21 – 25 July 2009
Off to Bwlch Uchaf, our Welsh cottage for a week. We stopped en route, in Church Streeton with my mother and Richard, we fed and watered them and left after breakfast on the Tuesday morning. I must say apart from my mother’s early onset of Alzheimer’s, which is barely noticeable, for a couple of nonagenarian’s they both seemed in remarkably good form.
Wales greeted us with its usual mixture of rain, wind and sun – with more of the former than the latter – ensuring that my bathing costume stayed firmly in the drawer. Chloe and the grandchildren were staying at Grannyâ€™s house in Aberdovey, so there were many excursions to and fro. The joy of being a grandparent, however, is that one can always call it a day when things become too frenetic.
The highlights of this holiday were those intermittent periods with the family, walks, beach and games with for the children; an evening dinner excursion up the beautiful valley to the Tal-y-Lyn hotel, nestling alongside that large dark sinister lake, beloved of a local fisherman and the visitor alike.
Yesterday, â€˜my lovelyâ€™ and I spent the day in Machynellth (having originally intended to go to the art exhibition, the National Library of Wales, in Aberystwyth but due to the car playing up prudently opted somewhere nearer home). We had a jolly time visiting the antique shops, where we bought a beautiful piece of Welsh porcelain; had lunch in the Wynnstay Arms Hotel (gone slightly downmarket since the Colonel used to take the family there for lunch, admittedly over 50 years ago, but then things tend to change rather slowly in Wales) and ended up viewing the latest art exhibition, at an offshoot of The Museum of Modern Art of Wales, next to the Tabernacle. Contemporary art generally is not to my taste but there were one or two exhibits I could have lived with.
After a week of relatively â€˜niceâ€™ weather, by Welsh standards, we set off back to Clavering, staying with the old folk in Church Streeton, on the way, following the now â€˜ cast in concreteâ€™ procedure. Champagne at six (I always arrive with two bottles — one for the upward journey and one for the return) and an early meal at a local pub.