Saturday 27th November 2021 – NO PHOTOS TODAY …

… either. And for the simple reason that it isn’t safe to to out.

The winds have been gusting up to 136 kph today and if you remember that little compound that we saw the other day down at the end of the public car park, that is now in bits spread out all over the car park and I feel sorry for those people who left their cars parked there over the weekend.

Some time during the afternoon I went outside to bring in the rest of the shopping from yesterday and made it with the greatest difficulty to Caliburn and back again. I was intending to see if it was safe to go out for a walk but I abandoned that plan.

Strangely enough though, the wind during the night didn’t keep me awake too much and for once I had a decent night’s sleep, even though there wasn’t all that much of it.

Plenty of time to go for a ramble though. There as something happening in a zoo and there were a lot of people around there doing some tests on some of the animals. Someone said something that upset the monkeys and they started throwing stones at this building. They broke the windows and all of the insects and animals and all kinds of laboratory creatures escaped. They all crawled over my legs to get out. I was mortified because I don’t like this sort of thing at all. They had to set through to catch them and all these horrible reptile things, they were talking on the news about how “this one was going to be good for making liver and they are monitoring its progress’. They found a type that was like a stick of rock but it was in fact bone and when you sang to it, it grew. They asked me to take a sample of it back to Leuven when I next went and leave it there with them so that they could perform a whole series of tests on it. I thought that I could make it grow by singing to it any time you like. It sounded such an interesting thing to do. But I was overwhelmed by these insects all crawling over my legs trying to escape, all kinds of horrible things.

With some time before my Welsh lesson I had another go at tidying up my back-up disk and created yet more space. Consequently I ended up with more than enough space to perform a full back-up of my computer for the first time since I don’t know when.

Before anyone is worried about my back-ups, or lack thereof, there’s a 128GB memory stick that lives permanently in a USB port and I back up all of my data files onto there every night. There’s also the portable computer that I take to Leuven and I back up onto there at the end of every month and again the morning that I travel.

There are 123 students at our Welsh weekend and we are divided up into 8 groups of about 15. But depressingly, they have put me into a “South Wales” group.

If you look at a map of Wales, you’ll notice the southern and northern coasts of course, and you’ll also note that the country is bisected in the centre by the Dyfi and Severn valleys that cut the country into a “north” and south”.

These valleys, the Dyfi that flows east to west and the Severn that flows west to east have been a traditional route for invaders throughout history, whether Romans, Saxons or Normans, and were heavily fortified, and so there was little interaction between the north and the south.

As a result, the native Celtic language evolved differently in each area over the last 2,000 years and there are considerable differences between the two.

As my paternal roots are in the north-east, I’m much more home with northern Welsh and so I’m not so much at my ease with a bunch of South Walians.

We are having four sessions of 2.5 hours, 2 today and 2 tomorrow, with an hour’s break in between, and we’re revising the first 5 chapters of our course book for this year. It’s quite interesting, and well-worth the money that I paid for it … “it was free, actually” – ed.

When the course had finished I went to bring in the shopping but not to go for a walk. With the amount of stuff, some of which was quite heavy, being blown around, I didn’t think that it was wise.

However I’m keen to nip out to see how the scaffolding at the Place du Marché aux Chevaux coped, 5 tonnes of water or not.

There was time to dice and blanch a kilo of carrots ready for freezing overnight. Seeing that I was at Lidl in Caliburn yesterday, I grabbed a kilo. I may as well take advantage.

The rest of the afternoon has been spent splitting up albums on the laptop. I found a few more master tapes just recently and I’ve been giving them the business. There are still plenty more to cut up.

Tea tonight was baked potato with a couple of these small breaded burgers that I like and a handful of veg. All very tasty.

So now I’m going to chill out before going to bed. There’s an alarm tomorrow shock! Horror! as I have to go to the second half of my Welsh class.

And I hope that the alarm works in the morning. It let me down for some reason this morning – not that it made any difference because I was awake anyway. I doubt if that will be the case on a Sunday morning.

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