1 December 2018


Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Korra, happy birthday to you. To celebrate my granddaughter Korra's 1st birthday it was off to Swansea for the day. We had a swim first, then walked from LC2 to Denny's for lunch. 

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There was some face painting going on in Denny's so Gethin and I paired up as Batman and Robin. An outstanding job by the lady at 'Chase The Stars' and also a great job by Gethin on the camera.. 


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 Birthday girl & grandmother Gethin on the chair of paint & face painting info. Grampa on the chair of paint  He's a good looking boy that Gethin



Batman and the Grampa Wonder




2 December 2018 

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I headed off to the Ferry Bend for a sunset I knew would never appear, I just needed to see the sea so I followed the river path and headed back on the coastal path after a short distance on the beach. The photo is of Brunel Dock, Briton Ferry with the M4 just above in and Briton Ferry woods in the background, I'm trying to make the low clouds stand out with a faster shutter speed. Its a work in progress, I'm learning about clouds, they an interesting subject.

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3 December 2018

I was passing on the M4 so stopped at Aberavon beach for a short run followed by sunset walk. The sun was covered by clouds for the most part but I managed to see a glimpse of red as I was taking photos of photographer Andrew Morgan of Swansea. Andrew is obviously an experienced photographer with a top notch tripod and neutral density filters etc so I questioned him about his photographs for at least 15 minutes. Some of the the photos Andrew took are on his facebook page along with a ton of other stuff. Check out his Landscapes and Seascapes 2018 album, there's some fantastic stuff on there.


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Aberavon Beach sunset in the distance Andrew Morgan doing a better photography job than me

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Journey's End has arrived on Netflix so I watched the film to see if I'd been relegated to the cutting room floor (again) or I have made it to the silver screen. My luck was in because at 5 minutes and 50 seconds I can be seen crossing in front of Asa Butterfield, the young officer Jimmy Raleigh featured in the film. Don't blink or you'll miss it. My marching was of the same quality that I achieved while I was in the territorial army, absolute rubbish. This scene is set in France prior to Jimmy being posted to the front line, it was filmed in November 2016 at Tredegar House in Newport which is a National Trust property. The National Trust says of this property:

Tredegar House is one of the architectural wonders of Wales and one of the most significant late 17th-century houses in the whole of the British Isles. Situated within 90 acres of beautiful gardens and parkland, this delightful red brick house provides an ideal setting for a fantastic day out. 
For more than 500 years the house was home to one of the greatest Welsh families, the Morgans, later Lords Tredegar. The Morgan family owned more than 40,000 acres in Monmouthshire, Breconshire and Glamorgan at the end of the 18th century. Their lives impacted on the population of south-east Wales socially, economically and politically and influenced the heritage of the area.


8 December 2018

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 The twins Grampa and Gethin about to embark on the tour of Glynneath in the rain. Note the matching ski suits, you can't tell us apart


9 December 2018 - sunset walk Aberavon Beach

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Hayley and I took a stroll along the beach for sunset, there wasn't a great sunset but this one cloud did turn a nice shade of pink.


12 December 2018

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It's a 4 mile round trip from the house to Sgwd Gwladys, inspired by the photography of Andrew Morgan I took 5 minutes out to take some moving water shots on the way. I should say here that I'm not trying to be artistic in the true photography sense because that stuff is just too technical for me. I'm not interested in taking perfect photographs I'm only interested in capturing the moment and seeing things from my perspective, differently.


21 December 2018 - Banksy joins the tour of NPT

After picking my little boy Simon from university we took a short walk from the car to see the 'Banksy' that arrived in Port Talbot. The council put a fence up which made taking clear photos a bit difficult so I apologise for the quality of the images. We passed very close to this location on our Tour of Neath Port Talbot Walk 17. The mural features a young boy catching the ash from a fire in his mouth, it is said to highlight the pollution of the area. I suspect that Banksy has driven through Port Talbot and has smelt the sulphur in the air and said "I need to do something about that". Having grown up in Port Talbot I have thought long and hard about the steel works and the vanished BP chemicals, both of which spewed out smoke and pollution in large quantities while I was growing up. I have come to the conclusion that if these works didn't exist then maybe I wouldn't either. My parents moved to Port Talbot in the mid 1950s because my father worked in the steel works, he spent 27 years there. I was born in 1960 and lived in the Sandfields Estate built especially to house the massive work force, they moved to a 3 bedroom council house not long after I was born. There's no way of knowing whether or not I would have been born if the works didn't exist, but if they didn't my life would certainly have been different. About the Banksy, it has also been suggested that as the Severn Bridge tolls were removed last week, it has allowed vandals from Bristol to slip in and out of Wales undetected. We can expect others to follow.


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Crowds gather around Banksy's artwork Simon in action yours truly Banksy graffiti in it's entirety



22 December 2018 - Merry Christmas Rhondda Valley

There was an outside chance of a nice sunrise with semi-clear skies and with sunrise being at the really sensible time of 08.19 I headed over to the Rhondda Valley for another crack at a photo of a nice sunrise from Pen-Pych. Once again I was treated to a cloud spectacular and a distinct lack of the sun. A nice touch however was the Welsh flag on Pen-Pych had been changed to a 'Merry Christmas' one. A nice touch I thought. I'd like to learn more about these flags, the Manchester United one is a constant and a memorial but the others I'm not too sure about. I haven't looked that closely yet so next time I'm up there I should spend a little more time looking for clues. I suspect this is also a memorial. The angle of the Merry Christams flag is such that when taking photos of the flag with the valley in the background, to get the best angle you have to get close to the edge. I;ve included photos below of what is the other side of the edge. If one takes a step in the wrong direction then I'd hope that my family would put a flag up there for me. The wind was also blowing mostly in this direction and to get the flag flying in the way I wanted I had to spend a few minutes on the edge so to speak. Please don't try this at home and please don't take your home to Pen-Pych and try it there.


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Pen-Pych from a distance

the cliff face below the flags new flag on the hill Merry Christmas Rhondda Valley


I came off the mountain on the opposite side and was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of nice waterfalls in Cwm Lluest (Lluest Valley) on the way down with a spectacular one on the Nant y Gwair stream in the distance. Recent heavy rainfall helped to increase the volume of the water.  


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Cwm Lluest waterfall Nant y Gwair


27 December 2018

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I was in the garden for the latter part of the afternoon when the clouds at the bottom end of the valley started showing some cheeky colours so I grabbed the camera and walked around the block to a spot where I could witness the sunset in greater detail. I took a few photos then retired back to the garden but it turned into a super sunset with the most glorious reds so I retraced my footsteps and took some more photos.



30 December 2018 - last sunset walk on Aberavon Beach


The clouds pinked up nicely for us post sunset so a happy new year and please join us for 2019, click on the photo below to do this.





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