So it was way out west for New Year through the spray of rain on the M4 to Cardigan. It was the first time we had turned left when we hit the M4 in a very long time and it coincided with the anniversary of Gillian’s broken ankle – see earlier blog for details. We stayed with our good friends the Williams’ whose home has all the accoutrements of a boutique hotel without the charges.
I took my Bessa R2a with HP5+ set to 1600 and after 5 shots the shutter started firing as I wound on the film with no input from me. A weird kind of fault which I’m hoping will magically go away on the next roll of film – otherwise it’s off to the camera fairies with it. I fell back on the trusty Panasonic GF-1 which is to me one of those rare things a classic digital camera.
It was a grey Welsh weekend full of rain and mood so we ventured forth briefly to Poppit for that cure for all ills ‘fresh air’. Dogs who hang their heads out of car windows know exactly what I’m talking about. The beach was sodden with rain and had something of the tone of Echo & the Bunnymen’s ‘Heaven Up Here’ cover without the purple just the grey.
It was, as you’d expect not hugely busy except for the hardened dog walkers and other families with children who also understood the mystical properties of shuffling about in the wind and rain. Meanwhile offshore a man balanced on a surf board and punted up and down the shoreline. He failed to entertain us by falling in at any point. After a bit of rock pooling in the rain we headed back for soup and the prospect of seeing the New Year in fine style.
A booze and curry evening followed and, with additional guests added to the party, all was set fair. The kids partied on sugar and the Muppets while the adults tucked into a magnificent korma prepared by the host. The wine flowed somewhat faster than might be considered advisable given the countdown to 2012 was several hours in the future. It would be improper of me to name names but some paced themselves and some did not.
With 6 Music and Craig Charles providing a soundtrack of Northern Soul the merriment was unconfined and many a drunken conversation ensued. Ask me not how the RAF faced the threat of the Russian Bear by playing cards and learning guitar or how students might have got caught up in the Operation Julie raid, for my lips are sealed on the matter. Of course we’re all older and wiser now and young people today are far more sensible.
The children and adults gathered for the countdown to 2012, the kids buzzy and the grown ups fuzzy. With one last charge of our glasses then, for me at least, a crash into bed and slumber. Those who had paced themselves sensibly emerged with cheery bonhomie the next morning while those who did not appeared as if practicing for a part as an extra in Shaun of the Dead. It was a great weekend and I’m sure it will be a fine year.
Not many photos but the GF-1 performed fine in the rain with its 20mm Pancake. Tweaked in Lightroom and grudging approval obtained from the models. Gillian claims I’ve made her look like a Russian peasant but nobody tell Vogue or they’ll rip me off in the next edition.