Friday, 4 July 2014

My Big Fat Welsh Mini Break (Family Time)

I was woken around seven on Tusday morning by the screaming of seagulls and the crowing of a cockerel. A bit weird but that is Aberystwyth for you.

After a quick breakfast we headed off into town and went around the shops and of course took another turn on the prom. Then it was back to my mother's for lunch and my sister Wendy and my niece Gemma arrived. We had a good old natter and then Wendy and Gemma went into town to do some shopping and we arranged to meet up later.

The building work on the right is the shelter being rebuilt
after being damaged in the winter storms

After a leisurely lunch we met up at the bandstand and spent the afternoon walking along the prom talking and eating ice cream. It was the best day I've had for a long time. It helped that the weather was so perfect, a bit breezy, I got ice cream in my hair, but otherwise lovely. I'd remembered to bring my camera and got some lovely shots of the harbour. We walked, well the others walked, I trundled, for a good couple of hours stopping for ice cream and a drink. While sitting eating our ice cream a military helicopter flew low over the sea and barely cleared the castle. I fired off a few hopeful shots, he was moving pretty quickly, and am really pleased with what I got.

There was something that I'd noticed whilst wandering around the town and that is parking.

Parking in Aberystwyth is almost legendary, there is even a facebook page dedicated to it. I've decided that there are four types of parking going on.

From the left. My niece Gemma, my mum, Eileen and my sister Wendy.

There's the 'stuff parallel parking I'll just abandon it here'. The 'I've got the front/back end in so I'm parked.' The 'the road may have double yellows but I'm on the pavement so I'm fine.'  And possibly my all time favourite 'yes I've blocked three cars in but I'm bound to be back before they are.' I've witnessed all of these types at least once during my stay. I was a victim of the yellow line parker when encountering one on my scooter and nearly toppling into the road trying to go around him. However I've come to the conclusion that the parallel parking problems are down to old ladies who have no idea how long their car is.

Whilst waiting for Peter outside a shop that morning I'd watched  this old dear first try a space that to anyone else would see was miles too small for her. She gave it several goes before she gave up and drove along the road a little way to a space that was about twice the length of her car. Then ensued a full ten minutes of blood, sweat and tears as she went back and forth at the same angle trying to get into this enormous space. I was crying with laughter and the sweat was pouring off her but she just kept on going. Before long there was the smell of burning clutch and I was so tempted to ask if I could park it for her but I was worried about the reaction I'd get. Walking past the same spot an hour later she had joined the 'back end is in' category and had left it with the nose sticking out into the road and half a mile of clear space behind her.

Once Wendy and Gemma had left and I'd had a rest, I was enjoying myself but the pace was beginning to tell on me, we went back into town to sit on the prom and wait for the sunset. I had my camera with me and we were all ready. While waiting we indulged ourselves in one of our 'musts' of any visit to Wales. A bag of chips smothered in curry sauce accompanied by a tin of Vimto.

When we first married we didn't have the money to throw around so for us a treat was a walk along the prom eating curry ad chips and sharing a can of cider. Of course I can't drink anymore, and besides it is illegal to drink alcohol on the sea front so Vimto it was. Now, despite being fairly comfortable we still indulge in our old treat whenever we come back and it tastes better than any high priced restaurant meal.

The sunset was lovely but not as brilliant as the one the night before, I could kick myself for forgetting my camera, but I still got some brilliant shots. We stayed until the sun had disappeared completely and still sat watching the sea for a good half hour before going to bed and sleeping like a log again.

There was one moment of sadness during the day. Very briefly I remembered that if my transplant had gone ahead I could have actually been walking along the prom instead of being stuck on the scooter. It made me sad but I refused to let it spoil the day and promised myself that next year I would walk.

Unrelated to Aber but note worthy. I had an email from my PH center to tell me they were ending the contract with Healthcare at Home and that another company will be taking over very soon. Whilst delighted I can't help hoping that it is not going to be a case of frying pan and fire. We will see.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. More tomorrow.