Sunday, April 04, 2010


Hazel was feeling brave so we drove to Wales for a few days - not really planned it in detail just wanted to get away and see some old friends and "have an adventure".
First stop was Knighton in Powys - just past Shrewsbury. Andy Hazell lives there in a converted school that he's filled with all kinds of interesting stuff, sculptures and staircases that seem to go up to hidden rooms and platforms filled with yet more things. It seems to be a large artist community and all around were easels and paintings in progress. In the playground are many "art cars" including a hearse and a space ship. They all light up at night. I made a pasta and vege sauce dinner and we drank some wine and had a nice chat. Andy kindly let us stay in his guest room in the west wing.
Popped over to Shropshire earlier too to a great little museum of just about everything in the village of Craven Arms- amzing room after room of junk and collectables all piled up higgledy piggeldy - like walking through a Bruce Lacey installation in the basement of Better Books in 1967.

The next day we drove through some torrential rain and sleet to Rudry near Caerphilly. Stopped off breifly in Hay-On -Wye to look round the bookshops and buy some naughty postcards. Went into a cafe for late breakfast and a cuppa tea. Rain was still falling so carried on our journey. Through the Brecon beacons where the snow was thick on the tops of the hills and the little lambs knees were knocking together. Quite alarming but we got down the other side OK- some amazing views through the drizzle. Hazel wanted to visit her welsh roots in Aberclunky but no time really and the weather put us off.
managed to find Big Al's house eventually at the end of windy potholed lane. He greeted us like old friends though we'd only met on the internet some 5 years ago!
So it was great to meet at lastand have a lovely lunch and tour of Rudry with chorus of chickens, sheep and dogs in the background.
Then off to a strange B&B nearby to stay the night that smelled a bit of old fags.
In the evening Big Al drove us over to one of his local pubs for a drink and chat.
The rain never stopped!
The next day it was off to Cardiff by mistake guided by the Tom Tom. So we decided to havd a wander round the market and arcades. Archie bought some dustcarts for his collection and we took a few photos of piles of welsh baps etc.
Then we met up with Jackie and Terry in Penarth - a small seaside resort nearby , and had a toasted teacake in the cliff cafe.
Still more rain. When would it ever stop?
Then to visit Jackie's Dad who was poorly in hospital.
Big Al and Visitors
Then the long journey home via The Forest Of Dean ( naughty TomTom !) and Ludlow for a stop off and stretch at large farmshop/deli place full of posh food.
Got home just in time to miss the first bit of the new Dr. Who. Phew ! it was great to be home though - we felt like we'd been away for a month!


scrapatorium said...

What a great adventure! And how lovely to meet Big Al.

What are dustcars?

wastedpapiers said...

It was great. Al is just as you would imagine him from his photos and videos ofcourse. Dustcarts are refuse lorries - not sure what you call them in the USA. Garbage collection vehicles? Archie has about 20 now all lined up on his bedroom window sill. 00 gauge mostly - made of die-caste metal, but some plastic parts on the newer ones.