07
Jun 16

How do you put a Welshman to sleep?

Ask him how many times he’s had sex!

sheep


05
Jun 16

Horniman & Seven Sisters

Another nice weekend on our hands, decided to potter around a bit, nothing serious. On Saturday, we went to the Horniman Museum and Gardens, which was quite nice and we also saw the Horniman aquarium with loads of little creatures. Then we drove down to Crystal Palace for lunch in a nice hipster place (the type that is a cafe but also a vintage crap type shop, managed by three guys in skinny jeans, one of whom brings the coffee late on purpose just to be able to make an excuse for ‘having to get the grind right’ – so, right down our alley, and by ‘our’ I mean Iest’s).

Hipster lunch

Hipster lunch

On Sunday we decided to go all the way to the coast to Seven Sisters, which gave us an opportunity to drive through some nice english sussexy countryside. We arrived at about noon, which turned out to be super busy on a sunny Sunday, so once again, we had a problem parking. Eventually we found a spot, and finally made it out of the car into the sun. In the visitors’ center we got a little seaside life guidebook, which was on sale and is from the same series I already got the bird book and insect book, so I am all set now for my nature explorations. Then we walked the usual path along the river bed toward the cliffs, and in the meanders of the old river branch we saw a beautiful grey heron, very majestically owning the place. And not only that, there was also a little egret sharing the space, all white with a black beak and yellow feet, elegantly wading the waters. We were very excited to be able to observe them, and took many cool pictures.

Heron & Egret living in harmony

Heron & Egret living in harmony

When we had enough, we continued the South Down Way path away from the river and up on the cliffs. It was a beautiful day, so there was a lot of people, but the cliffs were nice and shiny and it was a pleasant walk. We then made it down to the main beach for a little stroll in the cool water.

Seven Sisters

Seven Sisters

All seven of them

All seven of them

By then of course we were already really hungry as we had no lunch or snacks, and so we started to make our way back to the car. On our way down we saw a great looking pub in Friston, called Tiger Inn, but when we got there around four they were not making food yet. So we drove back to the Cuckmere Inn by the Seven Sisters’ park, and we definitely did not regret (egret?) our choice! From the deliciously refreshing virgin cocktails through rustic bread starters and big burgers to the freshly made desserts, everything was perfect. Plus, the outside terrace where we were sitting was flooded with scores of little birds, waiting for crummies and being all cute. A great finish to the day. Well, except for the drive back that was still awaiting us but Iest totally covered that. I managed not to fall asleep throughout, although I did have a couple of weak moments. Fortunately there was and 80s hour on the Heart radio, so that helped to revive the zing in Terrell for the rest of the trip.

Cuckmere entrée

Cuckmere entrée


30
May 16

Wales

So we had a long weekend on our hands, and the first weekend in a long time that i didn’t have to work, so a great opportunity to head up to Wales and have some fun. In addition, we had just acquired Terrell, our new bff, so everything was set up beautifully. The only problem was that the forecast was stubbornly showing downpours for the whole three days, but that as well got sorted shortly before the weekend, and we were ready to go.
On Friday night of course the whole of London town had the same idea to get out and we got stuck in traffic for hours, eventually arriving at our destination super late, after what would probably have been a nice drive through Snowdonia, had it still been light when we were doing it.

But on Saturday, we woke up into glorious sunshine and were happy to be there. We decided to once again go up Snowdon, which we don’t do very often as it is kind of a tourist highway, and especially on the top there is too many people due to the train. But, it is still a nice walk via many of the routes, and from time to time should be done. We decided on the Ranger’s path up and down to Rhyd Ddu, a trail we last did several years ago in lots of snow and frost (&sun). This time, the sun was with us as well, and already arriving to the trail we had some doubts about our choice as all the parking spots were gone, a clear sign that the combo of long weekend and sun brought all the boys to the yard to play. We decided not to be discouraged, found an alternate parking spot and took a hike up from there through a nice farmer’s land to meet up with our ranger’s path. From there, we saw quite a few people, but it was not too terrible, and the walk was very nice overall.

Sheeps

Shortly before summit we got immersed into a thick fog/cloud that wrapped the top of Snowdon, and upon arriving at the top we met the real crowds who had gotten there by the cog train. With no views and the crowds of twerps there was no reason for us to spend much time, and we quickly retreated down to Rhyd Ddu path, which was mercifully sparsely populated, and descended into the sun again. The rest of the walk was lovely and uneventful. Later we bought all the stuff for a four-bean chilli and fell asleep quickly, all sunned out for the day.

Wyddfa

Wyddfa

Down to Rhyd Ddu

Down to Rhyd Ddu

Down to Rhyd Ddu

Down to Rhyd Ddu

On Sunday, with great weather continuing, we wanted to finally take out our sea kayaks. But for that we needed to run a number of errands, from picking up Iest’s kayak from the bodyshop in Anglesey, to buying and installing roof racks for Terrell, to getting a number of missing items like life vests and stuff. So by the time we were ready to go, it was mid afternoon. We didn’t mind very much though, as the days are long and it was warm and sunny, so we took them down to Aberdesach and set out for some paddling around. There was a bit of wind, so we had some nice mild chops to play with, and I was awesome and Iest will need to get better if he wants to keep up with me. But at least i had some time to take nice macro beach pics while waiting for him to catch up. Beautiful day overall.
IMG_7593

On Monday we needed to make our way down to Llundain again, but since we have Terrell we were much more flexible and decided to first go to Beaumaris for a trip to Puffin island. I wanted to go on kayaks but Iest was a scaredy cat and so we went on a little boat with other people. It was nice though as well, as the skipper knew a lot about all the birds and animals and showed us everything. We saw:
– Shags: check
– Puffins: check
– Guillemots: check
– Razorbills: check
– Cormorants: check
– Loads of seagulls: check
…and of course seals, who were very cute as always, just chilling on the rocks in the sun.
Afterwards, we started to make our way down home, stopping over to give Terrell a proper shower, which he needed after the weekend. Surprisingly enough, we didn’t get stuck anywhere in traffic on the way, and had quite a pleasant trip.

Going to ynys Puffin

Going to ynys Puffin

Shags

Shags

Seals

Seals

Cormorant

Cormorant


30
Mar 16

Wales Easter

As usual, we headed up to Wales for Easter. Hurricane Katy was also heading up, so we had to give up kayaking plans, but otherwise we were totes on the top of our game – hiking, sea, sunsets, birds, oen bachs and family time, all check! Plus, awesome time with my macro lens.

We did a nice little hike up the Roman steps to Rhinog Fawr, down by Harlech. Saw a Red Grouse on the way too.

Up Rhinog Fawr

Up Rhinog Fawr

Down Rhinog Fawr

Down Rhinog Fawr

Red Grouse

Red Grouse

Sunset before the storm, from Dinas Dinlle.

Sunset

Sunset

Also a nice hike our fave Yr Aran, the Vatican way this time, with some nice views on the snowy Snowdon ridge.

Gina and Yr Wyddfa

Gina and Yr Wyddfa

Cwm Llan a Yr Wyddfa

Cwm Llan a Yr Wyddfa

Up Aran

Up Aran

Up on Aran

Up on Aran

Down Aran

Down Aran

Spectacularly windy trip around Morfa Nefyn, sort of sunny though. No seals!

Morfa Nefyn

Morfa Nefyn

Macro throughout. Getting really good at it, should be selling them for postcards!

Macro

Macro

Oen bachs everywhere!

Oen bach

Oen bach


13
Mar 16

Hampstead Heath

Sunny Sunday, spring is almost here, so we made our way to Hampstead Heath to give some air to my mini drone. Plus also to find the parakeets and possibly other birds.
We were not so lucky on the drone front, it still pretty much does what it wants and then it ran out of batteries.
BUT we were super lucky on the birds! We saw:
– parakeets (all green, check!)
– geese (of some kind, not check, we don’t know what they are)
– and a KESTREL, and not only that but we saw him catch a mouse and munch on it in the sun in the tree (check check check!) Love my monocular.

Parakeet

Parakeet

Geese

Geese

Kestrel

Kestrel


14
Feb 16

What did the pirate say when he turned 80?

Aye Matey!

(Iest did not get this.)


07
Feb 16

Rainham marshes

Nice February Sunday we decided to explore the Rainham marshes, for some fresh air and possibly birdwatching. We managed to get the right train and in no time we were walking on the pretty circular boardwalk through the marshes. Sun was shining, wind was blowing, and birds aplenty. With the help of my monocular and my pretty birdbook we had a blast.
Confirmed sighting – a Coot (check! but no picture, they were too far)
We also saw some tits, geese and all kinds of other creatures.

Geese

Geese

Rainham marshes

Rainham marshes


14
Jan 16

Xmas and stuff

We had fun xmas with loads of presents as usual, xmas cookies as usual and afterwards we went up to Wales as usual. Nobody really remembers much more about it, it’s been too long.

Xmas tree

Xmas tree

In Wales we went up Cadair Idris (that’s like Idris Elba, except it’s nothing like him), which was very beautiful; we also saw some nice sheep and I used my awesome macro lens on the Llandwyn beach.

Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris

Cadair Idris

Llandwyn

Llandwyn

Sheeps

Sheeps

Llandwyn down below

Llandwyn down below


23
Jul 15

Reykjavik – London

Sad to be leaving but looking forward to our bed! A little bit of stress as the plane was out of the headphones we wanted to buy to watch Fortitude, but we managed to get the kids’ packs which had some shitty ones in them too. Also a colouring book and stickers – bingo! London grey and not so warm, missing Reykjavik already, they have sun all the time.

Loc(k)sin, Einstok, and Iest.

Loc(k)sin, Einstok, and Iest.


22
Jul 15

Reykjavik

A nice leisurely day in Reykjavik. Beautiful sunny warm weather, we started in Iest’s pick of Reykjavik’s hipster coffee place (Reykjavik Roasters), onto the most famous Reykjavik church Hallgrímskirkja (which is actually quite ugly and in your face), 3D topo map of Iceland in the rathaus (great), and anything in between.

Hallgrimskirkja

Hallgrimskirkja

Hallgrimskirkja

Hallgrimskirkja

Gina sketching away

Gina sketching away

3d map of Iceland

3d map of Iceland

Loads of sketching too. Lunch at Kafi Brennslan, dinner at our fave 2for1 Bergsson Mathús in the sun by the pond.

Gina at Tjörnin

Gina at Tjörnin

Icelandic parliament building

The Prime Minister’s house

Relaxing, beating Gina at cards

Relaxing, beating Gina at cards

Awesome food @ Bergsson

Awesome food @ Bregsson

Afterwards we met with Iest’s animator friend (thanks Bjarki!) at the local local for locals – Bar 7 – gritty and fun. Awesome final day of our trip!

Fríkirkjan í Reykjavík

Fríkirkjan í Reykjavík