A tale of Science Fiction, Pyromania and Quality Knitwear.
I’ve been up in Snowdonia for the Milford SF Writers Workshop – once again, a year that saw some excellent stories and a lot of thorough critiquing. The centre is still lovely, though the Welsh summer is cold enough to warrant a log fire in the evenings, thus accessing the pyromaniac talents of at least 2 of us. Jason the cat is still in residence, and has added cake-eating to last year’s scarf impersonation: one could wear him, like a collar.
When Claire and I went into Penygroes on Sunday to get some booze, we saw a literally sobering headline ouotside the newsagents: SHOCK AT EMPTY PUB! We decided that we must save the pub, but in the end the Trigonos library proved a bit more compelling.
T arrived on Monday for a few days, bringing the dogs with him (a mixed success, this, but no lasting damage) and we spent the mornings out on the hills, down by the lake, and a couple of evenings wandering around the disused slate pits and slate staircases at the back of the village. The ruined house painted with crimson handprints and graffiti (in Welsh) courtesy of the Sons of Flame is still there, as are the ravens.
On Thursday T went back. Eta Ingham- Lawrie appeared on Thursday morning, with some gorgeous shawls and woollen jackets. Much knitwear was purchased. The evening marketing meeting was interrupted by a spectacular view, with cloud boiling over the tops of the mountains as though emanating from a cauldron. As one of our number remarked, ‘that’s just showing off.’
On Friday, we took ourselves off to Beddgelert for ice cream, chocolate pizza, and a walk by the river. Beddgelert means ‘Gelert’s Grave’ – a reference to one of those common legends about a hound who saves a child from a wolf, but is then murdered by his dense master who doesn’t see the wolf’s body and thinks that he attacked the baby in the first place. In the PO, I was most amused to see the cover of one of those national women’s mags, which sported a headline that read “MY BABY WAS SAVAGED BY GIANT HOUND!” There’s a lot of it about, evidently.
Then we went down, or rather up, a copper mine. As someone remarked, only the Welsh tourist board could get away with expecting you to pay £7.95 to walk through a series of dark wet holes. After this it rained, and some of our number went back. Jaine F and I, who are so obsessed with North Wales that we will happily drive around pointing out things of interest until it grows dark, drove over the Llanberis Pass and then back.
Saturday: I drove down to Gloucester via Machynlleth and the Centre for Alternative Technology – this is always an interesting place to visit, and I wanted to check out solar panels etc if T and I ever get around to having the money to do what we want with this place.