Sunday, 3 June 2012

Weekend in the Country …

… seems to be the in thing.  The country in question being Wales, in my case.

I have to say, nothing of the remotest interest happened, it rarely does, but that’s never previously stopped me telling you about it anyway.  I cut the grass on Saturday.  Well, I strimmed it first, as parts of it were knee high.  I always feel a tad guilty about disturbing the peace in this way, essential though it is; but when I stop my strimmer and hear the whine of at least four others from around the site, I’m less bothered.  My caravan neighbours down the field were obviously keen for me to stop, waving, beckoning and holding up glasses of wine in an almost-unsuccessful attempt to deter me.

Not many Union Flags in evidence, and the flotilla consisted, as I predicted, of two masochistic kayakers, a fisherman, and an intrepid water-skier in the distance off Monkstone Point.  The three extended families who rule this site, though, are having one of their barbeques tomorrow.  Any excuse – these are people who voted Plaid Cymru to a soul in 2010.  I was invited, of course, but when I woke up this morning and saw the windswept drizzle, I decided to pack up and cut for home.  I’m still partied to satiety from last week anyway.

The journey home was notable in two ways, both about rain.  It stopped raining, fully, exactly once – at Port Talbot!  This never ever happens.  Something to do with the geography means that you can be travelling along the M4 out of, and into, the driest drought in history; you reach Port Talbot, it’ll rain.  Has to be why all those famous people like Sir Anthony Hopkins got out of the place.  Not today though. 

The second thing was the cloudburst between Newbury and Reading.  It’s a stretch of that motorway surface that was designed to cope with the drainage question by causing as much water as possible to be sprayed, by each vehicle, straight up into the windscreen of the following one.  It was like driving through the outskirts of Niagara.  I turned on every light I had, tucked into lane one and slowed to thirty-five.  Unlit white vans hurtled past at eighty, their drivers doubtless swearing at the f***ing weather that was stopping them doing ninety.

Oh by the way, for any republican curmudgeons, I learn from the Guardian that the net annual cost of the monarchy to the taxpayer is £32m.  That’s fifty pee each.


  1. I don't quite understand the concept of 'partied to satiety' and, after yesterday's wedding have invited friends to supper tomorrow. Constant gaiety is what keeps me going!

    £32m is about the cost of a new high school. I vote we'll make do with the old one and keep the monarchy.

  2. Ten shillings I think you'll find the cost to the tax payer is ten shillings...although since a lot of the royal family pay tax these days they might fund about six quid of the cost themselves...