Tomorrow, GofaDM is off on its hols to one of the Celtic fringes of this fair land. Yes, the guiding intelligence(?) behind this blog will be packing a few treasured belongings into a spotted handkerchief and taking the morning train (I have a reservation in the first box car) off to the land of his fathers, look you, boyo. OK, I’m not going to Bangor (and certainly not Maine), but Barmouth is fairly close and does actually possess a railway station – though lacks the song reference from Roger Miller (how very remiss of him – not even a shout-out for Abermaw).
Wales does tend to be rather communication-technology challenged – but this blog takes its responsibilities seriously and will try and continue from the Principality. I can’t promise you the sort of searing travel insights to be found on Matathewsiasms – well, I could, but I fear it would only lead to later disappointment (and as a consultant I know the importance of managing expectations downwards) – but only more of the same old rubbish that you have come to know and, presumably, tolerate (or perhaps you are using this blog as a penance?).
As a back-up plan, I have established an account on Twitter (StuartFfoulkes) so that if all else fails I can “tweet” as I believe the modern vernacular would have it. Yes, I have become a Twit (as I believe the users of Twitter are known) for the third time – obviously, I was already a twit in at least two other senses of that grouping of letters.
Now, I recognise this may be a juxtaposition too far – how can I, a man who has only very rarely managed to précis his thoughts down to 140 words hope to function within a world where you are limited to 140 characters? Well, a chap in Latvia managed to get a Great Tit to use Twitter (I believe his process involved bacon fat, but having only finite examples of Parus Major to hand – as opposed to bush – produced only gibberish). If a garden bird can manage it, surely it cannot be wholly beyond me. I guess only time will tell, but I think things could get ugly…
I do know of at least one place in Wales with wi-fi access – and, luckily, it is one of my favourite places in the whole world. In the Gwynedd town of Dolgellau lies T H Roberts: once upon a time it was an old fashioned ironmongers – and normally I would deplore the loss of such – but I can forgive its loss to the mongery of iron as it has been transformed into a very friendly cafe, with wi-fi access and more importantly truly excellent cakes!
I fear my vacational timing may be inopportune as summer seems to be coming to an end (there was definitely an autumnal nip in the air as I cycled home from a concert last night), but if Wales delivers on its promise of extensive precipitation then I will be forced to take the advice of Marie Antoinette and “eat cake” rather than that of Julie Andrews and “climb every mountain” (I have a related response to wet weather in Ireland, I find a decent bar and drink Guinness until either (a) it stops raining or (b) I stop caring). As a result, the author’s weight on his return will be good indicator of climatic conditions whilst away (though, I’d still advise use of a rain gauge for any scientific work). For interested parties, my departure weight is 12st 10lb (clothed) with an estimated 10% body fat (though I think this latter value should be viewed with some scepticism).
Hwyl fawr! (for now)