20210703 – Brecon Beacons







Saturday

What a bizarre shape.

Wow, not a bad trip down the centre of Wales. No major hold up, but sadly last 20 minuite spoilt by getting stuck behind a wide load. Yet another lack of common snese. Why aren’t wide loads limited to travel between 00:00 and 06:00?

Yet another VRBO and yet another where the host has to meet you to let you in, and of course we have to hang around for 10 minutes because theyre late. Then we have the joy of a 30 minute tutorial on how to use the TV and all other item that has electrons flowing through them. The Wifi password gives you a clue to the mentality of our host, 12 characters, mixture of upper case, lower case and numeric – bizarre, an extreme case of OCD.
Home is clean, modern, spacious and bright. Well stocked with essentials and a welcome pack of basic foods.

I think the architect who designed the place must have thought the lounge was a sleeping place for a giraffe. Never encountered a room so long – see photos.

 

 

Just couldn’t resist this joke:

As an airplane is about to crash, a female passenger jumps up frantically and announces, “If I’m going to die, I want to die feeling like a woman.”

She removes all her clothing and asks, “Is there someone on this plane who is man enough to make me feel like a woman?”

A man stands up, removes his shirt and says, “Here, iron this!”.

 

 

 

 
What great news.

Haribo has revealed it is struggling to get stocks of its sweets to stores across the UK because of a lorry driver shortage that a trade body says is caused by coronavirus restrictions and the effects of Brexit. Also, bottled waters from France and Italy are struggling.

A great opportunity to buy British, that’s if you must buy bottled water rather than tap water. Of course, if the journalists who reported this had a skerit of patriotism and common sense they would have listed UK-based alternatives to promote British products.

It really is about time we all realised that the EU is in an economic war with the UK and we should all be doing as much as possible to avoid anything from the EU and buy British wherever possible.


Sunday

The usual lazy start. Weather forecast is for clouds and rain.

Cardiff in the rain.

We take a scenic drive over Brecon Beacons and then onto Cardiff.

It’s raining in Cardiff but we park up and have a shuffle around the shopping precinct. Wendy finds an M&S food. I think she can smell one out like a spaniel sniffer dog. Never mind at least we can get tonights tea – scallops, smoked haddock and dover sole.

Then we take leisurely ride back including a drive around Mythr Tydfel – nothing worth being there. Call in at a NP centre but it’s closed. It’s Wales what can you expect.

Scallops are ok but really not worth the money. I think we’ll pass on them in future.

 

 

 

 

 

 
We’ve all endured 18 months of lockdowns to try and beat / survive this virus and now we have Euro 2020’s football and Wimbledon to help the virus get a really good footing. You really couldn’t make this stupidity and lack of common sense up. 60,000 can go watch football but only 30 people can meet up outside, funerals and weddings. It’s not just the stadiums but the travel and celebrations that will help the spread. The joys of a kakistocracy.


Monday

Well this is supposed to be the best of the three days so we’re of out early.

Drive down to Talybont On Usk for a tour of some of the many Caerfanell waterfalls in the NP. A pleasant walk and we see three small water falls. Mind you it’s no thanks to the map board at the car park. No North; no scale and no indication that there are two paths. Just a lazy attitude to tourism in the NP, they really can’t be bothered – mediocrity strikes again.

Then we plan a drive down some of the back roads, but thanks to a badly placed Road Closed sign end up 5 miles down a dirt track before finding that it’s this road that’s closed. You really couldn’t make this up.

Back home for afternoon tea and then we wander down into Brecon to have a saunter around the town. Hoping to find a nice pub to sit out and have a decent pint by the canal basin. Alas no really nice pubs. The towns a bit run down but at least has a lot of individual shops. Reminds us of the 1970’s, the land that time forgot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I know we’re doomed when Boris is relying on common sense to save us.


Tuesday

Brecon Beacons on the A4096. Means nothing to most people but officiandos of the programme “Top Gear” will know its the famous road from the programme, used to test drive some cars. It is rather scenic but only has one hairpin bend. For someone whose driven the 11 hairpin bends up and down to Serfaus in Austria many times this is a real anti-climax.

Then we head off down some single track, shock absorber wrecking roads to a do a walk to Pen Y Fan. Park up and set off despite it being a luvly shade o’ black o’er t’mother-in-laws. After a third of a mile it’s raining like a cow pissing on a flat rock so we wimp out and go back to the car. It’s probably only cost me 4 new shock absorbers.

Path to Pen Y Fan.

Drive down to Neath where there are yet more waterfall walks but it’s still persisting down so we pass on that. I know there’s a distillery at Penderyn that makes a famous Welsh single malt whisky. Let’s see if we can get on a tour. Alas tour is full. Try a free sample of their Portwood single malt. I quite fancied buying some but alas was rather disappointed.

Time to loop back and drive yet another route back across Brecon Beacons.

Back home for a late afternoon tea. Order a takeaway from a Himalayan restaurant. I try the Sinsu (a nettle lamb chilli), very tasty and plenty of meat.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Wednesday

Some standing stones.

Up and away by 09:50. Just to wind us up the weather is sun and cloud.

Decide to go back up the motorways for a change. What a mistake that was. 25 minute traffic jam around Birmingham and the usual road works around Stafford.

Yet another waterfall/

Seems there’s a lot to be said for sticking to the A roads. May not be as fast but at least they’re more interesting and you tend to keep moving.

What is it with the Stafford section of the M6? For as long as I can remember there has always been some roadworks and holdups. This time it’s bizarre. When we only had 3 lanes there then we could travel at 70 MPH. Now we have 4 lanes but a lane full of traffic cones, so we’re down to 3 but speed limit is 60 MPH. Now you could think it’s to protect “the workers”. What workers? In over 10 miles of cones not a worker to be seen.

 

 
Not many “Waves of Life” this trip. Best what can be said it was a change to get away and we have seen a lot of Brecon Beacons.

 

 

 

 

 

 
There we are sat in a 30 minute gridlock. It’s pissing down with rain. The motorway almost like a raging torrent, like some 3rd World country. Good job we’re not travelling fast, we’d be aqua planing. The usual scrots shooting down the supposedly closed off fast lane and then trying to jump the queue, and of course the usual snowflakes letting them in. And of course I’m wondering why we’re here (not a metaphysical question) and not back in Park City, or anywhere in America for that matter. Oh the joys of a Covid invoked staycation, otherwise known as imprisonment.

Roll on freedom day 16th August. Hopefully.


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A legend from Brecon Beacons. Highlights the fickleness of women.

The Lady of the Lake

This story has been told and retold countless times. It centres on Llyn y Fan Fach which nestles beneath the Black Mountain and on locations in the farmed lands below, which can still be reasily identified to day.

There was long ago a widow who lived at Blaensawdde. She had high hopes that her son would carry on the family but to her growing dismay he was betrothed to no woman.

Now one day he was watching his flocks beside Llyn y Fan Fach beneath the Black Mountain when he spied a beautiful woman sitting on a rock off the shore. Seeing her beauty, he immediately fell in love with her but being a simple shepherd, he stumbled over his words. As a token of his affection, he offered his barley bread to her. She however refused it, saying:

Hard baked is they bread,
I will not have thee

Welsh river on edge of the Brecon Beacons. Not my photo.

At that a breeze rippled the water and she was gone. He made his way home perplexed and told his mother this extraordinary tale. She thought to pack him some unbaked bread in case he should meet her again.

It was to be later the next day before his eyes were to fall upon her. As before she sat on a rock near the water’s edge. Once again he offered up his bread but once again she refused him, saying:

Unbaked is thy bread,
I will not have thee.

He made towards her but as he did she vanished amongst the sparkling reflections of the lake’s surface. That evening he returned home distraught. His mother who was a wise woman advised him to be patient and prepared some part-baked bread that he might offer it to her.

Although he returned to the lake before dawn the next day he was to wait until after nightfall before he was to see her for a third time. He had been about to depart in despair when she appeared in the moonlight. This time she accepted the part-baked bread, saying:

I will be yours,
but if you strike me three causeless blows,
I will return to the lake for evermore

He was of course overjoyed – he could not conceive of ever striking her and looked forward to a lifetime spent with this beautiful lady. The couple were married and moved down the mountain to Esgair Llaethdy near Myddfai.

Narrow lanes. Not my photo.

In the spring their first child was born. Now shortly afterwards, the happy family were to attend a christening but seeing his wife was slow to depart the house, he patted her gently on the back to encourage her. No harm was intended, no force used, but even so this was the first causeless blow.

All went well with the couple and their new son. Indeed the next spring another child was on its way. Their second son was born in that summer. Now some time later, they attended the marriage of a cousin during which the lady cried. He wishing to reassure her, gently tapped her arm. Again no force was used, no harm intended but his was the second causeless blow.

He was alarmed at how thoughtless he had been and resolved not to strike her a causeless blow a third time. Time passed and a third son was born to them. Now some months later, the family was to attend a funeral and they entered the church to mourn the loss. She however laughed out loud in such a way as to discomfort her husband who was concerned that laughter was inappropriate. He gave her a gentle slap on the cheek. This was of course, the third causeless blow.

At that, she dashed out of the church and into the rain. He followed her through torrents but could not catch her. Past Esgair Llaethdy they went and on past Blaensawdde. Though he pursued her with all the speed he could muster he could not reach her before she vanished for a last time into the waters of Llyn y Fan Fach.

He searched the waters for hour upon hour but it was to be in vain. Her prophesy had been fulfilled. She was his no more. He was quite distraught but eventually turned for home.

He consoled himself with their three sons. They were to grow up strong and wise. Each of them chose healing as their mission in life and were to become the first in a long line of Physicians of Myddfai.

 

 
For this blog here are some cartoons of the benefits of islam, the barbaric ideology of pieces and permanent offence, masquerading as a religion.

You may be wondering why I pick on this barbaric ideology called islam?

When your nearest town has over 30% muslim population you start to appreciate, first hand, the problems.

When you’ve been a chair of governors at a C of E school that became over 80% muslim you start to see, first hand, the demands they make (ban song and dance because it’s un-islamic; ban girls going swimming; halal meat for school dinners), the lack of integration, the way they treat women and the total failure of multi-culturism. Then you start to appreciate the problems.

I fear for World domination by islam. I fear for my grandchildren growing up in a world dominated by this barbaric ideology. I fear that this so called religion will use whatever means to achieve these end, including our democracy that once the caliphate is established will just be forbidden past memory.

Radicalism is not representative of all Muslims, but illiberal ideals, violence and extremism are representative of Islam and, unfortunately, many Muslims do condone such things.

Even when considering Muslims in non-Muslim countries (many of them democracies), the statistics might be surprising.

A Populous Poll from 2006 showed that 12 percent of Muslims in Britain believe that suicide attacks against civilians in Britain can be justified and 1 in 4 support suicide attacks against British troops.

In 2007, the Pew Research Center conducted a poll which found that 26 percent of younger Muslims in America believe suicide bombings are justified. 42 percent in France.

With these figures it’s hard to settle for the common quip of “Islam is peaceful.”

Looking at just the United States, which has an estimated Muslim population of five to 12 million according to Frontline, that’s still over a million Muslims (even taken from 26 percent of the lower estimate of five million) who statistically believe suicide bombings are justified. Granted, this number is taken from the 2007 percentages and I’m highly skeptical of such a high number, but it’s still quite telling.

We have to stop demonizing anyone who questions Islam and talk about it frankly. If a religion can’t laugh at itself and commits untold acts of violence because of cartoons, then that is truly dangerous. I think having this discussion would be incredibly enlightening. And we must stop referring to criticism of Islam as “racism.” Islam is a religion practiced by many people across the globe, over a billion in fact, and it is not the sole property of one single ethnicity. I criticize Islam, just as I criticize Christianity.

I have no problems with muslims in my country who peacefully practice their religion; totally and unequivocally accept our way of life and don’t expect us to change it for them or their religion; are pleased to be loyal British subjects and don’t seek sharia, the caliphate or world domination; and if called upon would defend this country.

Whilst I believe in freedom of religion I look forward to the day when religion and state are truly separated and any form of religion is kept out of all schools.