lion hunting it's prey as she skulks about in the grass. It's not dry enough to cut just yet but if the rain will hold off for a few days I might get around to it. It will be just my luck to cut the grass, the sun will come out and the whole lot will go brown and stay that way until the winter when it will turn green and become a really nice lawn again.

Still the holiday was quite nice, we stayed in a converted barn on top of a small mountain. It was quiet and very comfortable. Although we had tv reception there was no internet (much to my daughters disgust!) and phone reception was iffy at best. It was ok while we were in the cottage and while we were near the coast but once you got into the mountains proper the signal came and went. It was nice on the road not to have to deal with everyone rushing around to get from here to there is as short a time as possible. There are only a few main roads in North Wales and quite alot of very narrow roads that on the ordinace survery map show up as yellow dotted lines. Alot of fun and luckily when they built the roads they put plenty of passing spaces. The beauty of the many isolated roads and the steep mountain roads is that you don't get too many heavy 18 wheel lorries. One day it was so quiet we drove for about an hour and didn't see another car in either direction, it felt like we were the last people on earth.

We managed to pack in quite alot of places, some we had been to before so we went in ransacked the shop and came away, must visits include the chocolate farm, the honey farm and of course the farm shops. I swear that if we didn't go there for a holiday I would have to have a shopping weekend to stock up on the honey as I don't buy it from the supermarket. One thing is for sure, a week away is not long enough, we covered a similar distance (including there and back) in one week as we would normally do in two, almost 1200 miles! Mind you we have spent more time in South Wales than in North Wales in the past, everything is much closer together in the south. Still it was nice to get away and despite the weather we managed to keep dry and have fun. lol though I'm not sure that visiting the Royal Welsh Show after so much rain was a good idea. They were very well organised in that you parked your car in a field and they laid on buses to take you to the show ground. Of course after so much rain and three days of traffic on the fields they were just a tad muddy. I ended up with mud up to my knees splashed all over my trousers, but it brushed off once they were dry. It was an interesting show and we really did enjoy it. It is an agricultural show that lasts for 4 days, they have cattle, horses, pigs, goats, vegatable growing competitions and flower arrangements done with a theme. There were loads of other exhibitors there as well, the usual people selling food and also the outdoor clothing. I should think they made a fortune this year. I bought a poncho in bright red which says on it 'I got soaked in Wales!' but in the end I didn't use it as I managed to miss all the rain. I guess I can use it at home.

I went to the top of Snowdon while I was there and I'm afraid I took the easy way up, in the train. The train ride takes over and hour to get to the top but I reckon that's about 2 days quicker than it would take me to walk. Lots of people do walk though and when you get to the top theres a brand new coffe shop and souvenir shop. A few more steps takes you to the actual summit of the mountain 1085m above sea level, that's 3560 feet! They say that it takes about 2 hours to walk down from the top but I have no idea how long it would take walking up, probably at least double that I should think. For me it would be all day to get to the top so it was good to go in the train. Unfortunatley when we got to the summit it was cloudy and as the mountain gets over 180 inches (4500 mm) of rain a year it is probably hard to find a day when the peak is actually not in cloud. When it isn't covered in cloud the Welsh say you can see 5 kingdoms from the peak, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the kingdom of Heaven! Certainly the views as you travel up the mountain and down again are spectacular and I'll try again another year to get to the top when it's sunny.

This is turning into an epic so I'd better stop this for now. I'll post some pictures when I get them developed.
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