I got my car back from the body shop on Friday complete with new roof, new seals, new wind-stop and newly repainted trunk. If you recall, someone slashed the roof of the car and stole some stuff the other week. They stole my wallet and four cans of beer which I will admit was a very stupid thing to leave there on the passenger seat. My excuse was simple, I was only popping into my apartment for a second, but alas, as it turned out I took a second too long.

The thief tore three great big holes in the roof and scratched the trunk of the car, damage that was most definitely an insurance job. In the end the complete bill (paid for by my insurance) was £1891, in American dollars that’s a staggering $3,448.05!!

In the end though it was a bit of a stroke of luck. The old roof was a little on the leaky side and aside the little repairing I could do, there really wasn’t any way it could be fixed and I wasn’t about to stump up the cash for a whole new roof. However, the new roof now means that the leak is fixed, the rubber seals around the windows are also replaced and we snuk in a couple of other goodies too, including a rear wind stop. This alone has changed the car because now the air doesn’t rush back into the car from behind. So for folks with long hair who might be in the passenger seat their hair doesn’t get messed up and on the chilly nights the car stays toasty warm inside with the heater on.

Can you tell that I’m pleased? The bonus with having it back on Friday was that I had it for the holiday weekend and on Sunday Posh and I drove over the border into Wales in it. We ended up driving around the beautiful twisty country lanes of North Wales, roads that I’m sure were more used to seeing tractors and horses rather than cars.

North Wales has some of the most beautifully forgotten places I know. Castles are commonplace, strewn like abandoned toys upon the faces of hillsides brushed in the oils paints of history. Many are ruins, protected by laws and societies and the fact that most are simply unaware of there existence. Standing in the ruins of an almost inconceivable past I sometimes wonder what these hills would have looked like in the days when these ruins were yet to succumb to the cruelty of time.

Other castles have been restored, some into museums, some into homes. Above is a Castle that overlooks Ruthin. It’s more likely an old fort or perhaps a Victorian folly. Folley’s are so common that amazingly they are not protected buildings. There are many across North Wales that are crumbling because, despite being Victorian, they are actually too ‘new’ to be considered historically important enough to spend money protecting or restoring. As a young boy I used to dream of living within the walls of a castle. I actually came pretty close once.

One of the best things about this time of year in England is the late sunsets. We drove all over the show and only at 7pm when we were deep in the Snowdonia Mountain range, did we decide to head for the coast to watch the sunset. We had time though because sunset wasn’t going to happen till nearly 10pm! (Flipside being 3pm sunsets in the winter.)

On the way we stopped to take some pictures of an old forgotten grave yard beside the sea. The final resting place for old local fishermen and people who once enjoyed the view. We read some of the graves that told us nothing much more the the barest information of the people at rest there. Beloved son, beloved father, beloved wife, beloved daughter. Even the newest graves were old.

Then we headed to a favorite shoreline of mine, one which seems to always be deserted despite it’s vast alluring sandy beaches. It was an awesome sunset too. The best of the weekend as it turned out. Really beautiful stuff. I took loads of pictures as you might expect, but mostly we just stood there watching the sun dip behind the foothills of Snowdonia, entranced and loving life.