PRE-RAMBLE Notes for for R,L,S,J.R&M
You’ll remember that an interregnum is a gap in history when no history is happening – so likewise, this Episode 117 is not about walking, but preparing for celebrating completion of Walking Round Wales next summer.
The end is nigh.
Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,
All good things come to an end and so ,sometimes, do bad things. Witness my Wales Coast Path Walk compared with my very first Aberystwyth visit over 50 years ago. My computers tell me I only have about 360 miles to complete This Welsh Circumnavigation – you could add ten per cent to allow for wastage and getting lost. If I finish this summer as planned, I reckon twelve more walks averaging thirty miles each, with a finishing sprint a la Land’s End with Experienced Military Might Escort of Major Big Andy , Captain Donald and Sapper Stan, with support from Sarge Sargent, I can do it at the double, outflanking Aberystwyth from the North and the South. I can still remember the feeling,charging into Land’s End with Military Escort, so good I did it twice.
Your task, Maisie, Rowan, Jake, Stan, Lauren and Rosie is to clear the decks and make your parents take you camping and celebrating in Aberystwyth.
I ‘m heading for Aberystwyth from both the North Wales Coast Path and the South Wales Coast Path – the crimson worms will be fighting to get there first again.
Aberystwyth is chosen because it is a stone’s throw from The Mill – that is if you can throw a stone fifty miles due east from The Mill and Offa’s Dyke to the Welsh Coast. I also can’t get my original visit to Aberystwyth out of my head. Head ache is the right description.
Aberystwyth University made a big impact on me in 1967, whilst attending a week long surveying camp during my Sheffield University, Dept of Civil Engineering Easter Vacation. We were guests of The University of Wales in the same year as Charles’ investiture as Prince of Wales and he was allegedly booked weeks later in at the same Hall of residence we were occupying. Our year was too big for all to attend together, and we were split into two separate visits. My memory is cloudy for obvious reasons revealed later, but our behaviour was strictly monitored due to the antics of the other earlier group who apparently assembled fire hoses and abused dumb waiters whilst attacking what they assumed was to be P o W’s throne room.
As a result, our group had to forfeit the opportunity to break the record for the most Civil Engineers on a dumb waiter, which to this day is held by the other group.
Anyway my survey took a slight departure from the norm on the first night when I was running down a long link corridor trying not to be late for the evening meal in the refectory. The corridor changed level by three or four steps and I took them in my stride. Hunger does that to you.
Only to be sconned full tilt by the low beam deceptively positioned at head height. Bit like cracking a hard boiled egg.
I came too with Dr Wade, our Surveying Lecturer, holding court over me. He was seriously suggesting stitching up the headwound himself, until someone pointed out he was a Doctor of Surveying and not a medic…. on reflection I think/hope he was trying to lighten my mood!
An ambulance was summoned, the only one not attending a certain Rugby International apparently going on right then, and I was loaded aboard on a stretcher, only to be off loaded almost immediately as the vehicle took off from a newly installed sleeping policeman intended to deter fast student drivers.
I was stitched up and discharged just in time for last orders in the student bar, with my hair matted in a curious early afro style by blood and new fangled spray can applied skin. I never did get to eat that night. But I got into trouble from Nanny for not phoning….
So, Aberystwyth it is then! It also has a pier – but much shorter than Southend. All welcome – let me know if you’re interested. Nanny has already booked a hotel, so looks like camping’s not on the agenda for Bobl! See you in the Summer?
All the best