. . . it should be noted that day 5 did not end at the Rhyddings in a pool of Graham-flavored nostalgia. No, it actually ended with Chris Samia and I at a dinner on St. Alban's road, hosted by our poetry professor and writer-of-many-books Nigel Jenkins and his partner Margot. The food was delicious, conversation both honest and inspiring and the wine was flowing. Oh man, was it flowing.
So it was after that I went to sleep at 1 am, woke up at 4:30am and couldn't get back to sleep. and Day 6 was the day I was to go to Cardiff and meet Anne and Howard Webb. Which I did. And it was nice. I just wish that my primo instinct the whole time hadn't been to find a corner of the pub in Glaedeou y Garth (sp?) and sleep a bit. Then in the backseat of the car and sleep a bit. But saw some amazing views of the area around Cardiff and caught up with Anne, whom it's always good to see. She dropped Howard and I off at City Arms in the 'diff's center, where we talked football (both types) travel (wherever feet may take us) and life in general. I switched between ales and orange juice when it was discovered that City Arms may have all the half-quirky, half-everyguy trappings of a big-city local, but it does not, in fact, serve coffee. In the last hours of our sojourn there, we were joined by Punk John for a round before I trained it back to Swansea.
the train ride was all sleep, and sort of surreal. in my current life context, I am used to waking up at the jostles of the 7, being shoved into a corner when the bus gets too full by an elderly vietnamese man who communicates to me largely with gestures. or the light rail, where the asexual female robot voice informs us "now entering. . . Beacon Hill station."
so to have largely the same in-again, out-again consciousness backgrounded by the landscape I knew well for two years and then disappeared from, the Welsh accents and all-- that was odd.
That evening I had a really nice dinner at Ian and Nessa Folks' house. While in Swansea I didn't go back to my old church (I chose sleep) and I missed seeing people from there whom I'd have liked to. But I was really glad to hang out with the Folks. I won't run down all the conversation topics, because there were many.
Tuesday. Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday. Due to phone-situations (and bad reception) I missed about 8,431 calls (fine, maybe 3)and my morning was spent packing. So it goes.
Dragged luggage to campus. Met for a too-short (not like the rapper) lunch with Wood where we talked music, home life and the time travel murder of millions (okay, maybe a little bit like the rapper.)
Dropped my shit off at Adam/Keiran/Jen's. Adam described his turkey-cooking efforts as "just bastin' away."
Took a quick run to Monkey (downtown) and met Theresa and Pat. Ate cupcakes. Drank coffee. Alun *happened* to be meeting Sophie there later, stopped in and said hi. That was person 3,456 that I didn't know I would see but was glad to (okay, like person 4. ish.)
On my way to the Cricketers I stopped in at Primark. I kind of regret not getting the rad coat for ten pounds, but am happy that a simple shoe-buy didn't turn into a spree.
Annmarie and I drank stella at the cricks. her new BF seems real cool. As does Pat, teez's new dude. All whatevers aside, good for them.
Weesh. My compulsion for play-by-play is wearying me, can't imagine anyone reads this all the way through. Next was Thanksgiving dinner at Adkeirjen's, then a round of drinks at the Bryn Y Mor for Punk John's birthday then various convos and mechanations to stay awake for the 430am taxi to the coach, where we were early, thus facilitating a walk around Tesco in the wee hours, Keiran suggesting various fruit fights.
Jen's sister Laura and I rode the coach together to Heathrow, where the last of the party (for me) disbanded.
the four hours in the airport did a lot to make me glad to actually get on planes and Icelandair's Iceland-centric charm did a lot to make the same three pop songs they played at the beginning and end of my trip a nostalgia-striker.
when I got home I rode the light rail, met Jake at the house, we had a pitcher of Manny's at Lotties and watched some Peep Show. I was back. Am back. Right now Brielle and a friend are making cookies in the kitchen and Jonny and Nat are watching Anime. I should probably take a shower.