Anglesey Coast Path, day 5

September 15, 2017 0 Comments
Anglesey Coast Path, day 5

It’s rained all night, at times heavily.  Over breakfast we ask each other whether water will mean trouble for us again during today’s walk, from Moelfre to Amlwch Port.  We stare at the map.  We consult tide tables.  We scrutinise Mr Rogers.  We think we’ll be safe.  As it turns out, we’re wrong. The weather […]

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Anglesey Coast Path, day 4

September 14, 2017 1 Comment
Anglesey Coast Path, day 4

Rain threatens this afternoon, so C and I start out on our own from Brynsiencyn at 8:30.  It’s a dark morning, and thick layers of cloud cover the mountains across the Strait.  The village looks comprehensively closed.  The pub’s abandoned and the public toilets are locked.  But we do spot that rarity in Anglesey, a […]

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Anglesey Coast Path, day 3

September 12, 2017 0 Comments
Anglesey Coast Path, day 3

A day without rain, the Met Office predicts.  There’s rejoicing in Beaumaris.  All our guests are gone this morning, and C, H and I wait again outside the Spar for the 9:05 bus to Llanddona.  This time the driver’s too polite to express incredulity that we want to go there.  From the pub in Llanddona […]

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Gwynedd Coast Path, day 19

September 12, 2017 0 Comments
Gwynedd Coast Path, day 19

Heavy rain is forecast until the afternoon.  We put off making a start to Bangor as late as we can, but set off from the city centre along Ffordd Ddeiniol towards the Pier around 11:30.  The rain’s falling steadily, and only our faces are visible.  The long Garth pier, built in 1896 by Lord Penrhyn […]

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Anglesey Coast Path, day 2

September 11, 2017 0 Comments
Anglesey Coast Path, day 2

The rain has stopped, and none is forecast for the rest of the day, as six of us wait in Beaumaris for the bus to Llanddona.  The driver looks dubious.  ‘Llanddona?  Are you sure?  There’s nothing there’.  But we are sure and he lets us on.  We get out by the pub and the public […]

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Gwynedd Coast path, day 18

September 11, 2017 0 Comments
Gwynedd Coast path, day 18

Caernarfon to Bangor isn’t one of the Wales Coast Path’s happier stretches.  On a day of near continuous rain it really can’t be recommended.  And if, on top of that, you get lost not once but three times, it can turn into a bit of a torment. Normally a bus journey is a fine start […]

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Anglesey Coast Path, day 1

September 10, 2017 0 Comments
Anglesey Coast Path, day 1

Anglesey has more than enough cars – far more than enough.  This struck me the last time I was here a few weeks ago, when it took an hour and a half to go a few miles, and it’s even more obvious today.  A crawling queue to cross the Britannia Bridge, then a slow snake […]

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Is it time for a National Trust of Wales?

September 1, 2017 2 Comments
Is it time for a National Trust of Wales?

There was a time when the National Trust was invulnerable and beyond criticism.  Its aims are so obviously virtuous, and the experience of visiting its sites so rewarding that anyone bold enough to question its ethos or ways of working would have been seen as eccentric.  The Trust is still one of the most popular […]

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John Ystumllyn: an African in 18th century Eifionydd

August 27, 2017 3 Comments
John Ystumllyn: an African in 18th century Eifionydd

It wasn’t his real name, ‘John Ystumllyn’, but one the locals gave him. Another was ‘Jac Du’ or ‘Jack Black’. How he arrived, unwillingly, in north Wales is obscure. What is certain is that his origins were in Africa, and that he found a home for himself and his family in the Criccieth area in […]

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Reading and silence

August 20, 2017 1 Comment
Reading and silence

I’m working my way, slowly – that seems the best way – through Sara Maitland’s A book of silence, and I’ve reached the part where she discusses the paradoxical relationship between reading and silence.  On the one hand, reading the way we do it today is a silent communion between writer and reader.  Silent, on […]

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