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    Flight Delays

    Flight Delays - header image with six photos of airplanes, airport and suitcase

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you will undoubtedly heard about the collapse of Monarch Airways. The news broke one morning around two weeks ago and it was just horrid! The reports were basically they didn’t renew their licence and didn’t announce it until that licence had expired. Which meant it left hundreds or thousands of people stranded at airports all around the world.

    I watched the clips on the news and thought those poor people! Just imagine being stranded at an airport with your baby/child/children. Everyone would be grumpy because a) they’re on their way home from a holiday and b) lack of access to comfort – those airport chairs are awfully uncomfortable.

    Stuck on the Airplane

    Flight Delays - British Airways flight taking off form Manchester airport

    Or worse still, being stuck on an actual airplane because of delays?! We’ve been lucky enough to never experience flight delays but my mother in law did. I hope she doesn’t mind me mentioning it! They were on a flight to Lanzarote but had flight delays. I forget what caused the delay but she said she was stuck on the plane for a few hours. They weren’t even offered any food or drink during the delay. Thankfully, we weren’t with them… ugh I can’t imagine what my two girls would’ve done!

    Flight Delays – What To Do

    Flight Delays - photo of suitcase and British passport

    From what I’ve read if you’re flight is delayed by 2 hours, the airlines are legally obliged to provide you with food and drink, access to calls and emails and in the case of overnight delays, a hotel. If your flight is delayed by 3 hours or more then you’re also entitled to compensation under EU laws. There are different rates of compensation depending on criteria. There are a number of companies out there who specialise in compensation claims such as Flight Delay Claims 4 U. From a quick read of their website, they also deal with cancelled flights and overbooked flights. I hate the overbooked flight stories. The one about the 15 year old boy being taken off the EasyJet flight.….

    Have you ever experienced any flight delays on your travels?

    (This is a sponsored post)

    Rebecca

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    Where’s Larry? Tour – Take 2!

    Where's Larry? Tour

    As you know, I’m a big fan of Impractical Jokers /The Tenderloins and on Thursday we had tickets to see them at Manchester Arena. Now I’ll be honest, it was pretty scary going there after what happened but they had ramped up security and once in, I felt safe enough.

    Where’s Larry?

    Where's Larry? Tour

    Anyhow, I digress. We had previously seen the Where’s Larry? show back in 2016 at the Manchester Academy (where we got the selfie with Joe & Murr). The show on Thursday was the exact same show but I enjoyed it all the same! The guys are hilarious!

    Fab Photos

    Where's Larry? Tour

    Our seats were Block A row F – it was 6 rows form the front! And we were on the aisle as well – primely placed for a quick dash towards the front once the show was finished. As I sat down, the girl to my right warned me that she was dashing to the front and I said we were too! Hell, I was making the most of it! Lucky we did as we got some FAB pics! Murr took hubby’s phone and took a crowd selfie. Unfortunately you can’t see us – someone has their hands in front of his face, and he has his hands in front of mine! D’OH!

    Stage Door

    Afterwards, we went out to the stage door as Joe and Murr normally come out for selfies with the fans. We saw Sal leave – found out after he had a gig at some comedy show or something. We also then saw a bus leave but none of us were convinced the guys were on it. In the end my husband tweets Murr and we get this response….

    (I’m not sure if it opens properly – if not click the link)

    So we admitted defeat and headed for home. It was so good to see the guys live on stage again! I’m super pleased about the photos though. If you want to see more of the photos then take a peek at the Facebook page.

    Have you got tickets to see them?

    Rebecca

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    Liked and Loved – September 2017

    Liked and Loved

    Seriously, how is it October already???? September really did speed by – I barely have time to think these days but let’s take a peek at the good stuff….

    New School

    I mentioned in last month’s Liked and Loved that the husband got a new job closer to home which meant that my eldest has had to move schools. As we were late registering for the local school system we had to put a transfer request in. It made things easier actually. The good news is that she got into our first choice school – smallish school about 5-10 minute drive away. There are only 7 in her class! Plus I know the headmistress from my school days and I also know a couple of other parents.

    Meeting a Welsh Celebrity and Nostalgia

    I crossed paths with a Welsh celebrity during September. Yws Gwynedd is a Welsh singer and an all round nice guy! Although to be fair, it isn’t the fact that he’s a Welsh celeb that made me happy but the nostalgia trip it caused. He was in school with me so when I met him nostalgia really kicked in! In school he was in a band with 3 other guys – including one guy who I’ve been friends with since the very first day of school. So I found their old record and girls and I had a dance to the song. Yws Gwynedd carried on with the music career and has an album out at the moment which I am ashamed to say I don’t own – yet! So if anyone wants to get me a Christmas present… *hint*hint* husband!!

    Wedding Anniversary & Date Night

    Date Night

    We celebrated 5 years of marriage this September and managed to convince my Mam to look after the girls for a night. So we had date night! Took a little trip to Sopna in Menai Bridge to see our mate Sid. Lovely food as always! We always are treated like royalty and always get amazing food! Would highly recommend the place.

    Cinema – The Hitman’s Bodyguard

    Not only that but a dinner-date was followed by a trip to the cinema! We went to see The Hitman’s Bodyguard with Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L Jackson. It’s action packed and hilarious! It’s not as gruesome as Deadpool but has a very similar style.

    Sonic Mania

    For the 25th anniversary (I feel so old!) of Sonic gaming, Sonic Mania was released. It’s gone back to the 116bit style gaming and I LOVE it! I was the Queen of Sonic back in the day!

    BlogOn Xmas

    BlogOn Xmas

    Another highlight was going to BlogOn Xmas 2017! It was at a new venue but it was a great day! Got to meet a lot of fab fellow bloggers!

    How was your September?

    A Cornish Mum
    Rebecca

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    Magic Tracks

    Magic Tracks

    During August we were sent some Magic Tracks to review. After a good six weeks or so of playing with them I can firmly say that they’re a hit and should be on top of the Christmas list for any child (or adults) who loves cars!

    Magic Tracks

    Just to give you some background, Magic Tracks is the 2016 toy success story from the US. It came over to the UK back in the Spring and has been kicking up a storm. You may have seen the adverts on telly? If not how about taking a little peek at my video down at the bottom of this post?

    Flexible Tracks

    The tracks are designed to be easily breakable which means you can mix the colours up as you want. There are four colours – yellow, green, blue and red = and they’re also glow in the dark! As each piece of the track is small, it means that it’s so flexible! You can make any track layouts you want – and if you have enough track you can even do any Formula 1 circuits…..

    Magic Tracks

    (Can you guess which F1 circuit this is meant to be? Comment below with your guesses!)

    Cars

    Magic Tracks

    Each starter pack comes with tracks and one car. There are different cars available so I’m hoping to get a new one each for the girls for Christmas. Every car has flashing LED lights which perfectly compliments the glow in the dark tracks. It’s difficult for me to give you a photo of the glow in the dark tracks and LED lights in action but I managed to get a little video done…

    Want to get your hands on a set? They are available from all good retailers including Smyths Toys and Amazon.

    So what do you think? Top Christmas toy or what?

    (I was sent the Magic Tracks for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own honest opinions and this post may contain some affiliate links)

    Rebecca

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    All About Me

    All About Me

    There are numerous posts about me on this blog – hell it’s my blog, what do you expect? But as I may have acquired some new visitors of late let me give you a lowdown about me. Plus it’s the first post of Blogtober17 so here goes…. some random facts about me… not in any order!

    All About Me

    1) My name is Rebecca although it was almost Jemima!

    2) Born and bred in a slate mining town in Snowdonia. I no longer live in the town but I’m still in Snowdonia.

    3) I lived with my Taid (grandfather) and Dad when I was a child. We were the three amigos! Or three and a half amigos as we cannot forget the dog!

    Our Wedding at Caer Rhun

    4) I’m married – met my husband on an accountancy course way back in 2008.

    5) Did I mention that I’m an accountant and tax adviser? Oh and now a Partner in a local firm?

    6) I have two beautiful girls – Little Miss (now aged 3.5 ish) and Miss Mostyn (2 since July)

    7) As a child, I had a beautiful black and tan Jack Russell Terrier called Jimmy Jones. He was my best friend and I loved him to bits!

    Dogs - Megs & Gemma

    8) These days I have another Jack Russell – my cute but annoying as hell, black and white Megs (or Megs-poo). Her companion is a Beagle named Gemma.

    9) I’ve been lucky enough to travel abroad. I’ve visited America (twice!), Canada (twice!), France (twice), Italy (twice), Belgium, Malta, Lanzarote and Tenerife – but nowhere compares to home.

    Dragon

    10) I’ve met dragons….and they were beautiful! Absolutely stunning creatures.

    11) I’m a fluent Welsh speaker. It’s my “mam iaith” (native tongue) and speak it daily at home and at work.

    Jokers Selfie

    12) Big big fan of Impractical Jokers and have been lucky enough to see them twice and also have tickets for a show this coming Thursday. And yes that is the husband and I with Joe and Murr in the header photo!

    13) I love Welsh slate! It must be because of my childhood in the slate mining town.

    14) Also love steam trains – again another hangover from my childhood. The Ffestiniog Railway ran past my bedroom window.

    15) I have too many hobbies! I love to blog (obviously!), vlog, bullet journal, penpal,  and cross stitch. Unfortunately I have little free time now.

    I think that’s enough about me for today. You’re more than welcome to ask me anything. All the social media channels are listed to the right or otherwise comment below!

    Tell me a bit about you!

    #Blogtober17
    Rebecca

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    BlogOn Xmas 2017

    Blog On Xmas

    At the risk of incurring the wrath of Benny (aka Daddy Poppins Blog), I am going to say the C word in September. CHRISTMAS! Over the weekend I attended BlogOn Xmas 2017. It was such a great day!

    BlogOn Xmas 2017 at Hotel Football

    The venue had changed since last time. The conference is now held at Hotel Football which is next to Manchester United’s ground Old Trafford. I’m not a football fan but the hotel was pretty posh. And I know that some fellow bloggers really loved the rooms with a view!

    Keynote Speaker

    The BlogOn Xmas 2017 conference opened with a wonderfully funny speech from the keynote speaker – James Hopes from A Life Just Ordinary. He was incredibly down to earth and simple but hilarious humour relating to social media.

    Sessions

    BlogOn Xmas Sessions

    There were five sessions being held during the day with at least three talks/workshops in each session. Plenty of choice… in fact too much choice as I was always debating between two of them in each session! I managed to get to four of the five sessions so let me go through the ones I attended..

    1) Media Pack Building with Zoe Corkhill of Mama Geek

    I had an automatic media pack but that’s recently shut down so now I  need to get my media pack done or at least updated. It was so great to hear all the tips Zoe had.

    2) Instagram with Harriet Shearsmith of Tobyandroo

    This was a session I wasn’t going to miss! Harriet is the Queen of Instagram and comes across as being a wonderfully funny person. And I can confirm, she’s just as funny and wonderful in real life… it’s not a fake persona! She was hilarious especially so when her PowerPoint (presentation refused to play ball!) and full of tips to boost Instagram.

    3) Festive Photos with Mel of Le Coin de Mel

    I really wanted to hit some of the photography sessions and I’m always in awe of Mel’s photos. After a brief talk we were released to create some festive photos from the props, backgrounds and twinkly lights that Mel (and Grace) had brought along. I am actually really pleased with my effort. It would’ve been perfect had I included the word “llawen” as well.

    4) Origami with Paperchase

    I was looking forward to this session as Paperchase have gorgeous stationery! We were given lots of lovely paper and instructions in order to create these cute little boxes. It was the most fiddliest thing I’ve ever done. I gave up but the very kind Robyn from Cold Cuppa Club made me a box so I got to decorate one. Both Robyn and Anca made some lovely little boxes. Be sure to check their Instagrams to see.

    Brands

    BlogOn Xmas

    One of the main features of BlogOn is the brands in attendance. There were so many fabulous brands there including Hotter Shoes, Snopake Stationery, Paladone and University Games who had this awesome game called Staccups. Highly addictive

    Toy Awards

    BlogOn Toy Awards

    VARTA were sponsoring the BlogOn Toy Awards. There were SO MANY toys and games to choose from. It was good inspiration for Christmas I must admit. I didn’t pay too much attention to the different categories but a couple of things that caught my eye were the Who Dares Wins game, the Sea Patroller, the roller-skates (of course!) and the Peppa Pig house.

    Fellow Bloggers

    BlogOn Xmas

    The highlight of the day is that you spend your day with likeminded people which are awesome fellow bloggers! It was great see Anca and to finally meet Beth! Can’t believe I didn’t get a photo with these two ladies! I did however get a photo with some crazy fellas during the raffle. We were all hot, sweaty and really unlucky so excuse the crazy looks on our faces – Luke, David, Nige and Phil.

    Did you go to BlogOn Xmas 2017? Are you going to the next one?

    Rebecca

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    Liked and Loved – August 2017

    Liked and Loved August 2017

    It’s almost the end of September already and I’ve yet to sit down and digest what has happened during August. But before September flies by, let me take a look at August highlights.

    Husband Got a New Job

    My husband tried and successfully got a new job. He doesn’t started until October but it did mean a bit of stress of having to move schools. Ah it’s a long story but all’s well that ends well.

    National Trust Visits


    Over bank holiday weekend the weather was pretty decent so we decided to make use of our National Trust cards. We took a trip to Penrhyn Castle and to Plas Newydd – both are within 20 minutes drive to us. I can’t believe that we haven’t visited them before now.

    Pili Palas

    Another 20 minute drive from us is Pili Palas. I had a day off to spend with my Little Miss as she was on summer holidays. I’ve never been inside before. It was a great little day out. The butterflies were so beautiful and graceful.

    New Sofa and IKEA Trip

    Sofa bed has arrived. Now Nain can come and stay! #instafamuk #ukparentbloggers #newsofa

    A post shared by Rebecca (@becsterdotcom) on

    I may have mentioned it before but we ordered a new sofa bed to put in the spare room downstairs. The reason we wanted a sofa bed is because my Nain has difficulty walking upstairs. So by putting a sofa bed downstairs she can come and stay again!

    And because of the new sofa bed, we had to move the computer and desk back upstairs which of course mean a trip to IKEA to buy a new desk! I did a mini video of my IKEA trip. I love/hate IKEA because everything is so stylish and I want it ALL!!

    Sioe Mon

    A last minute decision at work saw us attend Sioe Môn. It turned out to be great on the whole but the weather forced us to pack up early on the second day. It did mean I got to browse the field and speak to some lovely stallholders including Marge and Mabel Handmade Dog Treats.

    Magic Tracks

    We were sent some Magic Tracks to review! They are sooo cool! Definietly something to put on the Christmas wishlist. There’s a review post coming up in the next week but in the meantime take a peek at the little video that’s over on my Facebook page.

    Visiting My Friend

    Husband and his family decided to paint our front room – it needed doing. So whilst that was going on I took the girls out to see my friend who lives near Bala. It was lovely to see her! I really need to go see her more often.

    Infacare Baby Bath Time

    Infacare Baby Bath

    Throughout August we’ve been using the Infacare Baby Bath Time. We were kindly given a sample bottle to try and we’ve loved it.

    VBrandHQ Tee

    Yay got my @vbrandhq t-shirt! #vbrandhq #vbranded #individualtogether #instafamuk

    A post shared by Rebecca (@becsterdotcom) on

    The lovely David (of DadVWorld fame) and beautiful wife have setup a fab new clothing brand – VBrandHQ! They kindly sent me a baggy tee which I love! Best package received to date!

    So that was a pretty hectic August now that I think about it! As always, linking up with the lovely Stevie over at A Cornish Mum.

    What have you liked and loved this August?

    A Cornish Mum
    Rebecca

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    BlogOn Xmas Jumper Linky

    BlogOn Xmas Jumper Linky

    I’m going to BlogOn Xmas in less than a week! It’s come around quick I can tell you! As is tradition, I’m linking up with the BlogOn Xmas Jumper linky!

    • Please share your favourite photo of you.

    This is quite a recent one actually. I was taking selfies with the girls at Plas Newydd. This one is just perfect as I can share it without editing my girl out!

    Rebecca

    • If you could choose a band to play in your garden for your birthday, who would you pick?

    At one time I would’ve said Boyzone for sure! But I think I’d actually choose OneRepublic at the moment. Loving their songs recently. I’ve started listening to them again over the last few days after a friend posted a clip of them singing at the Singapore GP. Yes I’m completely jealous!

    • What do you take with you for long visits to the toilet?

    TMI but phone of course!

    • What word can’t you spell?

    Definitely. Thank god for spell check!

    • What’s the most unusual job you’ve ever had?

    I’ve only ever had two jobs – worked in a cafe for a summer and then my current job (accountant in case you don’t know).

    • Knitting, sewing or crotchet?

    Crotchet. We used to do crotchet at primary school. I’ve not done any since then actually but I think I could pick it up easily enough. Although I’m actually a cross stitcher.

    • Without looking it up, what is a jerkinhead? 

    Hmmm…. not sure. Something like an idiot??

    • If you could have as much of one food as you wanted forever, what would it be?

    What a silly question?! Of course I’m going to say Chinese takeaway! This is assuming that I won’t get fat!

    • What is the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever done anything scary really. But I suppose, childbirth has to be the scariest thing right? And I’ve done it twice!!

    • If you needed a getaway driver, who would you choose? 

    My Mam! Not only would she be in my corner but she sure as hellfire would get me out of there quick!

    • Would you rather live in Narnia or at Hogwarts? 

    Hogwarts! It’s such an amazing place! Especially in the snow. Ah beautiful. Although I must admit, Narnia could possibly be just as fantastic but I’ve never read/seen Narnia books/films!

    • What snack food says ‘Christmas’ to you?

    Pigs in blankets! I don’t know why they’re not an all year round food but they are most definitely a Christmas food! Although, are they considered to be a snack? If we’re talking snacks I think of Christmas when I see After Eight Mints and those mini pretzel things.

    • Is there life on Mars? 

    Yes. Matt Damon’s there. Although he’s back on Earth now isn’t he?

    • Which Christmas movie would you be a character in, and who would play you?

    Muppets Christmas Carol! Just because it is (one of) my favourite Christmas film! Who would play me? Not sure… one of the muppets obviously! Miss Piggy wouldn’t stoop low enough to play me – I’m not half as glamorous as that diva pig! Although maybe I should choose Die Hard…. Hans Gruber, need I say more?

    • What are you proudest of?

    My girls! They are the best thing we’ve ever created! They are beautiful little things but drive me bloody crazy! I’m also proud of my career – I’ve worked hard and reached where I wanted to be.

    Are you going to the 2017 BlogOn Xmas conference?

    Blog ON Conference
    Rebecca

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    Christmas Gift Guide with UncommonGoods

    Christmas Gift Guide with UncommonGoods

    Every year I try to start my Christmas shopping early and every year I try to find unique gifts for people. I’ll be honest, I tend to struggle and end up giving wine to a few people. I hate it as it feels very generic and a “non-gift”.

    (P.S. Sorry if it’s too early to talk about the dreaded C-word but it’s happening in a little over 3 months people!)

    UncommonGoods

    So this year I’m busy browsing UncommonGoods for gift ideas. The company’s ethos is that goods are all uniquely made by artists from sustainable materials. Each time you buy from them, they also give monies to wonderful causes. They are based in America but now ship to the UK – yay!

    So here are some ideas I’ve come up with so far…

    For the men….

    Christmas Gift Guide with UncommonGoods

    1) Men’s Organising Travel Pack

    My husband goes away quite often to tournaments. He will come home on Sunday and leave a bag full of random stuff on the floor. I can’t tell if the clothes need to be washed or what so I think if I got him this then he might sort his stuff out before getting home.

    2) Beer Cap States

    I LOVE this idea! It’s ideal for fans of beer and fans of the USA. Actually I have a friend in America who loves craft beer who would love this! Plus it gives you motivation to visit every US state right?

    3) Interstellar Puzzles

    For the men in your life that like to deal with puzzles why not get them this set of Interstellar Puzzles? My Dad used to love playing with this sort of thing so I’m thinking of getting him a new set.

    There’s a huge selection of gifts for men on the website and as you know, men are difficult to buy for!

    For the women….

    Christmas Gift Guide with UncommonGoods

    1) Butterfly Garden Spikes

    For the garden lovers there are plenty of ideas over at UncommonGoods. My Nain loves her little garden but I think she could do with some more butterflies in there. So I’m thinking if I get her this then her little garden will be full of colourful butterflies.

    2) My Family Cookbook

    Every family has a chef so why not get the chef of your family this cookbook so they can stash all their secret recipes?

    For me….

    Christmas Gift Guide with UncommonGoods

    1) Fire Escape Shelf

    I came across this whilst browsing and absolutely love it! I’m not sure where I would put it in our house though as we haven’t got a brick style wall. If we ever redo the kitchen then this could work in there.

    2) DIY Marble Coaster

    Nostalgia kick for me here! I loved building marble coasters from Lego as a child. We haven’t reached the Lego stage in our house yet so in the meantime I could play with this instead!

    Now the above are just a few of the extensive range available at UncommonGoods.com. I would check out their Gifts section but be warned, you’ll spend hours browsing the wonderful goods available.

    What would be your perfect Christmas gift?

    (This is a collaborative post with UncommonGoods – all opinions are my own)

    Rebecca

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    Plas Newydd

    Plas Newydd

    During the recent bank holiday weekend we decided to max out our National Trust cards and visit not only one but two local properties – Penrhyn Castle and Plas Newydd.

    Plas Newydd

    Plas Newydd - the house

    Plas Newydd is a country house in Llanddaniel on Anglesey. It was built in 1400s by Griffiths family. Through inheritance and marriage the house ended up with the Bagnell, Bayley and eventually the Paget family. Henry William Paget was a successful leader in the Army in the 1700s including the Battle of Waterloo. To honour his heroism he was made Marquess of Anglesey (the first Marquess).

    View of the Menai Straits

    Plas Newydd Menai Straits

    After arriving we settled on the banks in front of the main house which has an amazing view of the Menai Straits. Honestly it was so beautiful! The views in and around Snowdonia never cease to amaze me. The Menai was in full flow and there were lots of people boating (speedboatig mostly) along it. We also saw the Menai Ripride go past a few times. Not quite brave enough to do that just yet!

    Plas Newydd Menai Straits

    We sat there and ate our picnic in the sun. The girls (and I) had fun doing rolly-pollies down the steep grassy banks. It may not be the most graceful activity but who cares because it was FUN!

    House Visit

    Plas Newydd house

    After lunch we went into the house to have a browse. The National Trust had a little treasure hunt for the girls – they had to spot red squirrels around the house. It was a great thing to keep them occupied. The house was amazing! Full of history – there’s amazing portraits in the entrance hall. Some rooms are still in the original design with original features – the four poster beds, the fireplaces, the chandeliers… oh all so fantastic!

    Plas Newydd Family

    One feature that I found fascinating was the spiral staircases. They were used by the servants back in the day so they could enter the rooms without disturbing the “royalty”. Some of the family members still live at the house and so some rooms are blocked off. I also think there are three flats there – I wonder how much it’d cost to live there!? Evidence of the family living in the house includes some lovely family photos. One that caught my attention was the one above – “Keep Smiling”. I think it is such a beautiful photo! I’m not entirely sure who the man in the photo is but I think it was the 6th Marquess of Anglesey but lpease corrcet me if I’m wrong!

    The Study

    Plas Newydd Study

    Well I’m not sure if that’s the official name of the room but my favourite room was the 7th Marquess’ study. As you can see from the picture above, it is pure chaos! If I remember correctly, there are seven desks in the room – each are strewn with different arts/crafts. The Marquess loved all sorts of arts/crafts and rather than have to pack up after each different activity, he would just move desks! Genius actually! The room is still in the same state as it was when the Marquess died in 2013.

    The Museum

    Plas Newydd Wooden Leg

    As mentioned above, the first Marquess of Anglesey was a general in the army during the Battle of Waterloo. There is a museum in the house which has information about all his achievements. I noticed that there was a wooden leg on show which had belonged to the Marquess. He lost his leg in battle and was given a wooden leg. I didn’t get much of a chance to read anything else as the girls were getting bored – fairplay that had behaved well going around the house. So I left the husband to have a look whilst I went out to have another picnic and rolly pollys on the grass.

    Venetian Gardens

    Plas Newydd Venetian Garden

    In the grounds there’s a lovely Venetian garden. It’s on three levels but we only managed to get to two due to the pram. I absolutely fell in love with the little fountain that was there. There’s a lovely lawn and beautiful flowers. At the very end of the garden is a little secluded spot where you could sit in peace (if you didn’t have to chase two children around).

    There’s more to say about the house including the Rex Whistler painting but I will save that for another post. Don’t worry it won’t be long before I publish it.

    Have you ever been to Plas Newydd? 

    Rebecca

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