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Monday, August 25, 2008

Recent Trips - Picton Castle And Folly Farm

I've finally sorted through the backlog of images I've taken the last few months, on various cameras, and will post them up over the next couple of posts for anyone interested. I've ordered a battery charger for the spare camera we've got here, so hopefully that one will last a day or two and allow me to take a few more shots.

First up are some photographs of Picton Castle and the grounds. I particularly liked the fernery and walled garden they had there, I would like to go back again one day without Elis and spend a long time looking there. I didn't get much chance as we were busy running around and playing hide and seek and stuff. I also like the carvings on the castle's doorway.

Picton Castle

Weathered staircase at Picton Castle

Door carvings

Door carvings

Inside the fernery

Inside the fernery

Inside the fernery

We've also had a couple of trips out to Folly Farm. I really like the place, we ended up getting season tickets so we can go there as often as we want now, I think it's only about 6 trips in the year and the ticket has paid for itself. It's a handy place to go to on a wet day thanks to the extensive indoor play areas and animal pens. I also love the antique fair rides, fruit machines and stalls - it's a really entertaining day out.

Folly Farm fair ride

Inside the Folly Farm fun fair

On the sky rocket ride at Folly Farm

Posted by Dio Bach at 15:38 | 0 comments | links to this post
Sunday, August 17, 2008

Camera Catastrophes

I'm in a bit of an annoying position at the moment, both the new cameras we had in the last year have packed in. My Sony has been playing up pretty much since the first time it was taken to the beach, and has now decided to work only about 20% of the time. We went to London two weeks ago, so I took the Canon I gave to my wife. Half way through our visit, that packed up as well. At had to finish the trip using my iPhone as the camera, which was less than ideal.

So, I'm currently cameraless, which maybe just as well, I've got a couple of months of photographs to sort out and some to add here. We have a small Panasonic camera here that we had as a gift, but unfortunately we've lost the charger for it. I'll have to see if I can get a new charger for it, as I don't particularly want to shell out for a new camera so soon after the last one. I can't believe the last two have so a short life, it's pretty annoying.

Posted by Dio Bach at 10:36 | 0 comments | links to this post
Saturday, August 16, 2008

Hopper (?? - 2008) - Farewell Old Fella

It's with great sadness I write today to mark the passing of one of our 4 cats, Hopper. He was put to sleep yesterday around lunchtime, following the discovery of a large tumour on his insides. We've all been devastated by his loss, the house feels that little bit emptier since his passing. If this is already to maudlin for you, move along now, but I'm going to mark his passing with some words and pictures.

Hopper came to us as when we moved back to Cardiff in 1998. He turned up on our backdoor skinny as a rake and obviously neglected. We took him in, much to Piri's disgust and he's been with us since. As he was a stray, we don't know exactly how old he was, but I think he would be around 12 years this year.

He always had a glint in his eye and was prone to mischief of the scratching kind. His favourite place to sleep was the other cat's baskets, and without fail he would greet Louie every morning with a sharp jab to the head. You'd think Louie would learn, but everyday he went to try and rub heads with Hopper, only to get a head full of claws for his trouble.

That said, Hopper was also a very loving cat, and looked out for the rest of the bunch if any other cats showed up to challenge the territory. He was also a caring cat, and would always be there to say hello and check up on you. If he came and sat on your lap, it was an honour and you knew it was because he wanted to and trusted you enough.

We bought him home yesterday, spent an hour or so with him in the garden whilst we prepared his final resting place. We chose a spot at the end of the garden, roughly where he would often go to laze in the sun since we moved here. We lined the hole with grass and mint as he was a big fan of it. If I ever left chewing gums in a packet where he could reach them, he would pull them down and play with the packet, so fresh mint from the garden seemed fitting. We said our tearful goodbyes as a family and left a marker for him.

Today, as if the cosmos decided to play a little one of those strange coincidences on us, Mrs Dio found a grasshopper on the bed where Hopper would often spend his days. You have to smile. I haven't seen one for years and then it turns up like that. How it got in I can only guess. It's gone back to the open now, like our Hopper. I'm missing him like crazy right now, and I think the other cats are also feeling a loss and wondering where he's gone. Hopper, thanks for 10 great years my little love - take care.

Hopper and me


Hopper, photographed by Elis

Posted by Dio Bach at 23:11 | 2 comments | links to this post

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