Friday, 29 June 2012

JUNE - JULY 2012

This week, the Oyster Catcher restaurant and academy, built to replace the old Maelog Hotel here at Rhosneigr on Angelsey, officially opened. It is an unique building, as its the first restaurant for the German firm Huff, to erect in the UK. The whole building and its kitchen appliances, come in units ready to put together. It is a pity they rushed to meet their deadline date for opening at the beginning of the month, as I believe they had some initial hiccups during the first couple of weeks.
 However, Alan and I had a lovely lunch there. I had the most tasty vegetable broth I've ever had anywhere. I was facinated, since I was able to watch through the open kichen serving area, the young trainee chefs working with such purpose and enthusiasm.
The Timpson family also own The White Eagle Hotel at Rhoscolyn. They do marvellous work in supporting young people, especially the unemployed. Here, at the Oyster Catcher, through them, the eight trainees employed as apprentices, have already completed a year's training in catering at the ialand's technical college. In twelve month's time, they will move on to employment at other hotels, whilst eight other youngsters are now at the catering college and will then come as trainees on work experience at the Oyster Catcher. It is hoped that this cycle will continue for many years.
The Timpsons are an incredible family. They have fostered over 90 children. They also have two factories, one for male trainee workers and one for female trainee workers. These factories are for rehabilitating offenders from the nearby prison. They are then found employment in their Timpson shoe shops. I'd be so proud of such amazing community achievements during my lifetime. 

During Menter Môn's Festival month of walks and functions, I joined up with a minibus visiting various archaeological sites around the island. It was rather a wet day, but the company on board was very friendly and warm, so I ended up having a very enjoyable day. Sean Harris, the film animation producer, had joined us. I've mentioned before the animated film he made based on Llyn Cerrig Bach. Sean had brought some interesting items to show us.

One was a stone axe replica, made by flint napper John Lord using Norfolk flint. Sean filmed him making it and used it in a film for Derby museum 'The Song of the Axe'.

The bronze flat axe replica he had is an early Bronze Age type and was made by Neil Burridge. It shines like the sun...
The pottery sherd was given to Sean by his late friend, the artist William Brown, who found it on Orkney. It is certainly early Bronze Age in origin and may be older. You can see that the decoration around the rim was made by impressing a thumbnail into the clay.

I was contacted by Ben Errington, London University's Science Dept. to ask if I could meet up with them at Llyn Cerrig Bach, since they were coming there to do a scientific botanical survey this month. They were also extremely interested in the history of the lake, having viewed my webpage. We had a lovely morning together, gleaning knowledge from each other on both aspects of the lake. They have done bore holes in many boggy places, but this time they only studied the botanical environment of Llyn Cerrig Bach from a little boat.

That evening, I then went to give my presentation on Llyn Cerrig Bach to the Ladies Guild in Holyhead, which was well received. My first cousin Vera was in the audience, so we had a lovely catch up chat at the end. We're both so busy, we hardly ever meet!

July, is a very exciting month for me and my family this year, as the Llyn Cerrig Bach exhibition is opening at Oriel Ynys Môn. Also being lauched is a book, titled "Llyn Cerrig Bach - Treasure from the Iron Age". This relates fully the story and background of the artefacts that were found by my father, W.O.Roberts and his team of men in 1942. It can be bought either in a Welsh or English version, price £11.95. I am thrilled with the format of its publication, as it contains information, pictures and illustrations which can easily be appreciated by the general public and schools etc. It also includes valuable contributions by archaeologists and other specialists.

Pat West, Principal officer of Oriel Ynys Môn, gave this inspiring release to the press this week. It wets the appetite of everyone to go and view for themselves this exciting exhibition.
"The artefacts are not only there to be seen and admired, but to fire the imagination of the viewer, providing a connection to people who lived on Anglesey over 2,000 years ago. The display will include a splendid shield mount, various chariot parts, a gang chain, part of a cauldron,, a sickle and blacksmiths' tongs.
Many of the most significant finds included in the exhibition have never previously been displayed on Anglesey. Only the most durable parts of the Iron Age objects have survived. Reproductions of some artefacts have been made, to show how they would have originally looked and have been used". These will be available in the gallery to handle and talk about, between 1 - 3 pm daily, throughout the school summer holidays".

The exhibition opens for public viewing from Saturday July 14th. until mid November.

Finally, after threatening to give up on my blog writing, Martin, my son in law came over to save me last night, when all my entire entries had disappeared, as I thought. On doing a couple of clicks, he brought them back to life thankfully. He then pointed out to me that it was in the UK that I had had over 2,000 blog viewers, but that I had also - 926 in the USA, Romania - 269, Germany - 130, Russia - 110, Canada - 75, Australia - 70, Poland - 47, France - 43 and India - 41. I was amazed! You never know, some of these interested people might turn up at the exhibition on Anglesey! You are all welcome - CROESO I BAWB - see you there if I'm around.

PS Just remembered, I am giving my presentation on Llyn Cerrig Bach at Oriel Ynys Môn at 1-30pm on Saturday August 4th in WELSH and at 7.30pm Thursday August 30th in ENGLISH.  Hwyl fawr - Eflyn.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


MAY - JUNE 2012

At the beginning of may, Alan and I went on a cruise around some of the Canary Islands. Our first stop was Madeira, wher we had spent a fortnight's holiday a few years ago. We decided therefore, as it was so hot, just to visit a restaurant we liked and relaxed in the shade of a brolly to watch the world passing by. The next day we docked in Santa Cruze, Tenerife and went on a coach ride up to Mount Teidi. We saw the Garzia rock formations and the volcanic chimneys uncovered by years of erosion - very impressive. There was a cable car that took you to the summit of the mountain - but there was no guarentee that it would bring you down again! This was because the mist fell so quickly. We decided to give it a skip as it would take four hours to walk down, by which time our ship would have sailed off without us!

The following morning we docked at Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. We travelled by coach all the way to the south of the island. The landscape was very monotonous, according to Alan, it was just like driving through an everending quarry. We did have a nice lunch break in one little bay called Porto Mogan. The bourgeinvilleas over the arches looked amazing. The other small creeks we saw were at the bottom of steep cliffs, with apartments perched all the way down each side of them. Some it seems had sand imported from the Sahara in order to create a small beach!

Our favourite island, from the ones we visited, was Lanzarote. Here, the landscape was awesome - created from different periods of volcanict eruptions. We had a camel ride up the Fire Mountains. These were made up of volcanic dust, but looked just like the sand hills we had camel rides on in Egypt.

We were then taken to a volcanic area where you could peer down a hole in the ground and see the burning lava at the bottom only about three feet under us! They then demonstrated pouring water down a metal pipe into the ground. This erupted then in the form of a geyser with a massive bang.
Following this, we were given some sweet potatoes that were cooking over a grill above another open hole in the ground. Following this, we visited a vineyard for some wine tasting.

One of the nicest features of Lanzarote is that there are no buildings higher than two storeys allowed in the villages. Wish this had been applied on Anglesey years ago! This is due entirely to them taking the advice of a wonderful man named Cesar Manrique. He has produced all kinds of sculptures around the island and even built his house over lava bubbles, creating all kinds of fascinating underground rooms in it. After his death in 1992, his house has become a museum, open to the public. Near the coast is a cave complex that he has carved a theatre, swimming pool and night club into! Due to our walking difficulties, we were unable to visit this area. Do enter his name in a search engine for the full story this wonderful man.
Whilst on board during one of our at sea days, I organised an informal gathering for any U3A members who might be amongst our passengers. Alan and I were pleasantly surprised when 23 people turned up! We had an excellent meeting, with everyone in turn stating which U3A they belonged to and what lectures and activities they organised. The groups around London had about 4,000 members, which naturally they had to split into various groups according to their interests. This was the case with many other large groups also. Our Anglesey group has 120 members. Since we meet every week, about 60 is the normal attendance. This means that we have become very close social friends also, which is really nice. For anyone over 55 who might be interested, we meet at 10.15 every Friday at St. Ffraid’s Hall, Treaddur Bay, unless we have an arranged outing. Our website is:

Later in the month,, Alan and I enjoyed a visit to Cardiff. The weather was beautiful so we went by waterbus from the castle to Mermaid Quay in Cardiff Bay. Here, we enjoyed a lunchtime concert by local school children at the Millennium Centre and then caught the bus back to outside our hotel. Since we’d never been to the Millennium Stadium, we went on an organised tour of that another day. The young guide was excellent but with a strong Scottish accent!!?
One evening, we went to St. David’s Hall to Karl Jenkins’ concert. In the second half he played his new composition “ The Peacemakers”. It was amazing, especially with Côr Caerdydd and Howell’s school children choir blending so well with the orchestra.

Of course our visit to Cardiff wouldn’t be complete without a visit to see our friends in the Archaeology department at the National Museum. This time, we had the pleasure of seeing Mary Davis at work in the Conservation Lab. She had put up X-rays of some of the Llyn Cerrig Bach artefacts for us to see. The museum had bought a new small X-ray unit that it was possible to link up to her laptop. With this she could analyse the metallic content of each item she x-rayed.

Mary had also set up the small tongs under a microscope for us to see in detail. These will be amongst a large display of Llyn Cerrig Bach artefacts
coming up for display to Oriel Ynys Môn. This exhibition will be open to the general public on Saturday, July 14th. I am really excited about this!

 Finally, I must commend all those who worked so hard to make sure that our village of Llanfaelog had a proper community celebration for the jubilee. There were activities of all kinds going throughout the afternoon on the green in front of the Hall. Since it was such a beautiful day, chairs had been placed around for those needing to sit to watch the activities and enjoy a tea and cup cake. They included such things as displays by Dog Handlers, a magician, limbo dancing, volunteers in stocks! etc. Two lovely young men played background music on steel drums. At 4pm the children sat down at tables laid out just likethe old traditional street party ones. To finish off, they were all presented with a commemorative mug.          Congratulations therefore to ALL the organisers!

The Anglesey Walking Festival has been going for thirteen years by now. I was asked to meet the walkers as usual at Llyn Cerrig Bach, RAF Valley, on its first day. Thankfully, the lovely weather was still with us then, so we had a good crowd of nearly 30 walkers turning up at the lakeside. After my talk, Ian Simms, the local RSPB warden guided them around the area to study identify various flowers and birds.  

The format of creating a blog entry has changed again! I'm the kind that refuses to read instructions but carry on blindly with the longer method of trail and error. Its been a real trial therefore getting this blog to look reasonable! Hence the terrible gap at the bottom I can't delete! - Eflyn