Thursday, 22 September 2011

Spot the difference?

Next year’s nesting swallows are going to miss their perch on the electricity cables but we’re not sad to see the last of the unsightly mess of frayed cabling. 

Re-pointing work is needed on the gable end of the front house to stop the chimney leaking - there's a dark brown stain of tarry deposits half way down.  But scaffolders wouldn’t erect the scaffolding with dangerous old cables so Scottish Power came to our rescue. While we were at it, we decided to send the cables underground.

Digging the trench 18 inches deep for 35 yards or so was quite challenging - especially the first stretch which was full of huge boulders. Fortunately Paul ‘Obelix’ Marsh was with us that day. The final section beneath the drive had to be dug beneath 3 sets of pipes so extra care needed with pick axe and crow bar.

As for the climbing hydrangea, motley array of shrubs and ragged fencing – they have all gone and the clear lines of the building are revealed making it seem that bit taller.  

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

UFO on Moelwyn Bach

A hundred metres or so south of Llyn y Garnedd, in the foothills of Moelwyn Bach, is a strange circle. Not a crop but water. Could the ferocious heat of intergalactic engines have burnt deep into the peat as an alien spaceship parked up to enjoy the Vale of Ffestiniog? Does anyone have an alternative theory? There are another 3 similar, but less round, moats surrounding islands of peat.

Could they have been dug out for game-keeping purposes? Would the water have provided some protection for ground nesting birds?

Troll's House in the Celtic Rainforest

As the equinox approaches summer rains drift into autumn rains ... those springtime fires in the tinder dry undergrowth seem like a million miles away. But it does get very atmospheric in the misty Celtic Rainforest. If the showers get too much you can always shelter in a Troll’s House - the slate adit by the top hairpin bend or the copper mine near the front door. This is what it looks like:

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Slate returns to the streets of Porthmadog

The Ffestiniog Railway will once again go back to its roots for the Vintage Weekend event on 14 - 16th October.

Taking advantage of the newly-commissioned Britannia Bridge crossing on the Welsh Highland Railway, the event will recreate the days when the living, breathing heart of Porthmadog was the export of slate.

Most of the slate used to bypass the railway’s terminus at Harbour Station and rumble across the bridge to the wharves – a sight which is now almost beyond living memory… until October, when wagons will once again cross the road and head off to other parts of town. It is even thought that flour traffic could make an appearance on its way to Snowdon Mill.

To complete the interpretation of the slate’s journey, the FR’s gravity train will operate the largest number of wagons since before World War II. This new, long train will feature newly-restored LNWR and GWR-type slate wagons for the very first time.

This is the view of a short gravity train passing Campbell's Platform. The cottage is vacant for the week beginning 14th October if you fancy a ringside seat!