The End – Sloth Level Holidaying & Home

Morning!

Anyone heard of it? It’s getting to a point where if we stayed longer, we’d be getting up at dusk.

Decided to make sausage butties for breakfast as it was out last morning and I’d been reasonably healthy each day until tea time. A combination of ‘economy’ sausages, an oven they seemed to be unevenly hot, and a lack of attention from me led to a popping of sausage skins, an oily tray, and subsequently caramelised & burnt ‘bread-fingers’. Lots of red sauce didn’t offset the poor food.

Having tried and failed to get in a couple of pubs, we ended up booking back in the The Ring (where Toby’s ring caused much consternation, previously). A 6pm table meant we only had 4 hours of time to do something.

With no one else suggesting anywhere I set off for Rhosneigr, where we could walk north along the beach and past RAF Valley. Ten minutes in and we did our now customary u-turn, advised by Jane and headed back to the house – for the house key this time. 5 minutes later it turned up, so another 180, and back to parking up at the viewing point on the north side of Rhosneigr.

Had a lovely walk through the sand dunes (except for the bit where Toby tried to roll in the carcass of a long-dead seabird), and then onto the most wonderfully deserted low-tide Sandy beach. We just walked, chatted, threw the ball for Tobes, and looked for unusual stones and shells.

Jane came back with a bird skull (now identified as a Manx Shearwater, whuich is pretty rare), a crab claw, and some coal. Each to their own. Pity Valley was quiet though as I got right in the end of the active runway. Would have got some superb photos if anything had been taking off that afternoon.

After knocking up another 6km and getting a closer look at an Egret, we headed back to the Ring. Good food and a decent pint (Surfin’ IPA by Conwy Brewery), and back to the cottage to pack as we had to be out by 9am.

A busy pack, an early evening, and an early-for-us start, hence the tardiness of this, the last post of this little sojourn.

Got up by the alarm this morning, and then walked down to bring the van back to the house (which used to be a workshop, btw, evidence of which are the steps to the upper workshop floor from the outside of the building). Oh! There’s a lovely Triumph Stag convertible a few doors down. Nearly as good as it’s £££ number plate (5TAG).

A quick stop-off at the local quick-e-mart as we’d spotted multipack bags of salt and vinegar and prawn cocktail flavoured quavers. Impossible not to take some home!

I tried to call in at the Mona Brewery to pick up a few tinnies, but it was all shut up, so nothing more to other than pass by the Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch Railway station before crossing the bridge and heading east to the M56 and home.

Enjoyed the break, the fresh air, the food & some of the drink, but mostly enjoyed the company. Not sure Charlie feels quite the same however!

Anyway, won’t bore you all anymore! Now back home, so see you next holiday, perhaps!

Day 5 – Mizzle & The Dancing Dog

Thought we’d best make an effort today and get off our ‘localised’ arses and “see Anglesey”. It didn’t work. Couldn’t be bothered. Not in a bad way either.

We eventually got in the van, did the now-obligatory u-turn to get Janes forgotten phone, and then set off. No idea where to, but we at least had managed to set off.

With little input from any of us, self included, we drove clockwise. Bull Bay, then Amlwych, but due to a classic mizzle and apathy combination, we carried on. Until we hit a dead end at Pen Cei. A swift u’ey and we’re back exploring, until we hit a dead end, this time at the intriguingly named ‘Consuelo Caravan Park’. Must Google that one at some point!

Then we set off again and found Moelfre Ice Cream Parlour. And one remaining space in the tiny carpark. So £3-all day later, we went for a stroll.

Gravelly beach done (Toby was still surf-sensitive), we headed along the coastal path, past the old lifeboat station to the very slick looking new RNLI one. Hint to any charities. Put a contactless card reader in the window of any properties, that are pre-programmed to take £2 increments. So easy you can’t not donate!

Sadly it’s the first time the weather cut short out plans, and after less than a handful of kilometres, as the misty drizzle rolled in we headed back to the van. Me, muttering because I’d forgotten to pack Arthur’s ludicrously sharp Zeiss binoculars and/or his ludicrously small & sharp Leica compacts with which I would have got a better look at the lovely Small Egret on the beach and the myriad of birds out on the island.

The Van! Our sanctuary! Hop in, phones on charge, Toby’s tea out of the fridge. Post-Ice Cream Parlour retreat! Charlie went ‘bubblegum’, Jane, ‘fudge’ and me, well, liquorice of course! Lovely.

After some time passed, it felt right to get an inside table at the Robbies pub opposite, which we knew to be dog-friendly, and serve food from 6pm. What we also knew, down to an earlier recon mission was that if you wanted food before 7pm, get in for at least 5:30 and be ready to place an order at 5:48pm latest.

We got in for 4:45, because it was busy outside and the rain was coming in again. Inside was quiet. Until around 5:15, after which it was a scramble for a table. Settling like crows (an outstanding lyric) the older folk began congregating around the food till at around 5:48, exactly as predicted.

I had our order written up in notepad, Table Number highlighted of course, and a checksum total just to save any haggling. Armed with experience of olden days ordering of beer from a packed pub, plus basketball, plus identifying ditherers, I muscled & elbowed my way past the grannies and got the P3 spot at around 5:51pm

Smashed it! I’d suspected P2 was a closet ditherer. One question (the obvious “chips, new potatoes or mash” conundrum) from Server 1 and they buckled. I waved my phone with a screen full of succinct answers to all questions, and I was escorted to the secret fast serve till. Result!

Apart from when my starter of Tempura King Prawns was delivered and just before table, one of the 6 fell off (“oops, sorry” said the embarrassed young girl that was serving, but with no further reference to the 1/6th of my £7.75 starter that I would no longer eat), the food & service were superb.

Toby made Friends with the people on the table next to us, and the table next to that, and some passers by and a big dog on the next nearest table, who at one point stood on his back legs and did what I can only describe as an Irish Jig. Then, stuffed & amazed, we came back to Cemaes.

We’re opposite a pub, The Stag. Next to the pub is a pub. Called the “Ye Olde Vigour”. Google it and the reviews. Quirky. I like quirky, but I can’t say I wasn’t slightly trepidatious before crossing the threshold. All I can say is I had a thoroughly enjoyable chat with the Landlady (read the reviews) & staff, finding out loads about the locale. I’ll be nipping in again before we leave, for sure.

Just goes to show, eh. Don’t always trust everything you read on the internet. 😉

Night!

Day 4 – Well Choughed! [sic]

Always a tad odd coming away this week. We’re always missing two.

Yesterday was the anniversary of our loss of Scooter, our first dog although she would argue she wasn’t a dog, she was “above all that bum-sniff nonsense”. She was such an integral part of our family. She was ‘Grandads favourite girl’, after his daughter, Jane.

And today was the anniversary of the passing of Jane’s Dad, Arthur Robinson. I can’t tell you how much we miss him, not even close to expressing how much of an influence he has had on me, my values & my love of learning how to do stuff.

But he’s had positive effect on today. I’ll get to that. Charlie’s bailed again, so it’s just Jane, Toby and I today. The plan (there really wasn’t one), was to do what felt right to do, so we went for another walk.

This time we decided to skip driving & walk door to door, which meant a left or right decision. It was left (west), for a closer look at Angleseys now-decommissioned nuclear power station.

It wasn’t, it was actually because it’s a lovely coastal walk, and compared to yesterday, relatively flat, as both of my Achilles and my left anterior cruciate are playing up.

Had a lovely walk, sometimes cliff-top, sometimes beach level, all radio-actively monitored. Points of note are:

  1. Toby finding fox poo & draping it down his left ear
  2. A pebbled cove where it was confirmed that Toby is scared of the “light crashing” of surf
  3. Nuclear facilities are designed by the “Architects of Doom” that design sets for James Bond films
  4. Toby being in the sea only marginally washed off the smell of fox crap.

Actually, the highlight was seeing a chough. A moment where we particularly missed Arthur. He’d have been in his element.

Windswept and as typically uninteresting as we are, it was a more-inland but “shoobie” filled walk home. Thank Anne Wilson & her equally miscreant daughter for that regional nomenclature.

Getting back, we had little enthusiasm for a drive out, so we tried the local chippy. Having googled it, I have to say, I had a sense of dread. “Grumpy”, “chips were anaemic”, “Fish? Must have still been in the harbour because all I got was batter” were some of the comments.

All I can say, is that we all enjoyed our food, chips were decent, fish & scampi also. Didn’t even mind the hidden 5% surcharge of a missing pot of curry sauce, and no vinegar on the chips.

Given up on the local beer, btw. It’s cans of Tyskie tonight, to complement a sesh of 8 out of 10 Cats.

Night, all!

Day 3 – Stacked

Seems that “sluggish” is our pace. Both in terms of waking up and walking.

A bit of brown toast and a couple of boiled eggs for me, before we all got van’d up and set off for South Stack.

A stop for diesel (a T5 is a £100 fill-up, btw), and a turn around to return to pick up Janes misplaced phone. All good though as it turned up on the toilet floor. Suspect Jane was planning to ‘upskirt’ me on my return, tbh.

Take 2, and we got ourselves to South Stack car park. It’s about half an hour from here, a squeeze to get in at this time of year, and a fiver to park for the day, which could be worse.

Sadly, the Lighthouse complex isn’t dog-friendly, so we weren’t able to skip across the scary bridge and suffer ‘The Steps’. But we did make up for it, I was sure of it.

I’d planned a fairly ambitious 5 mile circular walk, ambitious for us at least, so after Toby had spun himself a pound lighter in the middle of the busy road, we set off.

Up the hill on the road, past Ellin’s Tower, the RSPB Info Centre, and then off up the rocky, steep steps to the right and to an old lookout building, where there are some great views down to the lighthouse.

Further on up the climb and to the highest point on Anglesey, Holyhead Mountain, where we briefly took a watch of the rock climbers (rather them than me), before head in on towards North Stack through the lovely heather & gorse. Unless you’re combat shorts, that is.

Out that way, Jane (a birdie at heart, like her Dad), spotted a stonechat with its back to us. Clack-clack of its call, like hitting two pebbles together being the ‘tell’. Think she was chuffed, no pun intended.

After a hefty walk down a steep drop, we could see the buildings and Magazine Building (munitions, not Melody Maker), before an even steeper drop down to what looks like another potential afternoon out, Holyhead Breakwater Country Park, after the heavily collapsed quarry face.

Now turning onto the home leg (Charlie tbf had been very patient up to now, especially as his Jordan AirForce One’s were now not “box fresh”), it was a climb back up to the previous levels, before a slightly more rolling southern side westerly walk back towards the Van.

I felt we’d properly earned a decent Soup du Jour, followed by a Steak pie, chips, peas & a pint. Charlie & Jane felt we’d earned a McDonalds. What a let down.m – I feel robbed. Mainly because it cost me £28 as Charlie ordered three mains. Seriously.

Back via a quick trip to Church Bay to suss out the Lobster Pot Restaurant (turns out Joe won’t be on the pier with his £14 lobsters on Wednesday), so our search for a treat continues.

Happy holidaying folks. x

[Editors comments (mine): going to be honest, I am super chuffed that I did that – Achilles stapled to my heels, a knee that’s as solid as jam. May suffer but it was a bit like what I used to be able to do.]