The Beginning of the End of the Journey

all good things eventually come to an end. I’m out of clothes and the ability to navigate so it must be time to go home. Here’s the last couple days of photos. Commentary later.

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Quiet evening, waiting for paint to dry

Yup. Taking a break to let some paint dry. Also have a little hand wash drying (turns out I was unexpectedly and pretty dirty one day. So I fixed that.

Had a little dinner: some good wensleydale cheese with apricots, some olives, some fruit, (forgot the crackers…) and some red wine I picked up in the Lampeter Cooperative grocery store. You could also buy whiskey and other things there but I refrained. It’s still raining and windy out – I hear it on my windows.

Anyway, this is probably dry enough but I’m trying to be patient. It’s bigger, so it’s taking a little longer. In the photo it seems a little yellow to me – no doubt the room lighting.

How rainy and windy was it?

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Pembrokeshire, continued

Had a lovely breakfast this morning and then headed out to see what sort of indoor activities might be found. It was raining hard when I left and by the time I got back it was raining harder and blowing so hard the water was blowing UP from the road. Not too many photos today. In part because of the rain but also because St. David’s Cathedral isn’t really a place to be snap-snapping photos. I got some postcards of the things I wanted photos of and spent my time looking at things. And then of course I had lunch.

On the way back I stopped at what might be the best thing I was unable to see in Wales. I kept seeing these little signs of a rhino beetle and spotted another sign for it on my way back. In I drove. They were closed but seriously – wouldn’t YOU want to see this???

Latest photos linked below. By the time you get there, there may also be a bonus video. Of, no kidding, the rain and wind.

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And now for something…

…a little out of order and completely different.

Dinner! I’ve been tending the past few days to have more breakfast/lunch stuff and less dinner stuff and today by the time I got here I was hungry. When I arrived, the proprietor brought me a tray of tea to the sitting room and it was all very proper and lovely.

Tonight I ate dinner here since they’re closed on Monday and Tuesday. My meal came with two oval casserole type dishes. One had two small round souffle type dishes in it, the other had: finely shredded (long shreds) of savoy cabbage and kale, perfectly cooked carrots cut in half inch logs and perfectly cooked zucchini disks. The two little dishes held: spiced pickled cabbage (red and cinnamon-y) and the other… pureed parsnips with fresh dill. Oh MY! There was another larger round bowl of potato – not quite mashed, not quite baked – delish!

I thought the server said parsnips and I was so curious if that could be true. Each and every one of those vegetable offerings was wonderful. Not a big kale fan but the texture and mix with the cabbage was quite good. Made me almost sorry I didn’t look at the vegetarian offerings but I had my mind set on something else on the menu.

And now, hold onto your hats… a good way into my dinner (and it was all spectacularly tasty and perfectly prepared)… one of the people serving came to me and asked:

“Would you like some more vegetables?”

Report from Newport, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Where the heck did she go, you might be asking yourself. I asked myself that quite a bit. After heading out from the workshop, heading down through Betwys y Coed, lunch at the Ugly House and all… I spent a lot of my time on the road wondering where I was. I finally caught on that roads were only marked with route numbers at intersections. I knew I didn’t want to be just then in Powys. I knew I wanted to go south along one road towards Aberystwyth in hopes of going to the National Library. Well after spending quite a bit of time “enjoying the landscape” I did end up in Aberystwyth in a total gridlock which diverted me. I finally ended up back on the right road towards my next stop but it was clearly going to be dark when I got there.

There was white stuff on the ground at one point while I was driving and I knew it was hail but I counted it as winter-y driving anyway. Oh, and some places here they tell you the percentage grade if it’s ten percent or higher… say… I don’t know twelve or seventeen percent…

I thrashed around and finally the shepherd’s hut owner mercifully met me out on the road. Got myself settled and had no problems sleeping that night for sure!

Next day I decided maybe I needed not to thrash around for a day. I knew I could make it to Lampeter and was pretty sure I could find the Quilt Centre. I went, turned up and found a grocery store. It had a post office – they know everything I figure so I bought a stamp and asked – oh yeah – just up the street – about a ten minute walk, you can leave your car here. And if you’re hungry there’s a cafe right next door, quite good. Not driving sounded great so I rearranged my stuff and headed off.

At the Quilt Centre, the wonderful Jen Jones said – oh, the exhibit just closed… (sadness) but the person who was supposed to help take it down hasn’t come yet so I don’t see why you can’t go in. She was the only one in the shop so she showed me around and said she’d check back. Oh my – what a blessing to have squeaked in to see those quilts.

More to come – photos uploading and it’s going to take awhile. I think this will take you to the start of the most recent. I’m doing them in chunks.

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Greetings from Penmachno, Wales

Using some wifi to upload photos from the past few days to the Flickr album. I can’t say I was distraught over unplugging from all the news and happenings across the pond and there’s something to be said for immersing yourself in what you’re doing especially when it’s vacation.

The workshop was just great – wonderful people and good teachers, stretching exercises and feedback from the two who run the course and from the other students. So much talk about writing, and writers and politics and everything else you can imagine. Some wine. A lot of good food. A long walk on the first free afternoon and a walk to see an old (iron age) church and then a walk along the walls of the Conwys Castle on the next. The latter was followed by a nice field trip to a “pub” – actually a bar in a hotel where I sampled a very nice flat, darker cider. 7.5% I think. I got dissuaded from having a pint but ended up having two halves so…

It was sad leaving but everyone seemed ready to go out there and not only get writing but get down to the business of submitting things. Charge! Make it so!

This is a pretty big dump of photos, beginning with Caernafon Castle and the Weeping Window exhibit.

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