We’re back from our cancercation to Wales. The cancer came too, of course, but kept to itself quietly in the background.

The highlight was seeing the puffins on Skomer Island. It rained the entire day. We did have waterproof jackets on, but were drenched by the afternoon. It made me consider my newfound English resilience to the weather. Years ago, in Australia, I wouldn’t even have stepped outside on a day like that. Now I’m grateful that it’s persistent light rain rather than heavy. The weather forecast last night told of further rain for the week ahead but ‘not as torrential as in recent days’. In the English summer this is reason to be cheerful.

The puffins themselves were delightful. They numbered in the thousands, clinging to the cliffs and bringing sand eels to the chicks in their burrows. They strutted around amongst the tourists without a care. I didn’t take much notice of the other birds but there were lots of guillemots and razorbills too apparently. It takes extreme cuteness and multi-coloured beaks to capture my interest.

We stayed in a B&B in Pembroke run by an older lady who doesn’t get out much. Each morning we had a communal breakfast in the kitchen with the other guests, at which I was forced to break my rule of not engaging in conversation with anyone other than B prior to 10am. I’m really not a morning person.

We did a bit of sightseeing and went to Pembroke Castle, according to the Welsh this is the most important castle in the UK. Not many people know this, as we went on a Saturday but were the only people on our guided tour.

Insomnia remained a problem during the trip. I did manage a few hours sleep each night, usually on the floor at the foot of the bed, after I’d flung myself down there in frustration. I was taking a sleeping pill each night but they started to lose their effectiveness, so now I only take one every second or third night. In between, I suffer. Google reveals my sedative was one of Heath Ledger’s many prescription drugs of choice, so you can’t be too careful.

My dreams have become less horrific and more amusing, though. One night I dreamt that The Queen and Carole Middleton were playing each other in the Wimbledon final. This is the result of too much Jubilee and too much tennis watching. The Queen won, of course.

I found all the driving quite tiring but thought I coped fairly well even on little sleep. After all those years of avoiding the motorway, I wonder what I was so nervous about. I don’t timidly hug the left lane either – I’m gunning it past the ASDA vans like a proper motorway driver.

I found the country lanes in Wales more stressful – the winding roads that aren’t wide enough for 2 vehicles and necessitate a lot of inching past or backing up to a wider section, when you come across someone. Why didn’t they make them wider, there’s enough land out there for god’s sake?

Even driving home through London yesterday, I only swore once. I was beeped at though, which to me is an indication of a successful journey.

Here’s a few photos of us in Wales, and of course the puffins.





  1. Tatielane · · Reply

    I’m the same before 10am. Shame I start work at 08:30 so plenty of people are treated to the “bear with a sore head”.
    Still raging jealous over the puffin spotting. They look amazing, so near and so fearless… reminds me of penguin spotting at Phillip Island and St Kilda.

    1. I try never to schedule meetings before 10am and keep a low profile over my bowl of cereal until then. The puffins were great, you should get to Skomer if you can – they are only there for a small window between May and July though.

  2. megan crawford · · Reply

    I find a bottle of red a nice sedative ; )

    1. Yes, there’s a reason I don’t come to you for medical advice šŸ˜‰

  3. I’m jealous of the Puffins too – I didn’t see any on Lundy Island (another nice place to go to get away – if the weather suits; actually, maybe not as there’s a crashed German bomber still lying in the middle of the island).
    You really are getting into the British way of things – I know what you mean about the rain (I’m in Scotland next week!). Glad to hear that your dreams still have HM on her pedestal šŸ˜‰

  4. Do we conclude from the above that B demonstrates extreme cuteness and has a multi-coloured beak?

  5. Sorry the roads proved stressful, we’ll work on it for your next visit! Hope the puffins balanced out the travel.

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