The journey down was longer than it should have been, partly due to an entirely inexplicable traffic jam between junctions 16 and 17 of the M4. The warning signs were lit up right from Reading (junction 12), a good 35 miles earlier. Sure enough, as soon as we passed Swindon, we slowed down to a near standstill as the signs got more and more alarming. It took about half an hour to get to about junction 17, when the traffic miraculously cleared and we were back to our normal speed – there was no sign of what had caused the tailback, and I ranted yet again along the lines of “it’s the bleedin’ warning signs that cause it, rant rant rant”.
The caravan had once again survived what was actually a fairly hard winter for Pembrokeshire; in other words, it hadn’t rolled down the hill into the sea, and was only partially covered in green gunge, which will have to be washed off next time – I couldn’t be bothered to do more than the glass door this visit, on the basis that that particular patch of gunge was visible from the inside, and that it was more important to show Z the ropes, and the view.
The other good news is that the lawnmower fairy had called and cut all the grass, even the bits that are usually left for me to delight in. I can only wax optimistic – has this become a new site policy? Or a gentle hint about general tidiness expectations? Time will tell.
On Saturday we went and shopped in Narberth (or Arberth as it’s named in Welsh; couldn’t they agree on at least that minor international difference? Evidently not.) It’s still a delightful town, surprisingly thriving for what likes to see itself as a depressed, deprived area. Staycationing might have had an impact, of course. Good to see that the best butcher, Andrew Rees, is still vigorously trading, selling local wet fish as well – we bought a turbot, not a beast you see often in the shops these days. And a local genuinely free range chicken, which we’ve only just consumed the last of, four good meals’ worth. And the slightly quirky greengrocers’ (or greengrocer’s) cum deli had very new Pembrokeshire new potatoes – easily the match of Jersey Royals, especially for not having been over-marketed and so over-cultivated. This shop is called Wisebuys, which of course years ago got renamed Wise Boys.
On Sunday the east wind did blow. The caravan site, unusually for the Welsh coast, faces east (which confused Z slightly until I explained the shape of Carmarthen Bay, without even having to resort to a map – she’s very quick on the uptake…), and when there’s a good blast from that quarter we feel it. The caravan trembles and strains at its anchors, making for mild excitement and pretend trepidation, always good fun. And the sea, of course, was churned up beautifully, as these pics show.
We weren’t as brave as those folks, and didn’t venture onto the beach. Next time. Z tells me she loves rock pools, so she has a treat in store, as do I – this particular chunk of my childhood is indelible, but does benefit from the occasional refresh.