Thursday, 10 June 2010

Wednesday 9th June

Another grey and dull start to the day, but at least it is dry. Toast and tea for breakfast.

While I'm waiting for Sally to get ready I thought I would try to describe the flat for you. The block is part way down quite a steep hill, and is a three storey building with eight flats per storey, so 24 in total. Judging by the number of them that still have their new Yellow Pages outside, quite a few must be second homes rather than lived in or holiday lets.

Because the block is built into the hill to a degree, instead of steps to get to the upper floors, they have put in ramps from paths built into the hill. This means that all floors have easy access. Mind you, I would not call them wheelchair friendly, as the doors inside are so narrow. As previously mentioned, the block is quite bland looking, being a cross between council style and prison block! It could do with a lick of paint to brighten it up, but thankfully once you get inside, it is a pleasant surprise that awaits you. It appears to have been decorated fairly recently, in light neutral colours and the carpet is also neutral and light. The furniture is all modern, the bed very comfortable and all in all gets a thumbs up from us.

Our flat is at the far end of the top floor. It isn't too much of a walk from the carpark, but when it's raining it's far enough!! The carpark has a numbered bay for each flat, although we have seen so few cars there so far that it wouldn't be a problem to find a spot anyway.

The front door opens outwards, and really should be hinged on the other side as you basically pull it open into your face the first time you use it. You quickly learn to go beyond the door right to the end of the walkway before you open it.

Straight in front of you there is a short, narrow hallway. A door to the right (narrower than a normal one) leads into a good sized bathroom. There is a full sized bath with a shower over it along the left hand side, a wash basin on the right just inside the door, and the toilet at the far end. The basin being just inside the door is a bit strange, but there is plenty of room to move around in there. (Wish our bathroom at home was as big!)

Problems: the room steams up very badly, even with the window open and really needs an extractor fan. The toilet is a pig to flush, needs an adjustment I think. For some reason they have put up 2 shower curtains, one as normal, plus one against the wall. It is a fully tiled wall, so this seems very odd, and it also makes it seem very narrow in there while you are in the shower. There is also a glass shower screen half way along the bath which is totally superfluous.

Coming out of the bathroom and back into the hallway, just beyond the bathroom door is another narrow door which contains the water tank and could be used as an airing cupboard.

Straight in front of you is a door which leads into the living room, which also has the kitchen in it. It is a good sized room, probably around 20 feet by 15 feet. The kitchen part is on your right, into the corner and along the wall that has the bath on the other side of it. The "L" shaped kitchen has a fridge with a microwave on top of it and a large cupboard above with saucepans, baking trays etc. To the left of that is an electric 4 ring hob with an oven below. Above is a cooker hood and a small cupboard. Moving to the left again is a worktop with cupboards above and below, and as you come around the corner this continues, but the worktop has the sink unit in it. There isn't a huge amount of workspace, but there is plenty of storage with the cupboards above and below.

The living room part of the room has a two seater sofa, two armchairs, a coffee table and a small unit with the TV on it. The TV also has a video and DVD player built into it and there is a Freeview digi box underneath. In the drawer at the bottom of this unit are a few videos, DVDs and CDs.

There is a tall built in storage cupboard which has an ironing board, vacuum etc in it, and a small built in bookcase which has a few ornaments and books.

The patio door leads out to a balcony looking out towards the sea. The patio door itself is a devil to use. It may be down to a poor design or possibly misuse over the years, but there is an art to closing it successfully which involves getting on your hands and knees to make sure a small peg goes back into a guide runner. It seems from the comments in the visitors book that this has been the main bugbear about the flat for some time. It took me about 5 minutes to suss it out, but obviously not everyone has the patience to do this. (Well, to be honest, I thought we'd broken it to begin with, and only found out about other peoples troubles with it later!!)

Double folding doors on the left lead into the second bedroom, which has a pull down double bed in it, a folding dining table and chairs, built in wardrobe and a chest of drawers. Some people have used it as the main bedroom as it is the bigger of the two bedrooms and has a huge window looking out to sea. We have chosen to use it as our storage/dressing room.

Moving back to the entrance to the living room from the hallway, on the left is the door to the "main" bedroom. This has the very comfy double bed, a built in wardrobe and two small bedside cabinets.

The heating in the flat is by electric storage heaters, but the whole place is so cozy that I doubt these ever see much use.

That's about all there is to it. Compact but pretty much everything you could need. If one of the bedrooms was made into a kitchen (probably the rear one - as that is big enough to be a kitchen diner) and fitted with a washer-dryer and dishwasher, it would be perfect.

The sun came out and we headed out down the narrow country lanes past Stackpole towards Castle Martin, where we hit upon a slight snag. The main road was closed as the army base was having live firing practice!! It would seem that it is a tank training base or something, and they sometimes have to close off the main road which runs through their artillary range.

The detour took us down some even narrower lanes, but we finally got to our destination of West Angle Bay which overlooks the entrance to Milford Haven. The information board in the carpark says that Milford Haven has one of the deepest natural harbours and entrance in the world, which is probably why it was chosen as a place for supertankers to come into.

It had started to spot with rain, so we sat in the car and read (and I dozed for a while). There are not many people to be seen compared to the number of cars here. I can only imagine that most are doing the walk around the peninsular from one side of Angle Bay to the other and back again. There is a pub about two thirds of the way around the walk, and I bet it has a fair few ramblers in it right now!!

A scenic drive back along the same route, and stopped to watch some surfers for a few minutes. Stopped for lunch in Bosherton at the St Govans Inn. This is an olde worlde type pub, wooden beams and all. It was very busy - they seemed to be catering after a funeral judging by the number of black ties being worn.

Sally had a ploughmans and I had scampi chips and salad. Both were very nice indeed. We followed this up with dessert, chocolate fudge cake for Sally and banoffee pie for me. While we were eating, we could here the occasional "boom" of the guns, and even some heavy machine gun fire. All slightly surreal.

We moved on to Stackpole Quay and Barafundle Bay. The one National Trust car park serving both. The walk to Barafundle was a bit strenuous in places, especially just after a large meal!! We didn't go all the way down to the Bay, but sat at the clifftop admiring the view of the beach and cliffs beyond.
The weather has been a bit cloudy today with lovely sunny intervals, only the odd spot of rain, and has remained fairly warm. We are now back at the flat, mug of tea at the ready. The patio door is open and the sound of the waves crashing onto the beach is one I will never tire of.

Dinner was baguettes with the remains of the chicken from last night in one, and tuna with green pepper in the other. Simple but tasty.

As the light begins to fade, the view is still excellent out to sea, and it is very clear, being able to see for miles. A lovely end to a lovely day.
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