Hello my friend, are you visible today? – 2nd April 1994

How much excitement can one boy take! Here’s the news.

Wednesday night I went to get out a video and saw someone get run over in the road. Crowd round, directing traffic in the hazy rain. No one seemed too panicky so I guess it wasn’t fatal. I got out the video ‘Dennis’ but we failed to watch it, favouring ‘Absolutely’ instead. Me, Broni and John sat in the kitchen sculling wine for a good half an hour chatting the time away about all sorts of stuff – it was really enjoyable. John is much more amenable than Simon and in some ways we’re glad Simon is leaving soon. We fell asleep later, happy and contented – Bronwyn looking forward to having the following day off.

Next day work called me at its usual unsociable hour. I left Broni happy in bed to watch the video from last night. My day was very dull and I couldn’t wait to get home and set off on our holiday. Bronwyn spent most of the day packing and buying food, fitting in a quick trip to the gym where she told me she laughed her head off as all the other people sweated away, she was taking it easy and chatting with Kerry. Got a lift back with an irate van driver notorious for his bad moods. He’s a funny (weird!) guy. Really down on himself and thinks everything is out to get him.

Anyway, on the radio in the van I heard of seven mile tailbacks at the Severn Bridge. Just the route we were taking, so I ambled in and said there’s no hurry and somehow this didn’t worry Broni – things not being totally ready despite her good efforts. We ate and ran around like chickens and hit the road at god knows what time.

Broni drove first and the weather was awful. At one stage a truck blasted us with water completely blocking our forward view on a bend. For a brief moment our hearts stopped before we made out the white lines of the road in the darkness. There were several places that were totally waterlogged and impossible to see on the road so we’d drive into them and shit ourselves.

We are running late but made the bridge tailback free where the wind was whipping the water off the road at high-speed. We eventually saw Newport. Eight lights, night sky shining and warmth and comfort with our old pal Simon. We drank tea and coffee till Anne came home from babysitting. Then we cracked open some Hungarian Wine Simon acquired last trip European record fair. 50 pence a bottle – £2.50 over here! We chatted incessantly and by the end of the third bottle it was decided bed was in order. It was nearly 3 o’clock! Simon had to be up at five thirty too! We spent another 15 minutes pumping up an air bed which was fun and ensure us a good few hours sleep. Broni said in the morning I spent the whole night wrapped around her. What other place would I ever wish to be? We got up at about nine and watched two year-old Elliott laughing and giggling at the Rosie and Jim video. He’s a real cutie. 10-year-old Ellen a pretty girl too.

After a couple of coffees and hot cross buns (it is Easter you know!) we got back in the tin can on wheels and made for the freeway. We drove through industrial nightmare cities making me realise how unindustrial Poole is compared with some places. I wondered if there was any nice places in Wales when we were here not knowing of what was to come. We drove on through wide country roads whizzing through 10 house villages heading for the end of land. When we found it we were in awe. We came up a rise and at the top, all of a sudden, was the grey sea crashing violently up to a huge pebble beach, the road running right next to it.

We drove down and stopped in a carpark protected from the sea by this huge wall of pebbles that was the beach. Some of the pebbles were is big as rocks. We got changed in the car and began a day that saw us laughing constantly. We ran up the beach (as best we could), me falling over and playing around. I rolled down the other side of the wall of pebbles and we went up to the waters edge. It was an amazing sight of huge crashing waves – some in the distance smashing against rocks reaching massive heights. The wind was really charged, furious off the ocean and into our faces.We set back off in the search of campsites and comfort!

The scenery here became more stunning as we passed through a village set in a valley carved out by some small river making its way to the sea. The houses perched up the sides of the valley and fishing boats set in the mud at the low tide. Onwards til we came round the bay we had seen from the pebble Beach (Newgale) and were able to look back on it. We found the camp at a place called St Davids and happily set up our tent, laughing our heads off all the while. We walked into the small town – which actually is Britain’s smallest city – it has an old beautiful ruined cathedral and a later one which looked as if it would be ruined soon!

We went into a camping shop to buy some fuel for our oven and came out not only with that but boots for me and a hat too! Then we bought some rations and looked around the city (I’ve seen bigger villages!). I got a coffee and bought a kite. We laughed our way back to the tent, dumped some stuff and took our kite in search of the beach. We trekked the long walkway and down a steep slope onto a paradisical beach.

The cliffs were multishaped and multicoloured and the wind disappeared in this gully (well, a bit anyway). I went and touched the pink rocks to charge myself with earth energy. I made an attempt to put the kite together but very black clouds over the horizon swept quickly over the blue sky – we thought it best to run. We could see rain in the distance and it looked very ominous.

By the time we got back to the tent it seemed to have passed and more sun was on its way so we cracked open beers and sat on the back of the car admiring a beautiful view of the bay. We munched on crisps and drink more wine in the car until it got dark, watching the few lights there were come on gradually. We were feeling very drunk by this time but decided to go into the bar. It was tiny, with two beers on draft and four bottles of spirits! They had a pool table though which we messed around on falling over drunk occasionally. We got really steamed in here and had to go to sleep so we made it the few yards back to our tent, stumbling and being blown by a ferocious wind.

We got to the tent, Bronwyn went inside but I was outside and I noticed a peculiar deep in the tent and saw at my feet several polls on the ground! On closer inspection it looked as if the pins had blown off and we were fucked! They did however bang back into the poles and we drunkenly reconstructed our tent in that midnight darkness!

Sleep came easy – except I had to piss sometime during the night. The sky was a vivid black-and-white with the moon trapped behind a cloud – it looked like a black sun and the end of the world. The lighthouse flashed in the distance. I felt wide-awake but then fell back to sleep instantly.

We get up and packed up and went in search of more fun and beautiful sites. We head up the coast road stopping to eat at a place called Newquay where are we boiled up some water for a Pot Noodle as we looked out across its bay and down on the lobster pots and dogs running along the beach.

Further and further up the coast until into our sight came huge mountains that took our breath away. We drove through the valleys, stunned by the scenery. We passed by lakes and flatlands and on into Porthmadog, across the toll road which also carried the Ffestiniog Railway.

The sun was shining down brighter across the ranges and ranges of mountains, some snowcapped in the distance. We took the shortest, cheapest journey on the train and as we sat waiting a sudden gathering of black clouds turned into a tremendous hailstorm. The views had also disappeared. The train took us about 1 1/2 miles miles away and we missed the return train by seconds and rather than wait 50 minutes we opted to walk back. As we did the sun came out again cheering us up immensely. We saw a little lamb looking lost in a field bleating for its mother’s breast and security. We got down to the toll on the road and the only way to walk over was next to the train tracks. The views were unreal, so beautiful – we felt so in love with each other and with what we were doing. I could see cars on the one mountaintop so I said we should go up there and look back on ourselves.

So we found some old single track roads and headed up steep 1 in 6 slopes. The road was just tarmac laid on the marshy field – no walls no hedges fences and I’m not joking when they say it was a single track road! To top it off another tremendous hailstorm bucketed down around us. We seemed to just go up and up and up and I was wondering if we were lost! After about 20 minutes we started to descend again – down tiny twisty bends in first gear and brakes. Then we came to a gate and thought ‘oh my god we’re going to have to go back! Relief struck us when the sign just said ‘please shut the gate’! Then down, down to relief of the sight of the main road.

We wanted to get near Snowdon and found a campsite close by but I didn’t really have a good feeling about it so we drove on and found another on the beautiful flat land surrounded by mountains in all directions

We got a beautiful spot by the river just before it got dark and thrilled at the sound of the water tumbling past we fell asleep very early, after ravioli, catching up on lost hours awake! The wind had died down and the stillness saw us to sleep and awake again in the morning. At the moment we’re looking out of our tent across the flats and it’s just started raining on us for the first time so far – despite everyone thinking we were mad for camping. The river is on our left, tumbling down. Mountains bleak against the grey sky. Still warm and homely in our tent. Soon time to pack and be on our way. We’ll miss this place like we missed the site at St Davids. It’s very beautiful and we’re having the time of our lives. How much excitement can we take?

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