Barbara's Random Thoughts

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bits & pieces

I didn't bother to get back to work and my computer yesterday. So, no post. And work kicked my butt today. It will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Why must all the manuscripts arrive now?! Anyway, before it becomes ancient history, here's some stuff about Wales and some of what I did when I wasn't HBC-ing or youth night-ing. Maybe I'll post something about Tahoe, Donner Pass, and some cannibal jokes later.

Saturday night. Margam Park for fireworks. We sat up on a hillside in front of a small ruined chapel and had a beautiful view of the valley spread out below us, and the fireworks just off to the side of the abbey. Sorry, no pictures, because I forgot to bring my camera that night. (And I need to ask Jude to send me hers...) Anyway, Chris and Jude were sitting off by themselves, and he proposed to her during the fireworks. Woohoo! She was so bouncy and excited the rest of the night, with frequent exclamations of "Look at the sparkly!" Ah, my Welsh little sister is engaged, and I'm so very happy for the two of them. And it means I know I'll be in Porthcawl again in August 2007. =)

On Monday, we made the traditional evening trip to the Mumbles for ice cream and other yummy things at Verdi's. Many sunset pictures were taken. I love that place. We walked over to the pier later, and Heather talked me into joining her and Melody in an excursion onto the actual pier this time. We've never before forked out the 50 pence admission fee, though posing for pictures with the monkey in a bikini was indeed tempting. This year, we got a monkey picture. The monkey has swings! Who knew?!

Tuesday: afternoon trip to Bath. I especially enjoyed the jokes made by our river tour guide as we passed a former corset factory: "When the corset business went bust, they moved a bit up market and began making doubt an uplifting experience...I'll try to keep you abreast of the history here..." The audio guides in the Roman Baths also provided much entertainment. ("I'm sorry to bother you, but you seem to have forgotten to return your audio guide...") Heather and I amused ourselves at one point by making goat noises along with the audio guide's sound effects. The evening was made complete by a run to Kibby's for fish & chips and a visit to Jude's Gran's house.

Our Wednesday afternoon outing was thwarted by rain, so the young people instead congregated at Heather's "penthouse flat" and played games. Though Muppet Uno was fun, the highlight of the afternoon was a periodically spirited game of Spoons. Fortunately no one sustained any lasting injuries, except for perhaps one of Heather's spoons.

Thursday afternoon, we went to Cardiff, and after Chris and I invented the Fry Dance in the Cardiff Burger King, Heather and I went over to Cardiff Bay. I hadn't been to the bay before, and while Heather sat in a coffee shop and journaled, I explored the Millennium Centre. It was really nice to just wander by myself for an hour.

Saturday was a group outing to Caerphilly Castle for their annual festival: The Big Cheese. The name of the festival amused me greatly. Sadly, there were not nearly as many cheese-themed events as there should have been. Perhaps if we had not missed The Great Unison Cheese Race, I would have satisfied my desire for cheese-themed activities. Del later suggested staging our own cheese race with Babybels on a tea tray, but it just wouldn't have been the same. We did have stomach-churning fun on a couple of rides, though. Then it started raining and we got really wet. Then we went home.

Saturday night, the Irwins gave an engagement party for Chris and Jude, and it was so cool to see their family all together (well, minus the mythical Phil & Lin, who I still haven't met), as Nigel gave a very sweet fatherly speech about Jude and Chris.

After the party was over, Jude and I went down to Rest Bay, in spite of the late hour and the cold wind. It's kind of become a tradition to me (does 4 years make a tradition?) to go down to Rest Bay with one or more Irwins on my last night in Porthcawl. It was awesome to hang out and talk with my little sister, just sitting and looking out on the sea and the lights from the coast reflecting on the water. Rest Bay has become another of my favorite places, even more so because of the memories of being there with Jude and the others year after year.

After goodbyes to our friends in Wales, I spent a day and a half in London with Eric and Melody. We showed Mel a few of the sights and fruitlessly attempted to eat at the Hard Rock Café. And we did the groundling thing and stood in the yard for an amazing production of Pericles at the Globe. Going to London before October? Go see it. Seriously.

Ok, enough. I gotta get to small group!
| posted by Barbara | 3:09 AM