Tacla Taid

For some reason, we have never ever been into Tacla Taid, the local transport museum, thinking that it was just for retired agricultural vehicles. Little did we know ! Inside a big shed is a magnificent assembly of old cars, all in an immaculate state of high polish and all beautifully labelled, including detailed information of their previous owners:-

It starts with an Austin 7 (1937):-

There’s an Austin A35 (this is the car I first drove round Europe in the summer of 1971):-

A Morris 1100 – hard to remember how modern this was when it was ‘car of the year’ in 1964 (ours was APJ 365B):-

I found the whole display unexpectedly nostalgic – cars were so different in their design, so much more solid, more boxy, or in some cases, more curvaceous, including cars I had forgotten about, like the Humber Sprite and the Hillman Minx:-

We had a Zephyr, bought in about 1962 from a garage on the Guildford bypass:-

I had entirely forgotten how much of my childhood was devoted to car spotting; and how much of the British class system was contained in the classification of cars – Rover posh, Austin respectable and Vauxhall very spivvy:-


Vaynol Park

I googled to find out where the nearest bluebell wood might be. It turns out that a large chunk of Vaynol Park, which I always thought was strictly private (it is surrounded by a massive park wall), was given or sold to the National Trust and is now looked after by the Woodland Trust.

We started across fields full of oaks and lambs:-

Through a gate and down a woodland track:-

We arrived at a perfect bluebell wood:-

Not just bluebells, but wood anemones:-

Acres of wild garlic:-

And what I think was an early purple orchid (but I am happy to be corrected):-


Ash disease

We’ve been worrying that our ash trees, which give character as well as protection to the garden, might be afflicted with Hymenoscythus fraxineus, otherwise known ash dieback, which is causing the death of ash trees all over Europe, first spotted in the UK in 2012.

But I have been told that it may be merely that they’re late, following what is apparently an old country saying:-

Oak before ash, we’re in for a splash,

Ash before oak, we’re in for a soak

I know nothing of these things:-