Lately, I realised that I haven't written a nature-related post for a long time. I'm going to blame this on pregnancy, rain, and less time with my husband at weekends . . . Firstly, pregnancy does not mix well with hills, beach-walking or any kind of rough terrain. I was doing really well, up until I reached around 32 weeks, then I experienced two bad colds, began to feel nauseous all over again and lost a bit of my fitness.
When the sand draws you down to its grainy heart, you have to keep control of your feet, lift them, before they sink completely. This, I found out while walking on the beach at Ardmore with my husband and baby daughter. I was posing for a lighthearted picture and somehow my daughter's buggy stayed firm, while the sand crept up over my ballet pumps.
As a child, I always associated aquariums with magic. There is certainly a mysterious quality to creatures who live underwater and it can be fascinating to see them up close and learn about their habits. Galway Atlantaquaria gave us our first opportunity to introduce our baby daughter to some of these creatures.
I've noticed a gathering of birds in my garden, lately. Not a menacing gathering, reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier's 'The Birds', but a bright, babbling chorus of goldfinch, chaffinch, blackbird, wagtail and swallow.
On a recent visit to my home town of Swansea, I tried to think of something a bit different to do. My husband and I were meeting a friend and the options were slightly limited, due to my pregnancy and the fact that I've been getting some pain on my right side. Suddenly, I remembered Plantasia in Parc Tawe - it's got insects, fish and animals, as well as lots of greenery and exotic blooms, doesn't take too long to walk around and also has a coffee shop.
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have heard me mention my new family of three - the swallow chicks! Ok, so they're not quite mine, but as their nest is situated just a few feet from my door I have adopted the 'watchful aunty' role and I think we're beginning to bond!
I refuse to do 'The January Blues' this year. Not interested. Instead, I'm following a rainbow, not literally, of course. I know all that 'Wizard of Oz' stuff isn't real. But, in a murky month like January colours take on a greater significance.
Right now, I have a stunning view from my window. The tree across the road is wearing a badge of blossom. It looks like a wedding guest, proud to show off some fresh blooms for the occasion.
I went for an invigorating stroll on Bonmahon beach over the weekend. I also faced my fears of dissolving into a public cacophony of tears, by going to see Les Mis. I am nothing, if not a survivor!