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Dylan Thomas- Laugharne, Wales

Dylan's Thomas' home for many years

Dylan’s Thomas’ home for many years

We spent a wonderful day visiting the home of Dylan Thomas, in Laugharne, UK.


Even if the poet, writer and broadcaster Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) hadn’t lived at the Boathouse in Laugharne for the last four years of his tragically short life, it is a truly remarkable place to visit.

The Boathouse terrace offers wonderful views of the Taf estuary and the Gower beyond – a haven for egrets, lapwings, herons, oystercatchers, seals and otters with fishermen and cocklers continuing the ancient traditions.

The Boathouse tearoom with its locally sourced, home-cooked menu provides a welcome respite for walkers tackling the newly launched Wales Coast Path.

As well as the tearoom, there is a furnished front parlour, an upstairs exhibition area showing a 24 minute film, a shop and toilet facilities.

It was Dylan Thomas, however, who made the Boathouse iconic. It is the building most closely associated with him and the stability of a permanent home meant he enjoyed a creative renaissance. He worked in the Writing Shed above the Boathouse with its remarkable and inspiring views of four estuaries.

The first poem he wrote there was ‘Over Sir John’s Hill’, in which he describes the view from the shed, writing of birds stalking their prey and bringing death in the midst of this beauty.

Life, death, beauty, tragedy, eternity and God – Dylan could see them all from the window of this unique place.


Walking Tour of The Somme

We went on an fascinating walking tour of the Somme in Northern France last week. The tour was organised by Battle Honours Europe.  Our guide, Clive Harris was exceptionally good and made the trip really interesting and memorable.

The tour was over 4 nights and we stayed in a lovely boutique hotel in Cambrai called Hotel Beatus
 Here’s our itinerary:

Day 1

Pick up at Ebbsfleet International or Dover and onwards to our tour Hotel in Cambrai, a visit to Vimy Ridge is made on route.

Day 2

Walk 1 – Serre French Cemetery to Beaumont Hamel – Starting at the French National Cemetery we learn how the Somme front was shaped in the autumn of 1914 & spring of 1915. We then venture along forgotten tracks as we chart the extremities of the Somme battle in November 1917, passing Waggon Road & Ten Tree Alley Cemetery we also visit Munich & Frankfurt Trench before arriving on the outskirts of Beaumont Hamel.  

Walk 2 – Sucerie to the Sunken Lane – From the Sucerie cemetery we walk towards Serre visiting Serre No2 Cemetery before striding over the Redan Ridge to pause at the isolated small cemeteries that tell the story of the 1st July “old front line” of the 4th Division before entering the Sunken Lane held by the 29th Division and ending the day in Beaumont Hamel   

Day 3

Walk 3 – Lonsdale Cemetery to Mouquet Farm – Starting at Lonsdale Cemetery we look at the 32nd Divisional attack on Theipval before following the line of Nab Valley

along the wood line before emerging up onto the road to Pozieres and the Mouquet Farm Memorial. Here we study the Australian assaults from the vilage on the farm alongside its eventual capture by the 11th Northern Division in late September 1916  

Walk 4 – Contalmaison to Bazentin – This walk starting at Contalmaison Chateau Cemetery starts with the capture of the village in July 1918 and visits the McCrae Battalion memorials before taking the old supply track to Pozieres & Courcelette passing two isolated cemeteries before we study both the “Dawn Attack” of July 14th and the capture of Pozieres in the August of 1916. We then walk into Bazentin ending with the tale of the “Nine Brave Men” of the Royal Engineers and the Wallace Memorial overlooking High Wood.    

Day 4

Walk 5 – Carnoy to Carnoy – Starting at Carnoy CWGC we look at the role of the Field Ambulance on the 1st july 1918, we continue through the 18th Eastern Division rear areas along Tallus Bois to the startline of the 8th East Surrey Regiment, we then cross into the sector attacked by the 30th Division, captors of Montauban before ending in the French sector at Maricourt Wood to consider Anglo/French co-operation in July 1916    

Walk 6 – Happy Valley – August 1918 – An area that has been a fascination of Clive’s for many years, we follow the 47th London Division attack in August 1918 that proved that the BEF were not pushing against an open door in August 1918 as is often suggested. Starting at Grove Town CWGC we walk to Bray Vale, along the heights of Happy Valley to hear the problems with resupply of men and materials that were encountered before crossing to the German gun line and ending at Bray Hill CWGC.  

Day 5

Home via Calais to Dover with a visit to the Louverval Memorial & Rancourt French Cemetery on route.

Amazing Pink Sunset

I’ve never seen a sunset quite like this one taken from Waterkloof Vineyard in Gordon’s Bay, Cape Town. Because of the bush fires raging close to table mountain the sky is quite incredible.pink sunset Gordon's Bay

Oyster Catchers

Oyster Catchers Hermanus

This pair of beautiful Oyster Catchers have been sitting on their nest for well over 3 weeks in the spectacular Bientangs Cave Restaurant in Hermanus, Western Cape.

I love this photo of the parent protecting her egg from the cormorant!

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Sunset Gordon's BayWe were treated today to THE most amazing sunset I’ve ever seen.
Taken in Gordon’s Bay, Cape Town after a day of ferocious winds in the Western Cape!

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Bientangs Cave Restaurant Hermanus


Every once in a while you come across something, or somewhere that makes you feel at peace with the world. One such place for me is Bientangs Cave Restaurant, Hermanus, South Africa

I was introduced to Bientangs by some very close friends about 3 years ago and now every time I visit South Africa , Bientangs is a ‘must go to place”!

Bientangs Cave Restaurant , Hermanus has won many prestigious awards, including the coveted Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence !

I haven’t been lucky enough to visit Bientangs in the whale season but the location of the Cave Restaurant is probably the best place to spot whales on the whole of the whale coast!

Bientangs Cave Restaurant Awards

Probably my Best Ever Photo

slider-dolphins-1This photo was taken from a remote beach on the Western Cape called Dappat Se Gat!

The dolphins put on the most beautiful show surfing the waves and I was lucky enough to have my camera exactly at the right place

They were waiting behind the wave until a good one came along and then all surfed the wave together!



An update to the above photo- I thought this was a ‘once in a lifetime’ photo but when I want back to the beach, camera in hand, there they were again, only MORE!


Show off your Photos with Photobox

It’s all too easy to take photos but not always to make time to show them off!

I use photobox for mine, photo cushions, photo books, posters etc.

Never has an Apple Tasted SO Good !

Shirl2SIX days of a liquid only fast- today is the day I start to eat REAL food again- starting with a crisp, green apple, salad for lunch and steamed vegetables for dinner ! Bliss ! ( Should have been a 5 day fast but I had so much energy I added an extra day ) Lost 6 pounds of Christmas excesses that had been refusing to go  ! Yay !

This will be the 3rd time I’ve done this particular colon detox programme and each time I’ve felt AMAZING afterwards, full of energy, Christmas holiday excesses bloating GONE!  I always feel fresh and bright after I’ve finished it, also very impressed that hubby managed to do the whole thing again this time, probably because he knew he wouldn’t be getting fed by me for 5 days anyway so may as well join in.  😉

If you’re not too squeamish, have a look at the customer reviews on the US site Blessed Herbs, under ‘Colon Cleanse’ – those photos really are what you see ! ( They are NOT my pics I might add ! )

The first time I did it for me was dramatic, 2nd and 3rd not so dramatic but equally effective in getting rid of bloating  and feeling great, losing a few pounds etc.

If you want to know the gory details, leave a comment below and I’ll fill you in.

For my friends who said ‘How did you DO that?’  😉  , here’s the info:

colon-cleansing-kitDetails for friends in the UK:

Colon Cleansing Detox Kit – Blue Herbs UK

Details for friends in the US:

Colon Cleansing Detox Kit – Blessed Herbs US

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