Family Visit to Wales

Phew, it may be Wednesday but that means the end of a busy long-weekend for us. Saturday and Sunday were fairly normal, but just a little extra busy as we got the house ready for my Sister Trudi to visit along with her boyfriend Mike, and her children Kia and Shaun.

We were looking forward to seeing them all and Morgan was looking forward to seeing his cousins, but it did mean some extra shopping for supplies, an a clear out of a few rooms in the house so that we could put them up. We had planned on putting them in the tent but Kia and Shaun didn’t seem to keen on that. I thought they would love the opportunity to sleep in the tent, but apparently not, so instead we were relegated to the tent so that Trudi and Mike could have our room and Kia and Shaun could have Morgans room.

Whilst getting things ready, the vacuum cleaner decided to blow-up so we had to make an impromptu trip to the tip to get rid of it and to Argos to buy a new one – No fancy Dyson this time though as we couldn’t afford it, just a less expensive Hoover that seems OK, but isn’t quite as easy nice to use.

On top of all the cleaning and shopping over the weekend ready for their arrival there was also the lawn to mow, the garden to tidy and a bee inspection to do. The bees were up to no good again so we had to donate eggs from one colony to the other.

I managed to get out for a bike ride on Saturday afternoon though, followed by a core workout in the beach-room.

Trudi and her clan weren’t arriving until Sunday evening so we still had time on Sunday for more cleaning and preparing. I started the day with a nice little run and then a swim in Machynlleth, and then we continued with the preparations. By the time the tent was up in the garden and I’d baked a cake we were all quite looking forward to camping out. The tent was set up really nicely with a proper bed in it and as we would only be sleeping in it there would be none of the usual hardships of camping – We could cook and eat in the kitchen, sit on sofa’s and watch TV but would then retie to the tent to sleep. The fact that it was also the RSPB Big Wild Night Out weekend, and there was supposed to be a good showing of the Perseid Meteor Shower made it even more exciting.

Glamping in the garden was a going to be fun, Anna had Monday and Tuesday off and we were looking forward to some time to chill. Unfortunately though just as we were ready to relax, there was a major DDoS attack on the server that most of my sites and y clients sites are hosted on. I shouldn’t let these things get to me, but I do and I get really stressed about them. No ones sites were working and although the hosting company were working on it the couldn’t stop the attacks. I did my best to inform and explain to my clients why their sites were down, but somehow they still seem to think it’s my fault and that I can do something about it.

Trudi and her lot arrived and we sorted them out, had tea and cakes and chilled, but the websites were still down.

It had clouded over by now and the chances of seeing any meteor shower seemed to have faded as well, but it did clear enough by the time we were ready for bed so a few of us headed out to spot some meteors. We saw a few, but the wind had picked up and it was quite chilly out there so off to bed we went.

It was quite noisy in the tent and I was stressed about website so didn’t sleep a wink. At least that meant I didn;t have to wait for the alarm clock to wake me as I headed indoors at around 4am. I spent some time fielding emails from clients and dealing with support tickets to the hosting company – a task that continued for the next few days and is still onging now – yes, I’m still stressed about it. I then headed out for an early morning bike ride.

I cycled around the Borth Loop, first in a clockwise direction then in an anti-clockwise direction. It was still windy, I was still stressed and I was tired from a lack of sleep so needless to say it wasn’t my greatest 90 minutes on a bike.

Once back at home, I continued working on the server issues whilst the others got up, we had breakfast and then Mike and I headed up to Nant yr Arian for a mountain bike ride around the Summit and Pendam Trails. Mike seemed to enjoy it and liked the wide open spaces that Mid Wales has to offer.

We then met the others at the visitor centre and wandered around the lake following one of the orienteering courses there, before popping into the cafe for a lovely cream tea. The large chair overlooking the Melindwr Valley was quite a hit!

Chair overlooking Melindwr Valley

Chair overlooking Melindwr Valley

Unfortunately the sun never really made an appearance, but that didn’t stop us having a barbeque in the garden and playing on the slack-line, although it did start raining at one point. The clouds cleared later though and we had some lovely clear skies and a good view of the Perseid Meteor Shower before heading off to bed in the tent again. At least it was a little quieter tonight with lighter wind and I did manage to sleep a little I think.

Tuesday was more of the same as far as dealing with server, website and hosting issues was concerned, but I did manage to bake some lovely blueberry muffins for breakfast, using some blueberries that we had picked the day before at Nant yr Arian. After lunch we headed into Aberystwyth where Mike and I went for an open water swim whilst Anna, Morgan, Trudi, Kia and Shaun wandered along the prom and into the sweet shop.

We then all had a milkshake from the new milkshake shop and headed up tot he top of Constitution Hill to admire the views, have a drink and play Air Hockey. We even found a bottle of diet coke with my name on it.

I was supposed to be going to circuits but didn’t really feel like it and it would have been a squeeze to fit it all in, so stayed with the and chilled on top of the hill. By the time that was done and we were back at the bottom of the hill it was time for our visitors to head home. We headed home too and finally, the websites seemed to be fixed as well. The hosting company had assigned new IP addresses, had fixed all of the server errors and everything was working – I only wish it had stayed that way, as they are all once again broken this morning – Sometimes I hate technology, and it doesn’t help that the hosting company support team now seem to think that there isn’t a problem.

I think Trudi, Mike, Kia and Shaun enjoyed their couple of days here – I hope so as it was good to see them and Morgan likes seeing his cousins too. I’m not really sure what they wanted to do whilst they were here. The weather wasn’t really suitable for the beach, but they did manage to visit it, Trudi wanted to go up Consti which she did and Mike wanted to get in the sea and ride his bike which he did, so hopefully they all went home satisfied.

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.