Team Waste 2010

sunset reflected in the kitchen window

It’s a lot further to Team Waste Summer Camp now than it used to be (it’s held up a hill, outside Carmarthen in West Wales), so we set off at 9.15 on Thursday morning, and arrived at about 5 p.m, having stopped for lunch near Llangollen, and for fuel and a chocolate frenzy at Newtown. Oh, and sweeteners, 270 odd of the 300 of which Geoff kindly hurled across the kitchen floor on Thursday night 🙂

It was, as always, a supremely enjoyable few days, but … odd, somehow. No Rick’n’Jacqi, no Rox’n’Dave, no Benjamins, no Sleeps. And it felt as though we were all getting old, which we are, of course.  I didn’t even do much cooking – just a big chorizo and chickpea collation for Saturday lunch. We brought home a bottle and a half of the two bottles of whisk(e)y we took, whereas normally we’d be out for emergency supplies of Bushmills on Saturday morning, and also the litre of dark rum – no Dark and Stormies this year, for some reason.

It was also bloody cold at night – my sleeping bag has been judged and found wanting, and I shall be donating it to some unfortunate charity and buying a new one before we go camping again!

After promising ourselves we would do it for the past thirteen years, we actually went out and about a bit – on Saturday morning we took ourselves down to Llansteffan, hiked up and around the castle, then a couple of miles along the very gloopy beach, encountering a second hand book sale (oops) en route, and on Sunday we took a good hike along Pendine Sands, which is just gorgeous. The latter was prompted by a rip in the outer skin of the tent, and thus an emergency run to a tenting shop for repairer stuff.

We managed to get away about 9.30 on Monday morning – much earlier than I’d have liked , time wise, as loads of people hadn’t surfaced to be said goodbye to, but … We planned to stop again at Llangollen and look at the aquaduct (what did the Romans, etc), but so were seemingly hundreds of other people, so we’ve promised ourselves an overnighter there later in the year – it looks a charming place. Got home just after five, to find that Samantha and John had accustomed the Tribe to a style which they are going to want sustained – seriously, guys, a HUGE THANK YOU, for cat sitting above and beyond any feasible expectation.

Today we’re spodding – photos on Flickr, a trip to Sainsburys as we had run out of everything, much laundering, cat fussing, etc.

And of course, massive thanks to Caere Campbell for yet another cracking party – should we do it again, do you think? 🙂

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