Monthly Archives: May 2018

Spring 2018

So we haven’t had a dull moment since returning to the UK after our trip to Florida in March!

First up was a really quick trip to Oxford with Morgan to see an old friend from college, Irit.  We used to do modern dance classes together at MIT when I was in my last year at Wellesley.  She was over in the UK for work and we managed to squeeze in a catch up at the Oxford University Natural History Museum.

diane and irit

It was so nice to see her and her husband Chris — and to meet their six year old son Dan. We don’t have any pictures of the boys because they were running around the museum like Tasmanian devils! I feel quite lucky that we got out of there without knocking over any of these fossils… it was a very beautiful building but I didn’t really have much time to appreciate it!

oxford natural history

My phone died on the trip to Oxford which made navigating back home to Cardiff rather … interesting!  Amazing how reliant I’ve become on technology to get me where I need to go!  Getting out of Oxford’s old town centre was the hard part — honestly I was never so happy to see the M4 until that day!!  Anyways it was great to see these guys and I hope we see you again before another 11 years passes!

Back in Cardiff, spring has finally sprung — although it has been an unusually cold time — must be the after effects of that drat polar vortex.  The usual spring festivities took place in the garden — here is Morgy doing the annual “spread the grass seed” dance.  I think he looks like the Blues Brothers –  ha!


In amazing local news, the BRIDGE IS FINALLY OPEN!  The Natural Resources Wales flood defense work in our neighbourhood continues up and down stream but at least they have opened the bridge so I can get to Newport Road in 1 minute rather than 5.  It’s been a long 9 months of driving around the side streets of Penylan just to get Morgy to nursery!


The neighbourhood looks especially beautiful at this time of year, with flowers popping out all over the place:


Spring is my favourite part of the year here in Britain as we go from miserable grey and muddy browns to lots of green, whites, pinks and yellows. Yay spring!  Here’s Morgy on a walk around the neighborhood collecting some flowers for a nursery project.  As I am related now to a botanical expert (Aled’s Dad Steve) I will point your attention to the beautiful periwinkle flower in Morgy’s left hand.  The keen observer would want to know if that was the native British blue bell or the invasive Spanish blue bell which is taking over gardens here…


In other news — we have finally managed to get going with the upstairs bathroom project.  Before picture:


In the middle picture:


And after picture:


It’s a big improvement aesthetically and I am also happy to report vast improvements in shower water pressure!  Now onto painting the ceiling and walls and finding a good mirror.  Thanks to Plumber Sean and helper John for their hard work!

We’ve taken a couple of trips to Pembrokeshire to visit Nanna and Taidi — first over Easter when it was still quite chilly.  Morgy loves climbing on rocks so here we are on Dinas Mountain, inducting the next generation of mountain climbers. Perhaps now I know how my mother felt when my Dad took us climbing on cliffs at Mills Reservation!  Proud but also a little bit nervous.


We were out again for the early May bank holiday and had a lovely, relaxing long weekend.  On the first day we had a nice walk along Newport Estuary:


With a lesson here or there from Taidi:


And Nanna’s coffee fix mid-morning:


I was on a mission to get an old kayak in the water so we dragged one out of the undergrowth behind the house and got scrubbing!


Although it was quite sunny at my in-laws’ house, we could hear the fog horn blasting down in Fishguard Harbour and sure enough, the coast had taken on a very San Francisco-like atmosphere with cold sea temps meeting warm air masses.  It was very strange indeed — but did not deter us from kayaking at all…


Morgy went out briefly with Dadda:


And I had a go as well and made a very interesting discovery as I came to shore… look closely…!


An octopus of all things!  He (she?) was looking quite disorientated so we re-located the poor thing to the rock pools at the edge of the beach.  I love octopii– they have amazing camouflaging abilities.


Later a walk up Dinas Head — I love the colour of that water!


And see perfectly sunny above the fog!


The next day, Taidi took the old Wolseley out of the garage for a spin — this only happens on very nice sunny days so we were really in luck this weekend!


Here is Steve driving with me an Morgy up towards Carningli for a hike…


And here we all are on top of Carningli (meaning Mountain of the Angels).  I was really proud of Morgy walking up so high and all the way back down again.


So that’s the end of this blog post — one last pic of the barn behind Glan y Mor with snail in foreground:


Yay spring!