Mr Stoatie has relocated the PCs to the smallest bedroom for the duration and we haven’t had a power outage for a couple of days so it looks like things may be on the up! We have had no heating for three weeks now and this room is more cosy than downstairs, which has a huge old patio door and no curtains. Hopefully even the feeble heat emitted by the halogen heater will manage to keep the temperature in here above freezing!
On weekend of the Autumn Equinox we headed off in the Camper to stay near some friends in North Wales. As they have a nervous little rescue dog, and there were lots of sheep about, we left the dogs behind. This felt a bit weird, for once we could both go into a shop at the same time, eat a whole sandwich to ourselves and sleep in a bed without fending off something furry. We camped in a layby close to their cottage and woke up to a terrific view over the Menai Staights to Anglesey.
We arrived later than we would have liked on Friday as we had to improvise some sort of step, from bricks and plywood, for my poor old Mum to get into the house. Having work done at the front and back meant we had trenches in front of both doors -with all the incessant rain it felt like having a moat. Mission accomplished we finally headed off and followed a sinking half-moon westwards.
On the Saturday we headed to Anglesey and the Oriel Yns Môn, to see their Treasure From the Iron Age exhibition. This turned out to be quite a small exhibition of some of the artifacts that had been found preserved in the peat of Llyn Cerrig Bach. There were about twenty pieces displayed in clear perspex cases surrounded by display boards giving a history of the site, it’s discovery, and interpretations of Iron Age life and how they would have been used. All the most famous pieces were there – the slave chains, the bronze La Tene style shield boss, the bridle bit, the triskele plaque. There was a back ground noise of lapping water, which was a nice idea, since the items had originally been deposited/thrown into a lake, but after a bit it got rather irritating! I was going to buy the book of the exhibition but got cold feet when I saw the price, which seemed a bit steep, since it seemed to consist mostly of reproductions of the displays.
If you’re going Anglesey it’s well worth the trip to Oriel Yns Môn, they have a fantastic display of Charles Tunniliffe’s work (who was born just up the road from our first house in Langley, Macclesfield!) Plus lots of bits and pieces of local history, and displays of modern art. We had a quick look around one of the current exhibitions and were astounded at the prices – 28,000 pounds for a large oil canvas. I suppose it didn’t help that we didn’t really like most of them. There was one in particular called Dark Sea, which was about 6’ by6’, and was just thick horizontal layers of brown and black oils. We immediately rechristened it Dark Sludge! My favourite piece from the day was a geological map of Anglesey which I could have quite happily have stood and marveled at for a couple of hours! When we got there the place was quite empty, but by the time we were making our way out the cafe at least, was very full, which gives you an idea of the quality of the cakes!
We had great plans for the day, all those fantastic archeological sites to visit on the Island, so I’m slightly ashamed to admit that we (well one of us!) spent most of the afternoon asleep on the tiny little beach at Beaumaris. We had only iintended to stop there for a pasty and a gander at the castle, but we found a little sun trap on the sea defence. I mostly wandered around performing a Pebble Meditation. ( –No! I was not just collecting more stones, honest :)) I think it was probably a good decision as it gave us the opportunity to simply to let go and relax in the elements, particularly in the lovely warm sunshine, which is what we needed most, given the chaos at home.
Just the other side of the sea wall was a stone circle, a modern one erected in 1996 to mark the place they held the Anglesey Eisteddfod. There are quite a few of these modern circles dotted about North Wales including Bangor, Llanwrst and Porthmadog. The largest of the flat stones in the middle, which are reminiscent of fallen coves in the centre of genuine ancient monuments, is called the Logan Stone and it is here that the Chief Druid would stand to issue proclamations. I have to record that Mr Stoatie was rather disparaging about the whole thing, I think maybe he found it to be a bit purposeless, a bit of a meaningless decoration, wheras it didn’t really bother me one way or the other. Although it did cross my mind that it could probably do with a bit of Guerilla Druidry – maybe a group of us should go down for a picnic in the centre, then suddenly robe up and perform a ritual!
A gift shop in Beaumaris – a little bit of summer left over!