Friday 23rd November 2012
Alfie slept over again last night. He came a little late, as he had been packed off to the doctors with sticky eyes. I remember when our kids used to get it; we used to have a little tube of Golden Eye ointment to squeeze in. Things are a bit more modern now and Alfie came equipped with his usual bag of stuff and a little bottle of eye drops to put in four times a day…that’ll be fun!
When he woke up this morning he looked like Bartimaeus from Bible times. His left eye was completely stuck and his right eye was open just a crack, yet despite this he was able to give us the biggest of smiles. When I came down the lady of the house was giving him his early morning drink. I was dispatched to find cotton wool balls and warm salty water to sort his eyes out in preparation for the drops. My dear one had not forgotten her early training and soon Alfie was looking more his usual handsome self. I’m not sure he was that keen on his drops!
We took the good lady off to work, having prepared homemade meatballs in a light tomato sauce and spaghetti for her lunch. When we got home we had a little play together before Alfie went for his morning snooze!
He slept for ages, I am not sure whether his eyes had given him a disturbed night, but it was almost eleven o’clock by the time my movements eventually woke him. It was a glorious day, sunny, clear blue skies and not a breath of wind…all this going on while the news was telling me the whole country was on alert for some ark building, as the wind and rain was so bad. Not for us anyway, certainly not on a Friday…Alfie day.
We had decided to go to Cowbridge today as we had been looking for a present to take out to Lesotho and had seen something there some weeks ago and also because it is such a lovely little town, certainly the jewel of The Vale of Glamorgan! The drive down to Cowbridge was stunning, the roads were quiet and the scenery was wonderful. As we drove I was playing Alfie’s favourite CD – the one with all the kids songs on. I avoided … ‘If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands’ in the interests of the other road users! Alfie loved it and danced all the way!
The drive took us through the villages of St Nicholas and Bonvilston, both of which have strong connections with the family of the lady of the house. Her mum had spent many happy hours visiting her best friend who lived in St Nicholas and her cousin used to live in a house in Bonvilston; we used to love going there.
I was thinking on the way down about the name Cowbridge and wondered how many cows we would see crossing it. I wondered too about the Welsh name for Cowbridge, which is Y Bont Faen- The Stone Bridge. The two didn’t match unless the cows walked over a stone bridge?
Evidently the town lies on the site of a Roman settlement identified by some scholars as the fort of Bovium (cow-place). Recent excavations have revealed extensive Roman settlement nearby; the town lies alongside a Roman road. There are 17th century references to a ‘cow-bridge’ over a tributary of the River Thaw, which flows through the town. Last time I went there were ducks on the river and I had brought some bread so Alfie and I could feed them.
When we arrived it was just like Penarth, nowhere to park! I eventually found a place and we set off.
We immediately passed what looked like a good place to stop for lunch. I promised myself that I would remember it if we needed a place to eat. The town is very pleasant and we love walking around looking at all the posh people who lived there. It was quite busy even though it was still school time. Almost every other shop is the kind of shop the lady of the house would steer me into. I can’t help thinking that The Vale of Glamorgan would be better off having Cowbridge as its county town instead of Barry.
I noticed that the new Waitrose Supermarket was open and I though I might pop in later.
We were making our way to Happy Days, which is a curious mix between a junk shop, a market and a shabby chic emporium. It is a favourite stopping off place for my dear one and me. It has a very good café in there and some really interesting stalls.
The café was quiet so we made for it and had lunch while it was quiet. I had made Alfie’s usual… wholemeal sandwiches with grated cheese, a few biscuits and a rice pudding. He LOVED it and charmed every single customer, he really did put on a masterful performance of cuteness…I was very proud, he even had me spellbound! I ordered the most exquisite lunch of a Welsh rarebit with egg and bacon. The rarebit was made with Welsh cheese and leeks! My tea came in a pot (essential) served with a country roses bone china cup and saucer.
I was at peace with the world. I promised myself and the café owner that I would visit Trip Advisor upon my return home. I was wishing I had the web address of Ramblings so I could tell him his establishment would soon be famous!
We had a lovely relaxing time together and then moved on.
Next door to Happy days was an old church where they were holding a Christmas Tree Festival. I walked in and it was truly wonderful. there were loads of different Christmas trees all around the church, put there by local organisations and charities. I would have loved a look around but an old bird on the door asked me for £3 entrance fee and I had only just about managed to find enough loose change for my rarebit so I had to pass…I will visit some other time.
We walked on and passed a rather impressive Tenovus Cancer Charity shop. I couldn’t believe the quality of the stock. Mostly M & S stuff… I must say, the people in Cowbridge throw away some good quality clothes. Annoyingly, there was nothing I fancied so we reluctantly left. We made our way to Waitrose, as I had made my mind up to buy some Manuka Honey. I thought there had been a pricing error when I saw the price tag, but I bought one anyway, people do speak very highly of it!
Next we went to feed the ducks but they were nowhere to be seen, Alfie looked sad. I was thinking perhaps the good people of Cowbridge like duck instead of turkey for Christmas and word had got to them and they had sought a different watering hole till the festive season had passed. Such is life!
We had decided to go home via The Amelia Trust Farm, which is just off the Cowbridge Road near Bonvilston. Halfway there Alfie fell asleep. He woke up as we pulled into the car park and he gave me a tired smile.
He started to enjoy the animals, especially the goats and the cows but as we got near the pigs I was surprised to hear the strange noise they were making only to discover it wasn’t the pigs it was Alfie snoring. I carried on for a bit thinking the fresh air would do the little man good, but when I called into the café, he was sound asleep. I had a cup of coffee and turned the stroller round so I could just watch him. I quietly promised him I would come back here another day on another adventure.
Looking at him just reminded me how much I love this little fellow.
I looked at the airport in the distance. How I loved going there when I was a kid, my dad often took me to watch the planes, jetting off to places far and near. Sadly now it’s quite hard to see a plane landing at our main airport and annoyingly, the airport is arranged in such a way that you are unable to see the planes anyway once you are there.
The drive home was a quiet one with Alfie asleep all the way. He failed to wake up when I lifted him into the cot. It had been a lovely day out. I can’t believe how quickly a day can go by.
Alfie woke up soon after and we had a little play before his dad arrived. I was sad as he left, as I will not have another adventure for two whole weeks!
I sat down and waited for the arrival of another tasty rarebit…the lady of the house was due home shortly.
Thanks buddy for another great day!