journal for 2002-10-06


It’s only about 2030, and I’m totally beat.

I got up around 0800 this morning and had some croissants and tea with Rahm, his wife, and his two kids. Afterwards, Rahm and I headed out and saw some local castle ruins and some of the Welsh beaches. Before we headed out, I grabbed the digital camera I’m borrowing. I figured I’d get some nice shots of the country and maybe a good one of the Hedgehog shirt. Unfortunately, it turned out that I’d left the camera’s memory card at work. I’m still pretty pissed at myself.

The beaches were way cool. Some of them reminded me of the beaches in Salem: the seaweed, starfish, and barnicles were very similar, as were the stony stretches and hard packed sand. Others had a lot more unique things. At one, there were huge bluffs that looked as if they’d be cloven in two by a giant chisel. The stratification of layered rock was totally apparent, much more than is usually the case on exposed stone faces. I wish I got pictures.

We headed back and had some tea and tea sandwitches, and then drove out to Swansea. We walked along the beach at Swansea, to Mumbles. Yes, that’s really the name of the town at the end of the beach. I think its Welsh name is Mwmbwls. “W” is a vowel here. Whatever! The walk was at least two and a half or three miles each way. I think I walked about seven or eight miles today, all told. My feet are definitely ready for sleep, as is the rest of me.

At Mumbles, we got fish and chips. The piece of fish was huge—practically the size of my forearm. It was good, and nicely vinegared. It seems to be a thing, here, to put curry sauce on your fish and chips; I tried that, and it was good.

Most of the day was spent with Rahm and his family. His kids are a boy of four and a girl of two. Both were just fine, but Daniel was a little rambunctious. Layla was cute, though, and once Rahm mentioned it, she reminded me a whole lot of Boo from Monsters, Inc. She was shy and quiet, but I guess she liked me, and I walked a few miles holding her hand and making faces at her. It was fun, but as Rahm suspected, it used up my “spending time with kids” quota for a good while.

While we drove back and the kids felt like screaming just for fun, Rahm said, “Before you go to sleep every night, take a moment to think about me and remember what I’m dealing with, and feel for me.”

I said, “I will. And I’ll say to myself, ‘Sucker!’”

That was my day. With all the walking, we managed to spend a lot of time without doing too much, but that was good. I’m pretty beat, now, so I’m just going to try to crash.

Written on October 6, 2002