Saturday 31 July 2021


 16 July

Another lovely day from dawn to dusk.


Sian tackles the living room with rollers and white emulsion and the effect is transformative. Remarkable!



White Room              

Cream 1968


More driftwood art is sold. Providentially I have prepared more driftwood so I get to work making more pieces.


It is a day for art; I run a Zoom class for three young artists. It is more of a paint-along with me talking through process and colour and layout as I go, and they follow along. We all work from the same photograph. Results from us all are good.


17 July


Good day Sunshine  

The Beatles


Got up good and early and washed the car. The first time I have ever washed a car in Wales. Off to B&Q, bought some colour tester pots. The ‘on wall’ results were dreadful (I wanted chic charcoal and ended up with dirge black. I am grateful for Sian for covering up these aberrations some five days later! 

Along the River Taff


There is a great dog walk along the River Taff from B&Q’s car park. This morning with sun and blue sky against the reeds and rust red dock leaves it was breath-taking, low water with the sun skidding off the mud. Rosie and I meet cows who are also enjoying the sunshine. It will be another hot day.

Taff walk II


Took Rosie for another walk into town via Long Lane. Although it was high noon the tree canopy meant we almost needed a torched to find our way down the path.

Down Long Lane at midday? Pack your torch!


 13 July

Dismay and discovery: 

Discovery I was arriving at Whitesands, situated on the St David's peninsula viewed as the best surfing beach in Pembrokeshire. Certainly there were a lot of people viewing it today. It is a glorious beach, fringed with camper vans. It’s only an hour and twenty minutes from the house although it felt a lot longer especially on the roads after leaving Haverfordwest.


Dismay: having to pay £5 to park the car in a field.  

Discovery II: However the parking shock was offset by the excitement of viewing the excavation of Saint Patricks chapel.  

Dyfed Archaeological Society were coming to end of a six-week dig. They discovered hundreds of bodies (skeletal remains) some dating back to the sixth century. I saw a skull and torso in a shallow grave so felt I got my £5’s worth.

Detail on the dig here:


We walked the coastal part for a short while and high up there was a wonderful view of the bay. The crowds below on the beach now look like lots of coloured gemstones on a pale white cloth. In the fields behind, lots of tents and vans; parking is obviously the new local farmers' cash crop.


As the sun climbs even higher, we head joyfully home.


14 July

L the Plummer arrives as arranged. He fixes a leak in the cold-water pipe, discovers another and fixes that too. Then he fits a simple thermostat so we can control the central heating from inside the house, very grown up.


Whilst all this was going on we finished the installation of two Billy Bookcases. The Ikea Billy Bookcase is declared to be the most commercially successful piece of modern furniture. More than 110 million have been sold since its launch forty years ago. It good to be part of this design movement.


On the way back from Whitland Reclamation Site we stop at Pendine Sands to give Rosie a walk and test drive our new windbreak. Its erection provided some entertainment for the family close by. We must buy a mallet.

Thursday 29 July 2021


 11th July

The first person to use Pendine Sands for a world land speed record attempt was Malcolm Campbell. On 25 September 1924 he set a world land speed record of 146.16 mph (235.22 km/h) on Pendine Sands in his Sunbeam 350HP car Blue Bird.


Rosie and I arrive in light rain to a huge rally of the Vintage Hot Rod Association. Remarkable cars, racers, posers, veteran cars of every make. Drivers, mechanics, and their women all dolled up in 50’s and 40’s garb.

Gathering for a gander

Men peering under bonnets and discussing car bits. A totally thrilling event even if you are not remotely interesting cars. An atmosphere of enthusiasm, good nature and fun surrounded every car.

Mad Max


Under darks skies and a stiff breeze the prevailing smells were bonhomie, testosterone and petrol. Some cars pristine, some studies in rust and flaking paintwork, straight out of Mad Max.


Then home to a Eucharist on Zoom. I did not get involved in  online church when in England. The Church of Wales, specifically the LMA Brosanclêr** scooped me up in early May and invites me to all kinds of services including Knit and Natter. I am invited to do one of the readings each month. 


**Local Ministry Area of Brosanclêr is group of 11 churches West of Carmarthen and in the St Clears area.

Led by Dean Canon Ann Howells.

Tuesday 27 July 2021


 4th July

Trinity 6

To Eucharist at St Cynog’s LLangynog.

What delight: I had been there with Rosie a couple of weeks back however now I was inside. 13th century nave and the Coomb Chapel at the east end 17th century. The place is chock-full of lovely monuments from the 17C until the latter part of 20C. 

The Coombe Chapel

Detail of panel beside the window

Canon Ann Howell gave the service with only two of us* in the congregation. I was please to help giving the two readings. After the service I help Canon Ann lock the safe, a brute of a thing and tricky one to secure! 

*For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matthew 18:20



Lost my Way by Lökii Lipless


A curious happening before the service.... 


I was sure of the way to St Cynog’s. After a couple of miles out of the village I was less than sure. Then I met an oncoming vehicle. The driver pulled over correctly assuming that my reversing skills are less than good.

We conferred through lowered windows. I was miles off course. He set me right telling me about the LH fork in the road I'd missed. I had to go on into the village of Llanyi-bri and turn round and head back. 


BLESS HIM! The other driver waited for me at the fork in the road (I guess about five minutes) and gestured in the direction of the church! 

There are many ways to find God.

Friday 23 July 2021


 2nd July

*Song Sung Blue 1972 hit song written and recorded by Neil Diamond.

The afternoon was blue* We have painted one of the back yard’s walls dark navy. Looks brilliant, Siân’s idea. We move some of the plants back against the paint work and their foliage really ‘pops’ against the blue.

My ongoing campaign to ingratiate myself with the rest of Laugharne continues apace.

I hailed J who was weeding by his front door. We fell into conversation and I ended up being shown round the most lovely house. 


Wednesday 21 July 2021


3rd July

Weather dull beyond measure and a morning of jobs and chores. Amazon call and present us with a very chic pair of occasional tables for our sitting area. Then, une deuxieme grande surprise, Argos had over a fab rug for The Map Room (aka The Study).

The Map Room


I put up two shelves and may have cut through a live circuit as evidenced by the trip switch on the fuse board. Oooops, and another DIY first.


Late afternoon, leaving Siân to touch up the blue on the blue wall, Rosie and I pop to Pendine. Everyone is leaving the beach as we arrive, returning to their holiday homes with sun burn,  disconsolate looks and tangled hair. 

Rosie and I net a wonderful haul of driftwood. I have an idea for an affordable art project. 

News of an official power outage

Monday 19 July 2021


 1st July



This is a story of heroism up a telegraph pole by Openreach engineer Rhys Jenkins. 

After the pole work Rhys phoned a friend who came over and the two of them worked in the telecoms manhole through to the familiar box outside the Community Centre on the opposite  of the street.  Five hours later we are sorted! During the early stages of Rhys’ ascent I make a drawing from our front door and promise to send it to him.

The ultimate pole dancing


Lady Gaga and Beyonce. - written and recorded by, 2009



In celebratory mood we headed over for cocktails with K&M at their place at Pilroath in the village of Pant Yr Athro. Remarkable views right along the Afon Towyi estuary across to Ferryside.

And high up to the right proud Llansteffan castle.  As the sun settled a little lower the country either side of the estuary glowed with the day’s heat.

Evening' all: the view from Mark and Karen's Terrace


Saturday 17 July 2021


30th June 

Our first piece of entertaining today. Friends Mark and Karen from Lancashire are staying close by near Llansteffan, so we meet up in Laugharne. We proudly give them the 10 Cent Laugharne Tour:


Starting out from the Gist along the foot of the castle and up to Dylan’s Writing Shed where we peer through the window to see his jacket on the chair, bottles clearly in view and close to hand a bucket, no prize for guessing its use. Onwards up into Long Lane and down to Dylan and Caitlin shared grave. Caitlin was herself a writer. After his death, she wrote the book Leftover Life to Kill, an account of her self-exile to Italy. *. Back up Clifton Street where we served coffee and tea at The Show Room.


Sun high and it was very hot. Under a large umbrella at a table in the Fountain Inn we enjoyed great baguettes and for the lads good Felinfoel IPA.

Under a large umbrella at a table in the Fountain Inn with a view  of the Castle

After lunch across to Amroth. A half mile long, flat, sandy beach. There's a huge expanse of sand at low tide and rockpools at the western end of the beach. Ice creams were essential.


Forward planning ensured we had an excellent beef curry from Poon’s. It was her dish of the day, and certainly it was ours!

Oh go on then...


FOOTNOTE * From an excellent bio of Caitlin here. 

Friday 9 July 2021


 Sunday 20th June 

To Eucharist with Rosie at St Cynins in Llangynin. A warm welcome from the Church Warden and Priests. Rosie sits through the service as good as gold, apart from a loud yawn during the sermon.


The church is remarkably located on a hill outside the village and I had to do some map reading to get there. Well worth it and we shall attend again.


And closer. Rosie demands more sea and sand, so we seek out Ginst Point. This is one of those little-known beaches made up of sand and a vast variety of shells.  Vince told us about it, Ginst Point quiet and exposed to the elements.



The land adjoining the beach is owned by the MoD. They test tanks and other armoured vehicles and explode munitions during the week. Over the weekend it is peaceful and we have great fun. 


First thing tomorrow the Window people come to measure up and we then go back to the Badlands.

Wednesday 7 July 2021


 Friday 18th June.

Electricians continue and by 2pm everything the works board is ticked off and sorted.

 An afternoon meet up with Julie Hutton ceramicist

and husband, chair maker Kevin. Yes, he’s the chairman. A grand house just up the street. Lots of banter and common interest. My first introduction to les beaux arts de Laugharne. More to follow.


On the wall at Poons

Then onto Poons where I put up four paintings that I had specially framed for the place. Vince and Poon have given me the walls of their upstairs room to display my work. I put four on the wall. It is a start. 

Organising postcards of the work and associated pieces for sale downstairs.

Saturday 19th June 

The sun has got his hat on hip-hip-hip hooray
The sun has got his hat on
And he's coming out today

 Ambrose and his Orchestra 1932


To Pendine Sands for a long walk with Rosie.

On the beach we meet the highly decorous Margaret from St Clears and her Scottish Terrier, Tilly. She drives across most days with T for a good walk on the sands.  

We all rendezvous again at the café above the beach Tea by the Sea. Life stories are readily exchange and we shall doubtless meet up again. 


Monday 5 July 2021


 Wednesday 16th June 

Chores and jobs in the morning and then we drifted to town. 

 BT text me saying they cannot complete the broadband installation by the June 25 and is July 1st, OK?  Hardly. 


Vince (co-host and owner of Poon’s) explains what a Pembrokeshire Promise is. It is a promise or undertaken made, usually made by tradespeople or commercial organisations that they/them have no intention to fulfil. BT are Olympian Pembrokeshire Promisers.


Rosie and I go churching to LLangynog.  High on a hill in a circular churchyard drizzle make the place look very damp, and damp I am walking through God’s Acre in my sandals which are the only footwear I have with me this week.


We drive home to The Showroom, it's very gloomy inside. Andrew the Electrician and his team come tomorrow to change all this.

 Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; 

Order of Evening Prayer BCP

Saturday 3 July 2021


 Tuesday 15th

“Long hot days, Cool sea haze"...

Slept poorly, rose late, fretting about BT. Called them and my call was eventually escalated to the Connections Team. They give Sian and I free 4G data until such time as we do have broadband down here.


After forty-four minutes on the phone with BT Rosie and I headed for the beach at Pendine Sands for sun and sea breezes.

“Long hot days

Cool sea haze

Jukebox plays”

Lyrics from ‘Beach Baby’ UK and US hit in 1974 for British pop group First Class


Went to Aldi for the week’s shop. Delicious meals for one, as Sian is in London attending to family matter so just Rosie and I on this trip.


Made low coffee table which is actually stable.



On the way back from Poon’s Rosie does an impromptu ‘business’ in the street and I am without poo bags. A lady runs out from her front door and provides three, two for later and one for immediate use.

Here's a lovely mellow song by Ego Ella May

Thursday 1 July 2021


 Monday 14th June

Waited for BT to complete the Broadband installation. 

The engineer arrived one and a half hours late. After running checks out in the street he told me our line had been disconnected by another engineer and so he could not complete the job. 

He regaled me with other instances of BT and Openreach’s ineptitude. He looked so frazzled I made him coffee with rice cakes and cream cheese and a mini pork pie.


Thus, no broadband still and unlikely until July the first. Like the railways and the postal system another example of Thatcher-Major ba**s-ups.

One day my line will come


I installed a manhole cover, the previous one was broken by the carriage of Calor Gas to the back yard. Sounds impressive task however really akin to put the cap on a sauce bottle.


Wonderful sun enjoyed by Rosie and I walking down by the estuary just round from the castle. Had a chat with the Gwyn the Builder, a legend in the town. He confessed to being married three times and, on each occasion, applied marzipan from each wedding cake to his fore arms to increase his strength.

Looking East: walking down by the estuary just round from the castle

Ring Ring Goes the telephone  Chris Lake