POSTCARDS FROM NORTH WALES


over the easter break this year, i did a very adult thing: i hired a car and drove to wales, and met a bunch of ben's friends. or actually, ben's friends' friends. as is customary in this particular group of friends, big birthdays are worth celebrating in style, and pat's fiftieth was to be no different. a giant house was hired and filled with nine couples, three dogs, and what seemed to be a never-ending supply of alcohol, and that is where we stayed for three nights. for the record: llanfyllin is too-small a town to spend that long in happily. 





the town itself has splashes of colour amongst the mish-mash of era housing - from tudor barns on the "high street" to classic 1950s terraced brick houses nestled behind the towns few (open) pubs and singular church. literally, three pubs, a post office and a supermarket is enough to call this place a town, and wikipedia has the population just shy of 500 back in 2011, which.. well, we met four locals. one of who was called phil and was really, really drunk. all the time. play on, phil! 




a short drive from the village was the massive man-made river vyrnwy, it's 12 miles around the outside; 12 miles of winding, narrow roads, which are terrifying to navigate without driving either into the river, or up the muddy banks on the other side. the lake itself is pretty cool though, especially when you learn a little of the history; in order to create a lake large enough for liverpool's water supply, the valley of the river was closed off by the massive stone dam. the whole valley had to be flooded - the valley included the tiny village of llanwddyn. what's crazier, is that in the eight years it took to build the dam, the townsfolk carried on living their lives as if nothing was out of the ordinary.




two churches, three pubs, ten farmhouses and just under forty houses were all lost in that flood, and a new settlement was built further down the valley by the liverpool corp for those who were about to lose their homes, and everything - including the dead bodies buried in the cemetery, was moved down the valley. of course, i learned all of this on the internet when we came home, not there at the time; it was such a lovely day and there were soooo many people out in force, trying to escape the dampness of their welsh homes for the day, that it was impossible to get a park, let alone a tour guide. 



truth be told: the weekend was great. sure, it was overwhelming meeting that many people in one go, but they were all incredible people, so it was hardly a chore. plus, two of them brought dogs, and dog people are very much *my* people. as are dogs. dogs are my people, and i spent a lot of time with those hounds that weekend. on the night of pat's fiftieth, we had a fifties-themed party, and everyone dressed up. it was so much fun! ben made cocktails and i served them in my cocktail time outfit, and we all had an amazing night. an amazing weekend, really. so, thanks for having me, wales. you're alright.

*no idea why the picture of jack the hound is off-centre; i tried fixing it. *shrug*

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