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Toward a radical middle

a time for fear
Wednesday, July 02, 2003  
Went Home and Came Back Again

At home I went down to Swansea in a car: the St Tropez of South Wales (yes? Kind of...but bombed out and rebuilt by post-war planners with a thirst for bad concrete, straight lines, and Le Corbusier on the cheap, and packed with indigenous towny province proles, Dreamscape* and Woofer boys, ageing spivs (fake tans, fast cars, fat jewelry, real Rolex), gorgeous wine bar girls and pretty surfer brats and so on (so many types to grow up many...)). The sound of bobbing yachts and the spray of fresh sea air as fresh as cockles dug up on Blackpill at 5am. Foghorns, lightships, salty rain, and whistling winds. Gulls, oystercatchers, curlews, seals, dolphins. Things like that. (I grew up healthy, glowing, blonde, a content and sunny kid, so sue me.) I:

- swam in the sea on the Gower, rain clouds curling across blue sky, spitting bits of rain in my face and into the gun-metal grey and dusky emerald sea, and other such lyrical flashes, very very bracing, even at the end of June (worth it though: cold salt water is good for you, good for skin and hair, and you glow, a surge of warmth from skin pores to stomach pit).
- scoffed a massive pot of Joe's Ice Cream, the best Ice Cream outside of Italy, invented by an Italian immigrant sometime at the start of the last century in Swansea, and it has that Welsh taste for rich flavour - excessive sweetness, excessive creaminess, like Welsh butter, really creamy and really salty, artery-blocking stuff, totally delicious.
- drove back through Pontrhydyfen, a small mining village in the pit of the Affan valley, banks of dark conifer rolling down muscular hillsides, straddled by a slim, elegant viaduct, and topheavy with pubs and derelict chapels. Past the village you twist down the Affan valley into this lush nature reserve, walk across a metal bridge over a deep drop down to the valley floor, a small river cutting through trees and rocks and flowers, house martins dancing and swooping low around your head because you're so high up. This is where Richard Burton was born and brought up, and his family still live in the same houses they've always lived in, driving past his sister's house, the door was open and the hall walls filled with old Hollywood studio shots. He never really left. The last house he owned was in Celigny in Switzerland, a spot almost identical to the Affan Valley.

Back Again All this mad stuff to fret about! Getting vexed and frazzled in a matter of hours. Only thing keeping me moving is Foul Play's 'Finest Illusion (Legal Mix)' now that I'm back and it's sunny and then wet, and then there's thunder...only thing keeping me up, in motion. (Ellis Dee mix cd, it's good, ends with a couple of Red Alert and Mike Slammers, which is like the signature Dee mix...) Lush correlation between hardcore and summer months. Explain to me.

*This was, I guess, 7 years ago. Who knows what they rave to now, or where?

11:11 PM

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