06
Apr 15

Easter Wales

Thursday, April 2

We hadn’t been to Wales since new year’s, so we were all excited about going for Easter long weekend, even though the weather forecast was nothing special. Booked the tickets online as usual, and on Thursday after work we met up at Euston. Euston was jam-packed as obviously everyone was going away for the weekend but we didn’t worry as we had reservations and it was a direct train. But the train was so full with even the aisles crowded that there was no air and we were also sitting backwards, so overall the trip was quite harrowing. Sometimes I do miss Germany, and these times often coincide with any UK train trips. Nevertheless, we finally got to Bangor, about half hour later than scheduled (yes, half an hour delay on a three-hour direct train), got picked up by Iestyn’s dad, and crashed in bed soon after.

Friday, April 3

We woke up to a morning of incessant rain, but we didn’t mind and decided to go explore a new (for me) Welsh tower Dolwyddelan (or what Iest calls ‘Welsh castle’ but it’s one of those castles that are only like a tower, not like the one in Caernarfon, so it really is just a tower. OK, you might argue that wiki calls it a castle too, but then it shows a picture of a tower, so your call really. It’s a tower. Well built though, proper.). Wiki also adds that “It is thought to have been built in the early 13th century by Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd and North Wales. Though the castle was then only one tower with two floors, a second tower was built in the late 13th century and a third floor was added to the first during the late 15th century repairs.” (*tower*, see?)

Tower Dolwyddelan

Tower Dolwyddelan

Up on the tower

Up on the tower

Anyway, the place was really nice, and thanks to bad weather we were there alone. We decided to do some sketching inside, which went great, and we had an awesome soundtrack of the rain and howling wind – very Welsh! It was also by a farm, which had a batch of beautiful new oen bachs, which is the great thing about Easter in Wales too.

Oen bach

Oen bach

Afterwards the weather actually started improving, and we had some great time exploring pretty Welsh places, including the little bit they cut out of the national park, which I wanted to see and it’s actually not as bad as it sounds. We had late lunch in a super old cottage cafe in Aberdaron, and even went to the beach for a bit. By then the sun was already almost blasting. Iest did’t tell me it was on the peninsula though.

Saturday, April 4

On Saturday morning the weather was already great, so we decided to get back on track with our hiking. We decided to do the Moel Hebog ridge, not from Beddgelert but from Cwm Pennant. It was a good choice because Cwm Pennant is very pretty and we also got to pet a cute little day-old one bach, courtesy of a local farm boy. Afterwards we were all ready and ran up via an old quarry to the first peak of the ridge, Moel Lefn (638m). By then the sun was blasting on full force and we had awesome views toward our fav Yr Aran and Snowdon.

Cwm Pennant

Cwm Pennant

Up Moel Lefn

Up Moel Lefn

Views from Moel Lefn

Views from Moel Lefn

From Moel Lefn we followed the ridge over to Moel Ogof (655m) and Moel Hebog (782m). Later on Iest remembered that he should have some sunscreen on, so he slapped a bit of my usual sparkly one but too late anyway, and he acquired his first burn of the season. Up on Moel Hebog peak it was a bit windy, so we sat just under the top with our delicious lunch enjoying the views towards Porthmadog and the sea. Since we had plenty time we also did a bit of sketching from that spot before heading back to Cwm Pennant through path down below the ridge. Altogether a beautiful day.

Moel Ogof

Moel Ogof

Moel Ogof ridge

Moel Ogof ridge

Moel Hebog peak

Moel Hebog peak

Moel Hebog sketching

Moel Hebog sketching

Sunday, April 5
Another great day, Iest is burned but that did not stop us from selecting the Nantlle ridge for our day hike as we had not been on that one for years, literally, and it’s a pity because it’s one of the best. Early in the morning (early for us anyway), Iestyn’s dad gave us a lift to Nebo from which we started our trip. The clouds were laying low, sort of lazily snaking and rolling through the valley but we knew the sun was awaiting us just a little hike up the hill. We started our ascent from the lake Llyn Cwm Dulyn and by the time we made it up Mynydd Graig Goch (610m) we were down to the t-shirts. Happily merrily above the clouds we hopped over (yeah there was this almost vertical bit which we thoroughly enjoyed in the blasting sun) to Craig Cwm Silyn (734m).

Llyn Cwm Dulyn

Llyn Cwm Dulyn


Mynydd Graig Goch - Iest bottom left

Mynydd Graig Goch – Iest bottom left

Craig Cwm Silyn

Craig Cwm Silyn

From there it was already the usual deal – Mynydd Tal-y-Mignedd (653m) with the obelisk on top, and Trum y Ddysgl (709m), Mynydd Drws-y-Coed (695m) and Y Garn (633m). Then just down to Rhyd Ddu, where we were being picked up again, to make it to the Easter dinner. We were really quite tired from the day, may be not so much from the hike but more so from the day of sun, to which we are not used after the long and dark winter. It was all really nice though.

Looking toward the obelisk

Looking toward the obelisk

Finishing up

Finishing up

Finishing up

Finishing up

Monday, April 6
On Monday we still had a good half day for some family visits and a short stop at Dynas Dinlle, before heading down to the train station. For this trip we did not have any reservations (we had open tickets), we expected the trains to be packed again, and we also knew that due to Euston being under construction, we had to take the long connection via Birmingham. The trip was truly awful, from B’ham onwards we were lucky to be sitting on a half-cheek in the corridor with no oxygen again. Many people in the later stations just plainly did not get on the train. It is really quite strange how the British people insist on the rail services being private in the face of absolutely massive market failures every single time one needs to make a train journey. It is quite obvious that even an incompetent, corrupted, lazy and drunk bureaucrat would central-plan the whole system better than it is run now. Nevertheless, we managed to get safely to Marleybone and then home, super tired but really happy with our Easter weekend.


29
Dec 14

Yr Aran

An unscheduled trip to the dentist for Iestyn this morning meant that we couldn’t spend the whole day up in the mountains. We left Caernarfon (with Iestyn’s teeth feeling a bit better) at around 11:30am. Our plan was to tackle Moel Hebog circular walk, but as we didn’t have that much sunlight left, we decided to head up Yr Aran instead, as it’s a lovely walk – fantastic views, and relatively quiet mountain, once you get off the Rhyd-Ddu, Snowdon bound path.

We parked the van in Rhyd-Ddu’s car park, booted up, and headed up towards Yr Aran, along the gentle slope of the Rhyd-Ddu path. There wasn’t much people walking on it this afternoon, which was nice – the snowline started at around the 500m high mark – just as we got into the old quarry.

We stopped briefly stopped by the entrance to the lake by the quarry to strap on our gaiters, and another warm layer, as the wind had started to whistle down from the mountains. Gina lead the way, up following the wall and fence posts past Bwlch-Cwm Llan, around Y Geuallt and straight up the breezy summit of Yr Aran (747m).

Looking over towards Moel Hebog and Beddgelert

Moel Hebog and Beddgelert

A very happy Gina

A very happy Gina

We stopped to enjoy the views, and had our lunch – pretty much exactly the same as yesterdays on the Glyderau – Cheese ‘n pickle sandwiches, Czech Xmas cookies, and a reindeer flask filled with mint tea. It was mighty cold on the summit, so we didn’t hang around too long. Just enough to enjoy the views, and admire Snowdon and Cwm Llan, as the rolling clouds came over.

Gina on the summit of Yr Aran

Gina on the summit of Yr Aran

And with that, we headed down the same Rhyd-Ddu path, back down towards the van. The wee Welsh Highland Railway had just stopped in Rhyd-Ddu by the time we got there, so Gina went ahead and took a few pics as it chuffed away down the valley towards it’s home in Caernarfon. Another awesome day up in the Welsh mountains.


28
Dec 14

Glyderau

After our beautiful, and relaxing Christmas break down in London, we headed to Wales from the 27th of December – to get in some hiking, and, as Wales had recently got it’s fresh dump of super powder snow on the mountains, we were in for a great time.

We woke up, first thing Sunday morning, and headed straight to Llanberis, as we needed some fresh hiking socks for Gina, as she had just bought herself a new pair of beautiful boots: Scarpa Ranger Lady – Gina was over the moon with them. After a swift purchase of her new socks, we jetted up Llanberis Pass, and parked the van in a wee lay-by just after Pen Y Gwryd (the expedition pub), booted up, and headed straight up the Southern flank of Glyder Fach. Once we hit the snow line, we knew we were in for a good day’s hike, as the wasn’t a single cloud in the sky, the snow was super fresh-powder, and the views were stunning.

Gina, Snowdon Horseshoe & her new boots

Gina, Snowdon Horseshoe & her new boots

Snowdon Horseshoe

Snowdon Horseshoe

We powered up the hill, cutting through the epic balls-deep snow before reaching a nice wee plateau to which we stopped and had ourselves a lovely spot of lunch. As we bought up with us from London the beautiful Czech cookies that Gina baked for us, we thought that these would be a wonderful addition to our hiking snacks, and boy we were right: cheese ‘n pickle sandwiches, Czech xmas cookies and wonderful mint tea – perfect hiking foods.

Gina hiking in the snow

Gina hiking in the snow

Snowdon Horseshoe

Snowdon Horseshoe

After a nice lunch, we headed right up towards the summit of Glyder Fach. We hadn’t seen a single soul all morning, and it wasn’t until we reached the top plateau that we found the other hikers traversing from Glyder Fach towards Glyder Fawr. We stopped over at Castell y Gwynt, where the views down the valley, and over towards Y Carneddau were majestical and Wintery. I took a few snaps of the ice covered rock formation over on Castell Y Gwynt, and looking across towards Glyder Fawr.

Gina hiking up Glyder Fach

Gina hiking up Glyder Fach

Amazing views over towards Snowdon

Amazing views over towards Snowdon

Gina on Castell y Gwynt, with Pen yr Ole Wen behind.

Gina on Castell y Gwynt, with Pen yr Ole Wen behind.

Icy Castell y Gwynt & Glyder Fawr

Icy Castell y Gwynt & Glyder Fawr

From here, we traversed across to Bwlch y Ddwy Glyder, and stopped just shy of the summit of Glyder Fawr, as the sun was setting fast. We decided to head down a different route – from y Bwlch, straight down Bwlch Dwyglydion, and over to Llyn Cwmffynon. The sun was setting rather nicely, where we stopped for a breif moment to get some nice pictures.

Gina on Bwlch y Ddwy Glyder

Gina on Bwlch y Ddwy Glyder

Bwlch Dwyglydion - looking down towards Llyn Cwmffynon

Bwlch Dwyglydion – looking down towards Llyn Cwmffynon

Rather fantastic round trip, in glorious weather. Really nice to see Wales on top form!


26
Dec 14

Our London Christmas

Christmas started early for us this year. Gina came up with an epic timetable (it was called Action Plan – Gina), and different tasks for us to complete. My first task of the festive holiday, was to locate us a real, nice Xmas tree – and by the last weekend of November, I’d located one – fairly close by in Brick Lane, with a nice wee company called ‘Pines and Needles’. We were both super pleased with our wee 3 foot Nordman Fir Tree!

Our real hard work came on the first weekend of December. Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without Gina’s famous Czech Christmas Cookies – so, this weekend marked the first weekend of many, where Gina pulled up her sleeves and worked hard making the different doughs for us to bake. We now have many, great different cookie shapes (including a Welsh dragon-shaped one, which I got at work from my Secret Santa – he really IS watching!), so we got extremely busy.

Man shaped cookie

Man shaped cookie

Christmas tree cookies

Christmas tree cookies

Gina in the Cookie Factory

Gina in the Cookie Factory

Chocolate dipped cookies

Chocolate dipped cookies

Jam filled cookies

Jam filled cookies

Iest learning 'piping'

Iest learning ‘piping’

Cookie factory

Cookie factory

One of Gina’s project for the festive season, as my beard is pretty epic if I don’t say so myself (yes he does, all the time!) – was to create a ‘Christmas Beard’ – so one evening Gina went wild, and decorated my beard nicely. (Was not really a project, just a spur of the moment inspiration; wasn’t even on the Action Plan!)

Christmas Beard

Christmas Beard

Gina’s beautiful birthday also falls in the Christmas Season (there’s so much wrong with this statement! If anything, it’s the christmas which falls in my birthday time; but in reality, it’s actually both my birthday and the christmas that fall in the Winter Solstice days, the real reason for the season!) so we celebrated nicely. I made her some blueberry pancakes for breakfast – and we headed out for the day to town. (Yeah, like that breakfast was epic – the blueberry pancakes were delish, the tiny candles so cute, the rose petals so romantic, and The Economist: World in 2015 so me!)

Birthday breakfast!

Birthday breakfast!

And, what was left was the actual Christmas Day! Every year, it’s a tough one for Gina, as she usually has her Christmas presents on the 24th evening (by Baby Jesus), but here in the UK, we get them on the 25th in the morning (by a guy from a CocaCola commercial). So she did extremely well not to open any – although, she had a great time eyeing the presents that were nicely placed under the tree.

Our Nordman Fir Xmas tree

Our Nordman Fir Xmas tree

Christmas Morning!

Christmas Morning!

Christmas Morning! Ho Ho Ho!

Christmas Morning! Ho Ho Ho!

After opening our beautiful, beautiful gifts, I went to the kitchen, and started to work on our Christmas dinner – which took around 4 – 5 hours of cooking. This year we went for Veg Christmas Pies, with a plethora of seasoned baked veg, and for desert, a Cranberry meringue roulade – which was oh-so-good (I helped on that one). Very nice.

Christmas Table

Christmas Table

Christmas Food!

Christmas Food!


05
Aug 14

Wales trip

There has been so little activity around here, it’s up to me to sweep out the cobwebs and try to remember what we’ve done in the past like half year. Writing this at the end of November – let’s see what I can reconstruct based on some scattered pics and my memory (which is usually very selective).

There was one nice trip to Wales in August, super sunny and fun. We decided to go up Tryfan, and it was the first time i saw Tryfan in good weather, so finally saw the awesome views from up top, and also we could have a little snack break on top rather than trying to escape as fast as we can to avoid being blown down by gusty winds.

View from Tryfan

View from Tryfan

I also made friends with a seagull up on top, but Iest forbade me to feed him pieces of my granola bar, apparently it’s not good for the gulls to be up there, I’m not sure why, i think it was great of him to swing by. I asked Iest to at least take a picture of my gull pal, this is what he produced:

Gina's gull pal (by Iest)

Gina’s gull pal (by Iest)

I think he just didn’t like him; he holds grudge against gulls since he had to fight them for his lunches as a chubby kid. We also saw this awesome dragonfly on the way down:

Dragonfly

Dragonfly

We also went for a trip to a hill near to Llandudno, which i forgot the name of, and went to Llandudno itself, which Iest was a bit grumpy about. But we did have nice scones with clotted cream and jam and tea there, so finally I think everything worked out fine.

Llandudno

Llandudno


12
Jul 14

A short Welsh weekend

As Gina has recently moved to London (!!), it’s now going to be a lot easier for us to head to Wales when we feel like it. This is pretty much exactly what we did over the weekend. I took the late ferry from Dublin, and Gina caught the train up from London – and we’d be meeting in Holyhead around midnight. Perfect!

The train ride, and boat trip went without any hitches, and we met bang on time in Holyhead, where dad picked us up and took us home to Groeslon.

We got up super early, and after some hearty breakfast and catch-up with Mum and Dad, we decided to head up to the Welsh mountains – the Carneddau. The weather wasn’t particularly favourable – from down in the Ogwen Valley we couldn’t see the tops of the Carneddau, but we decided to head up anyhow, to stretch our legs, and because we’re cŵl like that.

We started from Llyn Ogwen, and belted up the steep slopes of Pen yr Ole Wen. The fog was thick from around the 600m mark, so just before heading in, we took a few snaps, as I had borrowed a friends Wide-angle lens for the weekend.

Gina & Cwm Idwal

Gina & Cwm Idwal

 

What followed was a really refreshing 5 – 6 hour walk into the thick cloud, from Pen yr Ole Wen (978m), across and up to Carnedd Dafydd (1044m) across the ridge to Carnedd Llewelyn, a wee bit of scrambling before heading up to Pen yr Helgi Ddu, and then descending the road-path that leads from Ffynnon Llugwy down to the car. There was a few people up on the hills, as there was a ‘Vegan 10km’ race on – but me and Gina marched onwards, enjoying being out together in the hills.

Directly afterwards, we headed to one of our favourite eating places (especially after a big hike): Pete’s Eat. We had the usual Veggie Grill, with a massive mug of tea, and hot chocolate for me.

On the drive home on Saturday, I noticed that we might be in for a fantastic sunset, as the clouds were breaking up just above the horizon, so after quickly changing from our wet-hiking clothes, we dashed on down to Dinas Dinlle to catch the epic, fantastic pink sunset, which gave me an opportunity to play with another borrowed lens, a 60mm Macro lens which I’ve fallen in love with, while Gina took epic snaps with my iPhone for Instagram (something we’ve both adopted very well):

60mm Pebble shot

60mm Pebble shot

And that was it for Saturday night! We were both blasted by the day’s hard work, so we had an early night.

Sunday bought with it, much better weather, so after another super early start and hearty breakfast, we decided to go to Gina’s fave place in Wales: Ynys Llanddwyn, and as it was a super nice and sunny day – this was a great idea!

We jetted over in the van, blasting some sweet music from my younger days, to a fairly looking, busy Llanddwyn. Armed with an ice cream (and a chat with the ice cream vendor about my family – Wales is a small place) we made our way towards the island and lighthouse. Thankfully, the tourists were all crowded along the main entrance to the beach, once we past the first 100m walk, the tourists were no where to be seen, which was great.

Wide angled Gina, gallivanting

Wide angled Gina, gallivanting

60mm flowers, sea and mountains

60mm flowers, sea and mountains

We made our way over and across towards the lighthouse, where we sat and chilled, and enjoyed the sun together. I (probably) burned my face because of the sun, but it was nice to be by the fresh sea, relaxing with Gins.

Macro Ynys Llanddwyn

Macro Ynys Llanddwyn

Gins.

Gins.

From Llanddwyn, we decided to head on over to Rhosneigr for a spot of lunch. Our main priority was pancakes (clown ones!), but the wee cafe was closed, so we decided to have some proper seafood – Gina went wild and had some lovely Rhosneigr Mussels, while I had traditional Fish ‘n chips – with mushy peas! It was fantastic.

And that was it, our short weekend had come to and end – we had to head back to Groeslon to pick up our bags, and catch our trains and ferry, back to London and Dublin.


11
May 14

Schwarzwald, a “blur sandwich”

This video has been yeeears in the making :) The first shot was filmed back in February 2013, and the rest towards Spring 2013 when I visited Regi in the ‘burg.

I filmed a few shots here and there as I was experimenting with my (then) new camera, as I hadn’t really played around with doing film before. I’m quite happy with how some shots came out, especially the depth of field shots.

Aptly named by Regi as ‘blur sandwich’ as pretty much every shot starts out of focus, gets into focus, and the back out of focus :) Love it!

 


06
Apr 14

Sunny weekend in Schwarzwald

Iestyn was in Freiburg for the weekend but as usual didn’t write anything about it for SoBN, so I made a beautiful little video succinctly summarising the weekend in two minutes only. Epic. Iestyn loved the video so much that it made him go back to the video he started making about Schwarzwald about a year ago but never finished.

The sun is gonna shine from nostalgina on Vimeo.


11
Feb 14

A Welsh weekend in Dublin

Gina decided to come to Dublin for a long, 4 day weekend. We decided to have a nice relaxing weekend, filled with good food and good times.

Friday
Friday was a nice and chill day. Started off with Gina topping up on her few weeks worth of reading Saturday’s Guardian, and eyeing up some fantastic biscuit recipes we could do later on over the weekend.
After a hearty breakfast and Netflix, we decided to head into town to do a bit of walking around and shopping. There isn’t much to report on the shopping front.

…and yet another unfinished post by Iestyn, it’s becoming ridiculous, he really has the attention span of a froot fly. So I’ll take over it from here.

There really is not much to report on the shopping front – the problem is that I come from a very under-served town as far as the variety of shops goes, and as much as I hate shopping, I still needed to give it a go and try to find some work-worthy pieces. I did find a nice pantsuit in Next, which I really liked, but unfortunately it just didn’t fit right, and I ended up empty handed. But anyway, I do like walking around Dublin, and it was nice.
For dinner we went to Yamamori, which was super tasty and nice.

Saturday
Saturday was the most exciting day, as Iestyn had a couple of tickets to a Six Nations match in Dublin, Ireland vs. Wales. I was super psyched, as I never saw a rugby match live (or any other match, really, if you don’t count volleyball which I played for years).

We walked to the Aviva stadium surrounded by crowds of Irish fans, but there were some Welsh groups as well. The weather was nice and sunny with occasional showers, but it was really chilly.

Gina looking awesome

Gina looking awesome

Us at the Aviva Stadium

Us at the Aviva Stadium

We bought some rugby junk food before the match on the stadium, and watched the teams warm up. I was really excited. The Welsh looked much bigger and stronger, so I thought that was a good thing, and not only they brought over my favorite sheep guy, but they had a new addition of a proper huge beard (and 2m in height!). I was very hopeful for the match indeed.

Adam 'sheep guy' Jones

Adam ‘sheep guy’ Jones

Jake 'proper huge beard' Ball

Jake ‘proper huge beard’ Ball

However, it is fair to say that my expectations were not exactly met by the Welsh team’s performance. As a matter of fact, they got their asses kicked so badly by the Irish, I must say I was a little bit disappointed. It was still nice to watch all these guys doing their little rugby thing, but if the match was a little bit more even in terms of scores, it would have been more thrilling. Anyway, it was still fun and I was very happy we went!

Full stadium!

Full stadium!

Live rugby action

Live rugby action

Match in full swing!

Match in full swing!

In the evening we went to the cinema as we both wanted to see the new movie by the Coen brothers, Inside Llewyn Davis. We both really liked it, may be I liked it even more than Iestyn, I thought it was very beautifully made. I think i’m going to get it when it’s out on dvd as well and watch it again.

Sunday
On Sunday, we decided to make a batch of the cookies for which we found the recipe in the Saturday Guardian – and I must say it was a great call! They were the Orange and lemon coconut biscuits, and they were divine. With the help of Iestyn’s housemates they disappeared quite quickly.
We also went to the cinema again, because we heard such great things about the LEGO movie – and they were totally right, the movie is AWESOME. As a matter of fact, everything is awesome.

Monday
On Monday, my pressie finally arrived, but it was sent to Egg, so we walked over to Iestyn’s work to get it. I was super excited because I didn’t know what it was. And I was even more excited to open it and find out that it was a new Ward Lock & Co. guidebook for my collection – this one for London! It’s good hundred years old and is in a really good shape too! I love it. I wish we could do our retro project with it around London, it has some cool photographs.

In the afternoon it was time for me to go, which is always so sad. But it was a great fun weekend in Dublin, and we’ll see each other soon enough hopefully.


05
Jan 14

Xmas ’13

This xmas we considered going for a trip to some of European cool cities, but then we decided not to, and stayed in the ‘burg. The idea was originally to have fun in the snow, with snowshoes and cross-country skis and all that but then the weather was actually really bad – it was very warm so there was no snow even on the hills, and it was often very rainy. This is btw the second year in a row with shitty xmas ambiance in the ‘burg, so I still didn’t get the skis I wanted to buy last year already. To be fair though, in the UK they had massive storms and flash floods, so that might have been even worse.

Anyway, we decided to be couch potatoes instead, and for that purpose got ourselves nice big 42” tv – the first time i’ve had a tv since like ten years or so. Of course we don’t actually get the stupid german broadcast, but got the tv specifically just to watch movies. And movies we watched – to name just a few, I loved The Great Gatsby, Behind the Candelabra, Another Earth (all newly gotten for b-day/xmas), and re-watched many of my fav classics – The Royal Tenenbaums, Shame, We’re the Millers, The Thick of It, Inbetweeners, Sherlock, Gone Baby Gone… And I still have Anna Karenina to watch when Iestyn’s gone (not really his type of movie).

Our xmas

Our xmas

Speaking of Sherlock, we could not wait for the new season (not really a “season” they only got like three episodes, and that’s after like two years! I wonder what they’ve been doing.) Unfortunately we could not watch it on the new big tv because we’re outside of the UK and we didn’t manage to work out FilmOn on it (not so “smart” now, is it?), but we still loved the first episode so far, and I cannot wait until the season is on a dvd.

Towards the end of our little holidays we found the full first season of Boardwalk Empire on dvds for only like 10eur in a shop in the ‘burg, so we got it to try it out, and we got completely hooked – watched the whole season in just a couple of days. Now I cannot wait for the shops to open to get the second season as well (I hope they have it!).

We had plenty of xmas cookies to eat with all that trashy entertainment, plus some delicious Leonidas pralines. I got an amazing kettle from Iestyn for my b-day, the kind that measures and shows the temperature of the water, and can be set to heat the water to any temperature – that’s important to make the perfect green tea and other tea kinds, which I like to make. So our holidays were also accompanied by excellent teas, from Kusmi in Paris and from the Palais des Thes.

Out tree was small as always but lovely, and there were so many presents underneath this year! We bought our supplies for xmas lunch on the Munster market as usual, that’s our fav thing to do, and Iestyn selected a lovely mushroom and chestnut pie for this year’s menu, accompanied as usual with roasted vegetables with Porto wine sauce, and mashed sweet potatoes with baked garlic. It was super-delicious, and i think we should make the mushroom pie our festive time staple.

Dinner in the making

Dinner in the making

Dinner almost ready

Dinner almost ready

Delicious

Delicious

I got awesome pressies, honorable mention goes to a proper ginger beard! I also got many books and a t-shirt and lush bath bombs and dvds and a beautifully designed lunchbox, so that I can prepare my lunch for work more often, which I should really do.
We also managed to give each other the same present – a lovely graphic novel called The Gigantic Beard That Was Evil. One of them will have to go back to the store; so Iestyn will be keeping his, while I can pick another present to exchange for. I selected a great book about Wes Anderson’s films, but it’s currently all sold out, so we need to wait for the re-print (April may be?).

Gigantic Beard x2

Gigantic Beard x2

Pressies!

Pressies!

Gigantic Beard x2 (note my Ho Ho Ho shirt!)

Gigantic Beard x2
(note my Ho Ho Ho shirt!)

So all in all it was an epic break; we didn’t do much, but had a great time and re-charged our energy for the nex year!

2014!

2014!