Apologies if I've been quiet on the blog over the last week.
It may have looked like the lights were on, but I am afraid that there was no-one at home, no-one that is except for two cats and about two hundred worms.
Following a last-minute cancellation at a rural hotspot we've had our eye on, we took the opportunity for a short break in Monmouthshire.
With family in the heart of Bristol as well as the coal-mining valleys of South Wales, Penallt (a little village just outside Monmouth) seemed the perfect base for visiting those close to us, nicely located in the middle of our two destinations but far enough away to feel like a real holiday.
And it was a holiday...even from blogging...as there was no access to the Internet! I was just glad that I'd organised the videos beforehand, knowing things would be busy.
However rubbish dieting aficionados will be pleased to hear that it wasn't a holiday from waste awareness and apart from the other personal stuff such as staying in a fab place, enjoying great food and celebrating Mr A's (waste-free) birthday, here are some of the less obvious highlights....
- Zero Waste Travel: Zero Waste Travel was Mr A's idea and at his request I baked muffins for the journey instead of buying snack bars. I also saved the fruit and veg from a lonesome week in the fridge and created some snack pots for the journey. I mustn't forget the invention of a new awesome snack of bananas in blankets, easily created by wrapping a slice of bread around a banana! Perfect for rumbling tummies en-route! But tsk-tsk Mr A. No sooner had we set off, I discovered Mr A discretely unwrapping some Cadbury's chocolate eclairs. Zero Waste Travel indeed! And as for the snack pot of chopped fruit, perhaps I should mention they tumbled out of my eldest's hands, coinciding with a very sharp bend ...oops...Gritty grapes are not nice, especially when squashed into a backpack!
- Not on your nelly! This time, it was Mr A's turn to "tsk-tsk" me. After all my hard work on saying "no" to the children, all it took was a weak moment on Tuesday morning. I took the boys on a tour of Tintern Abbey, while Mr A stayed outside to finish a work report. After just over an hour of wandering around the ruins about three times over and fifteen minutes of hide-and-seek, we decided it was time to leave and the only way out was via the shop. One ball-point pen and plastic compass later, we returned to Mr A's frown and look of dismay. I know, I know! After everything I said....BUT...the compass was educational AND the ball-point pen was excessively huge and so orange that it could never get lost and can be used for storing all sorts of things when it runs out...EXCUSES, EXCUSES... I guess it just shows how hard it is. However, in my defence, these were the only excesses during a week of half-term antics and is a huge improvement on previous times.
- Meeting Mrs Green! When regular commentator Mrs Green heard that we were staying in her neck of the woods, she kindly invited us over for a cup of tea! We couldn't refuse a lovely impromptu offer like that, especially as she has courageously just signed up to her own Rubbish Diet. Mrs Green is a talented lady. Not only is she brilliant at blogging, she's also great at biscuits and cakes, plus lots of other things. It's just a shame we could only stay for a couple of hours. There's more on Mrs Green tomorrow, so do visit for lots of exciting news, including my very unusual composting experience.
- Visiting St Arvans! As I told Mr A, it really was a coincidence that we were staying so close to St Arvans. "What's so significant about St Arvans?" you might ask. I'll reveal all later this week, but if you can't wait to find out, there's always Google!
- Realising our accommodation had a Food Waste collection! There wasn't any info in the brochure, the landlady hadn't even mentioned it and I am not that obsessed that I 'd checked out the recycling bins, but the sheer joy of opening the front door one day and seeing little food waste bins on the kerbside meant I found myself in recycling heaven. The only downside was trying to empty the remnants of the previous night's black bean stir-fry into the teeny bin, whilst fishing out the odd wine cork.....er, honestly I'm really really not obsessed!
Sorry, I've just realised...how rude of me not to send a postcard! After abandoning the blog and going on holiday for a week it's the very least I could do.
So without further ado, here's a lovely photo that I took of my visit....to none other than Monmouth's Household Waste Recycling Centre:
And as for the message:
"Weather crap and recycling variable....
Wish you were here... Well perhaps not exactly here as other HWRCs are available.
As today is the beginning of WRAP's Recycle Week a visit to your local HWRC will be even more timely. The theme of Recycle Week is "One more thing", so what a perfect excuse to rummage through your cupboards and pop along to your local HWRC to show your support. Your "one more thing" could be an aerosol can, a tetrapak carton or a few batteries... whatever they are able to take. And while you're at it, tell your friends just in case they can't find their way. And if they really can't find their way out of a proverbial paper bag the Recycle Now site will be of great help.
Oh I'm so glad to be back... even if it never felt like I was really away!
Lots of love,
Almost Mrs Average xx"