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Reflections…Week Fifty One

canstockphoto8630797This is the last blog of 2017, and for my part I have completed my goal of blogging on a weekly basis for the entirety of it. One has even surpassed what I thought was a challenge by doing multiple blogs in a week and in doing so surprised myself with the gusto one has approached it. But not so much with this one.

Yesterday I went sea fishing with my brother, it went less than planned. The tackle and bait shop we go to is no longer there, it is being replaced with flats, this caused a diversion to an alternative. Time seemed to be slipping away as the journey progressed, to the point that we changed destination for the fishing to suit the tide time.

This is a place I like going to and although the pier was in no fit state to be walked upon it somehow had sentimental value for which one cannot explain. However when we got there the pier was no longer in the sea, rather it was on the coast line piled up behind railings. After talking to a local fisherman we discovered it was pulled down for safety reasons about three weeks ago, thus making it a sombre visit, and at the moment un-fishable.  One hopes that the spider crabs that the locals catch won’t be negatively affected.

The weather was also making a turn for the worst, with an ice cold nip to the increasing wind. This was not the warm sunny day forecast.

We headed back the way we came. Checked out a new spot, ruled it out, went to an old spot that has been good for bass before ruled that out due to the exposure for the wind and decided to cross back over the peninsula to get some wind defence.

We looked and looked for a new spot and eventually ended up, at the place we originally went for bait, at Rhos-on-sea, sheltered from the wind. Halfway back home. Eight hours of driving to get an hour and a half away from home, you could tell my brother was not pleased.

Spot got to run on the beach for a bit, and we ate with a cuppa before even thinking about setting up, as high tide was another hour away, and by then we could not be bothered to be tide chased with our equipment. So we just waited.

This spot has been a poor show for fish before and we had almost given up on the location. It was chosen for the shelter above all else, just so we could fish.

It has been ages since last having a day out to try and catch dinner for the next day and as Spot and I played on the beach I asked the sea to be kind to my brother and let him catch some fish. It was less of a thing for me as being at the coast was allowing me to chill for just a little while, as the coast always does, and Spot loves the beach.

So as the tide came in we got ready, spot for a nice change, was able to stay in the car as it was parked right next to us, curled up in the footwell, where the heater had warmed her towel and the carpeting.

First cast had been in the water less than five minutes when my brothers rod stated to nod up and down violently, not one on the line, but two. Next cast he did was pulling a fish up within a minute, and the same again with the next.

As he took the fish down the steps to the water to release the fourth fish, they were undersize, I thanked the sea for visibly cheering him up. Then my rod started…

For the next Five and a half hours we had fish after fish, the best session ever, even beating some boat trips. True we returned over forty, but we came home with five whiting each, enough fish for a couple of meals.

My arms and shoulders at the end were aching, my nerves on fire and lacking strength to real in two small fish on the line that should have been done with ease. I had to stop with them as my arms went numb and the fireworks started in my legs. My brother called it time when he reeled in the next fish. We packed up and headed home, straight into the wind, and now heavy rain, we had earlier left behind. Somehow it had missed our little spot.

The concentration on the rod tip light now over, my body could release the headache for the trip home. Today I have been in pain and struggling to stay awake. I hate what is happening to my body right now and the way it seems to be punishing me for doing things I like to do. But it’s got another thing coming if it thinks it is going to make me stop. All the doctors want to do is increase what was my anxiety meds, as it is also a pain medication. It’s funny how I am going to be over the maximum dosage for the anxiety it’s not working for, because it is now for the pain. The pain it may very well be causing. And the medication I wanted to stop, because it’s not working.

The merry-go round of the doctors continues…

Oh, an update on my story that was entered into the Brighter Futures writing competition that was scheduled for America’s Thanksgiving day, that was then altered to the Christmas Party, that was then, I would say delayed again due to there still being only two entries, I would say delayed as the winner was not declared, Is a winner!

Not quite, so is the other one as well.

I wonder if my request to withdraw my story if it had been cancelled again, so it could be entered into another competition, had anything to do with the decision?

At least the disappointment of the whole affair is over now, and the story will be published in the next couple of days. I hope all who read it find some enjoyment in it.

If you don’t, tuff, I am still proud of my first writing competition entry.

The fireworks of the new year have been going off as this long winded entry has been written, so it is with love and peace that I sign off the Reflections of 2017.

Happy New Year!


The Meal… #poetry #poem

My first poem since school, I will get better


The Meal

It had been raining,
for most of the day.
So off for a meal,
overlooking the bay.

Sea breeze blows softly,
to add a slight chill.
The sea comes in gently,
as it’s quite still.

I could not leave Spot,
alone in the car.
So we sat outside,
we both looked bizar.

Me on a blanket,
Spot on a bed,
people walked on past,
shaking their head.

I chose a burger,
in a wood box.
It felt quite natural,
sitting by rocks.

The chips they were chunky,
brioche the bun.
The clouds started breaking,
showing the sun.

It was now setting,
orange and yellow.
This made the evening,
feel rather mellow.

The castle at Criccieth,
up on the hill.
Below in the village,
it was quite still.

Dylan’s was busy,
on the inside.
The windows they steam up,
the view it did hide.

Who had the best meal?
I’ll let you decide.
But next time we go there,
we’ll be outside.

A § M

A meal with the dog

A meal with the dog

my mealtime view

First one pub, meals were sold out. Then another, once more sold out. A change of tact, try a restaurant, fully booked, we didn’t think it would be this hard to get Sunday tea. I remembered a restaurant (Dylan’s*) at the end of Criccieth , the place we were staying near, result we could get in.

This is the first time we have been here and with no expectations we entered. The inside was inviting and the staff welcoming, but Spot was left in the car, safe but alone, we both suffer from separation anxiety at times like these. The rain was starting to stop but the seating outside was sodden from the near constant downpour we have had all day. After the meal was chosen from the menu, a varied choice of meals and an even wider choice of prices, I went out to check how spot was doing. She was doing her usual peering out of the window and then started running up and down the car when she caught sight of me, I thought about how I could eat outside without having a sodden butt, dogs are allowed at the outside tables, they even have a bowl full of water, then it hit me, I have a thick blanket in the car that is for emergencies; I have broken down numerous times in some remote places!

So off from the carpark to the tables outside the restaurant, blanket over one chair and I was sorted. Spot looked up from the floor with her big sad eyes, pleading to share the blanket. I cannot resist, I know the whimpering is next, along with the Jack Russell shake. Another chair pulled up and the blanket shared between. Spot did the normal laps of honour before lying down with a satisfied look upon her face before falling asleep.

Truth be told I think that saying spot is the reason to eat outside is more an excuse than fact, I had the sea breaking onto the shore with the occasional bird singing as the background music and the view of the sea, castle and colourful buildings of Criccieth as the backdrop, a little rain is not a problem, even in shorts, and a low wall blocked nearly all the wind.

So this is the scene as people walk from the carpark to the restaurant. A shaven headed middle aged bloke with a fleece and jacket on, sitting under a dripping cloth patio umbrella eating a wooden boxed chicken burger and fries in the light rain wearing shorts. This got some strange looks as they walked past, even if they tried to not look it was evident they were trying not to do so. And then they rounded the corner, saw Spot and, the ladies went ahhh. From weirdo to making sense, in one footstep.

The meal was delicious and I even finished my dads’ drunken muscles, well, I had to try them, so I can say that they were worth having as well, large portions seem to be the norm. As the meal settled down with a nice cup of tea, a chocolate was spied hiding behind the cup, unusual for tea, it’s normally a coffee drinkers treat, but not one to turn down a free chocolate it was eaten. The wrapper caught my eye, it was the castle that was my meals backdrop and on the flip side the restaurants name. How many free chocolates have I eaten and not noticed this little detail? Is it common? Can you collect a full set of Welsh castles? Many a question as to the validity of advertising this way, but they are in a blog, so for them it might just be working.

Before I left I took the photo at the top, but as always the camera did not capture the colours I saw, they are so muted. I sat contemplating a painting whilst eating and the photo will help with the composition, the colours will probably be more ‘free range’.


It may seem strange to go out for a meal with family and then sit alone with the dog, but then family meals are common, a meal with a view is not. Although my family don’t quite get sitting outside on sitting inside weather, they understand it’s me, after making sure I’m ok that is.

*I have no affiliation to the restaurant and have not been bribed in any form to put them in this blog, but I would not turn down a seafood platter if you wish to try.