Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The bucket moves on

I am convinced that Daz may be a goblin after all. I can see no earthly explanation as to how he was able to arise in the morning showing no ill effects of his efforts to see the bottom of that jug, from the inside! He and Ian loaded the remaining items and supplies to take 30 or so miles to the beach at Merthyr Mawr, where in their LARP event, pirates and grass-skirted (in that chilly weather?) Haitians were about to come face to face. Poor Susie was ‘with the stuffies and sniffles’ and returned to bed, as Farmer Dai arrived to pick grab hold of their bucket’s handles. Eternal gratitude to my Llanelli hosts. Diolch yn fawr!

Farmer Dai, aka ‘The randy-dandy of St Clears’ sent his cohort Alan Evans, of that town’s Radio and TV fame, to meet me and show me the sights of the area. Alan hosts a social network site once known as ‘The Province of Deheubarthwhich at my behest, has been renamed ‘World Wide Welsh Community’. Not too many people living in the former PoD had a clue about the origin of that name – you probably don’t either; hint, JFGI.

He also ‘takes to the air-waves’ on his creation, once called ‘Radio St Clears’, now renamed 'Radio West Wales' (tune in some time) to broaden the audience list and reflect that he recently changes his domicile (was he banned?) from the town of St. Clears. Enough of this patronizing – on with the bucket trip. 

Alan took me to Llanelli market and, this being St David’s Day (March 1st), decided I should take my first -ever taste of that (perhaps uniquely Welsh) staple, the cockle. Best with vinegar and pepper I was told. I had a small sampling before being treated to one freshly scooped from it shell – opened by putting it boiling water. Neither I, nor the cockle enjoyed the experience! I have now, eaten my ‘last-ever’ cockle!

The tour of the area continued and as we traveled, I was ‘interviewed’ by Alan for a radio podcast. Essentially, I was shown Stradey Park – a Welsh icon that was torn down a few years ago, and onward to Kidwelly Castle and a nice bacon, sausage and egg baguette breakfast in a quaint house adjoining the castle. It is all recounted here: St David's day with Swansea Jack. - which includes a segment of Alan interviewing this lady, in her Welsh national costume, at Kidwelly Castle.

I listened intently as to my tour-guide recounted some of his youthful indiscretions (fortunately NOT captured on the recorded interview) and we drove on at break-neck speed toward some fire that did not exist. This was St David’s Day (he is patron saint of Wales) so we headed to Carmarthen (oldest town in Wales) expecting to see a lot of nationalistic activities there. I think we may have taken a wrong exit at one of the 5 or 6 roundabouts en route, ended up in Bulgaria. It might as well have been Bulgaria, for there was NO semblance of anything Welsh going on! Well, there was this mannequin in traditional Welsh costume standing outside a small shop. Bold bugger that I am, I just had to leer and 'cwtch' up to her!

After a pint at a local pub, whose bar was being propped up by the loudest loud-mouth in all Christendom, Alan dropped me off at the train station for the 45-minute ride to my home-town, Swansea where I was to be met by my friend of 55 years (the one I had briefly met the previous day, courtesy of 'Cockney-Susie') who was to be my host for the next 10 days.

No, in spite of the appearance, I was NOT being escorted out of town! I just had to get a photo with one of Carmarthen's finest - a 'Transport Bobby'!

To be continued . . .

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