from Galway to Graceland

There are three artistes we will travel to see, and the fantabulous Richard Thompson is one. This tour, the closest he came to us here in North Somerset was the Pontardawe Arts Centre just north of Swansea – a doddle of a trip across the Severn Bridge and straight down the M4. Tickets were obtained.

We decided to skive an afternoon off, and sallied forth in a westerly direction at about 14:30. We came off the motorway after Cardiff, and found a sign to Ogmore Castle so went to have a look. We found a lovely derelict building, on the banks of a small, shallow river; a really nice place to have a wander about – wish I’d had more camera than the iPhone. There was a labrador who was crash diving into the river, to everyone’s amusement, particularly his own.

From there we went down to Ogmore beach and I wished I were better shod – if I’d had proper walking boots and a stick in the car, I could have clambered down to the beach, but I didn’t dare without them. We’ll go back – it’s a lovely beach. *And* someone gave us their car park ticket, which was nice.

We trundled from there to Porthcawl in search of a dish of tea and an early supper. It was, mostly, closed, which seemed odd for a holiday resort, but we found a nice restaurant and consumed excellent fish and chips at an outside table in the sunshine, with a fine view across the bay. Then off we went to Pontardawe.

I’d entirely forgotten that it was a standing only gig – it’s ages since we booked the tickets. It’s a small theatre, and we were right at the front, so had the edge of the stage to lean on, and I was wearing my MBT shoes which are quite good for that sort of thing. Great gig – Richard, a guitar, a tub of Johnsons Baby Powder, and a towel.

The set list included, but was not limited to:

  • Bathsheba Smiles (opener)
  • Walking on a Wire
  • I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
  • The Hots for the Smarts
  • Johnnie’s Far Away
  • Dad’s Gonna Kill Me
  • The Sun Never Shines on the Poor
  • Vincent Black Lightning (of course!)
  • Crawl Back
  • From Galway to Graceland
  • Valerie
  • Down Where the Drunkards Roll
  • Beeswing (as encore)
  • Wall of Death (encore)

The two final encores were requests (I note he is playing three shows in Saratoga CA in December that are all requests – I’d like to be there).

We left Pontardawe at about 22:20, and were back in the house just before midnight, having had to park the car in the next street. Worth a 170 mile round trip? Oh yes 🙂

Ogmore castle

Porthcawl from the dining table

cod in beer batter

a rude awakening

I had a bit of an insomniac night – between 3 and 4 a.m. is my bad time. So when the doorbell rang at 7:45, I was asleep; dreaming of having to make boeuf stroganoff for captainblue, while my mother was hanging the laundry of bed linen on the line. Lets not go there, eh?

anyway, I digress.. The postie had two packages – one addressed to perlmonger, and unbranded, and an Amazon one. I bore them upstairs, with an accusing “been buying books again, have you?”. Because I’ve never been guilty of that, oh no.

he looked genuinely confused, which is of course his normal expression, and started to open the unbranded box. I took the Amazon one and found it was addressed to me! It turned out to be a book that marypcb recommended a few weeks ago, and I’d put it on my Amazon wish list. From whence it was despatched, by a CIX user who has signed up for the food site I’m writing – I was really touched. And now I’ll be able to write a decent UI as well. What was it? O’Reilly’s Designing Interfaces by Jennifer Tidwell. Such a kind thought.

perlmonger was still struggling with his parcel, but as he was barely awake, didn’t have his glasses on, and had cut his fingernails yesterday, he had to go and get his mini Leatherman. And it turned out to be the 5 CD set of “The Life and Music of Richard Thompson”. Which I ordered using his Switch card.

so he’s off the hook, for now. And I have much ripping to do.