Category Archives: Gwynedd Council

Dai’s Shed and the Aberdyfi Village Stores

I had a lovely little shopping spree at Dai’s Shed on the wharf this morning. I bought a tub of cockles in vinegar, a beautifully prepared dressed crab (I was presented with a huge tray and allowed to pick one out)  and a gorgeous fresh mackerel, an absolute beauty.   I always gut my own fish just before cooking because I think that it helps to retain both shape and flavour, but I seriously appreciated the offer to do it for me.  I always cook mackerel on the day I buy it, but was contemplating a second one for the freezer.  However, the chap in the shop (Dai Hughes himself perhaps?) told me that, like strawberries, mackerel turns to mush in the freezer.  Very welcome advice.  I still haven’t psyched myself up to coping with a live lobster, but it will have to be done.   Aberdovey fisherman Dai Hughes catches the fish himself in his boat Santa Fe. The shop will be open this year until the end of October.

I went afterwards into the Aberdyfi Village Stores at 4 Seaview Terrace, and was so impressed by what I found.  It has a Costcutter logo over the window so I wasn’t expecting much, but it is a little treasure trove of very good quality products on wooden shelves and fresh goods in refrigerated units, many Welsh and some with a distinctly continental twist.  There is a nicely presented vegetable selection with good, fresh produce.  The asparagus that I bought looks really super – fit healthy spears – and the fresh bread is gorgeous, the best I have found so far in either Aberdovey or Tywyn,  My other purchases included fresh double cream, natural yogurt, a pack of couscous, a jar of Welsh Lady Hell’s Mouth Mustard that has paprika, garlic and chilli to liven it up (yet to try it but wow), a pack of dried juniper berries in the excellent Green Cuisine range and some eggs.  A great mix of the basics as well as a generous supply of some more exotic items in tins and jars.  Impressive too that they are open til 8pm on Monday to Thursday, 9pm on Friday and Saturday and 6pm on a Sunday.

Some of today’s haul from Dai’s Shed and the Aberdyfi Village Stores in Aberdovey

The expedition was somewhat tainted by the £3.30 minimum charge for parking in the big car park on the seafront for over three hours.  There’s not much choice at this time of year when it is so busy and all the short-term parking spaces are taken.  Why does Gwynedd Council not provide a 1-hour charge for quick visits?  Such a heavy fee just to dump the car for half an hour doesn’t really offer much incentive for local people to shop in Aberdovey when parking at the Spar and Co-Op in Tywyn are free.  It is like imposing a penalty fee for using local shops.  All very well to take exercise and enjoy the view by walking down into the village on a dry day, but it was chucking down when I left the house.

Here’s what I did with the mackerel from Dai’s Shed:  Gutted it, cut slits in it on both sides, rubbed in a mixture of garlic, paprika and olive oil and baked it stuffed with lemon slices in foil painted with olive oil in the oven.  I served it with lemon slices (should have been limes, but I didn’t have any), the juices from the foil poured over the top and a salad made of diced purple onion, mint leaves from my garden, diced salad tomatoes, capers, shredded little gem lettuce, giant chives from the garden, a home made mustard vinaigrette and a good shake each of salt, pepper and piri piri.  Spot the deliberate mistake with the layout of the cutlery 🙂  Couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it until I started trying to eat!

 

A Critical Path snafu – and why is there no rubbish tip?

I am a big fan of Critical Path Analysis, essential in project management to track what needs to happen before something else can take place.  I did a very simple CPA chart for the very first steps towards making the house suitable for full-time rather than holiday-home living, a lot of which involves finding places to put my stuff, currently blocking up several rooms of my father’s house and his entire double garage.  This involves disposing of a lot of things out of the garage, and moving new and existing shelving units into it, creating space in the house for bigger and better shelving and extending the storage capacity of both house and garage.

So my CPA looked something like this yesterday:  before I can move in boxes of things, I need to sort out the garage, including removing all the rubbish in there, painting the walls and floor, fixing the leak in the roof, blocking the gaps between the roof and the wall and then putting up heavy duty shelving.  Amongst the stuff that needs removing are two huge chests of draws.  As there is no council or commercial dump around here since the one at Machynlleth closed, the next step was to order Gwynedd Council’s bulky goods removal service, which would also get rid of a single bed and a futon that are taking up much-needed storage and desk space.  So I went ahead and ordered the low shelving for the spare bedroom where the spare single bed currently stands, the high shelving for the main bedroom (replacing the low shelving in the bedroom that will go at the back of the garage), the desk and chair for where the futon sits and the heavy duty shelving for the right side of the garage.  Then I went on to the Gwynedd website and ordered my bulk goods removal.

My Critical Path snafu was ordering the furniture before checking out bulk waste collection dates, based on an erroneous assumption that collection of my bulky items would take place within a couple of days.  The earliest that Gwynedd can come is 9th August – 10 days away.  So all this stuff from Amazon is turning up and there will be nowhere to put any of it until the 9th!

It is going to be interesting to see how I can fulfil Gwynedd’s requirement for me to get all five objects (two chest of draws, the futon, the bed and the mattress) outside where they are “easily visible” on my own, but I dare say I’ll manage.  God help the elderly and the infirm.

Gwynedd Council’s charges a whopping £23 for 5 items, £46 for 10 items.  Southwark Council, from which I have just come, charged me £16 for 10 items just before I left.  It would be less of a shock if there was anywhere around here where I could take the stuff to dump myself, but since the council dump in Machynlleth closed down a few years ago, there has been nothing.  I drove to Dolgellau last year, where the Gwynedd website said there was a recycling centre, but that was a rather pathetic little affair, designed for local recycling of food, tins and bottles, not the disposal of bulk items like an eight-draw chest of draws, a bed base, mattress and a futon.  Someone told me that the Machynlleth tip closed because there was a problem with the contractor that operated it on behalf of the council.  Whether this is true or not I don’t know, but it would have been handy if Gwynedd had come up with a replacement local solution to disposing of household and similar items.  However, I am counting my blessings because my friend Cheryll, who lives in Gloucester, informs me that Gloucester Council charges £24 for three items, £8 for each additional item and take an eternity to arrive.