Late Afternoon Sun on the Canal

Selling logs this afternoon at the Poacher Pocket in Chirk, next to the Llangollen Canal, took this picture as I was taking a break in sales. What have you been doing this afternoon?

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Celebrating 21 years of Daniel Patrick Sotelo


Today is Dan’s 21st birthday and I’m so pleased to be spending the day with him as it’s not often we get to spend time together. What a handsome, charming, intelligent, modest and all round great guy he is. Just like his Dad….

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Nature red in tooth and claw

DSCF1001The remains of a bird, perhaps a pigeon, were left on the lawn this morning after a sparrow-hawk was spotted in the far corner under a fir-tree enjoying his lunch.
sparrowhawk 2

I captured a similar incident four years ago.

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Tanat Valley Firewood Now Available at Greatorex

Established a new business partnership with Greatorex serving Llanrhaeadr and area. They supply everything that you might need from 08:00 to 22:00 daily, so support your local shop. You can now get your Tanat Valley kindling and oak or ash logs from Greatorex.

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David’s Ironman journey… Barcelona 5 October 2014

Official pics montage

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Perfect Autumnal Afternoon With Megan

We went to sell logs and kindling at the Rhydycroesau Autumn Fair, Megan was great at taking money, giving change and taking kindling to the car. We had a super time.

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Iron Man emerges from the Med

IronMan event (8)David completes the first stage of his Barcelona Iron Man event as he transitions from the 2.4 km swim to the 180 km cycle ride. After an hour or so swimming among 2500 others, he is still on top form!

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David in action at Ironman Barcelona

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The Knockin Shop Stocks Tanat Valley Firewood

Delivered the opening stock to The Knockin Shop today, my first retail outlet. I dropped off some oak and ask log as well as kindling. Knockin is on the road to Mid Wales and the coast and passing trade often stops for logs for the holiday lets and country cottages. You can also get your hair cut while you are there!

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‘David – you are an Ironman’

David You are an Ironman

What a day! What a race! I smashed it in a time of dead-on 12 hours. Mother nature welcomed us at the start with a firework display of thunder and lightning, delaying us by 30 mins. I felt strong throughout the swim, avoiding any kicks and punches and coming out of the water after 2.4 miles in 1hr 14 mins.

The sun dried us quickly on the 112 mile, pancake flat, beautiful coastal ride . The sea breeze kept us from being baked. I rigidly stuck to my nutrition plan of gels and energy drinks every 30 mins resulting in frequent pee breaks. (Memo to self: must trying relieving myself while riding to save time. Check first if anyone is drafting behind!)

After 6 hrs 3mins I sped into transition. Helmet off, fresh socks and running shoes on and out on the marathon course. I mentally counted down 8 parkruns, walking through the feed stations refuelling with banana, gel, water and energy drink before picking up the pace. (Note to self: vomit inducing gels really do work – keep taking them). After 20k and as dusk settled my morale faltered briefly as I reflected on what an idiot I was to take on this challenge. Singing old club dance favourites kept me going: Soul II Soul – Keep on Moving, Salt N’ Peppa – Push It. So that’s what I did. I pushed on. Making the last 5k the fastest parkrun split of the lot.

The volunteers and crowd support were fantastic. Nothing lifts the spirit more than hearing a random stranger saying: “C’mon David – you are amazing, stay strong!” Our bodies are indeed amazing and with the right mental attitude you can achieve much more than you perhaps thought possible. 24 hours later I can still hear that unique phrase ringing through my mind I first heard as I sped down the finishers funnel ‘David you are an Ironman!’ Mission accomplished.

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