Monday 28 June 2021

The Name of The Rose

Welcome to our world, Heidi Rose Gallagher.

Here is a photo of our first meeting when she was a day old.

Heidi arrived on Saturday morning, June 26th at 7.36am weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces.

A true water baby, while her mum spent her labour in the water, Heidi arrived in her caul which apparently means she is in for some good luck throughout her life.

I started knitting this blanket in March and posted about it here,

I also gave a clue about her name here.

My son and his wife are both teachers and caring for little ones is second nature. They have taken to parenting like ducks to water. They are so chilled and happy.

This little girl has such a lovely mum and dad and doting grandparents on both sides of the family,

I had saved this special dress for this special occasion and every time I wear it, it will remind me of our gorgeous baby girl.

I wore:
Dress - Jigsaw
Trainers - Stan Smiths

Wednesday 9 June 2021

Walking the Anglesey Coastal Path or How NOT To Murder Your Husband!


In my last post my husband complained that my running replacement - hiking up hills - almost finished off him and his dicky ticker.

So for our second post-lockdown mini-break I sourced a scenic and less energetic route - the Anglesey Coastal Path.

I fell in love with Anglesey around the same time as I fell in love with my husband in 1985. 

I would run out from my hall of residence in Bangor to the Menai Bridge in Anglesey, touch the nearest lampost and return back along the same route to my hall before most of my friends got out of bed.

 I felt so smug with my overseas trip that took around 30 minutes.

It turns out that the man I met in my first week at Bangor University had a family holiday home on the island in Cemaes Bay and we would catch a bus and spend a few nights there during the off season. 

Sadly, the house was sold (we don't talk about that) but we did return to Cemaes Bay in 2008 with our four children and my story won first prize in The Guardian's travel competition.

 You can read it here.

Over the years we have been back many times walking parts of the 125 mile coastal path and I still enjoy those out and back routes - the view is so very different when you walk back.

Last weekend we went with our two friends, Kev and Denise (professional walkers who have almost completed the Camino de Santiago) to walk a few more sections. 

We walked on three days for around 10 miles a day.

The beauty of an out/back walk is that you can stop at any point and turn back to make it shorter or longer but you will be guaranteed stunning scenery, beautiful beaches and that sense of wellbeing that only walking by water can bring.

Come and join me.

Day One

As we were staying in an Airbnb rental in Benllech we used the beautiful sandy beach as our starting point. 

On our first day we chose to walk right and keep going.

We decided to walk for 6 miles along the coastal path and turn back. 
On the route we walked past the most amazing caravan park, a five star resort called St David's. 
The path crosses flat rocks and rises onto seacliffs overlooking the bay. The cliffs rise to 30m in places and as you progress you can see wave-cut platforms formed by wave erosion.
We kept walking along the path and past the Ship Inn where there are public toilets (a great relief!) and across an estuary to Red Wharf Bay.
Navigating a path past a bull was a bit of a challenge but we made it.

After six miles we stopped, ate our butties and turned around but instead of walking along the path we went on the beach, only leaving to cross the estuary. 

The final count as we arrived back in Benllech came to 10.6 miles as we had cut off some distance by walking across the beach.

Day Two

From Benllech we turned left.

 Always a good thing! 

This was the prettiest route. 

It was a much more undulating route along the coastal path but there were so many more beautiful bays to stop and gaze at. 

Our route took us as far as Lligwy Beach but we passed many beautiful bays and beaches. 

A sandy one and then a pebble beach and then shingle. 

There was always a surprise and the wild flowers were wonderful.

The next town after Benllech is Moelfre and there were lots of pretty
pubs and cafes in the village.
Continuing along the undulating path was a Lifeboat Station with a visitor centre where you can discover key events in the island's history including the sad story of the Royal Charter which hit rocks in October 1859 and over 400 people perished.

Our 6 mile stopping point brought us to a beautiful pebble beach where visitors had created little monuments with the stones. 
It was so calming to sit here and eat our butties.

The walk back was just as beautiful and a totally different perspective. It was a sunny day and the colours of blue in the sea were stunning. My husband, an avid bird watcher was mesmerised by the Fulmar flying in and out of the cliffs.

Our final mileage was just over 10 miles as we took a short cut on the road on the way back.

Day Three

We had to be out of our rental by 10am so we drove to Beaumaris and parked in the seafront carpark that cost £5 for the day. 
From here we were straight on the coastal path and after a walk up the hill through a field of friendly cows we got onto the beach. 
It was beautiful but and a big BUT - around two miles of pebbly beach to navigate.

 I didn't mind but some of our party did so we missed this out on the way back.

The views from this beach were worth the discomfort as we could see Snowdonia and the mighty Snowdon across the water.

We had chosen this walk as it was the closest point to Puffin Island where my husband, aka The Birdman, had wanted to see. 

Sadly we didn't see any puffins but he did spot some Eider which were just beautiful.
We had to leave the beach for a little way here to get to Penmon Priory and through the toll road (free for walkers) to the headland opposite Puffin Island.

We finally made the beautiful Trywn-du meaning Black Point and a beautiful beach opposite Puffin Island to eat our butties and watch the Eider. Sadly, we didn't see any puffins but it was the journey as always, that was the most enjoyable part.

The Lesser Spotted Husband

We turned back and retraced our route to the beach and as Kev (the professional walker), had a Garmin he managed to find a route alongside the road and off the pebble beach.
We made it back to our car around 5pm and we were all home by 7pm.

Three days of sun, sea and no stress was just what the doctor ordered.

For anyone living in the North West of England you can probably get to Anglesey in a little over two hours, enjoy a beautiful 4/5 hour walk and head home on the same day.
For anyone further afield, I would book for next year or air out your tent as the island seems to be pretty much booked up for the rest of this summer.

If you want to follow the official path I would recommend the book, "Waking the Isle of Anglesey Coastal Path' by Carl Rogers. 
It's packed full of advice and information.
Next year we are planning to walk a few more routes around the other side of the island.
If you have any questions, please email me and I will do my best to answer them.

Stay Safe.


First 24 Hours in India

  Ten years after qualifying as a yoga teacher I finally realised a dream - to travel to the birthplace of yoga. I have been planning this t...