Last weekend we went to Abergele, in North Wales, and although we started out by slimeing around in a mudbath reminiscent of Glastonbury, it dried out by the Saturday morning and over the weekend we walked a good chunk of the Welsh Coast path, about 15 miles in total, which was the furthest Sarah has been able to manage since breaking her foot.
This weekend brings us to Llangollen, which has always been a much loved destination, but in the past we've always camped at the DA site on the north side of the river, and we've explored that part of the Vale of Llangollen at great length. This year, though, we're with Snowdonia DA at Pengwern Hall Farm, tucked away in a hidden valley south of the town. I have a long list of walks I'd like to try, up onto the ridge behind the site in the Berwyn mountains, but here's a thing I thought I'd never say again: It's too hot! Yup, summer has arrived after a seven-year absence. (Not really an absence, but when we've been away in the sunshine in recent years it's always been a bit of a fluke.) No, this is the first summer that properly merits the name, and what good timing too, with a new caravan to try.
Anyway, it is hot, too hot to go up mountains, so we headed into Llangollen and like flies to a lamp we found ourselves, once again, in the excellent used bookshop in the middle of town. I don't need more books. Really, I do not need them. I must have fifty or more on the to-read list. So I only bought two, a Bob Shaw that I could not ignore (because I thought I'd read everything by the great man) This was a collection of short stories and it was a snip a £1.25. I also bought a biography of Helen Sharman, Britain's first cosmonaut, and it is written by Christopher Priest, so come on, I couldn't let that one go either, could I?
Anyway, Sarah appeased my conscience by picking up a rare Japanese book of botanical art, and she's hopping up and down with delight about that one.
At the moment we're in the gardens of Plas Newydd, home of the two ladies of Llangollen. The gardens are free to explore. We'll pay for the house tour on a day when the sun is less of an attraction. The gardens are wonderfully restful and only a ten minute walk from the caravan, so I guess we'll be making multiple visits.
Had an email with some exciting writing news this morning, which I can't talk about because it's only potential news at this stage, but I can at least think about it and dream, and think about long plane journeys. And you can't beat a restful sunny garden for a place to sit and think and plan. So I'll do some more of it right now.