Monday, August 22, 2005

The Dish, with stuffing

Headed southwest again, past Chester and into Wales: destination Llangollen. Home to both a major Eistedfodd and Balloon Festival (it's a wonder it's not called Lung-ollen), this is where my twice-great grandmother and her family lived at census time in 1861. The census record says Abbey St, but I believe Abbey Rd would be the venue; it's the main bit of road skirting the town centre.

It reminded me very much of Dolgellau in its location and the way the town was presented, albeit without the narrow winding streets: this was much more of a grid affair.
We turned around and stopped a while in Wrexham, the major market-town for North Wales...and in the few hours I was there, I didn't see much to do there but shop. The famous Monday outdoor markets seemed to consist of maybe a dozen food stalls in a car-park, with a butcher calling cuts of meats like a bingo-game.

Final stop for the day was the Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, another place I alluded to in one of my first blog entries for this trip. There's a small visitor centre with a handful of displays, a cafeteria, gift-shop inappropriately selling astrological mugs and a theatrette where you can watch a 10 minute Australian-made 3D film about a trip to Mars. Tourist sites may mention a no-longer-open planetarium. There is also an arboretum , but since the entire area is off-limits to dogs, it was too hot to leave Bondi in the car and I gave most of it a miss.

This evening's TV highlight: on BBC2 a documentary "Taxidermy: Stuff the World", which has some pretty um unique characters. I'm not sure if the winner of a regional competition - "It's a hollow victory" - appreciated the irony of his remarks. However I'm not sure if i was more disturbed by the woman with the refrigerator full of cervine testicles (which she mounts on plaques), or those who go out and shoot animals for the sole purpose of mounting them thus...

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