Welcome to our little home on the net. We are Steve & Rosemary and live in Buckinghamshire, UK. This is a blog of our life, sometimes interesting, but mainly boring. It is very picture orientated as Steve loves to take pictures, especially of wildlife. Sometimes he has his arm twisted by Rosemary and takes the odd snap of a weed.
Sunday 8th May, we packed the van and left Fforest Fields campsite at 7.45 and headed south to St Brides Major. We were making good time and paused for a bacon butty on the A470 in the Brecon Beacons. The van was doing a roaring trade catering for the hordes of bikers who were enjoying the road.
We made it to St Brides Major and met up with our other club members, and then headed off to the quarry for the shoot. We managed to lose this leg of the shoot. Lunch was booked at the Star Inn, Wick, so I dropped Rosemary off and drove to the campsite we were staying at. It had been our intention to stay overnight there the night before, but because of a wedding, there had been no camping on the Saturday night. I arrived and dropped the van onto a pitch and raced back up the hill for lunch, on foot it was a little over 20 minutes fast walking and jogging.
A traditional Sunday lunch and some excellent ales, speeches and prize giving and then we were on our own as everyone left for home. We walked back down the road to the campsite and met the owner. Tale of woe, their cafe wasn’t open due to lack of staff. Chefs were hard to come by and could command a high salary.
Next day R and I walked to the coast, over the local stone stiles in places. R was incredibly pleased with the local flora. I continued down the coast, walking into Marcross and back to the campsite. Also walked over the old ruin of an Abbey in Monknash. Nothing to see other than masses of stone and a few ruins.
The next day we headed home. I decided to fill the van with diesel, the first time I had to pay more than £100 to fill the van and it wasn’t exactly empty with 150 miles to go.
Tuesday 3rd May we headed off to our favourite campsite in Wales, for our first camping trip of 2022. It looked like the weather would be reasonable, and it was. I managed several walks in sheep country, following various tracks across the moors using the Outdooractive app to navigate. It’s like Google Maps for the walker, it uses open-source maps, or, if you pay, OS maps, for navigation. It can find a route for you automatically, or you can plan a route, or just wing it. You can also follow routes which other hikers have contributed. At the end you can also see how far, how much up and down, and your speeds. Just love it.
So, we had several fine days, and the evenings, though cool, were a photographer’s heaven with some glorious sunsets lighting up the hills in a golden glow. During the day, the birds of prey and Red Kites could be seen soaring on the ridges. We managed to get above a kestrel for a photo opportunity. Cuckoos sang morning & evening.
Still being off season, the cafe bar was not fully open, which was a shame as I had forgotten to bring any wine or beer. But, in the end, I was able to purchase a few bottles of beer and a bottle of wine for our evenings. When Friday came along it was pizza night. The first time we managed to be there for the event. Big mistake – we ordered gluten free pizza; the base was a bit soggy.
Several brave and intrepid swimmers took to the lake, I think I will delay swimming until September, when hopefully the water will be warmer.
Our last day there, Saturday, was a sunny day with a Northerly breeze. This had been predicted for numerous days, and low and behold a group of people started walking up the hill with large bags on their backs. Yes, a few paragliders had come to fly the hill. They were flying until early afternoon when the lift disappeared. No one managed to get away from the hill. It was lovely seeing these gliders and I don’t apologise for placing them on my blog.
Sunday, we had to leave early, so we packed away the awning on Saturday evening, in the dry. Sunday we quietly finished packing the van and left the campsite at 7.45, heading south for St Brides Major where we had a shooting match in a quarry.
I missed several days of fox cubs, they run the battery down on the camera in only a few days. One night the fox cubs spent the whole of darkness playing! The Infrared light soon depleted the battery! The batteries changed and, on the 4th and 5th of May the Fox cubs are still around. A little bigger, now steady on their feet and much more active.
R and I took a trip to Oxford to look at an exhibition at the Bodleian and for R to go to the Oxford Pen Company. She’d seen mention of the Mowgli Street Food restaurant in Westgate, so we thought we’d check it out. We had not seen it before, though I believe it has been there since the new Westgate centre had been completed. We used to eat at the Cinnamon Kitchen, but since lockdown that restaurant has closed for good.
Mowgli was a surprise, not expensive, and delicious food. Don’t think of an Indian restaurant with the standard range of curries, instead think of deliciously spiced food. We both went for the ‘Office Worker’ Tiffin box, which saved us having to decide on the individual dish. The waitress told us the chef would provide different dishes for us, except for the rice, so we could share the flavours between ourselves. While we waited for the food, we each had a yummy cocktail.
This was an excellent meal with fast service and little waiting after we had ordered. We will be back there the next time we are eating in Oxford.
I knew there was still the odd fox around our garden. The compost heap was regularly being visited, and any leftover food was soon carried away overnight. I put up a webcam on the 23rd of April, near some holes by our field pond, which are often used by rabbits. Last year foxes used these holes to store their larder and raise their young cubs. Sure, enough the Vixen(s) were back and there were four fox cubs in residence. They played during the night, early evening, and early morning. The vixen could be seen during the night. We are not sure if there were two families in the same area. Mostly we would see two or three cubs, but on occasion there was a fourth.