This getting a house ready to sell just so I can possible get more out of the sale better be worth it. I’ve been bleeding money — I really need a transfusion, quick.
Meanwhile the grand public transportation experiment is over. I spent a month going to a public park and ride (45 minutes from home) then riding the express bus to downtown San Antonio (another 45 minutes depending on which express bus I managed to catch).
By car, getting to work takes me an hour. By car, then bus, it was almost two hours. My 10-hour days turned into 12, so I’m back to driving all the way in.
I do miss the walk. Instead of catching the trolley or bus that would take me closer to the office, I decided to walk the Riverwalk. I also got to enjoy a part of town I had not been familiar with.
I got off the bus at Delarosa and Main. Here was Main Plaza, San Fernando Cathedral and the red sandstone courthouse.
Next, the Riverwalk from Delarosa St. to Houston St.
I’ve lived in my current home for 14 years. I’ve never been one to set down deep roots, but they got pretty deep here.
So the house is going up for sale. Maybe. I don’t know. All I know is I’m restless and have been for at least the last five years.
The realtor ( a colleague of mine) and her boss came out yesterday to evaluate my house and let me know what I can do to increase the value and get it sold quickly. I haven’t signed anything yet. But, after being initially overwhelmed with what needed to be done, I’ve broke down the projects and am feeling much better about completing them.
In spite of my ambivalence, I feel a budding excitement. An excitement I haven’t felt since, well, forever. I’m shooting for putting the house on the market June 1, or thereabouts. I had decided to move out and this was encouraged by my visitors yesterday. Houses sell better empty, or so I was told. As much as I love my cats (3), litter boxes are quite unattractive. And my cats do not deal well with strangers in the house. My dogs, who think strangers are their next best friends don’t understand the feelings are not mutual from potential house buyers.
And I’m facing a potential problem of trying to rent with 3 cats and 2 dogs. That could be difficult and potentially expensive. Generally it’s $300 nonrefundable deposit for one dog (sometimes for 2 small). I’ve decided that when I figure out it’s time to sign the contract with the realtor, I’ll find a place. (Now I need to find a St. Joseph statue to bury in the yard when I’m done prepping the house.)
I’m a bit sad. I’m coming to a close to my days in Wales. But it’s been a grand day, even after losing a UK hour in its time change. (Haven’t I been through this once this year?)
What can be better than spending the day with horses?
With this scenery from the house and arena?
The house sits up above the arena (“ménage” here).
The barn (or yard). The right two stalls are modified goat pens where the roof was lifted to accommodate the horses. The other two stalls were built after purchase.
I brought my landlady’s daughter with me who was thrilled to be around horses and said she learned more in 15 minutes with Sue than she had in a year’s worth of lessons. (I had met Sue at the workshop.)
I got on for a moment and did a walk trot.
We had tea on the terrace and swapped stories. I was fascinated with the sightings of pheasants as we drove in. When one appeared in the yard, Sue grabbed my camera to shoot a photo.
Before we knew it it was time to head back.
The little walking person appears everywhere in North Wales. It can be pointing down a paved path.
Or a well defined path.
Or a path that may be defined in spots and crosses through a pasture or two.[/caption]
This sign was seen quite a bit and often under the walking person sign.
How about this one?
Spent the night listening to very good amateur A capella choral groups. One my landlady, Sally and a friend, Liz, are in. The songs were drawn from almost all continents and in many different languages. One, as one choral member announced, was a Spanish song to be sung in French, English and the chorus members’ favorite language, ooooooh.
The two hours went by quickly; the singing was that good. There was even an audience round. (The audience was made up of choral members, friends and family.
Taking a break had us at a nearby pub and with a half pint of cider (and trying to escape the noise of an extremely boisterous group of happy men.
A highly entertaining ceilidh (Kay lee) followed. Traditional music and dancing – in this instructions were given for each dance then moves called out with with the music.
And here is the ever vocal, demanding Norfolk terrier from next door, Bindy.
An incredibly lovely day! It was a cloudy, non-rainy day, as it has been for a while. I zipped over to Anglesey (Ynys Mon) to do a walk in Newborough Forest on the southwest end. I had intended to walk in the forest, but decided to do a beach walk instead. I ended up on the shadow of land in the background of the photo above. Not many people there that early and it was incredible peaceful and meditative.
The tide was going out leaving a thick light brown sand. I was fascinated with the sand patterns.
The area is called Llanddwyn, bordered by Llanddwyn Bay, and to the northwest was an island accessible at low tide. The island is called Ynys (island) Llanddwyn and on that island are the ruins of a church to St. Dwynwen, two lighthouses and inside the dunes pilots’ houses.
St Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers making her the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine. The Welsh equivalent of St. Valentine’s Day would be Jan. 25. (Her death in 495 a.d.)
She lived during the 5th century and legend has it that she was one of the prettiest of Brychan Brycheiniog’s 24 daughters. Dwynwen fell in love with a prince called Maelon Dafodrill, but unfortunately her father had already arranged that she should marry someone else.
Dwynwen was so upset that she could not marry Maelon that she begged God to make her forget him. After falling asleep, Dwynwen was visited by an angel, who appeared carrying a sweet potion designed to erase all memory of Maelon and turn him into a block of ice.
God then gave three wishes to Dwynwen. Her first wish was that Maelon be thawed; her second that God meet the hopes and dreams of true lovers; and third, that she should never marry. All three were fulfilled, and as a mark of her thanks, Dwynwen devoted herself to God’s service for the rest of her life.
She founded a convent on Llanddwyn Island where a well named after her became a place of pilgrimage after her death. Visitors to the well believed that the sacred fish or eels that lived in the well could foretell whether or not their relationship would be happy and whether love and happiness would be theirs. Remains of Dwynwen’s church can still be seen today.
There were horses on the island, cared for by the wardens. You are basically walking in their pasture and they keep their distance. Or, did until I came up behind one who just flattened his ears despite my clicking (well, guess my clicking wasn’t in Welsh — and they aren’t trained after all). I had to move to the side and that got him out of the path.
I spent most of the day there.
I reluctantly left and set off for Holyhead to drop off the car. Took the train back to Bangor and got lost in Bangor trying to find the main bus terminal. No problem, just asked a couple of college students (the town is home to Bangor University) who escorted me to the right road. The terminal is in the retail area which was having a huge market. Vendors had set up tents in an area with no through traffic. I found a farmer selling produce and he had leeks (hadn’t been able to find single small ones for soup). So I picked up leeks, potatoes and an old-style carrot (lighter in color and not as sweet).
By the time I had the veggies cut up, it started to rain. Great time for soup!
The day started with a lesson on making Welsh cakes. The day held a promise of sunshine, despite a rain during the night. My landlady, Sally, was my teacher.
And the results.
We had talked, made cakes and drank tea all morning. For the remaining day, I went back to Llanberis to visit the part of the National Slate Museum not viewed on the last visit. I visited the tiny miners homes in the back. There were cowboy books on the bookshelves in the 1960s home which made me smile. I’ve had three North Welshmen tell me this trip about being fascinated with the West and cowboys. Shouldn’t have surprised me with my encounter of The Ponderosa gift shop and cafe at the top of Horseshoe Pass on the previous trip. And there was this at the beginning of the week.
The rest of the tour was a bit eerie going through the machine shops, forge room, etc. It felt as though the workers were just on a break and would show up any moment.
It was getting late and getting cooler. I went in search for Caffi Sam where I had visited before. Finding it I decided on the chicken and mushroom pastime with salad. The serving was generous.
Tomorrow’s plan is to do a walk on Anglesey and turn the car in.
Because of an accommodating Welshman, I got a completely different view of my favorite castle, Dolbadarn.
Just before leaving for Llanberis, I dropped by my landlady’s home to get an air pressure gauge. Instead of the gauge, I left with a personal guide and Sally’s Norwich terrier, Bindy. I could relax not having to drive.
Bindy was NOT a cooperative passenger. She howled and barked and whined most of the car travel. She was only quiet when we got out to walk.
We first went up to Dolbadarn Castle. Leaves aren’t on the trees yet, but the moss is prevalent and emerald green.
Then we went to the well-defined trail in Padarn County Park through the sessile oaks. I imagine with leaves the forest would be impressive.
Then we came upon a mining pit now used by a diving group.
We went to lunch on Anglesey so I could finally get a photo of the Telford bridge, considered the first modern suspension bridge.
After lunch, my guide took me to the top of the hill overlooking Llanberis. The view was indescribable and surreal. I had not found this overlook in any resource, nor was it easy to get to. The first photo, Dolbadarn Castle, is from this perspective.
Tomorrow morning is a Welsh cake lesson and a trip to Anglesey to return the car.