The Final Curtain…

Having checked back through my previous blog posts, I realised that number one on my list should have been update blog regularly (the last post was four months ago – oops!). Ah well, here goes the final instalment of Laura’s List!

On the 3rd May, 2016 I went public with my mission to complete 30 things in the year I turned 30. I didn’t intend for it to be some kind of bucket list, more a way of making the most of life and getting round to doing some of the things I have said I will do for ages and then never done. It was also a way of avoiding post-wedding blues! The deadline is fast approaching and a few more ticks have been added so here goes…

13. Book a jewellery making course

When I added this to this list I didn’t think I would manage to do it this year because I figured that there would be a hefty cost involved; however, big thanks to the Nortons for investing in a voucher from Siop Iard in Caernarfon which meant that I had some of the means to go and do this! Making my own jewellery is something I have fancied doing for a really long time and I didn’t realise that one-day courses would be possible. Having checked the Siop Iard website, I discovered a stacking rings course run by Angela Evans that looked right up my street so I booked on and got myself ready to attend on Saturday 8th April – the first day of the Easter hols.

During the course of the day we got to play around with copper and silver and created our own pieces to take away with us. To be perfectly honest, I was/am a bit pants at the ring making but I wear them with pride every day and just hope no one looks too closely at them!

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The finished product!

6. Do a new walk once a month, 20. Walk the Nantlle Ridge

Having spent a beautiful spring day in a workshop creating my masterpieces. O. and I decided to embrace this glorious weather and finally tick off Nantlle… I dug the shorts out of the bottom of the drawer, covered myself in factor 50 and off we headed to Rhud Ddu where the weather decided to have other ideas! You know it’s not going to be amazing when you stand at the bottom of the path and can’t see your final destination but we ploughed on regardless and trudged up to the top of the ridge. It’s got to be one of the harder climbs I have ever done but for one brief moment the cloud inversion made it so worthwhile. Unfortunately, this was not sustained and we spent a large part of the walk clueless as to our surroundings. However, we did get to the top and did walk along a fair amount of the ridge before heading back down through the forest so I am definitely counting this as a win – the beer at the end helped too! Would very much like to do it again when the views will be better…


26. Have a lesson at Surf Snowdonia

So much fun! I mean, having never surfed or body boarded in my life I was completely frigging useless and was never going to master it in an hour and a half but I can completely see why people get in to it. Riding a wave, even when lying down was such a buzz. Surf Snowdonia has excellent facilities too so it was very lovely to be able to have Fran and Gem waiting in the wings while I was in the water and Tom loved it too. Will definitely be up for going again to give it another go – who wants to come with?!

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Riding the waves… (ish)

17. Go to Cornwall to visit the Kestells

Now, it feels a bit strange to update this as a tick off the list given the circumstances but I did actually make it and I did see the entire clan… I made the journey down to my father land after receiving news that my Uncle Dave had passed away. He had not been well for a long time and had continued to push on so it was a bit of relief to the whole family to see his suffering end. We were hoping that we would be able to visit at Easter but postponed this to coincide with a trip my cousin was making so my big regret was not seeing Dave before he passed away. It was, however, so lovely to see all of my family as we united to pay our last respects. (O. and I have actually made plans to go for a camping trip at the end of the month which will be a happier occasion.)
19. Watch a Western with Owen

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon has to be up there as being one of O.’s favourite films and is definitely one of his favourite Westerns. Over the years, I have heard random quotes from him that he has informed me have come from said film so it seemed appropriate that this would be the one he would choose for me to watch. Realising that the deadline was days away and that this was a pretty easy thing to tick off the list, we settled down to watch it on Monday evening. The verdict? Let’s put it this way, I just don’t understand what the fuss is about… Needless to say, I think Westerns shall forever remain something that O. does when he has a night to himself but hey, I gave it a go!

Final review

1. Learn to navigate with a map and compass – still needs work
2. Travel to a new country 
3. Plan our honeymoon to Cuba – flights done, accommodation is a work in progress
4. Learn Spanish – not even started yet!
5. Get a new tattoo
6. Do a new walk once a month
7. Complete the Welsh 3 peaks
8. Go on a bell tent holiday
9. Cook a nice meal once a week – not been as strict at keeping track on this…
10. Actually have some singing lessons! – FAIL!
11. Try out sea kayaking
12. Take on a new work challenge
13. Book a jewellery making course
14. Go to see more live music – lots of theatre, not so much music…
15. Read something more challenging
16. Family holiday to Ireland
17. Go to Cornwall to visit the Kestells
18. Catch up with the Yorkshire gang
19. Watch a Western with Owen
20. Walk the Nantlle Ridge
21. Try to be more spontaneous
22. Write more letters/cards to people – probably could have done a lot more
23. Walk to the Vaynol Arms – walked to the Pant Yr Ardd in Tregarth instead, much nicer route!
24. Eat at the Hand and Flowers – whoop!
25. Finish reading Wuthering Heights
26. Have a lesson at Surf Snowdonia
27. See a production of Billy Elliot
28. Do more for charity
29. Have a night out on the tiles
30. Find the positives in every situation! – By far the hardest of all my challenges and one that I will endeavour to keep up. Some situations were easier to manage than others…

 

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

My Sony phone has a brilliant function on it where it collects pictures you have taken together and creates a montage for you, complete with music summarising a specific period of time; this period of time can be a day, a weekend or even a whole month. The other day, I awoke to a video summarising my December which made me realise that it has been a particularly excellent month for me personally and one that I couldn’t let go by without a blog update.

29. Have a night out on the tiles

This session was just what the doctor ordered! Home cooked meal, comedy club and karaoke come highly recommended on the ingredients for top night out; however, it was most definitely the company that made it! Very much looking forward to us having an excuse to do it again soon…

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Gem, Me, Han, Ninz, Chester 2nd December, 2016


21. Try to be more spontaneous and 2. Travel to a new country

Destination, Schladming, Austria. Purpose, to hit the slopes and become expert skier whilst enjoying a week of merriment following the survival of a busy old term. Reason for including the spontaneity aspect? The fact that I had zero intentions of going on a holiday so soon after wedding excitement and pre-Cuba and yet, following a trip to south Wales to see Andrea and the mention of said adventure complete with an invitation to join, the next thing I knew my flights were booked.

I have skied before both at the Chill Factore in Manchester and in Chamonix back in February (on another random, last minute adventure with the bestie) but I hadn’t really mastered too much and so I knew a challenge lay ahead of me!

We had an absolutely fantastic time and experienced the full emotional rollercoaster of a ride that is skiing. From doing slightly crazy things on the first day that were beyond my true abilities to ending up on closed stretches of piste (purely by accident) and managing to cope with them on the last, my ability levels definitely went from strength to strength. I promised O. I would come back in one piece, which I did, just slightly black and blue with some impressive bruises.

The best thing about the trip was the company, we’d all end up at the top of the lift around the same time, say hello and go our separate ways to ski, meet back for lunch and then, most importantly have a de-briefing session over a beer in the bar at the bottom of the gondola. It was like having your own support crew! The only snag now is that I well and truly have the ski bug and cannot wait to go again… sorry bank balance!

 

6. Do a new walk once a month

Actually doing pretty well on this which is brilliant because I am exploring new places that are right on our doorstep! While the Swiss were here back in October we took a boat trip on the Menai Straights from which you could see the peaks that are situated on the Llÿn and I knew I needed to get up them. So after all the gadding about we did over the Christmas period we were delighted to wake up on our first morning at home to beautiful winter sunshine and that’s where we decided to spend our time. Also, rather brilliant to finally go on a walk with the Hubster that he had also never done!

28th December, 2016 – Yr Eifl 

Whilst time was on our side, we decided we might as well tick off January’s new walk too, although I wouldn’t discount doing another one later in the month… So this time we decided to stay a bit closer to home and tackle a part of the Carneddau I had never been to. Our initial plan was to walk up to the reservoir and then suss out whether we could get up on to the ridge which we did do albeit slightly off the beaten track… Oh, and we found snow!

2nd January, 2017 – Llyn Anafon 

24. Eat at the Hand and Flowers

OMG, we actually did it! I am still bursting with excitement over this adventure as it has been something I have wanted to do ever since I first spotted Tom’s pub on Masterchef and I am so delighted that I could convince my foodie support crew aka O. and the Mosses to indulge me. Probably the most bonkers amount of travelling involved to go for one meal but so worth it.

After a little bit of mooching around the town and a quick drink in the hotel bar we headed off to soak in the pub’s atmosphere whilst waiting for our table to be ready. The staff were incredibly welcoming and the pub was really cosy. We sat near the fire contemplating our menu choices (this took some time) and supping our drinks before being seated at our table. The food was amazing though not recommended if you are a vegetarian! I had the Hand and Flowers gala pie to start, fillet of beef for main and a blackberry soufflé for dessert – yum! I loved this experience and would go back again in a heartbeat, this time to try the duck…

 

 

6 Months In… (ish)

The 17th November marked the mid-point for my 30 Things adventure and I felt the need to revisit my list just to see how things were progressing and give myself a much needed kick up the bottom should there be things that I have thus far neglected. Here goes…

1. Learn to navigate with a map and compassum, looked at a map a few times but definitely not made any great advances on this, yet!
2. Travel to a new country – Switzerland, check; Austria in t-3 weeks – wooooo hoooo!
3. Plan our honeymoon to Cuba – we have actually been to two travel agents and consulted various guide books, we now need to commit and actually get some flight booked.
4. Learn Spanish – ah, for some reason I started on Welsh and have been using Duolingo to assist me with this endeavour in the hope it would open opportunities up for me. Will start the Spanish in the new year!
5. Get a new tattoo – technically did that before turning 30 but it healed really, really well and I absolutely love it!
6. Do a new walk once a month – I can’t remember them all but outings have included Cader Idris, Watkin Path on Snowdon, various peaks above Rachub, Diamond Hill in Ireland and part of Moel Hebog this month (see pic)
7. Complete the Welsh 3 peaks – big fat tick for this one! Though I do feel like I need to re-tackle Cader when the weather picks up a bit…
8. Go on a bell tent holiday – we have had two so far this year, one near Bishop’s Castle with the Carters and one to Yorkshire, the next one will probably involve my trip to Cornwall (see no. 17)
9. Cook a nice meal once a week – I have not been keeping track of this very well at all but we do make a conscious effort to try out new recipes and ensure we are eating healthily (and cheaply) Mediterranean chicken stew tonight – yum!
10. Actually have some singing lessons! – um…
11. Try out sea kayaking – loved this! Just need to save up to have another go, bobbing around the sea around Anglesey was absolutely brilliant.
12. Take on a new work challenge – Senior Mentor to PGCE students, part-time working, Level 3 TEEP Training completed (nearly) and an MA in education – I think I have this covered!
13. Book a  jewellery making course – not done this either
14. Go to see more live music – this is an interesting one because although my attendance at gigs has been pretty shocking (NYOW concerts and BBC NOW concert are all that I have done) I have attended more theatre than ever before. Romeo and Juliet with the NYTW, A Good Clean Heart in Pontio, The Revlon Girl in Galeri and Rent in Theatre Clwyd. Still time for the music but pretty impressed with the culture so far!
15. Read something more challenging – Lord of the Flies, check; A Walk in the Woods, check (non-fiction is a big deviance from my normal reading material); The Shadow of the Wind – check!
16. Family holiday to Ireland – Fab, fab, fab trip spent with my lovely clan. Brilliant!
17. Go to Cornwall to visit the Kestells – had to move this from October as per the original plan and yet to sort this out but it will happen before my next birthday, damn it.
18. Catch up with the Yorkshire gang – nailed this back in the summer…
19. Watch a Western with Owen – not yet achieved but I did sit through the Quiet Man which stars John Wayne so I am getting there…
20. Walk the Nantlle Ridge – waiting for the weather to be onside for this
21. Try to be more spontaneous – hard to measure this one really but my skiing trip was booked on the spur of the moment and I have been trying to avoid booking my weekends up in order to enjoy moments of just doing. Ooh, we did go out for a meal Friday night without prior planning, that counts right?!
22. Write more letters/cards to people – started off quite well with this, must continue it. Must also do things that are interesting enough to report on so I can share this news with people instead of solely relying on social media!
23. Walk to the Vaynol Arms – not yet….
24. Eat at the Hand and Flowers – whoop! – the countdown is on for this bad boy, 29th December, so, so excited!
25. Finish reading Wuthering Heights – yeah, I need to actually pick that up to stand any chance of finishing it…
26. Have a lesson at Surf Snowdonia – got the voucher, thanks to the Williams’, just need to get it booked.
27. See a production of Billy Elliot – thanks to Andrea for sorting me out with this one (and then suggesting the ski trip) – superb production in the WMC!
28. Do more for charity – we raised just of £2000 for the NYOW with our Three Peaks mission and then I have not done a lot aside from sponsoring people for various things… This is something that needs addressing!
29. Have a night out on the tiles – girls night booked in this Friday, comedy gig and drinks in Chester. I cannot wait!
30. Find the positives in every situation! – by far the hardest of all my challenges and something that I have probably failed on a few times. It’s a good thing to revisit and remind myself that there are silver linings in everything, if you are prepared to look.

Just over half way through this year and 12 items on the list still to do (whilst keeping up with others like our walks and meals). I’m very excited for the adventures that are yet to come!

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Somewhere near Moel Hebog, 13th November, 2016

Chur to Caernarfon

Having survived the first half term of the new academic year I thought it was time to take stock and do a little review blog as, once again, the last few weeks have been jam-packed!

12. Take on a new work challenge

I figured I would get the work orientated stuff out of the way first… In the summer, the opportunity was presented to apply to become the Senior Mentor for PGCE students at our school and, having had some fantastic mentors during my training, I thought it was something I could offer. It is a really interesting process balancing the university requirements against what the school policies are and should be an excellent way for me to work with other colleagues both in and out of my school. We only have two trainees in the school this year which for me is a bit of a blessing as I get chance to get my head around everything but hopefully I can make a positive impact across the next two years.

Obviously, because this is me, I didn’t stop at one new challenge, oh no, I can add another two to the mix… Tomorrow I am off to another high school to complete my Level 3 TEEP internship with the SSAT. TEEP (Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme) is a really interesting and incredibly useful programme that helps to develop the most effective strategies for excellent learning and teaching. It helped me so much when I was at a bit of a low point with lessons and hopefully, if all goes well, I will be able to go forward to train others on the Level 1 programme. Another fantastic opportunity that I have been granted to go out and meet people and share their ideas; it’s a very exciting prospect!

Lastly, I’m a student again! Although this technically isn’t linked to my every day work, at the end of September I officially enrolled at Chester University to complete an MA in Educational Leadership. I am a bit of a geek and love research and studying so over the next two and a half years I will be hitting the books and trying to get that qualification under my belt. Watch this space…

p.s. Did I mention I have also gone part-time?!

2. Travel to a new country

Côr CGWM went on tour baby! After months of planning and plotting on maestro’s part; we literally took to the skies for a trip to Chur in Switzerland to join forces with the Incantanti Choir. This was my first ever visit to Switzerland and though a hectic trip during which time I was one of the designated responsible adults* it was an incredible experience. Bit of a shame really to only go for a weekend but boy did we make the most of it. After an epic day of travelling that including rehearsing in an airport and on a train, we arrived at the beautiful town of Chur. The greeting we received from the choir was absolutely amazing and it was so good to share musical experiences with them. We got to enjoy a spot of sighting-seeing on Saturday morning to the mountain town of Arosa (a good potential skiing destination for another adventure) before taking part in our first concert back in Chur and then partying with fondue! On Sunday we travelled to Zurich for our second concert before flying home. The journey back was far from straight forward but we survived and made it back to reality with time to recover before welcoming Incantanti to our little corner of North Wales.

chur

*Incidentally, I still have moments in my life when I search for a more adultier adult when so to be that person made me feel slightly scared but also a tad depressed, yes, I am old enough to be the adultier adult – sad times!

chur-crew

6. Do a new walk once a month

Yesterday was potentially the most amazing summit of Snowdon I have ever done. Granted, it is the third time I have been up on the summit this year; however, this time Hubster suggested we took the Watkin Path which therefore meant I could count it as my new walk for the month (there was a sudden panic yesterday morning as I realised the date and the fact I hadn’t done a significant walk this month). Usually I am the first to admit that my walking is fair-weather and the slightest sign of cloud means I opt for the low lands rather than hills but we both needed to get some decent exercise and as I mentioned earlier, time was not on side.

The Watkin Path has a very beautiful beginning at the bottom of the valley and is actually the lowest starting point of any of the main paths up Snowdon (60 metres). The forest path is lovely and who doesn’t love crunching through Autumn leaves? The presence of trees also keeps himself happy! We were blessed with dry weather at least but there was lots of cloud around and this obviously did not improve as the climb continued. I have to say, I was thoroughly enjoying this ascent (it’s very different to the Pyg or Miners tracks which are the only ones I have prior experience of) until the scree happened. Why scree?! It’s bloody awful stuff and it plays with my head as every step you take can move and life becomes very difficult. Visibility was pretty pants by this point too and I have to admit, I started to feel a little woozy. At this point I was planning to get to the ridge and just continue on the loop rather than summit but two very lovely ladies and their dogs passed us on their descent crowing about how beautiful the summit was and it would totally be worth this awfulness, curiosity got the better of us… Cue epic cloud inversion! The summit was above the cloud, the sun was shining and it was absolutely spectacular to see (aside from the hoards of buggers who had taken the train up). Not long in to the descent we were back in cloud though this did start to lift as the evening drew in. Thankfully, we were back at the car in the nick of time before head torches became a necessity which was a good job as mine was in my bedside table!

Watkin Path to Snowdon Summit, 29th October, 2016

Still not managing to do much in the way of navigation (number one on the list) though I did carry the map and manage to find where we were at least once!

Summer Summary

I have been drafting this entry since the end of the summer holidays and cannot believe I am only just publishing it!  Here we go…

I’m an all or nothing kind of gal, this is something I have mostly come to terms with so it comes as no surprise that I didn’t really have much to report list-wise for ages and then wham, lots of things happen in one go! So here is my summer summary as I tick more things off and look ahead to a new academic year…

16. Family holiday to Ireland

For the first time in 14 years we actually went on a family holiday (incidentally, this means that I had never actually holidayed with my youngest brother!) and do you know what? It was blooming marvellous! Continuing the theme of firsts… O. and I managed to convince our Ol to come and walk with us to the summit of Diamond Mount, one the higher peaks smack in the Connemara National Park and there was even a manly fishing excursion complete with mackerel to cook for our dinner! Thanks must go to the oldest of my three brothers Mike and his lovely new wife Amy for deciding on Ireland for the destination of their wedding because it gave us an excuse to make a holiday out of it and spend some quality time with the clan.

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15. Read something more challenging

I feel I must clarify why I put this one on the list. I have always really enjoyed reading and my mum encouraged this when we were younger; however, I tend to keep it as a pre-bedtime activity which means as term progresses and tiredness kicks in, reading falls by the wayside. When I do read it is typical chick literature and I LOVE it! Anything by Jenny Colgan, Milly Johnson or Marian Keyes gets my undivided attention and I submerge myself in the story of choice. I thought it was high time I should broaden my horizons… I started out by reading Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods as I very, very rarely ever read non fiction books and laughed my way through from start to finish (especially the bit about bears – brilliant). Though I was categorically told this couldn’t count as my more challenging as it is intended to be funny. (My argument is any book that requires me to look up word meanings is more of a challenge but hey ho) so I continued on with my quest.

Next on my list was a book I have had on my shelf since my 19th birthday, which in itself is shameful,  The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafón. It really is criminal that I let this book gather dust over the years because it was an absolutely superb read! Back to fiction which is a bit naughty but I do not care one bit as it was fan-bloody-tastic – if anyone wants to check it out for themselves give me a shout and I will be happy to oblige!

Then came the need to go for a classic and so, having listened to back and fores in the staffroom about the merits or not of this novel, I thought I would see what the fuss was about and invest in a copy of Lord of the Flies. It is such a beautifully written book and, even though I have heard on numerous occasions the turn of phrase “it’s very Lord of the Flies”, I don’t think I had quite expected exactly what I faced. Still, I read it, I enjoyed many parts of it and now I know!

6. Do a new walk once a month

As mentioned earlier, we decided we couldn’t visit such a stunningly beautiful and rugged part of Ireland without ascending something and though there were lots of options for big peaks the weather didn’t really enable us to get out for a full day’s hike. We were based really near the Connemara National Park Visitor Centre and from there you can do a short walk to the summit which stands at 445m. Ol took to the walk like a mountain goat having to stop for his much shorter limbed sister on numerous occasions!

img-20160902-wa0003Diamond Hill, Connemara

Then to September where the amazing benefits of part time have already kicked in as we woke up on my first Wednesday off to absolutely stunning weather and therefore it was a no-brainer for us to head for the hills. Y Garn stands next to the Glyders and though I have tackled them on a number of occasions, this was the first time Y Garn got my attention. We could not have asked for a better day weather wise – check out the view!

dsc_0017Y Garn, Snowdonia, 7th September

Soaked and Stoked!

6. Do a new walk once a month, 7. Complete the Welsh 3 peaks and 28. Do more for charity

Rewind to last October when a post-meeting drink in the pub resulted in a light bulb moment from yours truly on how we, as a Welfare Team, could raise some much needed funding and awareness for the National Youth Orchestra of Wales as it celebrates its 70th anniversary. After much deliberation over a suitable date we could all make and further concern over training needs I finally began the training process back in June. The weather seemed to be onside and every time an outing was planned Owen and I seemed to be blessed with stunning views and lovely temperatures – how little we knew…

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Snowdon, 22nd June

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Gyrn Wigau (Carneddau), 20th June

The date was set, the routes and timings sorted and all that was left to do was to fund raise and complete the challenge.

Gez arrived Friday evening and we even managed to enjoy a swift bevy with Matt J in the pub whilst Gareth and Geraint sorted the WJEC pool car; the reality of what we were about to embark on beginning to dawn on us all. Alarms were set for 2.30am with our first rendezvous due to take place at Pen y Pass at 3.30am!

If I could summarise the weather we encountered on this adventure in one word it would be… bogging… and it did not let up all bloody day! Our waterproofs gave up being waterproof, my phone got water logged and is yet to make a recovery and we were so battered by the wind at times it was a struggle to stand still. We made Snowdon in pretty good time, 5.25 hours up and down and zero view from the top (not surprising really), we even managed to beat the epic queues that started to appear as we were on our way down so the ridiculously early start did seem worth it. Quick change and refuel and we were off to Cadair Idris. This brings us to the new walk part of the challenge… I have never been further than the first section of this beastly mountain and I was really chuffed to have persevered past the steps (so many steps) and on to better path. Conditions were definitely not ideal and this was emphasised when we reached the “lake” marker only to find no sign of a lake anywhere! We soldiered on hoping to forget this slight issue but soon encountered massive groups who had decided that the conditions were actually dangerous and were on their descent. A quick stock take of people’s feelings and a review of the map showed we had a mile to go and spirits were still relatively high so we battened down the hatches and headed on. We hit the first summit, Craig Cau and started the descent which would eventually lead us to Penygadair and it was at this point that the elements really took their toll… the wind was continuing to howl, the visibility was non-existent and the rain was still falling; we took the decision that enough was enough and for the sake of safety, we needed to turn back (this sentiment was echoed by paid guides). The call was made, not because a lack of ability or because of a lack of desire but simply because we needed to stay in one piece. Next stop, Pen y Fan! The easiest of the three summits and the knowledge that we were about to complete this epic challenge kept us all going to top. We were blown sideways on our way to the trig point but nothing was going to get in our way now! 2.5 hours total walking on Pen y Fan and we made it back to the car park for a celebratory toast courtesy of Gez’s parents – soaked but completely stoked!

Then comes the charity part of the challenge. The NYOW has seen thousands of musicians pass through its metaphorical doors in the last 70 years and provides orchestral players with fantastic musical experiences. Because of the narrow mindedness of people in charge of funding, music services have been on the receiving end of pretty dire cut backs which are endangering institutions like this. For the last three summers I have been privileged to work as part of this organisation and have had some fantastic experiences through this, I felt really strongly that I should be part of a plan to help ensure it can continue (and I don’t do running). To date, our challenge has raised a total of £1821.25 with the promise of more sponsors still to come. I am so proud to have been able to help in some way whilst also being able to complete a massive personal challenge. This experience will stay with me for a very, very long time.

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Snowdon Summit, 9th July, 6am (ish)

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Pen y Fan and Prosecco, 9th July, 9pm 

Under the Bridge 

Firstly, I am little gutted to have not managed another alliterative blog title but at least I can resort to song lyrics as an alternative.

Secondly, it is time to report on further list progress…

11. Try out sea kayaking
Ever since hiring canoes on Loch Morlich I have quite fancied trying my hand at other water sports and, given my love for the sea, I figured why not go with sea kayaking (incidentally, it turns out that Anglesey is a world renowned spot for such a sport so a handy choice really). So a little while ago I had a conflab with H. and Fran and the next thing I knew an introductory weekend for the four of us was booked.

Adventure Elements was our company of choice as they offered the best dates and we didn’t need to have any prior experience. James, the owner, was incredibly friendly and welcoming and then he left us in the very capable hands of our instructor Stu (joined by Conrad on the Saturday and Steve on the Sunday). Stu is fantastic, he knows his stuff, paced the sessions well, has a great sense of humour and thanks to him we got to explore some amazing scenery all from very new angles. It was also really lovely to meet and talk with the other couple who joined us for the weekend and hear about their life adventures – they definitely gave us food for thought.

Highlights:

  • Bobbing along in the beautiful sunshine along the coast at Moelfre
  • Having the guts to learn to deal with a capsize 
  • Rescuing Matthew!
  • Paddling under Menai Bridge in the rain 
  • Hanging out with lovely people

I think we even managed to convince the land-loving Hubster than fun can be had on the sea and now I cannot wait to go back!

P.s. Hoping to add some more pics when they get uploaded to the Adventure Elements page but in the meantime check out Matt’s Go Pro video…