Category Archives: Leisure

The Bear Steps Cafe

Floreat Salopia

Floreat Salopia meaning May Shropshire flourish a fitting start of this blog post dedicated to my  latest locum job that has taken me to Shrewsbury, the capital of Shropshire. I have never been to Shropshire before and it really was something I needed to amend as it  hides some really amazing gems. The most charming, in my opinion, is the before-mentioned medieval capital, about the size of Maribor, that has hundreds of grade listed buildings and lovely narrow streets. A lot of streets are cobbled and most of the medieval houses have not one straight line on them. Some look more like they will fall down any minute. Probably all due to the fact that the modern spirit level wasn’t invented until the 1920s.

I love the fact that the city centre shops seem to be thriving, most of them lovely individual private shops, not part of any large corporations. I can’t even remember seeing any empty shop window.

One weekend day I drove round the area and stumbled upon the small village of Ironbridge, home of the first arch bridge made out of cast iron built in the 1770s. This village, like, Shrewsbury has a lot of inviting individual shops, one of them especially caught my eye called Bear on the Square. It boast over 3000 items on sale and I can tell you for sure that most of them are teddy bears ;-) I did see an almost life size chicken, though :-D

I was reading up on the Shrewsbury Wikipedia page and found out it used to have a nuclear fallout warning station. It turns out it now houses a veterinary practice – in fact the veterinary practice I was working at as a locum. They made the walls extra thick and reinforced so no wonder I was not able to get a damn signal on my mobile phone all the time I was working there. They did have a branch surgery in a village called Shawbury and luckily that place wasn’t built to withstand a nuclear bombs so no problem with updating my Facebook status. Probably because there was a large RAF helicopter base next door the mobile signal was excellent. Thanks MOD :-)

Shrewsbury and Shawbury photos

Ironbridge photos

Some more Snowdonia trekking

Beside the Watkin path

Not to repeat myself to many times but I went on a great hiking trip round Snowdonia. Got up way to early and still by the time I came to Nant Gwynant I was still very much in need of sleep. Besides that it was still pouring with rain but there were prospects of sunshine later. So I I did something I haven’t so far: crawled in the back of my car, got myself comfortable, opened the windows a little bit and went to sleep. It certainly did the trick as when I woke up I felt great and the sun was up as well :-D

So my trek started just west of lake Gwynant and the YHA hostel. At the campsite I turned left to continue on the old road and then onto a path to Pen-y-pas. There I took the Pyg track to Snowdon and then the Watkins path on the other side back to the valley. took me about 6 hours to complete.

Standing on the famous Cantilever on Glyder Fach in Snowdonia

Rediscovering the Glyders

Standing on the famous Cantilever on Glyder Fach in Snowdonia

Standing on the famous Cantilever on Glyder Fach in Snowdonia

A couple of years ago I trekked these hills with and came away with a lovely sunburn, sore legs and a great experience. Not unlike this time although I cannot fathom how those UV lights beams were able to penetrate all those clouds yesterday in order to give my skin a damn good uv-light trashing.

The Glyders horseshoe as its also known usually means walking the 4 mountains in one go and this time I did them in this order: Tryfan, Glyer Fach, Glyder Fawr and Y Garn.

I have heard of the cantilever stone but I seemed to have missed it at my last trek so I asked a fellow walker who pointed me in the right direction. As you can see from the above photo I did find it and was able to ask someone to take a photo of me on it. The least interesting was my last summit, the peak of Y Garn which has a monotonous path leading to it from Llyn y Cwm and a gruelling descent towards Llyn Idwal. Gruelling as my feet at this poit were killing me and I couldn’t wait to get to my car. More as an indulgence in comfort I soaked my feet in the murky cold waters of Llyn Ogwen.

Job done, can’t wait to do it again :-)

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I look cheerful enough here but in all honesty I was 'defecating bricks'

Haverfordwest drivers beware! Well, sort of :-)

I look cheerful enough here but in all honesty, I was ‘defecating bricks’

This is supposed to be a joke but it does depend on how you look at it. It is because on Monday, April 16th, I did my CBT – Compulsory Basic Training for driving a motorcycle and at the end of the training – about 4pm I was set loose on the streets of Haverfordwest.

I would like to apologize to everyone as I kept driving a little to slow or left you waiting because it took me longer than normal to clear a roundabout. This sensation is new to me as I passed my driving exam in 1991 in Portsmouth and have driven a car ever since. Having L plates stuck to my vehicle and being able to repeatedly stall the engine when trying to drive off a junction are completely new experiences to me. Believe me :-)

Will be getting some more lessons ASAP so unfortunately so you will have to endure with me qiute some more but hopefully you should see less and less cock-ups on my part :-)

Take care now :-)

 

Update April 24th, 2012

Passed my motorcycle theory test in Haverfordwest :-) On to the practical ones :-)

Update May 9th, 2012

Have been having quite a few lessons in Haverfordwest and Swansea as I seem to suck a little at riding a motorcycle but I can see some signs of improvement lately so there is still hope yet.

Me at Motorcycle Training Wales

Update June 21st, 2012

Successfully completed the first part of the practical exam called Module 1 :-) Did it on the same make and model of the Honda bike seen behind me on the photo above. I did the exam in the Swansea test centre which is just over an hours drive from Haverfordwest and still the closest test centre to me. Now I have start to get ready for Module 2 which is the bit of the practical exam you do on the ‘real’ roads. Module 1 is just in an enclosed circuit but its very technical.

Update September, 2012

Successfully completed module 2 so now I have the full licence.

Woody Pines in Cardigan

Woody Pines (woodypines.com)

What a great night. Never though I would like country & western music. Funny thing to hear it in the heart of Wales.

The guys played great and made a great atmosphere despite the hall not being completely full.

As a fellow guitarist I was impressed and did appreciate how quickly the vocalist and guitarist Woody recovered from a broken guitar string.

By the way, I thought the name of the band “Woody Pines” came from an association with the local North Carolina forests. In fact that is the name of the apparent leader of the group Woody (last name Pines, of course).

They are currently touring Scotland and they come very warmly recommended!

http://woodypines.com/

http://www.myspace.com/woodypines

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