One important item to go with us on our holiday was the Christmas Cake. I didn't ice it beforehand as I didn't want it to get damaged en route and so once we had arrived I sallied forth, purchased icing sugar and set to work. What I hadn't realized was that while I thought I had bought icing sugar made from cane sugar, I had in fact bought icing sugar made from sugarbeets. In our family sugarbeet sugar was generally frowned upon but I didn't notice the error until the evening of Christmas Eve - when all the shops were closed - and so I had to make do with what I had.
Putting my ingrained anti sugarbeet sugar prejudices to one side I set to. The results looked okay! It tasted a little different but I couldn't help that and justified things by saying to myself that we could always 'not' eat the icing when we cut the cake.
I decorated the end result with holly picked from a bush outside (and laid in boiling water for short while to kill any unwelcome friends).
It all looked rather festive:
The cake has lasted from then until now, with pieces being eaten every day. In point of fact I am sitting eating the last piece as I type these words!
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The weather during our stay in north Wales was decidely fierce on occasions and the River Dee (which runs through the centre of Llangollen) was quite a torrent:
I really liked this blue 'gothic' doorway at the side of the local police station:
We went on some delightful drives among the numerous valleys. This is not far from where we were staying:
I took this photograph while we were having lunch on the side of a narrow lane. The countryside was criss-crossed with these hedgerows. We aim to return in the summer for a short holiday too. I expect they will all look spectacular then:
But north Wales is not just about valleys (no matter how green they are). It is also about sunlit uplands:
And stark, rugged mountain scenery and remote lakes:
Behind this cloud (in the photograph below) is Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon). I have never seen it myself because whenever I get near, it is covered in clouds: be it summer or winter!
On the left is Y Lliwedd and on the right is Crib Goch. Yr Wyddfa is in the centre, completely obscured. It stands some 1,085 metres:
Even in Winter Wales is a magical land:
But at the end of the day it is nice to return to the valleys again:
I hope you enjoyed looking at these photographs. If you ever get the chance to visit North Wales - do not hesitate - grab your bags and go!