Tuesday, 12 June 2012

That's all Folks!

Well, our six week trip is over. We have had a wonderful time with all the boys, family and friends but all good things must come to an end. I think we are both ready for home now, always nice to travel but even nicer to get home to our own bed etc. I am not looking forward to the winter temperatures back in Adelaide though, although Adam is always quick to remind us of how "soft" we have become, as the cold in Australia is nothing compared to the winters in the UK and certainly nothing like those in Canada. We leave tomorrow at 12noon (12th) but our cases are still looking far from packed. Ah well, we shall get sorted in the morning but now I think it is time for sleep.

Staircases and Starwars

On Thursday (7th) Simon, Adam And I went in search of St Louis Square, famous for its beautiful Victorian houses with their exterior staircases. We eventually found it but sad to find some dubious characters smoking equally dubious substances and people begging. We felt a little uneasy, so did not hang around too long before walking, once again, to the Old Port of Montreal where we witnesses some folks who preferred to eat their dinner whilst sitting at a table suspended in the air from a large crane! Nothing quite so "uplifting" for us and retreated to a bar where we enjoyed a cool beer whilst waiting for Alex to join us later that afternoon. Once he arrived we took off for the science museum where we whiled away a few hours with Darth Vader,Yoda and Luke Skywalker at an interactive Starwars exhibition.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A Diverse City

Over the last few days we have become more accustomed to using the bus and metro to find our way around Montreal. We spent most of the time in the old city, maybe because of our love of France. The modern city area has been hectic as a result of the Grand Prix this last weekend but the old quarter has far more history, museums, the Notre Dame Basilica which is stunningly beautiful and delicious ice-cream!

Thursday, 7 June 2012


We arrived in Montreal on Friday night (1st) to rain,which continued all day Saturday and Sunday. I guess we were tired too after the four hectic weeks in the UK, so a more casual few days were welcome. It is great to finally see where Alex and Carrie live, their restaurant and of course the dogs. we have shopped in Montreal, did a three hour city tour to try and get our bearings and walked the old city yesterday, as well as visit the 1976 Olympic Games site. They now use the velodrome as a Biodome, a natural museum which is home to over 7500 animals and over 500 plants divided between four differing ecosystems of the America's. It was amazing but we did not have time to do the Planetarium and Insectarium unfortunately- maybe I can live with missing the creepy crawlies.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

My homeland

On the way home from The Welsh Quilt Centre,Simon and I took my favorite route through the South Wales valleys and mountains of the Brecon Beacons. This is home, no matter where I live, and has a special place in my heart. The sheep are also part of my heritage so I just had to get a few shots of them into my blog too.

Quilt Heaven

On Wednesday, May 30th, Simon and I drove to Lampeter in West Wales to visit Jen Jones and her Welsh Quilt Centre. On arrival at the old town hall, where Jen has her exhibition and shop, we met the lady herself who retains her american accent tinged with a bit of welsh. Unfortunately, she was expecting a bus load of japanese lady quilters/tourists, so she was not able to give me much time. However, after explaining about myself and the Quilters Guild of SA, she gave permission for me to show her DVD at guild and actually gave me the DVD as a gift. We were escorted around her current exhibition " A Quilted Bridge. The Amish-Welsh Connection" by a staff member, which looked at the close comparison between the welsh quilts and those of the Amish. The similarity was quite amazing but unfortunately we were not allowed to take photographs, a condition laid down by the american museum that had lent the Amish quilts.
I was really disappointed not to be able to share this wonderful exhibition but I did buy a catalogue and a recently published book on the same subject. Jen has a shop in a 17 Century cottage a few miles away in a little hamlet called Llanybydder, where she keeps hundreds, if not thousands of antique welsh quilts which she has found or been given and has lovingly cared for and sells to the likes of me. The cottage was wonderful and to imagine a large family living here along with their farm animals was fantastic. The cottage door opens on to two rooms, either side of the front door,which are lined from floor to ceiling with quilts - not all welsh but from around the world. I fell in love with the first I picked up but it was Canadian and I wanted a welsh quilt, obviously. The prices ranged from the very cheapest at around £60,which were quite worn and in poor condition, to absolute stunners which were way out of my price range. However, the choice came down to two - one a hand-pieced and quilted patchwork one and the one I bought which is a whole cloth with wool batting and in very good condition. It cost a little more than I had saved for but it was worth it. This was the highlight of my trip.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Stepping Stones and Ogmore Castle

After visiting my Aunt and Uncle, Simon and I drove to a favourite place of mine, Ogmore Castle and The Stepping Stones. As the tide comes in the stones get submerged, so it was great crossing the river and back whilst a couple of people bet Simon I would fall in. Fortunately, I have had a lot of practice on these stones so no big splash! A quick tour around the 12th century castle where my great Uncle used to be the keeper and lived in the beautiful thatched cottage opposite to it. Wonderful fun and wonderful memories.