Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Haverford West to Manchester Piccadilly the Long Way

says it all - popped onto Twitter this week
Friday is my last day in Pembrokeshire. I plan to spend to do it doing as little as possible, and I succeed in this aim.
house in Haverfordwest
On the right below are sea anemones, limpets, rocks, and various flowers [really, is it all flowers?], a bird at the top of a tree. A small island off the Pembroke Coast, looking at a stream, reading. And Haverford West Castle.
We drive to Haverfordwest, mooch around for a bit, then it's the train and home for me. Sadly this takes the form of a cancelled Cardiff to Manchester train and we obliged to wait a good while at Hereford, next train to Crewe, and then who knows?
Certainly not the staff at Crewe who keep counting us. [We are not impressed that the trains (and there at least two Cardiff to Manchester ones) are cancelled, owing to "staff sickness and holidays".  Who thought that people would take a holiday in August?]

My travelling companion in disaster, Caroline left at Shrewsbury to continue on to Oswestry. Then a group of about nine us gather at Crewe while the station staff decide what to do with us.
Welcome to Crewe!
I tired and it's only Hereford.
hanging around
Crewe First Class Lounge

Piccadilly sans son
negotiating the tram lines
 Eventually we are invited/allowed to partake of tea (and banana) in the first class lounge. The first class customers look alarmed at this group of grumpy tired holiday-makers. We take photos of each other and bond even more.

At last we are the 12.44 to Manchester Airport and Piccadilly - oh joy. It is half past one and Morgan "might" be a bit late. Get bored of waiting in empty station, start walking to meet him, discover the best drunk, suit white teeshirt, just about staying upright on high heeled pink sling-backs.
Go back to Mig's, drink too much wine. The drunk made my night; the drink finished me off.
holding onto lamp post

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Haverford West, Horses

Walt has booked a timber chalet near Haverford West for three weeks for him and Stella. I was to join them for their Week One.
buddlea and nostalgia coming into Newport




I left Leeds at 12.50 on Sunday, giving myself Unity Day Recovery time, changing at Manchester Piccadilly, next train going all the way to Haverfordwest West but stopping at all the big and little south Welsh stations.
The trainline from Newport to Haverfordwest was a solid line of butterfly bushes, purple buddlea. As I passed through Bridgend, the birthplace of my father I took a photo of the table, covered with all the usual suspects plus Gareth Edward's book, Proud. (Gareth initially famous for coming from and originally playing rugby for Bridgend).


Haverford West looked quiet at 9 on Sunday as I tumbled out of the train with my stupid new and awkward trolley rucksack. There was one taxi. I took it. Remembering I have no food we stopped to buy cream crackers and cheese, and milk for the teabags, and of course a celebratory red.



Dusk was being overtaken by night as Timberhill Chalet No 43 bobbed up on our radar, and John appears, welcomes me with wifi, and I settle to Night One.

Next day I hang around quite happily until cream crackers again loses its appeal. They have been supper, breakfast and lunch. Take a stupid long way round to Broad Haven, which is totally worth the walk and the wait. A cafe. A Londis. A walk along the beach. Jelly fish. Fungi. Take the Pembroke coastal path back and end in the campsite. Have a great late afternoon doing absolutely nothing till Walt and Stella appear, then do more nothing.
Tuesday Do nothing

Wednesday walk to Broad Haven again, meet up with son and granddaughter who have cycled down, walk home, more nothing.

Thursday they go off to Broadhaven; I take a 5 hour hike along the Pembroke Coastal Path to Nolton Haven. En route I descend into Druidston Bay. Unspoilt, almost empty, I sit in a cave and eat the sandwich Walt made me. Delicious.

Thus rested I climb the southerly path out of the bay when. A couple of horse hove into view. I stand to wait for them to pass, but more appear and then more. Eventually 50 odd of the critters appear, and the wait is longer than expected.

Around every bend the views are stunning. I arrive at Nolton Haven, take a tea and a bun at the Anchor pub, leave my cup and plate as requested in the sink, and return whence I came. Taking the road for a while I pass two quirky little buildings, one pictured, rejoin the path, and then, by now quite weary, sit awhile, drink and read.

Back at base more nothing then some badminton. Stella and Walt now own a body board and wet suits.

On Friday I am leaving on the long train to Manchester, which is about to take longer than I expected!

selfie at Druidston
Nolton Haven

no cycling, can barely climb or descend!

Miriam leaves the UK and Astrid comes back, Miriam and Debs turn up at same graduation ceremony

Well Astrid, I am not a great fan of city centre drinking at the weekend [I predict a riot], but it was Miriam's leaving do and needs must. However when we got to the Liquorist it was just too loud.   
Cutting a long story, we ended in Gusto where Mig was that evening. Morgan may well be regretting telling me he was in Leeds this particular Friday. In fact at one point he was suggesting we were too loud. Moi! Jamais! In the end we were me, Miriam, Tim and Buster.
There's another daughter/granddaughter somewhere in here!
Just as Miriam is deserting the devastating effects of academisation [education privatisation without educational philosophy] in the UK, here you are back with us, Astrid.  Yippee on both accounts.
It's the right start for Miriam and the right return for you.
Anyway, before Miriam hits Egypt [and I am not sure Egypt really knows what's coming!] Miriam has to collect her post-post-grad research thingy. I go as her significant adult [!], but when we get first person we meet is Debs [also driven abroad by academisation] collecting her Masters. Debs is with Charles and her mum [Margaret] and Miriam has me.
Debs taking the stage
Grimesdyke on the big screen
Debs and Miriam at Beckett Park
Miriam taking the stage
Debs and Family and another family