Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Welsh connections

April 15th, 2012

Formative years in West Wales, family originally from the north of the Principality, website artwork from Pembrokeshire, even my bicycle maintenance training in the shadow of Snowdonia. So only proper then that I make it into the Features section of today’s Wales on Sunday newspaper. Click here to see the online version. I’m quite keen to see the printed edition, not least because I suspect it’s got a few of my photos added. Unfortunately I’m not in Wales, which may make acquiring a copy a bit tricky, so if you can help, please do get in touch!

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From the Valleys

June 1st, 2011

David was from the Welsh Valleys. Decades in Australia hadn’t diminished his distinct lilt. I’d learnt a little Welsh at school. Grew up in Pembrokeshire I explained. But hadn’t used it for over a quarter of a century. He laughed. Adding it’d been over half a century for him.

Night in the kitchen - pair

He’d greeted me as dusk fell. Some sharp pulls to reach his small camp site five miles or so south of Kenilworth. Seemed I was the solitary camper. Could make myself at home in the covered kitchen. Pitch indoors. Even a clean towel to be found in the laundry. Left behind in the Easter rush.

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Chance encounter…

September 16th, 2010

I promised to drop in for a cup of tea. Perhaps even a short stay at her B&B. I’d returned to Johns Information Cafe, in part inspired by my earlier conversation with Edelgard and Gerd, to get more of a measure of fellow travellers. A chance comment about the Welsh language had led to an introduction to Marge.

She’d watched a documentary about the Silk Roads over forty years ago. But only now finally able to fulfill her dream of experiencing them for herself. Heading west through China, following the trading routes to their conclusion in Turkey. Her B&B entrusted to a good friend for a few months.

Then home. A few miles from a small Welsh coastal town. New Quay. "Yes" I said, smiling. "Amusement arcade still there? Just up the hill from the Black Lion Public House?" I enquired. I’d lived there in the second half of the seventies.

Summer holidays divided between messing about in boats in the harbour, cycling along quiet country lanes, and devouring "Famous Five" books. Forty five pence each. Proper adventure. Went back there a few years ago. Brief stop, cream tea and on to Poppit Sands Youth Hostel further along the coast. By bicycle.

[To find out more about Marge’s B&B and self-catering cottage, visit her website www.llaincottage.co.uk]

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