"A little bit about me" ranger49's Profile
Manchester born, Welsh by adoption ...
I left my home in Manchester to come to Wales as a student - stayed here and
started to work here. Married and brought up my family here - still here 60 years on!
During much of my childhood ( specially the war years 1939 - 45) and young teen years most family holidays were spent in Lancashire, Wiltshire, Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall, and North Wales.
My father loved North Wales and Snowdonia and took us there at every possible opportunity - even for long days out.
South Wales and the even less well known “mid Wales” were mostly new to me until I went to Cardiff University..
It is without doubt a land of well hidden secrets with far more to offer than most people who head only for Snowdonia and the castles of north Wales realise.
After working in Cardiff the Capital, in the industrial valleys of the Rhondda and Merthyr Tydfil, and in Swansea and the Gower coast I retired to a Market town in Monmouthshire.
I recall hardly a thing about my first school trips abroad to Ostend and Interlaken.
My first real, grown-up trip abroad was to France to Normandy and Brittany and I have lost count of the return visits I've made in the last 50+ years.
Coincidentally France was also the first place overseas that my husband visited when, as a 16 year old, he and a school friend toured the northern coast of Normandy in 1950 on their bikes, repeating the expedition the following year before University began. .
Perhaps that has something to do with how we both never tire of trips to Normandy and Brittany.
But my husband was based in Germany during his National Service and formed strong links with German friends that survive to this day.
Having close relatives who moved to live overseas brought opportunities to travel to places I might otherwise never have visited.
A cousin shocked the family by going to Malaga to study Spanish in the mid 1950s in Franco's time. Stayed on to work . married and brought up her family in Spain
My sister and her family left for Canada in the 60s and I made visits to Montreal and Toronto and loved travelling in Canada. before she moved to the USA in 1978.
US destinations that we have visited to see close relatives (mine and my husbands) are Vermont, New Hampshire, Boston, Philadelphia, Princetown NJ, Washington DC, and Virginia and lots of places in between because we liked to make a road trip between visits.
In 2000 my sister left the East Coast for California opening up some of the west to us .
Thanks to Icelandic ash in April 2010 we had a seven week stay so were able to see some of the great sites of Arizona including Grand Canyon.
Nearer home relatives and friends in France, Spain and Germany continue to give us a good excuse to visit Europe.
I love our garden and since we moved to this house - then new in 1991, we have had enormous pleasure creating a garden from scratch.
A lovely hobby that brings many rewards particularly through the changing seasons.
It is an outdoor living space, a place where our eight growing granchildren have all enjoyed to play.
It is a vegetable provider and apple orchard plus an extra dining area on BBQ days. And a place - sometimes - to relax and read.
I love to cook - all types of dishes - traditional British as my mother taught me, of course. But also French, Mediterranean, Middle East - just getting in to vegetarian Levantine dishes. In fact I like to try all things new.
When the garden produce comes in and it is preserve making time seeing the larder shelves stocked up for a the year ahead is a good time.
These are amongst my interests.
Reading - After 12 and a half years I "retired" from the reading Group of which I had been secretary, organiser and facilitator. I feel this will give me more time to devote to reading books of my choice and already have a network of friends who enjoy informal, one to one , discussions of the books we are reading.
Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, 40 minutes away, provides a broad and diverse choice of entertainment from rock and jazz to Welsh National Opera , contemporary Music Theatre Wales - and everything in between.
Newport and Brecon have thriving theatres and Abergavenny has its own theatre and cinema.
In the Land of Song there are numerous local choirs and orchestras performing to a very high standard in some of the splendid churches and other venues in the town.
When my husband suggested that we should get a computer "to keep up with our grandchildren" I was totally against the idea. We had not long retired , computers were only then being introduced to my office so they spelled "Work".
He is a quietly persuasive man and so we had a computer.
It was not long before we had one each and I have my own tiny computer room. Here I do my online family history research, plan our travels - we usually travel independently rather than with Tours - and now spend some time on VT!
This Bay, at low tide and high tide is one of the loveliest places I know and holds in it, and all around, so many very happy memories, as well as some sadly poignant ones. We can count back over 50 years of visiting this place but have lost count of the number of times we have called it "home".
Until we retired trips had to be squeezed into our quite generous allocation of Annual Leave so long trips were rarely possible . But we made up for the gaps after we retired.
For me there will never be anything to compare with driving on to a ferry in Dover, Portsmouth or Harwich and setting off on journeys of discovery., particularly when it started by an overnight journey at sea.
Here we were at the Castillo de Santa Catalina a C13th Arabic Fortress in Jaen, Spain. Part of the old Castle had been restored and housed a Parador where we stayed for a couple of nights.
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