Saturday, 2 July 2016

A Postcard from Wales

Rhosson Ganol. Wish you were here?
Does it mark me out as being a bit old fashioned, that I send postcards when I’m on holiday? I could email or Instagram or put pictures on Facebook. Hell, I could just ring people. It’s not hard in this day and age.
It isn’t the same though. A postcard carries history. It feels travelled. A postcard will often bear the scars of a journey and adventure: the words might be smeared by rain; the corners are often tatty and dog-eared; the postman might have left some of his breakfast on the picture on the front. Often times the stamp will be postmarked with a blurry ink-pad logo that has missed the stamp and obliterates half the words. If you’re lucky it will have been lost and found and postmarked twice. All of this is evidence that you are far far away. Somewhere remote… On Holiday!

Postcards are hard to write. You sit in the coffee shop, pen in hand, and decide who will write to whom. “I’ll do the kids, you do the parents, yeah?”
“What are you going to write?”
I wonder how many cards I’ve written over the years that start ‘Having a great time’ while the rain softens and delaminates the card and the ink blooms and spreads.
But we always write them. It wouldn’t be a holiday otherwise.

We’re in St Davids, in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales. (Actually I’m back home, reminiscing. No internet in St Davids! But hey, I’ll stay in the present just to maintain the illusion).

I’m leery about divulging the name of the site, because this is probably the best campsite in the world. It certainly has the best view. But here goes, at the risk of scuppering things for years to come when we can’t get on because it’s fully booked, our site is called Rhosson Ganol, and it is just west of St Davids overlooking the St Justinians lifeboat station. It is a small piece of heaven. There are no electrics, there is no mobile signal, it isn’t flat, but it is lovely.

There is a postbox. (See picture) It’s a good thing. St Davids is about four miles away, and to use the car feels like cheating. But it’s good. This is all the civilisation we need on holiday: a tap, an Elsan point and a postbox.

We finished our cards and strolled down the lane so they’d catch the morning collection. Sarah climbed through the nettles beside the wall and tried to post the cards. They wouldn’t go in. She tried again. Some kind of obstruction.

Then the air went black.

It seems our postbox has become a bees nest. Or it might have been wasps, some evil, buzzy, stingy thing for sure - we didn’t hang around for entomology or apiology or whatever.

We walked to St Davids.

More camping and caravanning tales can be found in  the Travelling in a Box paperback/ebook.  To buy a copy, take a look at the web site, 

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