Tag Archives: Wales

Different country, same stuff

Wednesday 24th June 2020, 11.10am (day 3,226)

Welsh social distancing, 24/6/20

Doing this blog for nearly nine years has started to affect my behaviour. Today I decided that my record streak of English-only pictures had gone on quite long enough — specifically, 142 days. The nearest point from my house that lies in any other country is where the Welsh border crosses Bumpers Lane beside the Deva Stadium, Chester, which lies approximately 53 miles from my house as the crow flies. With nothing but reading and thinking to otherwise do today, I set out for it — and here is, more or less, the first scene that I saw after crossing into Wales at said point.

Looks a lot like England really, doesn’t it. I mean, social distancing an’ all. Hwyl anyway to my nearest unEnglish neighbours. And their dogs.

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Snowdonia (probably)

Thursday 23rd January 2020, 3.15pm (day 3,073)

Snowdonia cloudscape, 23/1/20

Up in the air again, from Manchester airport heading roughly north-west, though not very far (so if you want, you can deduce where I travelled to before I post from t/here tomorrow). Not long after take off, visual interest was added to the flight to the south, where this cloudscape revealed itself. I wasn’t sure at the time where this might be but a subsequent look at the map suggests the hills in the background must be Snowdonia, in the north-west corner of Wales. It’s the general golden wash that I like about this photo, however. Far better weather up there than down on the ground today — as is often the case, of course.

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Car crash (remote)

Friday 13th December 2019, 10.15am (day 3,032)

Dead car on path, 13/12/19

A car crash in a remote, forgotten part of Europe that probably happened three and a half years ago seems an adequate metaphor for the way things panned out today. This is a good sixty feet below the road. Maybe the occupants got out, but I actually suspect not.

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Election Day in Newport

Thursday 12th December 2019, 11.35am (day 3,031)

Election day, 12/12/19

As I type this there are 23 minutes left of voting in the third General Election day to feature on this blog. On all of them I have been away from home — I was in Dundee in May 2015 and Siberia just over two years later in June 2017. I had to get out from the conference venue today, there was no way I could stay in the antiseptic air-con of the Celtic Manor all day. But the prospects offered by Newport and the River Usk were grim. A dark day. If you see anything about today as heralding a bright shining future of some kind, I admire your optimism.

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The dragon watches

Wednesday 11th December 2019, 3.15pm (day 3,030)

Celtic dragon, 11/12/19

2019 has had a number of interesting work trips, at least, but this is the last of the year; my second visit to the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE) conference, which as it always is, is being held in the highly corporate Celtic Manor Hotel in Newport, south Wales. This hefty dragon sculpture stands somewhere in the complex, looking out over the M4, in case any passing motorists were tempted to wonder what country they were in. A sensation I am starting to sympathise with, in fact.

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The summit of Holyhead Mountain (county top #1)

Saturday 22nd June 2019, 10.45am (day 2,858)

Holyhead Mountain summit, 22/6/19

24 hours in Holyhead, Anglesey, planned around the enjoyment of two of my principal leisure pursuits. The footie was yesterday, the walk today. As you can see, the weather was… pretty decent. I seem not to be able to resist the temptation to collect places, and for a while have been preparing to set out to bag the highest points in all the counties of Great Britain, and with Holyhead Mountain, this, almost accidentally, kicks it off… so out spurts another blog, which you may or may not like to check out. While you’re here though, is it me or does that trig point look like the robot from The Day the Earth Stood Still?

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The winners

Friday 21st June 2019, 5.25pm (day 2,857)

Isle of Man women, 21/6/19

People have been very much in the background of the blog in the last three weeks, if they appear at all. There have been glimpses of a foot here and there, the back of a head.

Football has also been absent from the blog over the last three weeks, but hey, all close seasons must end, mine as soon as possible. The women seen here are the from Isle of Man team and are celebrating their win in the 2019 Island Games tournament final, 2-1 over Ynys Môn, also known as Anglesey.

The connection between these two absences may be coincidental, but I like it.

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End of the dyke (Prestatyn)

Saturday 2nd March 2019, 12.40pm (day 2,746)

Prestatyn monument, 2/3/19

This monument stands on the north Wales coast, at Prestatyn, and marks one end of the Offa’s Dyke Path, which goes from here all the way down the Welsh/English border to Chepstow on the Severn Estuary, 180 or so miles away. Not that I came here to do any walking, but it is a reasonable spot to while away a bit of time.

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High summer, Rhyl

Thursday 12th July 2018, 4.45pm (day 2,513)

Rhyl, 12/7/18

One can expect many of the small seaside towns of Britain to look fairly desolate on, say, a wet Tuesday in February. But Rhyl, North Wales, where I happened to find myself this evening, manages to look like this in mid-July at the end of the sunniest period in a couple of decades. It’s quite an achievement.

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After the missed penalty

Saturday 27th January 2018, 5.15pm (day 2,347)

After Flint match, 27/1/18

Ieuan Hewitt, full-back for Flint Town United, is consoled after visitors Newtown won 4-3 in the penalty shootout at the end of their 2-2 draw in the Welsh Cup. Hewitt saw his kick saved as the shootout progressed under skies that looked like they were rough sketches for Dante’s Inferno.

POSTSCRIPT: After I tweeted this picture it was then used as the lead back page photo in the Flintshire Chronicle‘s report on the match. Which was flattering…

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