Squares, socks and an otter

They say that a change is as good as a rest, but this is probably only the case if you don’t sit up talking until three-thirty in the morning!

My weekend away was lovely – a little reunion with three of the ladies I graduated with. We all studied Environmental Science at what was then the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (now Aberystwyth University). Back in those days it was still economically viable to run courses with very small numbers, so in my year only seven of us graduated in that subject. More than 25 years on and four of us are still friends. For quite a few years we didn’t really see each other, but last year we decided to have a get-together and now we plan to make it a regular thing… e-mail is great, but it’s not the same as meeting up and sharing a meal, a glass of wine and a lovely walk in the countryside. So, this weekend found us enjoying each other’s company in the cosy eco-lodge at Denmark Farm… only 20 minutes down the road for me, but a considerable journey for two of the others.

Two more contributions to the masterpiece

Two more contributions to the masterpiece

Electronic communication often makes me smile, but rarely leads to hysterical laughter… over the weekend, in contrast we laughed so much. But we also got creative… I came away with two more squares for the Masterpiece – one each from the two who hadn’t already contributed. This involved one person being taught to crochet, but she made a great job of it (hers is the square on the right) don’t you think? The square on the left was made mostly using yarn we were given. Saturday was National Yarn Shop Day here in Britain, so we felt compelled to visit Red Apple Yarn in Lampeter, where we were allowed to each choose a lucky dip prize… we selected squishy packages in the hope that they would contain yarn that we could use in a square… and two of them did. Don’t worry though… between us we bought lots of yarn and a few other things too:

Our haul (bought and free) from Red Apple Yarns

Our haul (bought and free) from Red Apple Yarn

But we were more creative than that, working on hats, a dishcloth and socks between us over the weekend:

This sums up much of our weekend!

This sums up much of our weekend!

Inside the roundhouse

Inside the roundhouse

But, being such a lovely spot, we didn’t just stay indoors. Knowing the site so well, I took my friends on a tour. They were particularly taken by the roundhouse, which was build by volunteers and provides a lovely shelter in the woods. It has a great atmosphere and we sat in there watching birds (it has big windows) and chatting for quite a while. We got a very good view of a pied fly-catcher. Then we strolled round the site, looking at the fallen trees and chatting about the ecology, before arriving at the lakeside shelter, where we were delighted to see an otter! We watched it going in and out of the water for five or ten minutes. They are so quick that getting a photo is a real challenge; this is the best I could do:

Otter emerging from the water

Otter emerging from the water

We also managed to fit in a visit to see one of our old lecturers and went to look at the submerged forest at Borth… where we’d all been taken to on a field trip as undergraduates. Of course, the weekend was over too soon, but we’ll get together again next year and until then, we do have the internet!

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15 Comments

  1. I love catching up with old college friends – I don’t normally have the opportunity, being so far away, but when I do make it back to the UK, the talking and laughing has to be heard to be believed. It’s been 36 years… we have a lot to catch each other up on!

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    • We had been very remiss about making the effort until last year, but we have decided that from now on we’ll have a fixed weekend in the year to get together so that we don’t let it slip again.

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  2. Sounds like you had a fantastic time and the weather was certainly on your side. I would have been so excited to see an otter so I’m now jealous.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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    • The otter was a wonderful surprise – there is evidence of them every year in the spring at Denmark Farm (they come to feed on the frogs), but they are rarely seen, so it was a real treat.
      xxx

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  3. I am so pleased to hear that your weekend went so well. I love the roundhouse and think your Otter photo is really good. I have never seen one.

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  4. Talking until the wee hours of the morning is one of the best parts of unwinding. πŸ™‚

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  5. What fun to catch up! I loved the otter pic. πŸ™‚

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    • It was in and out of the water and the vegetation, so really hard to predict where it would appear next… I just kept snapping in the hope that one would catch him and I was lucky. Photography is really not my strong suit – I generally point and hope for the best!!

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  6. It sounds like a wonderful weekend was had by all, Jan – and what a lovely combination of crochet, laughter, and that amazing otter! πŸ™‚
    One day, I hope that Bob will manage to take a pic of the otter who occasionally visits our river, so I am very impressed you managed to get such a wonderful pic like that πŸ™‚

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  7. What fun for everyone!

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

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  8. Sounds like you had a really lovely time together and making it a regular, albeit annual, thing will make it so much sweeter when you do get together πŸ™‚

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