I was surprised that I was so easily persuaded to book a holiday cottage in Wales because most of my holiday memories of the Principality involve precipitation. I believe that is what is called déjà vu?
Again, for the second day running, the weather forecasters had surprisingly got it right and the rain that they had predicted was sweeping back in from the Irish Sea when I woke in the morning. I say when I woke because this was the first day that Molly didn’t wake me prematurely and it seemed strange to be alone downstairs in the cottage on my fifty-seventh birthday drinking tea and fretting about the weather.
Good morning, Andrew,
A few points, in no particular order:
1. At least the Spanish police back in 1986 had the decency to confront you in person.
These sneaky “camera” fines do almost as much damage to tourism as burning down cottages.
Small wonder one wouldn’t want to return to the country in a hurry.
2. As for whether Wales is sufficiently “different”, I will just say this: in the late 70s, I used to always say that an English person would find Scotland much more different than Wales.
Yes I realised at the time that there were whole areas of Wales, like the Lleyn Peninsula and The upper Swansea Valley, where you would hear the Welsh language spoken more than you’d hear English. Whereas there is nowhere in mainland Scotland that you will hear the Scots Gaelic to anything like that extent. Not even in Oban.
But what Scotland had back in those days, apart from their own currency (which of course they still have), was very poor radio reception (so that Radio Scotland as often the only thing you could get in some places); their own banks like The Clydesdale, The Royal Bank of Scotland and The Bank of Scotland (which seemed exotic to me back then, but whose fascias following the takeover frenzy of the last two, soon began to be a familiar sight in every English town!); and a whole variant of English FAR more peculiar to an English ear than “Welsh English” (due to the influence of the Doric and the Lallans vocabularies).
3. You can get English television there in Ceredigion, eh? You lucky man you! (I jest, Andrew).
Let me tell you something. Right up until just before I left Wales, I could not see the best terrestrial TV news (the Channel 4 news at 7pm) even though I lived in Caerphilly, a 90% monoglot English speaking area. The mountain was in the way.
The Clapham Common Bounder – my MP Ron Davies – told me to move over the mountain into Cardiff!
Some MP, eh?
Now “digital” has solved the problem. But I am still spitting nails at that “advice”!
Thanks for bringing back more memories for me. From 1972 to 1975 I lived in Rhiwbina and used to walk into the hills (mountains?) behind the town and sometimes as far as Caerphilly. I liked the castle there and there was a nice pub quite close by for lunch and a pint. I have been back several times but Cardiff is not the same without the docks. I must be clear as well, I don’t mean that I wouldn’t go back to Wales just that I wouldn’t go there (or anywhere else in the UK) for a holiday!
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