Tag Archive: Porthmadog


Well, a sort of break, anyway.

Sept 22 - Llandudno © Antony N Britt

I spent a few days last week taking David on a holiday to Llandudno. You all know David, don’t you? He’s my autistic son who I write about in Living with David posts. Well, I’d promised him a stay in a hotel and you know me, what could possibly happen?

The Great Orme Tramway.

Sept 22 - Great Orme Tramway © Antony N Britt

First thing David wanted to do was take me up the Great Orme Tramway. I believe it’s the only functioning one of its kind in the country and yes, it was a good experience, until time to go down. You see, there is a connection where you get off one tram and embark on the other which travels on the road. Not a problem, until I saw this history board in the exhibition.

Sept 22 - Great Orme Tragedy

What! Tragedy? You mean people have actually died on this? Nobody blooming told me that, and I still had half the journey to complete.

Sept 22 - Great Orme Tramway Hill © Antony N Britt

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhgggggghhhhh!

Thankfully, we reached the bottom in one piece, but some of my stomach contents remained at the top.

Holiday’s are meant to be fun.

Sept 22 - Caravans © Antony N Britt

Why, why would anybody do that?

Yes, I know what’s a good idea, tow a mini version of my own house around with me and do as much work as if I hadn’t left home. I mean, it’s so much better to return to after a day’s sightseeing than a nice comfy room like this with clean towels and my bed made each day.

Sep 22 - Room at Premier Inn © Antony N Britt

Never understood camping or pulling a caravan.

And a trip on the Welsh Highland Railway.

This was David’s request for day two. It’s a lovely railway which goes through Snowdonia and sounded excellent. Well, it did until I saw the train we were going on.

Sept 22 - Welsh Highland Railway © Antony N Britt

Still, there were some nice views.

Sept 22 - Rhyd Ddu Station Welsh Highland Railway

Yes, she did have a lovely backside, and those in the other train taking pictures obviously thought so too, but that’s not really what I meant.

Sept 22 - Snowdonia from Porthmadog © Antony N Britt

There, that was the kind of stunning view I was referring to. Phew! That was taken at Porthmadog. And the scenery elsewhere is the only good thing to be said about Porthmadog.

And some stranger views.

Sept 22 - Weird Ornament in Llandudno © Antony N Britt

Welcome? This has to be the most hideous and unwelcoming thing I have ever seen outside a hotel. Weird, or what?

The language barrier.

I know there is always the chance of communication problems in Wales, especially if the natives speak local, but only I could have a misunderstanding when both myself and proprietor of an eating establishment talk English.

It was a nice little cafe, but we only wanted a drink, despite being offered the full menu. Therefore, I gave my order. A simple tea for me, and a can of coke for David.

The waitress turns to David. ‘And what would you like?’

‘The coke’s for him,’ I reply.

She looks puzzled. ‘So he’s not having a drink?’

My turn to be bemused. ‘Yes, he wants a Coca Cola.’

She tries to work this out. ‘So, you want a tea, a cola, and a carrot cake?’

What? How the bloody hell can asking for a can of coke be construed as requesting carrot cake?’

Next time I’ll write it down.

And talking of food …

The breakfast at Brewer’s Fayre is described as all you can eat. As much as you like. And that seems to be the case … unless you ask for mushrooms.

Every day, I said, ‘Loads of mushrooms. Give me two, three portions.’ I even said on the last day, ‘If you can’t fit them on the plate, bring them in a separate bowl.

This is what I got each day.

Sept 22 - Lack of Mushrooms © Antony N Britt

Grrrr. Since when does seven mushrooms constitute all you can eat? Discrimination against mushroom lovers, that’s what I think.

Out shopping.

Went into Rhyl and bought six books for a tenner. Yeah, as if I need more books to read. I then gave David a choice. ‘What would you like to do?’

‘Go to Wilkinson.’

He’s easily pleased. Still, he directed me as he is more familiar with the town from his time at college. However, I was a bit dumfounded when I tried to get in.

Sept 22 - Wilkinson Rhyl © Antony N Britt

There is no door. What the hell is the point of a frontage with a store sign if you can’t bleeding well get in?

The answer is, you have to go a couple of hundred yards round the corner to a main entrance on the high street. This picture was the rear of the building. But why have it appear as though it is a front?

The Welsh try to confuse me at times.

And home … eventually.

Arrived back after a longer than anticipated journey where traffic kept slowing to 30mph. And we all know the reason, don’t we.

Sept 22 - Lorry Overtaking Another Lorry © David Britt

Yes, lorries taking two hours to overtake another lorry thus hogging the middle lane and restricting the amount of vehicles which can pass.

Arrgghhh! Come the revolution, they will be exiled to the near lane, along with those irritating caravans.

Cheers.

Nick

Well … I’m back.

What do you mean, you didn’t realise I’d been away?

Ha! … For your information, this past week I was on holiday with the kids at Trecco Bay.

June 30 - Trecco Bay

As some may know, it has been a horrendous year and I think we all needed this break. A bit of sunshine, fun and relaxation. I mean, it’s only me, nothing could go wrong … surely?

Is there still a war on?

Strange place, South Wales. I love the area we go to. Porthcawl is nice. Lovely beaches and you’re not far from Cardiff and some beautiful castles, elsewhere. However, you do need to use your sat-nav at times. You see, signposts are all very well to get around but South Wales seem to think there is a war on as they’ve removed the signs from where you need them most. You can go for miles and not see any directions. They are still trying to confuse the enemy invaders.

And talking of signs causing confusion …

What the hell does this one mean?

June 30 - Duck  © Antony N Britt

???

Apparently, motorists have to be warned against a stampede of Bernie Cliftons.

June 30 - Bernie Clifton

Discrimination against certain breakfast items.

I had a few nice cooked breakfasts at the Coast Bar during my stay at Trecco Bay. However, I came across blatant discrimination when I asked to swap my beans and tomatoes (yuk) for extra mushrooms.

‘We can exchange the beans,’ I was told, ‘but not the tomato.’

Okay, so what makes a bloody tomato so special, and what have the poor baked beans done to be treated in such a dismissive matter?

Bureaucracy … doesn’t it drive you mad.

Wore the kids out with a nice three mile stroll.

Okay, I admit, the kids were fine, it was me who couldn’t walk for the rest of the week.

We left our caravan park one day and hiked along the beach into Porthcawl. Like many places in the area, it’s sad to see it run down with most attractions, closed. It wasn’t the worst, by any means, however I shall come to that in a bit.

It was still a good day and I did encounter this bizarre sculpture which appealed to my deranged taste.

Dead Mermaid Porthcawl © Antony N Britt

Okay … a dead mermaid, eyes and mouth open to the sun. There’s a story in that, somewhere.

On the way back, I got hungry and was tempted by the smell of chips. Not just any old chips, either. These were real chips.

Real Chips at Porthcawl © Antony N Britt

So … can anybody tell me where exactly there is a shop which sells fake chips?

Shit places to visit (Chapter Two).

Chapter One, though I didn’t title it as such at the time, was Porthmadog, which I spoke about in my roast of May 5. Then, I thought that was the most boring place to visit but boy … was I mistaken.

I spent the last day of my holiday, losing loads of money in the greedy slots at Caesar’s Palace.

June 30 - Caesar's Palace

Ahh … I see your confusion. No, I didn’t mean Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, I’m talking about Caesar’s Palace … Barry Island, South Wales.

Caersar's Palace Barry Island © Antony N Britt

I went to Barry Island hoping to take the kids to the funfair. It was shut, as was everywhere apart from a few amusement arcades. In fact, the only fair attraction I saw which was open was this Hook-a-Duck.

Hook-a-Duck Barry Island © Antony N Britt

There it is, and the woman operating it appeared to be asleep.

So, I had to watch as male kid spent all my hard earned money, shoving two pence coins into a machine in the vain hope he would get a tacky key ring which cost about 1p to make.

Greedy Slot Machines © Antony N Britt

It’s the playing that counts … isn’t it?

Barry Island … I don’t think I’d bother if I were you. However, if you do insist on visiting, these men might have finished the building work by the time the main summer rush begins in a couple of weeks.

IMGP9343 © Antony N Britt

I should have known. Surely, after driving onto the main car park for the town, this should have given me a clue as to what I could expect.

IMGP9347 © Antony N Britt

Hmm … Not pushed to find a space, was I? Maybe I shouldn’t have paid for four hours.

Still, it was a good holiday …

… and I took some nice snaps. However, I’m not going to post them here. Instead, I will leave you with the image of this glove I found in Caerphilly.

IMGP9346 © Antony N Britt

More will be revealed as to the reason for this lost glove during the weeks ahead.

So I’m back home, and need to catch up with what’s been happening in the world so I can write about it in next week’s roast. I have to admit, I’ve struggled of late to find stupid stuff to poke fun at. I need something ridiculous. Like … I don’t know, some idiot deciding to hand our already over privileged monarch a whopping £1.79million pay rise in times of cuts and hardship for others.

Nah … nobody would be that much of a cretin.

Cheers.

Nick

A busy schedule and a road trip.

You may have noticed the absence of a Sunday Roast last week. This was because it was my rest day, and that was smack bang in the middle of the shift pattern from hell. On that day off, I went to see David at his college in Wales and stop over for his review the next day.

After doing a long shift and travelling over 100 miles to see him, though, what does he want? Yes, I have to drive a further 40+ miles as he wishes to ride on the Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog Railway.

Once there, you’d have thought I’d asked the impossible of the ticket collector when I tried to pay on the train as we had to jump on quick in order to catch it.

It’s a lovely journey, though. Well, it would have been but for the rain. However, this was Wales. It always rains in Wales.

I do admit, I made a mistake now catching that earlier train and opting to spend three hours in Porthmadog as there is … well, nothing there. Totally bugger all to see once you’ve had a look at the trains.

Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog Railway © Antony N Britt

We did find a half decent cafe to eat in and it was entertaining to watch the young lass on the counter have to pull up her trousers every two seconds as they kept falling down. However, it was soon a case of asking the unheard of, again. David wanted chicken nuggets but the menu only had them as a kids meal. That meant David was only going to be given four of them. I asked if they could do a further four and I’d pay an extra couple of quid but no, apparently that was too hard. I did think of buying two kids nugget meals but by then, it was a matter of principle.

Don’t think I’ll go to Porthmadog again. There was a tiny shed which said that it held the Maritime Museum and there was also a model railway fair, billed as taking place … next week. Couldn’t help laughing at the below attraction which we passed during several walks up and down the street to kill time.

The World's Worst Crazy Golf Course © Antony N Britt

Yes, the world’s most boring and basic crazy golf attraction. It’s a strip of tarmac with a few obstacles stuck on. And I was expected to pay for that? No thanks.

And the traffic rumbles on.

Previously on the Sunday Roast …

I spoke of my irritation on motorways and how I get held up by cretins in heavy goods vehicles who hog the middle lane as they take two years to overtake another heavy goods vehicle in the inside one.

IMGP8932

Yes, that sort of thing. It was just a theory when I wrote it but being fresh in the memory and taking my road trip, I kept an eye out and found it’s so true.

Every time I came across a slowing of traffic and a little congestion, I found the answer at the front of the problem. Two bloody lorries playing cat and mouse as they overtook one another.

Arrrggghhh! Keep to the inside lane. You only save a few minutes on your journey by doing this madness and you cause problems for other drivers.

My brain is dying.

The reason – At work, I have had the misfortune to be subjected to Heart FM … at great lengths. Okay, not as bad as some stations but Kerrang, it ain’t. The odd good track but mostly middle of the road bilge. And if there is one song I hate, it’s that Michael Jackson oldie – Smooth Criminal.

May 5 - Michael Jackson Smmoth Criminal

Annie are you okay, are you okay Annie? Annie are you okay, are you okay Annie? Annie are you okay …? And he goes on and on and on, asking the same question.

Annie, for Christ’s sake, just answer the bloody man so we can get on and hear a decent song.

What kind of moron gives a loaded weapon to a five-year-old?

Answer: The kind who is allowed to by law.

Toy ones are scary enough but hey, some folk think they have the right to blow each others brains out. Whatever happened to giving kids a Johnny Seven and be done with it?

May 5 - Johnny Seven One Man Army Toy Gun

And a postscript to Thatcher’s funeral.

May 5 - Margaret Thatcher Spitting Image

I’ve made my feelings clear on the woman without, I hope, stooping to the distaste of some. However, in times of hardship, it was, I think, too much money to be spent on a state funeral for somebody who caused so much misery to the people now forced to fork out once more to bury her.

Apparently it didn’t cost as much as anticipated. For the taxpayer, it was only 6p per person.

Still too blooming much. She took enough off me back in the 80s. I want my money back on this one.

No more road trips for a while.

One .. I’m working. I’m posting this in the spare ten minutes between shifts. Two … David has made sure my fuel allowance for the next month has been eaten up in one big meal. I could raise some money, I suppose. Yeah, to purchase a car park, stick a few loose bricks around it and call it a crazy golf attraction. Sorted.

Cheers.

Nick

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