Tuesday 30 August 2011


As we sometimes do, the family decided to go south to visit Morticia's mother in St Neots. Even though I'd already returned to work I considered this part of my holiday. I booked a couple of extra leave days and we went down Thursday evening. We were late setting off because I had to take Morticia's dad and his dog to the vets.

On the Sunday Morticia's mother and her partner took our girls to a local air show. This gave Morticia and me some time together. This almost never happens, we decided to go into town - they were having a little festival or fayre.

There's a pub in St Neots called the Pig & Falcon, we've been past it a dozen times and I've always fancied popping in. Today we could, and did. It was a lovely little ale house which was full of character and looked like it had live bands on at weekends. Whilst there I sampled a couple of local ales;
  • Potbelly Best
  • Citra
We decided to stay an extra night so we could return and sample the atmosphere of this place on a night out. Sadly Morticia's ME kicked in and pit paid to our plans.

Whilst down there I love to rummage in the local charity shops. Managed to bag myself Stephen Fry's biography for £3.

The original plan was to come home on Bank Holiday Monday. In the end we left on the Tuesday.

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Thursday 25 August 2011


I always buy a few bottles of local ales on my holidays to remind me of my time there. This year's haul includes;

  • Tomos Watkin Cwrw Braf
  • Tomos Watkin Cwrw Haf
  • Brains Rev James
  • Brains Original Stout
  • Felinfoel Double Dragon
  • Rhymney Dark
Whilst in Wales I enjoyed;
  • Brains Bitter
  • Brains SA
  • Brains Black
  • Gold Wing
I've discovered that Morrisons are going to be selling Rev James, so that I can now get Brains SA, SA Gold and Brains Original Stout here in Yorkshire. I'm also intending to order some ales via mail order from Tomos Watkins with whom I've been conversing with on Twitter.

I'm Recording my real ale adventure on an iPhone app called 'Brewski Me'.

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Monday 22 August 2011


Work to live or live to work? Ask me that 20 years ago I'd probably have answered the latter. Nowadays I know the answer. Work is a tool for the good things in life, once you've paid all the bills.

I now have to go back to work. I don't want to go, I've enjoyed myself too much this holiday. I've lived the good life but I know that must end. Besides if I don't get back on my bike soon I'll need to buy a larger size trousers.

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Tuesday 16 August 2011


Postcard from Cei Newydd
As soon as I arrived in Cei Newydd (New Quay) I knew I'd arrived home. It's like my regular life is all fake and as soon as I get here I come alive.

The excitement builds as we pass through Aberaeon, the colourful row of houses that adorn the main road. We then turn off the A487, pass the caravan park where we used to stay years ago, then the Seahorse Inn where we turn right. Passed the Black Lion, we then get our first proper look at the bay and the famous stone pier (our first look is from the main A487 on our approach), the lines of boats, we pass the Natwest bank and then our beloved Penwig Hotel which will be our home for our stay here. Parking is 'round the back so we continue on past the shops, turn the corner passed the always closed Blue Bell pub, passed the Watch House, Mariner Restaurant, Chocolate shop, they're all still here as if time stands still when we leave until we return. The £1.20 (used to be a pound) shop and finally the Dolau Inn. We turn up the drive to the rear of the Penwig where the cottage is (our home). We've arrived.

Our week here was utter relaxation. I don't know another place on earth which makes me feel so at ease. If I could make it happen I'd leave Yorkshire forever and live here. Days on the beach, swimming in the sea, drinks in the local pubs, the atmosphere and air. Also, one of the benefits of staying in the heart of the place is that later in the evening most of the tourists from the nearby camps and the holiday park go back and you are left with the real heart of Cei Newydd. The people are friendly, welcoming and I am so jealous that they get to live in such a wonderful place.

Then there's the Penwig itself which is a great pub which serves great food and Brains beers (a favourite of mine). The pub would be nothing without it's staff and management. Mike, Chris and Sam have always made us feel so welcome, another reason we keep returning.

We took a boat trip as usual, but this year we opted to go with the SeaMor and we are so glad we did. It was so much more personal (smaller group than other trips) and a great experience. Brett and Luke were awesome.

Sunday lunch in the Wellington Inn has become a tradition which we enjoy, plus a couple of pints of Double Dragon.

This year we rediscovered the Black Lion, Dylan Thomas' favourite watering hole. This was mainly because it was halfway up the hill and a good stop off for Morticia with her condition. The beer was crap (no local/Welsh ales) and they'd stopped serving food. The pub was for sale so not at it's best. Maybe next year it'll be improved.

Of course the holiday ends too soon and we have to leave. It's almost heart breaking. This year to soften the blow we decided to visit Cillgerran Castle on our way home (well not quite on our way). My heart sank as we drove past the lion at the side of the road signifying that we were back in England.

Our return to Cei Newydd is planned and if everything goes to plan we may even be there more than once next year.

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Monday 8 August 2011


05:32 - I'm up and almost ready to get off. Hoping to get away in half an hour. Next stop will be Chester services.

08:22 - We're at our only stop off before crossing Welsh border, Chester services. Traffic around Manchester was heavy but moving. Glad to put that behind us. Onward to Wales. Might make another stop yet, Morticia might take a little turn at driving in Snowdonia.

10:05 - We're in Snowdonia and there's no signal on my phone (so no tweeting). I'm resting while Morticia has a short drive.

10:30 - A little sleep, still very little signal on my phone.

14:50 - We arrived at the Hotel Penwig almost 2 hours ago, we had a drink, my first pint of Brains before having a little walk around. I just finished a pint of Rev James, that's pint no 2 of the day. Need to unpack now, just waiting for the cottage key.

19:38 - After an afternoon nap and unpacking we are now enjoying our holiday. I'm going to get off and enjoy myself. Lloniannau.

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I honestly didn't think this day would come. Tomorrow is our annual summer holiday, we are just about prepared but it all nearly didn't happen.

The finances had to be sorted, then we had to manage my eldest daughter's behavioural issues and also take into account Morticia's CFS/ME.

It's been long hard slog to get to the night before. I have high hopes for next week. I need a holiday like you don't know.

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