Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Picking Up the Threads

It really is so good to see you again.

Have you been plucking your eyebrows again?

Well, good Yeomen, have you missed me? (Note 1)

My time has been slipping through my fingers like over ripe Camembert. As much as I would love to blame the mystical invisible dwarves, I’m afraid it is more to do with one of those milestones in life.

Alex could have made the effort to look a little sad to be leaving.

I have spent the last week or so preparing for the departure of my son to University. His meagre possessions were somehow stuffed into the car and the last valuable advice dispensed. (Note 2) Not that I believe he will take a blind bit of notice. When you are young the only way a lesson is learned is through a mistake – besides, the mistakes are so much fun to make.

Early on Saturday the rite of passage began and we took Alex to Swansea to begin a new phase in his life (Please take a moment to pause and give a heartfelt sigh at this point).

The rooftops of downtown Swansea – just feel that pulse.

After what seemed like many days travelling by packhorse and mule, we arrived at Swansea. After several more days exploring the backstreets of Swansea, I admitted defeat and asked directions. (Note 3)

Returning the next morning to take Alex to the supermarket. It was a real surprise to find him peering out of the kitchen window. Suddenly, there was this lovely warm feeling that my little boy was indeed a man. As If… He had gone to take a shower and managed to lock himself out of his room wearing just his robe. A fine start to life as a grown up.

The expedition took me along the M4. In fact it took me on one of the strangest stretches of motorway on the entire British road system. One dark night, the good citizens of Port Talbot adopted the M4 as their unofficial High Street. Where most towns and cities have proper junctions, Port Talbot has side streets off the motorway. As you drive through, you half expect to find traffic lights! (Note 4)

Well, that’s about it for now, my fair yeomen. I’m breaking myself back in gently. Besides, I’ve got to talk to the Estate Agent. I’ve got to move fast if I’m going to move house before the end of term.

From 14th June, the industry standard Crozzy Standard has been applied to footnotes.

NOTE 1: To which I believe the standard response is “Yes, but if you let me reload I will have another go”. Click to return

NOTE 2 : Such gems of wisdom as ‘Always ask the ingredients if a drink arrives with an umbrella’; ‘If something appears too good to be true it probably is’; ‘A mans worth is never measured by the quantity of alcohol he can consume’ and ‘Percy must never come out to play without his overcoat”. Click to return

NOTE 3: I wasn’t really lost. I knew exactly where I was. It was just that every junction in Swansea is ‘No Right Turn’. I must thank the very nice policeman who gave us impeccable directions with a wonderful accent. I half expected him to break into song.Click to return

NOTE 4: The people who run the speed cameras don’t miss a trick either. Knowing that the natural instinct when faced with Port Talbot is to develop a very heavy right foot, they’ve installed speed cameras on that stretch of the motorway. Who says that the cameras aren’t an unofficial tax? Click to return

The M4 passing through Port Talbot. You can never pass through Port Talbot fast enough.

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