On Saturday we piled into M's car and visited the South Wales Aviation Museum. Friendly and hands-on, with the opportunity to sit in some cockpits.
On Sunday Howard and I rode round the Gower Peninsula, stopping for an ice cream above the cliffs at Mumbles. Scenic, sunshiney holiday country. I stopped to buy postcards, and a stick of rock for my flatmate.
On Monday we had lunch in the café at Brecon Cathedral, on M's recommendation (I had Welsh rarebit, having already enjoyed some Welsh cakes), then tried to find an open water swimming lake that turned out to be nearly 2 miles' walk from the car park, across fields, in the rain, and gave up. After this adventure we took Tuesday pretty quietly.
On Wednesday, at my insistence, we went to Barry Island, popularly known as 'Barrybados'. I stated my seaside ambitions as:
- Have fish & chips
- Play on the 2p arcade machines
- Go on the funfair
- Have an ice cream
- Buy postcards
and I succeeded on all fronts (I rode the log flume and the ice cream was Jammie Dodger flavour).
On Thursday we tried out the Bwlch Mountain Road. With its views, waterfalls, sheep and occasional rain and mist, it could have been one of the passes we've enjoyed on the Continent. We stopped off for an ice cream in a layby before continuing to the Penderyn Distillery, where we had a guided tour and I heard for the first and possibly last time the phrase "Could the last person to nose the barrel please replace the bung?". Then we did the whole route again in reverse.
Vicars tend to be busy at weekends, so on Friday we said goodbye to M and headed for Hereford, by way of Hay-on-Wye's bookshops, to meet friends who have relocated there from Elephant & Castle. They cooked us a delicious dinner, then on Saturday took us for a walk by the river. We had a picnic with cider, were healthily exhausted and all in bed by 10pm.
Here's Edward Elgar admiring Hereford Cathedral.
On Sunday we went canoeing on the Wye. I shared a canoe with Howard and spent a lot of the time shouting at him to PLEASE STEER (it turns out steering is hard), but we all made it safe and dry to the pub lunch at the end.
We also met this dog, whose name is Peapod.
It was the first bit of time off I've had for over a year that actually felt like a holiday; we went places, saw people and did things. My happiest part of the week, though, was when Howard, M and I took Poppy the dog down to the beach after dark and watched her light-up collar flash as she raced across the sand after a barely-visible ball.