I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Counterpoint to decay/death

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.


  1. You seem to have been off having a good old tour around, eating and quaffing whilst we poor souls were indulging in some RR inspired hand wringing. (Light touch paper and retire?)
    I bet you chuckled at managing to provoke that sort of a reaction.
    I, too, enjoy Hardy's Wessex but did you, living in Hereford, have a reason for choosing Poole for your short break?

  2. Avus: I swear I wasn't out for chuckles; the juxtaposition was entirely accidental.

    Poole was something of a cock-up. The original idea was to book a hotel-room which overlooked an active harbour - a recurrent daydream. I thought I'd found it with St David's Hotel in Cardiff until I checked the rates and discovered they started at £400-plus per night. The Antelope at Poole seemed close to the harbour but it's part of the old town and much hemmed in. In the end we pushed the boat out instead at the Guildhall Tavern. Once south of the M4 the drive was gorgeous.

  3. I'm sitting here, yellow of envy, not of good food, interesting sights and conversations, lovely company and what not else but of your FIFTY-FIFTH. When I married at age 20 I dreamt of showing my parents that I can do so much better than they did. It took me 3 tries to reach 34 years until I gave up on that dream.
    I wish you many more such celebrations. Life is beautiful.

  4. Ellena: Thanks for your good wishes and for your own poignant details so eloquently expressed. Perhaps it makes me sound smug but the idea of breaking up terrifies me: would I be writing this if we had? I fear we are far from being an ideal couple, given to blazing rows, often in the presence of guests. However old age has brought one benefit: such rows often last no more than ninety seconds. As an anniversary present I bought VR a silk pillow stuffed with silk stuffing; not exactly a romantic gift but one which shows - I hope - I understand her needs.

  5. Practical presents - infinitely better, you are reminded of the giver every time you use them. I remember being particularly pleased with a blue wok once.

  6. Congratulations to you and VR on the 55th and also on blazing rows lasting "no more than 90 seconds". Maybe that's a rule which could be introduced into world politics as well as into marriage, family relationships etc. Ninety seconds is quite generous.