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Operation Bletchley wildlife

12 Days of Christmas, Day 12

Over the 12 Days of Christmas, as we leave 2020 behind and step into 2021 I set myself 3 challenges.

  • 12 Days Wild, to complete a daily “random act of wildness” exploring the winter wildlife.
  • Operation Bletchley: Christmas in Berlin 24 MILES: 12 CODES: 12 DAYS. A fundraising challenge for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity which involves walking and codebreaking
  • Building the Lego Hogwarts Castle kit, my Christmas present to myself.

Well, as day 12 comes to a close I’m very proud to say Mission Accomplished.

For my 12th random act of wildness I decided to bring a bit of nature to my computer workstation. I spend a lot of time here, researching family history, helping with the Rhos Helyg Locoworks admin, and so on. I already have a window bird feeder in front of me but I have ordered a couple more window feeders including one for fat balls. I found some “Flutter Butter” and a window mounted holder for them. I’ve also ordered a wild bird water drinker to hang in the apple tree in front of the window.

I am looking forward to seeing more of the garden birds as I work.

I completed Operation Bletchley. In 12 days walked 24 miles and solved more than 24 codes. Mum and I tried to finish the hardest Cypher Expert level but we still had 6 unsolved codes including several we just did not know where to start. Admitting defeat graciously seemed the best course of action. I will still receive a medal for completing Codebreaker and Junior Levels. I would be delighted if you could click on the link to sponsor me. I believe donations remain open until the end of January 2021. https://events.soldierscharity.org/fundraisers/RuthWillmore/operation-bletchley

I have also just finished Lego Hogwarts Castle. I am delighted with it. It has been really good fun to build, very rewarding and an incredible level of detail. I loved Lego as a child and during furlough have built a few of the smaller Harry Potter themed kits, including several purchased second hand on eBay. This was a huge treat, something I have wanted to do for several years. You can view the completed model at this YouTube link.

I also purchased a lighting kit, but I really can’t recommend it. Hugely disappointing. The instructions for it are in Chinese only. The pictures included don’t appear to really match either the contents of the lighting kit or or the Lego kit itself. I should have known better than to buy a cheap product that wasn’t from Lego themselves. I managed to fit some bits, but ended up with wires trailing. I felt they should be hidden but couldn’t see how to do it. Other parts of the lighting kit I couldn’t fathom at all. I’ve requested a refund.

I am now looking forward to spending more of my time researching family history, both my own and for a few other people who have asked me to look into their origins.

I will be keeping up with daily walks, even if only to one of the graveyards that I am transcribing, or just the the war memorial to play Pokemon.

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Operation Bletchley Pentrefelin wildlife

12 Days of Christmas, day 11

Over the 12 Days of Christmas, as we leave 2020 behind and step into 2021 I have 3 challenges in progress.

  • 12 Days Wild, to complete a daily “random act of wildness” exploring the winter wildlife.
  • Operation Bletchley: Christmas in Berlin 24 MILES: 12 CODES: 12 DAYS. A fundraising challenge for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity which involves walking and codebreaking
  • Building the Lego Hogwarts Castle kit, my Christmas present to myself.

Yesterday I completed the 24 miles for Operation Bletchley which leaves me two full days to solve the final codes and accomplish my mission. The final codes arrived first thing this morning and I solved Junior level early on.

I am determined to complete at least Codebreaker level and maybe Cypher Expert level too. I have a Zoom with Mum later on to put our heads together. I cracked the 11th Codebreaker level this afternoon, but I need the 10th in order to solve the final code. I’m getting there, but not managed it yet. I am trying very hard not to give any spoilers as I know that a few other Operation Bletchley agents are reading my blog and not everyone has yet completed the walking, so still have the last few codes to arrive.

For my random act of wildness today I went for a short walk, and picked up some of the litter lying along the side of the road. We don’t get too much here, but sometimes bits and pieces blow out of the recycling bins before they are collected. There is even less around now so I feel I’ve done a “good thing”.

I’m also cracking on with the Lego, I would quite like the space in the office back so I have decided to leave the genealogy work for another day or two until I have completed the castle. Almost there! I just completed instruction number 288 of 326 and there don’t look to be too many pieces left in the box now.

I’m looking forward to working out how the two main pieces connect together.

In readiness for twelfth night my other main job today was to take down the Christmas decorations. I think I’ve found everything!

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Operation Bletchley Pentrefelin wildlife

12 Days of Christmas, day 10


Over the 12 Days of Christmas, as we leave 2020 behind and step into 2021 I have 3 challenges in progress.

  • 12 Days Wild, to complete a daily “random act of wildness” exploring the winter wildlife.
  • Operation Bletchley: Christmas in Berlin 24 MILES: 12 CODES: 12 DAYS. A fundraising challenge for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity which involves walking and codebreaking
  • Building the Lego Hogwarts Castle kit, my Christmas present to myself.

Today has flown by. Tony was back at work. He works from home so it isn’t really a change but he’s in the workshop rather than around the house. So, it seemed the right time to try to return to normal, whatever normal is after so many months of furlough.

I’ve added a wedding and a tombstone to my website, transcribed a will for my own research (very boring, everything left to his wife and no mention of the family owned cinemas) and started to catch up with laundry and other mundane tasks

Two more sets of codes arrived for Operation Bletchley. I’ve managed Junior level but not even got my head around Codebreaker level never mind the Cryptic level! That’s got to be my priority tomorrow, as well as getting the Christmas decorations down.

I walked the final two miles so should receive the final set of codes tomorrow morning. I’ve scheduled a Zoom call with Mum to work through the those that we’re stuck on. I’ll be very upset if we don’t manage at least Codebreaker level. Walking up the hill still felt like quite an effort today. Clearly I need to make a point of walking that direction more often. I took the right fork rather than the left today. The views are again worth the effort. I love where we live!

The sea is just about visible

We’ve got another announcement from the Prime Minister looming later this evening. Whether it will be relevant to us here in Wales is yet to be seen. Clearly we aren’t going back to normal any time soon.

I’ve barely done any Lego today. I’ve not yet decided whether to set aside a big chunk of time and get it finished it whether to plod on doing a little at a time.

For my random act of wildness today I put the bird boxes back up. We took them down in the autumn as they were literally full of wasp nest.

The bird box in the summer! Full of wasp nest.
Cleaned and replaced.

The #52Ancestors writing prompts for January have arrived in my inbox and I made a start on thinking what and who to write about for those. Some may require a little more research to know what I want to say.

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Operation Bletchley Pentrefelin wildlife

12 Days of Christmas, day 9


Over the 12 Days of Christmas, as we leave 2020 behind and step into 2021 I have 3 challenges in progress.

  • 12 Days Wild, to complete a daily “random act of wildness” exploring the winter wildlife.
  • Operation Bletchley: Christmas in Berlin 24 MILES: 12 CODES: 12 DAYS. A fundraising challenge for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity which involves walking and codebreaking
  • Building the Lego Hogwarts Castle kit, my Christmas present to myself.

I decided that my “wild” challenge today would be to check on the various wildlife homes around our garden. The birdboxes, which housed bees or wasps this summer, have already been taken down and cleaned. We’ll put them back up in early spring. The birdbath I noticed was full and looked reasonably clean.

We have a number of insect houses dotted around, two were birthday presents last summer, the others more established and I noticed plenty of use over the summer. We also have a bat box, which was a wedding present. I’ve not actually seen a bat use it, but we do see bats flying around the garden so I suspect it does provide some shelter.

I managed to get quite a lot of Lego done, both last night and this morning, and now have completed classrooms and work is well underway on the other wing. I had thought I might finish it today, but I think it will take at least until tomorrow.

Late morning I put a few of the leftover chocolates in my pocket and headed out. I first walked to the war memorial (I have run out of Pokeballs so spinning the Pokestop was vital today!), and back towards the house, which ticked off my first mile.

I then set off up the hill in a direction I haven’t walked since beginning the Operation Bletchley challenge. I caught up with some neighbours and walked a little way together, but I turned left and they carried on. I continued for another mile up the hill. It was tough and I had to tell myself just keep putting one front in front of the other. The views were well worth it though, and the mile back down to the house was much easier.

So three miles chalked up in total today and hopefully two sets of codes will arrive tomorrow morning. I am aiming to receive the final set of codes with plenty of time to work out the final answers before midnight on 6th January.

I solved the 9th Junior and Codebreaker levels without much difficulty, but the Cypher Expert is baffling me for now. I’ll come back to it!