A group of six Blossom Meadow Bush Babies plush toys.

My girls love watching unboxing videos on YouTube and so I get to know all about any toy craze going. A new craze that they’ve yet to see (but no doubt will be completely consumed by) is the Bush Baby World. The latest addition to the Bush Baby World are these fab Blossom Meadow Bush Babies.

Blossom Meadow Bush Babies

The two new Blossom Meadow Bush Babies toys

Launched in January (so brand new!) these adorable little Bush Babies can wiggle their eyes and ears. Their coats are made of fabulous flower printed fabrics and each of them have cute golden noses and golden hands. There are six Blossom Meadow Bush Babies to collect:

  • Bluebell
  • Petalina
  • Tillani
  • Butterlee
  • Pozee
  • Fleur

In addition to these six, another two Blossom Meadow Bush Babies are joining the crew – Lili and Rosi. These two are even more special! They are scented and come with a flower shaped brush to take care of that beautiful hair!* Personally I think Lili is my favourite – wonderful white coat and the funky purple hair! Plus she’s loud, giggly and a little messy just like me! Absolutely adorable! I have a feeling that Little Miss will prefer Rose as she is a perfect pink!

* Yes I’m jealous of a toy’s hair!

Bush Babies Animated Series

Not only is there a toy collection but there’s also a new animated series. I have a sneak peak of it here for you… Little Miss loved this video!

The toys retail at approximately £8.99 and can be found at all good stockists (Amazon, Smyths, etc).

Which one is your favourite?

Rebecca

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

Header image with "special delivery with Shiply" written in bold writing over a photo of a grey transit van

I’m a member of a few swap and sell groups on Facebook. There’s always some lovely things on these groups. I’m always amazed at how cheap things are… a whole kitchen for £132!?! DEAL! Until you read the fine print and realise that you have to collect. Inevitably that beautiful kitchen is on the other side of the country. So what do you do? You either bribe a friend with a white van or find a courier. But, who has a friend with a white van* these days?

Deliveries and Pick Ups with Shiply

I was contacted by Shiply to take a look at the services they offered. I had never heard of them before. But having looked at their website the process seems simple:

1) List your job and request a quote
2) Review quotes and compare, select your courier
3) Arrange your delivery with selected courier
4) Delivery – or in the words of Postman Pat “mission accomplished”

You can post any sort of delivery job on there. Want your kitchen picked up from Glasgow? Yes! Want that BMW z4 you’ve been eyeying up in Peterborough collecting?* Can do! Need that horse from Pwllheli? Yup! Pretty much anything you want collecting or delivered can be arranged. You simply post your job on the site and couriers will start bidding for the job. You as the user then can choose to accept the bids or not.

* I almost bought myself an absolute stunning BMW Z4 years back but I couldn’t find a way to get to Peterborough to pick it up! If only Shiply was around back then!

Sounds simple right? I will be keeping it in mind when I eventually succumb to the temptations of buying a BMW Z4 on eBay! (Who am I kidding? I won’t get my Z4!)

Are you a Courier?

If you’re the owner of a van then you can sign up with Shiply as a courier. I imagine it’s something like that American Pickers programme that my Mam is so fond of! Actually, my Mam has a white van and I’m going to tell her to take a look at this website.

Have you ever used Shiply for your collections?

(This is a sponsored post)

Rebecca

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

Snowdonia Walks Bucket List header image of a woman's legs wearing walking boots stood on a fallen tree

My main aim for 2018 is to get outside more. So with that in mind, I’ve been planning my Snowdonia walks bucket list for 2018! Some of these are very short walks which I want to do with the girls and the dogs. Some are more long haul walks which I intend on doing without them. Anyway, here’s the list!

Snowdonia Slate Trail

Cwm Orthin above Blaenau Ffestiniog - view of the lake, the mountains and slate slag heaps

(The Snowdonia Slate Trail takes you through this beautiful landscape – Cwmorthin above Tanygrisiau, Blaenau Ffestiniog)

Top of the Snowdonia walks bucket list for 2018 is the Snowdonia Slate Trail. It’s an 85 mile circular route which takes you through the amazing slate industry landscape. Starting from Porth Penrhyn in Bangor, it will take us through Bethesda, Capel Curig, Betws Y Coed, Penmachno, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Croesor, Beddgelert, Rhyd Ddu, Nantlle, Waunfawr and Llanberis. It’s possible to do this walk in one week but there is no way I will do that! So little bits at a time in the hope it doesn’t kill me!

Llyn Mair

Photo of me as a child at Llyn Mair way back from the 80s. The photo see me standing by the river, the lake in the background and ducks waddling

This one of the easier walks on my list. Llyn Mair is just above Plas Tan Y Bwlch near Maentwrog. There are numerous walks around the area including a circular one around the lower lake. It’s this one that I hope to do with the girls. I have many fond memories of walks at this lake as a child. It was the place we would go for picnics and afternoon walks. The photo above is just one of the many dozens of photos taken at Llyn Mair. Something I hope to do with my own girls.

Lon Eifion

View of Lon Eifion footpath through the trees with the railway track running alongside

This is a 12 mile walk from Caernarfon to Bryncir. It goes along the old railway line and is therefore a relatively flat surface. We have started this one already and have walked the first part which takes you from Caernarfon to Llanwnda. As we did it in two stints (Caernarfon to Bontnewydd and Bontnewydd to Llanwnda), we have technically walked it twice!

Ynys Llanddwyn

Whilst the name suggests it’s an island but only at high tides. So it is possible to walk to Ynys Llanddwyn. I’ve been there once when I was a child. (I used to do a lot of walks with Taid, Dad and the dog.) Legend has it that this is where Santes Dwynwen (the Welsh equivalent of St Valentine) lived.

Snowdon

A view of Padarn Lake on a sunny day. Beautiful blue skies with Snowdon in the distance

I’m ashamed to admit that I have never been to the summit of Snowdon. I’ve been 3/4 way up by train but never to the top. As much as I want to get to the top, I’m thinking that going via train is a cop out! So I’m aiming to walk to the top of Snowdon. David from Potty Adventures has kindly offered to guide us so I’ll take him up on that offer! But first, I will need to invest in some proper climbing gear!

Aber Falls

Speaking of Potty Adventures, they have organised a walk to Aber Falls on March 18th which I fully intend on joining. I have never been to Aber Falls but I’m seeing more and more photos of the place and it looks incredible! I can’t believe that I never even knew about Aber Falls never mind going there! This is a must see addition to my Snowdonia walks bucket list.

If we manage to do all these walks, then it’s going to be an amazing achievement for us!

Do you enjoy walking?

Rebecca

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

Dinorwig Quarry Walk header images with 6 different scenic views from the walk.

As part of the recent meeting at the Amgueddfa Lechi in Llanberis, there was a walking tour from Dinorwig Quarry back down to the musuem at Llanberis. I’m ashamed to say I had never done the walk before but I am so glad I did the walk.

Dinorwig Quarry

The walk starts up at the Dinorwig layby. From there you walk along the road towards the Blue Peris Mountain Centre. The road ends after a row of houses (pictured) and leads on to a footpath. It’s a rocky, muddy and slippery path but wow it’s worth it for the views! On a clear down you can see the top of Snowdon. I wasn’t as lucky – Snowdon was wearing it’s snowy cap and foggy beard unfortunately.

Anglesey Barracks

The ruins of Anglesey Barracks at Dinorwig Quarry. Two rows of quarrymen houses made of slate.

A but further down the path you arrive at the old Anglesey Barracks. The barracks consists of two rows of 11 houses. Each house consists of two rooms – a kitchen/dining area and a sleeping area. Of course they are now ruins but the room sizes can still be seen. Look at the size of those slate lintels in the fireplace. Amazing!!

One of the rooms in the ruins of the Anglesey Barracks.

On the walk we were lucky enough to have Dr Dafydd Roberts (of the National Slate Museum) guide us. He gave us a fascinating insight into the history of the barracks. The natural question is, why are they called Anglesey Barracks? Well as Dr Roberts explained, workers travelled in from all over and these specific barracks housed the workers who came from Anglesey. Some of them even etched their names in the slate walls…

A name etched into the slate at Anglesey Barracks

Another fascinating fact that Dr Roberts told us about is that after the closure of the slate mines the barracks fell into disrepair. Some of them were re-roofed by Cadw approx 25 years go but were then used as a setting for raves and the slate roofing was stolen.

Ruins of the Anglesey Barracks

Just on the opposite side of the Anglesey Barracks is the old quarry level and workshop ruins. We didn’t go that way but me and a few others went to have a little nosey at the old incline.

The old incline at Dinowrig Quarry - looking up and looking down towards Dolbadarn Castle

Brake House

After re-joining the rest of the group, we walked down the path back towards the museum. On the way we passed the ruins of the old brake house, the old tracks that the slate carts used to travel along. Also the old drum still with the steel cable.

Old drum and cable at the old Dinorwig Quarry

Further on from there we walked down the zig zag track through the old slate slag heaps. There are some absolutely stunning photos to be had. One of my absolute favourite photos from the day are these ones:

The view of Peris Lake with slate in the foreground

The view of Padarn Lake from the Dinorwig Quarry walk with slate slag heaps in the foreground

The view of Llyn Peris with Snowdon in the background

My photos really don’t do the view justice. It is absolutely stunning! As you can see, the weather wasn’t great so just imagine what this view would look like in Summer! And of course, no trip is ever complete without a selfie! It was really gusty up there but thankfully my hat stayed on!

A selfie in front of Snowdon

Have you ever been on this walk?

Taking in the sights on the Dinorwig Quarry Walk, Snowdonia, North Wales
Rebecca

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

Six different scenes from the Welsh Slate Industry

On February 1st, I attended a meeting at the Amgueddfa Lechi (Slate Museum) in Llanberis to discuss making the Welsh Slate industry a World Heritage Site. The bid is being put forward by Gwynedd Council and has been in progress since 2010. They’re only now bringing the details out to public and it’s time to generate some interest. So with that in mind, let me tell you more…

What is a World Heritage Site?

A World Heritage Site is a UNESCO protected site. It is awarded to those sites that UNESCO believe to be of historical or cultural importance to mankind. A site might have been important during a war, a revolution, or simply because of it’s stunning natural landscape. Examples of such places are the Tak Mahal, Great Wall of China, and the Pyramids.

Why should the Welsh Slate Industry be a WHS?

The ruins of Anglesey Barracks at Dinorwig Quarry. Two rows of quarrymen houses made of slate.

Welsh Slate Industry has played a massive part of the history here in Snowdonia. In the mid 19th century, the slate industry here in Wales was the world greatest exporter of slate. According to records from 1882, Welsh slate was exported as far as the West Indies, Argentina, South Africa and Australia.

It wasn’t just the slate that was exported worldwide. Technological advances were exported. Many of the engineering accomplishments influenced other feats for example the Darjeeling Railway is based very closely on the Ffestiniog Railway. Further evidence of this is that when the Welsh Highland line was reopened, trains were imported from South Africa I believe. (Although don’t quote me on that as I might be wrong).

Some other interesting facts:

  • by the end of the 19th century, output from the Gwynedd slate mines was enough to roof around 14m terraced houses
  • workers from North Wales travelled worldwide to open slate quarries as we were considered experts in mining.

What is the benefits of making the Welsh Slate Industry a WHS?

According to the studies made by Gwynedd Council and the partners of this bid, there will be significant benefits for the local area as a result of this bid. I’ll break them down into the three areas:

  • Economic Benefits
    No doubt there will be economic benefits from this WHS bid. The area is very much dependant on tourism be it those who like walking (plenty of mountains Gandalf) or thrill seekers (zipwires, potholing, underground trampolines). There’s already a WHS here in North Wales – Edward’s Castles here in Gwynedd has been included on the WHS list. So to have two WHS here in North Wales can only be good.It is estimated that tourism will boost and Gwynedd Council estimate that monies in from tourism will increase from £515m to £850m over the next 15 years.
  • Social Benefits
    The boost in tourism will lead to increased jobs in the area. It is estimated that the number of jobs linked to the industry will almost double in the next 15 years. Increased jobs means less unemployment, less poverty and so increase in social wellbeing. The Blaenavon area was recognised as a WHS and the whole town benefited.
  • Cultural Benefits
    Statistics provided by Gwynedd Council state that 70% of the population of the slate valleys here in Gwynedd speak Welsh. The Welsh slate industry has been an integral part in the development and strengthening of the Welsh language. It is hoped that by protecting the heritage of the slate industry, the Welsh language will also be protected.In addition, by promoting and celebrating the Welsh slate industry, it will re-connect people communities with heritage and conserve the culture.

What areas will be covered in the WHS bid?

Moody grey photo of The Deep Mine entrance at Llechwedd Slate Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog

There are seven areas in Gwynedd which have been earmarked for this bid. These areas represent the technology, organisation, social and environmental impacts of the Welsh slate industry on the North Wales landscape. Those seven areas are:

  1. Ogwen Valley
  2. Dinorwic
  3. Nantlle
  4. Cwmystradllyn and Cwm Pennant
  5. Blaenau Ffestiniog, Y Dwyryd and the Ffestiniog Railway
  6. Bryneglwys, Abergynolwyn and Talyllyn Railway
  7. Aberllefenni

Timescale of the Bid

As mentioned, this has been in progress since 2010 and is now being discussed in the public domain. Full nomination will be put in front of the DCMS in September 2018, presentation of the nomination to UNESCO in January 2019 with a decision being made by UNESCO in July 2020.

Now’s the time to generate the buzz and get people excited by the bid. Raise awareness, and make everyone proud of the industry and the landscape it’s created. I can’t tell you how excited I am by this. Sitting in that meeting I could feel my heart burst with pride. I find this project to be really exciting and I hope that I can share my excitement with you.

Are you excited by this? Have you ever visited the old slate mines in Snowdonia?

(I would like to thank Gwynedd Council for the holding this meeting and for putting forward this proposal. Also, thank you to Llechi Cymru and Welsh Slate Ltd for providing the information used in this post. If you find anything incorrect please get in touch!)

Rebecca

Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest