|Sugar Loaf, near Abergavenny|
|Useful source of opera DVDs|
|Quaint street, quaint pub in Ledbury|
|Somewhere in this Llanarmon DC jumble is The Hand pub|
|Antelope, Poole: our room had the bay window|
|Guildhall Tavern, Poole, on right: champagne and cairanne|
Writing works best when there's a sub-theme. And while A Small Death was unintentionally spreading alarm and despondency we were engaged in a prolonged celebration of our wedding anniversary - the fifty-fifth.
Prolonged because brother Sir Hugh, having just finished one of his mammoth walks (Boston to Barmouth), was staying a few days and we tried to pack in a mort of entertainment. Mort, by the way, is "a great number or quantity".
We started by encircling Sugar Loaf (Welsh: Mynydd Pen-y-Fal), a 1955 ft hump in Monmouthshire, in SH's Yeti 4WD, after which I dragged him to Abergavenny Music, forcing him to buy a Don Giovanni DVD with Bryn Terfel.
Then BY BUS! to Ledbury to a quaint pub, Prince of Wales, in an even quainter ginnel, Church Street, to eat steak ale pie and drink various forms of real ale.
Then an exhilarating, remote and greatly varied 2hr 30min drive to Llanarmon-Dyffryn-Ceiriog, North Wales, for lunch at The Hand Inn. Sir Hugh's comment: "I've never travelled so far just for a meal."
Finally an overnight stay at The Antelope (more quaintness) with dinner at the Guildhall Tavern in Poole, Dorset, approached through yet another of Britain's glories, the rolling magnificence of Hardy's Wessex.
Yes I did feel somewhat odd breaking off to comment on decay and death while enjoying the fruits of long life but I didn't seek to deceive you. The post and the tourism simply overlapped and, in any case, you were all at your marvellous best. And much appreciated.