Oh yes, Wales. Land of my Father’s, or in my case, Land of my Mother.
The reason for the trip was to watch the All England ballroom dance champions do a demonstration at the Grand Pavilion in Porthcawl. Ideally we would have gone down on the Friday night but work, life, family, time and everything else prevented it so we went Saturday instead, which just happened to be not only American Independence Day but also my Bobby’s birthday.
As we set off for Wales I noticed an American flag flying outside a house down the road. Do they not realise what Independence Day is about, not totally appropriate to be flying an American flag in England on this day. Fool. Unless of course they are American but I don’t think so.
It was a long journey to Porthcawl, once you get into Wales it is a nice run though so not too bad, the route took us through Cardiff, that was a bit tricky for me as I haven’t been down there since my Mum died and I could feel the tears pricking my eyes more than once.
Once we arrived at our hotel we only had time fora quick dash out to the nearest chippy and then back to the hotel for a quick wash and brush up and change in to our formal evening wear as it was a black tie occasion. I’d got myself all ready in my best bib and tucker, make, hair and nails done, I reached into the suitcase for my evening sandals. Then I let out a scream as I realised I had picked up odd sandals, both very beautiful but definitely not a pair. “What the hell am I going to do now?” I wailed as I realised the only other footwear I had was a pair of scruffy gladiator style sandals and a pair of flip flops. Quick as a flash Bob suggested that I wear my dance shoes to go in as I would be changing into them at some point in the evening anyway. Now, for those who don’t dance, you absolutely never wear dance shoes outdoors as it destroys them, they have a suede sole that doesn’t take kindly to pounding the streets, but as the Grand Pavilion was only two blocks away I reckoned I had no real choice in the matter, and at least it wasn’t raining. Panic over, sanity restored and if I did happen to destroy my shoes, well, I’m due a new pair anyway!
The evening was a raging success, we had a fantastic time, the dance dem was out of this world. They whirled around the floor leaving us breathless with awe at their talent. Their quickstep was unbelievably, well, quick, and their tango left me speechless. Such talent. What a treat to watch. This picture was taken right at the end of the tango ( much applause!!!!!!!!!) .
Gareth and Andrea who hosted it were the dance teachers on the cruise we went on in May and it was lovely to catch up with them again. After the evening was finished, they invited us, along with a few other friends, back to their house for drinkies. Well, as you know I am usually quite shy (hahahaaaaa!!!) and find it difficult to talk to strangers (hheheeeeeee) but we had a ball – what lovely people, it was a privilege to spend time with them. Loved it.
We got back to the hotel in the wee small hours to discover that we had been locked out! Another couple, who turned up a few minutes before us, had been banging on the door and ringing the bell, round the back of the hotel they’d been banging on the windows trying to attract the night porters attention but getting nowhere. I suggested a couple of times that we ring the hotel but no one seemed to hear me and you don’t want to keep repeating yourself do you? After a few minutes more debate about what to do, someone suggested we ring the hotel. Really? Why didn’t I think of that?
Breakfast was a bit of a bleary eyed affair. We both plumped for the full Welsh breakfast, which is exactly the same as a full English breakfast but with the addition of larver bread. That would be larver bread and not lava bread or larvae bread as several of my family members have thought, conjuring up all sorts of disgusting images I’d rather not envisage, thank you.
The waitress took our order and asked us if we wanted the larver bread (there are various spellings of this but the one I’m using is the one they used on the menu), “of course” I replied, “can’t come to Wales and not try it.”
The waitress walked into the kitchen and hollered, “they want to try the larver bread” the silence that greeted that comment was a bit ominous, should have taken it as a warning, really.
So, what can I say about larver bread? It’s absolutely disgusting. I’m quite adventurous in the food department, I’l give most things a go. This little pot of green sludge arrived, it smelt, well like seaweed, unsurprisingly. I got some onto the end of my fork and attempted to put it onto my plate in the way that one would approach putting ketchup on a plate. I shook and shook my fork trying to dislodge the stuff but it really didn’t want to budge. It had the consistency of phlegm. Of course once I realised that I had to work very hard not to heave. Still, it would be a shame not to try it so I overcame my misgivings and tried a bit. Thinking that it was only my prejudice against the look and smell of it that made it taste foul, I took a second, larger taste to give it a fair assessment.
Ok, fair assessment over, it is probably the most vile food on the planet. I think it’s fair to say I won’t be going out of my way to eat it again in the future. If you’d like a recipe for larver bread, click here.
Moving swiftly on – we spent the morning in Cardiff Bay. It has changed tremendously since we were last their. It has now been developed into a thriving, lively and colourful metropolis. We stopped for a coffee in Eddie’s diner. It just had to be done, wish I’d tried the popcorn shrimp though, that sounded like fun.
There is loads more to tell you so tune in later for the next exciting installment – have to go now due to the fact that I’m starving.