Sunday, January 21, 2007

Between Wdig and a hard place to pronounce

Thursday's storm was the worst the UK has endured in 17 years. Today's being the worst in two days, it hampered the efforts of Alison & James to show me around some more of Pembrokeshire. I'm very grateful for their efforts here as navigating some parts of Wales makes one feel as if you've entered the dangerous end of the scrabble board. I'd survived Wdig but what would happen if I had to go to Eglwyswrw?

We started with a walk around the grounds of Carew Castle, only the most recent of many buildings on this site, the remains of an Iron Age fort having been found here. There's also a tidal mill sitting above a causeway which we crossed on our walk.

From there we went up to the Preseli Hills in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park between Fishguard and Cardigan. Stone was taken from here to build Stonehenge. Today we were less hardy than our Iron Age forbears, and were quickly deterred by keen winds and boggy ground, shuttling on to the nearby seaside village of Newport (not the much larger Newport near Cardiff). Apparently home to trendy BBC types, there's a pleasant cafe by the water which sheltered us for lunch. Although there a number of dogs around, the cafe didn't have anywhere to leash them outside. I had to sit Bondi on an embankment and drop the end of the leash under a slab of slate. He sat on that embankment, staring at me through the cafe window, only turning aside occasionally to inspect passing canines or to acknowledge human fans.

Back in Pembroke, Alison chained me to the piano (hardly an unwilling prisoner) while she concocted some fabulous dessert. Both Alison and James had worked out that by asking me an open-ended question ("What happened in History? ... and then?" "What's all this about DNA?") I would end up babbling through a meal without consuming anything.

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