Day two and a longish drive after exercise with the Vet (legs bums and tums plus a cheeky cardio and abs finisher). Cheeky being apposite because at some point during the session my right buttock began deflating, and the abs exercises were accompanied by what seemed like a persistent whistle, like a referee on repeat.
We headed through Haverfordwest – which is a little like Welsh hell – if you find yourself going through Haverfordwest/hell keep going – and North to the coast at Porthgain. A coffee and a few snaps later – the ubiquitous shiny teeth challenge, included – we climbed 49 uneven steps, jacked me up to change my by now flat buttock and headed for the blue lagoon.
First up, though were these 19th century industrial ruins, built to deliver crushed stone and slate via a series of terrifying shutes into barges that were towed to where they could more easily delivered to road builders. The noise dust and ever present danger must have made this nowadays cute little cove rather more dystopian.
Beyond the skies grew larger and the cliffs craggier. The Pembrokeshire coast that we’ve tasted isn’t quite as up and down as its Cornish and Devon equivalent but the regular rebooting of views makes it a delight.
We soon reached another sandy cove at Aberreidi Bay and the referenced blue lagoon. This manmade cove was blasted into existence one hundred and fifty years ago to create a still water pool from which to load the cut slate mined nearby. Now it is home to paddleboarders
and a few wetsuited water bombers, whose splashes suggested they too would have issues with their buttocks later.
Having taken advantage of the fact that Wales’s latest restrictions on gatherings weren’t due to kick in until Monday by sharing some fish and chips with the Textiliste and Dog, we detoured to the smallest city in the UK. St David‘s is as far west was you can go, in truth, a cutesy place that is pretty much the stunning Cathedral, the ruined Bishop’s Palace and bell house.
As I stood looking at the cathedral grounds, I found my jealous gene raising its ugly head.
Why is it that they can grow, with no doubt minimal attention such a stunning green lawn? Is benign neglect the answer for my lawn? Or should I bury some bodies to fertilise it? I doubt I’ll be able to consecrate it, though so maybe that’s what I really lack: faith in its essential verdant fecundity. Ah well I have a year to find a solution. Meanwhile I can bore Dog while I take endless photos.
After St David’s we meandered down the coast appreciating this land’s natural beauty. We British don’t do humungous mountains, thundering torrents, or death defying canyons. We’re a hill, river and valley people. Or maybe that should be hillock, stream and small dip in the ground people. Like our weather, our landscape doesn’t do extremes. It’s life lived in the small. Maybe when we rebrand ourselves it should be as Cosy Britain, because that about sums up the essential snugness of this place.