Taken from Lynne’s weekly column ‘Green Scene’ for the Western Mail. 20th October 2018
A Good Day Out
If you are looking for something original to do this half term, how about a Piggy Walk complete with a pig-nic or a Dinky Donkey Dally, or even a Sheep Trek, all in the beautiful Brecon Beacons?
I thoroughly enjoyed the Sheep Trek that I did recently – so much that I did it again for Countryfile (who showed it for the second time last weekend). Despite being very familiar and appreciative of our beautiful countryside, walking with a sheep on a head-collar definitely added another dimension. As well as Countryfile being big fans of the unusual days out, Welsh weathergirl Ruth Wignall has also enjoyed a stroll with a fleecy friend too, for Coast and Country.
If you are not particularly sheepish, you could walk the dinky donkeys, Maverick and Goose, a pair of sweet Miniature Mediterranean donkeys who will kindly carry your picnic, which is also provided. Cute doesn’t begin to cover it.
And if it’s hogs and kisses you’re after, how about an amble with a couple of amiable little piggies? I take my hat off to the walk-leader there; my pigs wouldn’t even entertain the idea!
Julia Blazer, the company founder and MD, came up with the idea for Good Day Out whilst grappling with how to make a living in a beautiful rural area. Her mission is to provide interesting, educational, and fun ways for people to easily engage with animals, wildlife, the countryside and rural skills, whilst helping the trainers to raise money for specific projects and charities. Every experience day and product purchased from the website gives funds to the designated good cause.
Julia also offers undated gift vouchers, as a special present and which come with information and a gift card. It’s a great present for kids and adults alike. More details at www.gooddayout.co.uk
Want to know the Winter Weather?
No need to water the plants this week then. With Callum in our rear-view mirror, the Met Office has released the rest of the storm names for the 2018/19 season. Next to debut will be Deidre then Erik, followed by Frayer, Gareth, Hannah and Idris. You can find the rest on the internet.
I have mentioned before that I am a big fan of the Weather Without Technology website, written by the colourful character, David King. David predicts the weather ahead based on years of experience and nature’s signals and clues. He is pretty accurate to be fair and I love reading his reasoning and explanations based on observations of nature and wildlife.
This winter, he predicts, will be cold but dryer than average, and with very little snowfall. He is forecasting foggy mornings and frosty nights but sunny dry days (on the whole). And that is based on the autumn offerings of fruit and nuts. What is interesting is that I was told that a lot of berries and fruit indicated a hard winter, as nature is providing an opportunity for wildlife to stock up the larder.
David has a broader take and says. “Normally the huge displays of nuts, fruits, hips, haws, seeds and berries would indicate a long hard winter; however though there is a magnificent display of all such items this year, there is another reason – there is an acute water shortage in many places, so nature in its wisdom provides extra such foods, food that contain liquids, that help alleviate the acute water shortage, food that contains extra energy too; masses of quince, medlar, bullace and damsons, juniper fruits rarely seen (or for some even heard of) yet in masses this year; rose hips also come into this equation. Nature is never wrong, nature looks after its own, and gives the weather 90 to 180 days down the line.”
I’m not sure how the recent floods affect that prediction here in Wales but it is going to be interesting to find out.
Oh and he is also predicting a similar ‘scorchio’ summer for next year!
This year marks the 20th anniversary of National Curry Week. Introduced as a way of celebrating Indian cuisine and the UK’s incredibly diverse culture, the event worked towards raising awareness of local Indian restaurants and giving to charity- as well as encouraging us all to enjoy a tikka masala or two!
Wales always does really well in the National Curry Awards, also held this week, with previous winners include the Bokhara Indian Restaurant at Court Colman Manor, Bridgend, Sheesh Mahal, in Llanelli and Rasoi Indian Kitchen in Swansea.
Let’s face it, you can’t beat a good curry, especially as the days get colder and the nights start to draw in and it’s a great way to use the pumpkin flesh of the carved Jack-o-Lanterns at this time of year too.