Carolyn asks me to Bangor

SMS

(And, yes, we did have a lovely time, thank you for asking.)

En route to Bangor

Fade to black. Sound of wind blowing across ocean.

Jen and I have just returned from our annual jaunt to Anglesey. While we were there, we took the opportunity to recreate the haunting final shot from one of our very favourite films.

Compare and contrast:

Two ships

The view from the headland at Bull Bay, Anglesey last Monday.

Two yachts

The closing shot from Master & Commander: the Far Side of the World (2003).

We shall beat to quarters! Quick's the word and sharp's the action! Never mind the manoeuvres, just go straight at 'em! etc.

Dolphin, fish, bird!

Jen and I were on holiday in Anglesey the week before last. There's a selection of photos here, if you're even vaguely interested (or even if you're not).

Long-term Gruts readers will no doubt recall that, two years ago, fresh back from another holiday in Anglesey, I delighted them with a photograph of a heron being startled by a dolphin. How could Richard possibly top that, I hear you ask.

Oh ye of little faith! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Dolphin, fish, bird!

Dolphin, fish, bird!

It's a gift.

Evacuee kids

From p.171 of Off the Record, the wartime diary of the author and journalist Charles Graves:

May 30th. [1941]

Took Peggy to H- on the 1.15 a.m. from Paddington. […]

H- has the best beach for about 100 miles in any direction, and is directly opposite Ireland. H-is full of evacuated children from Merseyside, Liverpool University students doing theses, various foreign refugees, and others who have skipped from danger areas, like London. The greens on the [golf] course were in good condition. Local regulations about showing lights are not very strict. This despite the fact that the German Bomber Command aircraft always go up Cardigan Bay to attack Liverpool, and thus get a “fix” on the naked lights visible in various parts of Merioneth, including H-. H- has had no bombs nor sirens. Found four evacuee kids at Erinfa—Leslie the blonde, Norman the brunette, David the red-head, and Edwin just mouse colour. As a test of observation for them I hid eight pennies, three sixpences and a shilling round the terrace of the house. Leslie the blonde found practically all of them. Played penny bridge, and went to bed to the hoot of the owls. Thank goodness there are none of that much over-praised bird the nightingale round here.

To explain:

  • Charles Graves was the younger brother of the poet and novelist Robert ‘I, Claudius’ Graves;
  • ‘H-’ stands for Harlech in North Wales;
  • Erinfa was the Graves' family home, where Charles's mother—a German—Amalie Elizabeth Sophie von Ranke, was doing her bit for the British war effort by taking on the four ‘evacuee kids’;
  • the blond evacuee, Leslie, is my Uncle Les (then aged 7);
  • the brunette evacuee, Norman, is my dad (then aged 6).

I managed to track down a second-hand copy of Off the Record a few months back, and, yesterday, left it as a surprise Christmas present at my dad's. By a strange coincidence, unaware of the present, Dad was reminiscing about his days as an evacuee over whisky on Sunday evening. He is planning to pump his older brother for more reminiscences over Christmas lunch at my sister's place this afternoon.

Norman and Leslie

Norman (L) and Les (R), inspecting the Open Golf Championship claret jug in 2006.

In the genes

BBC: 'Extraordinary' genetic make-up of north east Wales men

Experts are asking people from north east Wales to provide a DNA sample to discover why those from the area carry rare genetic make-up.

Points will be deducted from the first person to make a sheep joke.

Hols

We're off for a week's holiday in the land of the leek and the male-voice choir.

In the meantime, feel free to talk amongst yourselves.