Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Stress Is Over Rated

Christmas Stress, why oh why do we stress over what is basically 1 day.  I never stress about Christmas at all.  Can't understand why people do. It's just one day with a roast bird slightly larger than your typical Sunday roast. Our kids worlds are not going to end if they don't get everything they want. 

Christmas should be about fun and laughter not how much you can eat and drink, how much you spend and how fancy your decorations are. A lot have people have lost what this time of year should be about and if kids can't have everything they want it acts as a life lesson as we can't always have everything we desire. Truly think you are setting your kids up for heartache and disappointment in future years if they get everything they want or if everything is not colour co-ordinated and just so right.  

I never got all that is on offer at Christmas now and I'm sure a lot of others didn't and did it do us any harm?  

Media is once again putting too much pressure on us to have it all and if we don't have this, don't have that and don't make this handmade item we are failures. 

Isn't it time to take the pressure of ourselves, stop stressing at Christmas and just have some fun.

But if it all get a little too much for you or you are dreading the festive period, here are some tips from Relate counsellor Christine Northam:

If there have been any family rows during the year, resolve them. Tell the people you argued with that you're looking forward to seeing them. Ask if you can get together before Christmas to talk about whatever problem you had.

Plan the day and share out the jobs that need to be done. Don't slave away for hours on your own and feel like people have taken advantage of you.

Discuss your plans with others, including any children who will be there, so that you can listen to their ideas and wishes for the day. Then you can come up with a celebration which includes things that please everyone.

Have a timetable for Christmas Day so that you don’t all sit around for hours doing nothing. Try to make sure you won't be spending a lot of time with a difficult person or someone you don’t get along with. 

Don’t drink too much. Drinking excessively is never a good idea. Find out more on safer drinking

Children can get overexcited, so plan a lovely long walk for a change of scene and some fresh air. Everybody will feel better and pleasantly tired instead of irritably tired.

Original article can be found here

Friday, December 20, 2013

Castell Y Bere

Deep in the mountainous heart of mid Wales, nestling at the foot of Cader Idris in the Snowdonian National Park, lie the ruins of Castell y Bere and at just 6 miles away from us it was the perfect destination for an October Saturday afternoon walk in the autumn sun.  Castell y Bere is an atmospheric site steeped in history and is an outstanding example of a stronghold of the native Welsh Princes.

Castell y Bere - c. Cadw, Welsh Government (Crown Copyright)/Cadw, Llywodraeth Cymru (Hawlfraint y Goron)

We parked at the small gravel car park on the edge of the country lane and made our way to the castle up the hill through the woods.

The walk up to the ruins was more of a climb than I remember but having said that, the last time I came here I was younger than The Boy and Girl so I could be forgiven for not remembering as it was some 30 odd years ago.

Once there, we took advantage of the wonderful sunny autumn day and took one or two photos.  

Top of The Barbican:

Making their way up the side of The Middle Tower:

Ruins of the round tower:

Sitting on the ruins of the Middle Tower:

Sitting on the walls of the South Tower:

The rocky hill on the left of this picture is Bird's Rock or to give the hill it's Welsh name, Craig yr Aderyn.   It was named Bird's Rock as it is the only place in the UK where the Great Cormorant nests inland.  The rock was originally on the shore but over the centuries the sea has receded and the coast is now some 6 miles away.  It really is an outstanding sight in this beautiful Welsh valley.

Just as we were finishing taking photos the sky clouded over and we made a speedy decent to the car.

North Tower ruins:

The boy helping his little Sister on the uneven path.  Like me she struggles on uneven ground, another joy of RA/JIA.

Stopping for a rest half way down while I caught them up.

Some little whatnots just couldn't use the kissing gate to leave the Castle grounds and had climb over the other gate instead!

On our journey home those clouds well and truly opened and the rain fell and fell.  So much fell that evening that a road flooded in town and the water had to be pumped away the next day.

A little history about Castell y Bere:

A - South Tower, B - Ditch Yard, C - Middle Tower
D - Barbican, E - Round Tower, F - Courtyard,
G - North Tower

Today the ruins still stand on a rocky outcrop with protective ditches cut in to the stone on the south and east sides of the castle.

The entrance lies to the west where the Barbican was believed to have been built by Edward I.

Unusually for an early Welsh castle, there is evidence of decorative sculpture, including statues of soldiers, having been built into the castle, along with decorative floor tiles.  Castell y Bere is the only castle, other than Criccieth, to display such features.

After a 5 week break from my blog due to illness (Some scheduled posts did publish during this time) I am linking up with Country kids over at  Coombe Mill and #PoCoLo.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Project Life Catch Up

Over the past two months, in between trying to get some rest and recuperation I have slowly been catching up with this year's Project Life.  Yes, I know we only have a few weeks left and until a few weeks ago I had only completed up to mid April.  But I am now pleased to say the catch up with Project Life is well and truly under way.  

Here are a few snaps of what I have been up to:

To start with as you can see it was a case of sorting the backgrounds and photos out.  Then I began gluing, writing and prettifying. 

On Monday I sat and printed 21 A4 sheets of photos to try and finish this project some time this decade!

Am I the only one this far behind?

Linking up with Julia for WOYWW.