Three Women, Two Men and Ruby the Dog.

three women_2

Peter wears sturdy boots with his trousers sensibly tucked into long woollen socks, Kath sports a racy Panama hat with a black band, and I have a rose pullover.

Along Amroth’s shingle beach, formerly occupied by Victorian houses but long since washed away, we looked out over the flat sand that reached around the frozen lava flows to Wiseman’s Bridge a mile or so away.

Behind us stands the New Inn, a farmhouse with a four hundred year history and now a smart pub, modern and gleaming white in the sunshine. Next to us is the marker post marking the start of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path, opened in 1970 by the friendly Welsh broadcaster and Oxford history graduate, Wynford Vaughan Thomas. It tells us Poppit Sands are 180 miles away.

Fine weather, low tide, and a lively brown dog encourage us to walk this first stage of the coastal path to Tenby, 7½ miles away. Continue reading “Three Women, Two Men and Ruby the Dog.”

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Barcelona Days and Spanish Nights, 2017

Barcelona Funeral_Gaudí

…but it was too late. Gaudí died two days later, on June 10, 1926. Thousands attended his funeral.

29 February, 16ºC

We decided to take breakfast at a cafe on Calle Roger de Flor. Perhaps it was unsure of itself for it had emblazoned across its red banner which stretched across the double fronted property ‘Cerveceria Cafeteria Bar Roger de Flor’. We consulted the menu with helpful pictures and in poor Spanish we asked for two omelettes and two coffees. We took our seats across from a few workers in high visibility, yellow jackets having a mid morning break.

After breakfast, we wandered down the wide triumphal passageway Lluis Campanys – ‘A dog walkers paradise,’ said Marjorie as the third dog walker passed us. The palm trees made it feel foreign and the cyclists made good use of the wide, traffic-free pedestrian zone. Continue reading “Barcelona Days and Spanish Nights, 2017”

The Night I’ll Never Forget

Flugzeug Junkers Ju 88

Then, I saw a single Junkers, an angel of death in the dark sky…

Along with my older sisters Carys and Ffion, I lived with Mum and Dad in a two-room cottage at number eleven, India Row, Monkton. We lived, ate and cooked in one room and slept in the other. The living room had a table and five wooden chairs. On the mantelshelf over the black range, which we used for warmth and cooking, stood two photos and a clock. In a Huntley & Palmers biscuit tin with a picture of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on the circular lid, we kept the money, the rent book, the insurance documents and a candle, and next to it on the table stood a bottle of whisky for emergencies. Continue reading “The Night I’ll Never Forget”

Fat Wallets and Young Hopes

IMG_3391…he withdraws from a rucksack a royal blue Sri-Lankan cricket shirt

The bicycle has an iron frame. It is sturdy, and typical of old-fashioned, reliable Ceylon. We will travel a few kilometres along a gentle path by the river. We are sixteen, well-heeled British seniors on a holiday excursion. After brakes have been tested, saddle heights adjusted, and the most rudimentary instruction on the gears given, we are ready to depart. Tentatively the pedals are pressed down and it all comes flooding back in waves of nostalgia from the days of cycling to and from school long ago on traffic-free roads. It is true you never forget how to ride a bicycle.

Most people selected a helmet. Most, but I hear one comment: ‘I haven’t done this in years,’ and pointing to the helmet, ‘Are these things necessary? I’m not wearing one of those.’ Continue reading “Fat Wallets and Young Hopes”