Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Well, as I said, I've been away, hence my recent quietness and lack of writing. And as my regular readers will know I went to Wales! I had a fabulous time, and coming back to London was a bit of a comedown by contrast, although I did of course miss my hubbie who didn't accompany me, so I couldn't really stay away forever. And fortunately I came back in one piece and wasn't eaten by the Welsh, as Minge surmised.

Incidentally thanks to those of you who commented on my Gridlock post and sorry I never got a chance to properly reply...lots of good responses there guys, ta muchly.

Anyway, I went to stay with my lovely friend Mary who lives very close to the town of Machynlleth, in Powys, North Wales. And a very pretty place it is too, with a rather striking clock tower for example:

And lovely timber frame buildings like this:

And oh my goodness! I've just discovered that actor Emrys James, who played vampire Aukon in the Tom Baker Dr Who story "State of Decay", comes from Machynlleth! Read the Wikipedia link above and see for yourself!! Oh my giddy aunt!! Oh! Erm - okay. This is very sad and most people will probably not be desperately impressed by this "fact". Zip it, Simone.

Anyway. Mary was kind enough to put me up for a few days and we did lots of nice touristy things. The kind of things you only do when you have friends or visitors to stay - when you're on your own you often can't be arsed - I know I'm like that in London anyway.

And here's what we got up to...

On my first "full" day, we went on the Mawddach Trail, a cycle route/footpath that runs for about 8 miles to the Welsh coast. We walked rather than cycled but must have done a good number of miles in the process.

Here's the start of the Trail with Mary and her little dog in the distance...

Some nice Welsh countryside.

Stopping for a bite to eat...someone's hungry...

My turn to munch and lunch...that's a big, long one I'm sitting on isn't it? A first for me, then.

Pretty lake (kind of reminds me of Swallows and Amazons, or something like that).

Toll bridge - drivers have to pay 60p to cross it!

Old signals (the majority of the trail is actually a disused railway line, hence the signal box in the distance and station-like building on the right).

Someone's contemplating a swim - or joining the canoists...

A hobbit house in Wales?

Another nice view...

Someone's thirsty...

Posing in the countryside....

Real Welsh lambs. Awww! And I saw a lot of them! (Mint sauce, anyone?)

Next day, a trip to picturesque Aberystwyth...a charming little seaside town!

All the best seaside towns have piers.

I love the promenade...such quaint houses, darling!

Approaching Constitution Hill, at the end of the promenade.

Halfway up Constitution Hill, via the Electric Cliff Railway...

Right at the top. What a view, eh?

Torch thingy...

Another view in the opposite direction. It was a glorious, warm day as you can probably tell...I sat up top and had a cappucino, drinking in the air...mmmm.

Me posing again. My coat and bag look a bit silly though. Honestly!

What's the Pharos Project doing in Aberystwyth?

A genuine Welsh seagull.

Some genuine Welsh flowers.

Later we had lunch in a posh restaurant called Le Vignoble. Food and service were excellent.

Mary tucking in.

My turn.

Yummy starter. Mackarel I think.

Even yummier main course.

After lunch, a stroll round the ruined castle in Aber.

A big, thrusting tower. I have nothing further to say.

The following day we went to King Arthur's Labyrinth, situated in some old slate mines near Corris. The labyrinth itself was quite atmospheric and spooky and seemed to run on for ages, so much so that we could have got lost, had it not been for our enigmatic guide (a guy dressed in Jedi style robes and hood). However it was marred slightly by some tacky Madame Tussauds style waxworks and tape recordings of stories which were rather distorted and hard to follow. Rather naff. There was a nice craft centre to visit as well though.

Mary leads the way...into the labyrinth. Such a confident girl...

The aforementioned guide, taking us on a boat trip through the labyrinth. He looks very Obi Wan Kenobi doesn't he? Or should that be a Jawa?

A watery underworld...

Do I make a convincing construction worker?

Could it be...Excalibur?

Welsh flags and tacky waxworks.

More tacky waxworks.

And then some! Are those real doggies?

Saints alive! It's a dry-ice breathing dragon! Oooh Blodwyn!

And there you have it. A pictorial history of my visit. And a great time I had too. Go you must!


  • At 9:23 pm , Blogger matty said...

    I am so very jealous!

    Fantastic pictures and adventures!

    You and your friend are gorgeous!

    If I were to go to Wales, I think I'd most like to stalk Bonnie Tyler as I think this is where she is from and still lives. I'd sing to her.

    Glad you had a grande time! And, glad you're back!!!

  • At 7:11 am , Blogger Steve said...

    Ah glorious Wales! My wife and I know the Powys area very well as it's usually the area we stay in on our many Welsh visits. We even briefly considered getting married in Aberystwyth before eventually deciding on Abergynolwyn, a small ex-mining town near Cader Idris. And last year we went to the Corris Craft Centre too - I seem to recall our boy buying a fake (obviously) sword that he then used to terrorize the camp site for the remainder of the week.

    Glad you had such a good time - much deserved! I find my eyes baulk at the flatness of England for a few days after a return from Wales...

  • At 4:33 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Matty - thank you babe!!

    Bonnie Tyler - yes, she does indeed hail from Wales. She was a temptress of the highest order and she also had (still has I presume!) fabulously bouffant hair. Not to mention a singing voice that sounded like she'd had one too many fags for breakfast.

    Funnily enough I downloaded "Lost in France" and "It's a Heartache" recently, two cheesey classics. I might have to consider "Total Eclipse of the Heart" for inclusion as Video of the Fortnight at some point, it was a rather spooky affair.

    Steve - Yes, Powys is a lovely area isn't it. I would definitely visit again. Yep the Corris Craft place sold all that kind of stuff - perfect for the kiddies! Did you take your young one to King Arthur's Labyrinth?

    I know exactly what you mean about the flatness - I couldn't get over how hilly Wales was and the sheer amount of greenery and trees! Still that's what makes it so beautiful. Returning to the subject of the flatness I would compare the English landscape to Jane Birkin, whereas Wales is definitely Jordan/Samantha Fox. I take it you understand my analogy here?

  • At 6:07 pm , Blogger thomas said...

    great pics, brings it all back ;-)

    glad you had a good time in "Mac" and "Aber", i thought you would like it there...

  • At 7:09 am , Blogger Steve said...

    Oh yes, boyo - analogy understood perfectly!

  • At 7:24 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    Glad you had a nice holiday, Simon, and you've certainly been busy since you returned! Personally, I'm looking forward to a Bonnie Tyler/Rod Stewart duet!! It would be the stuff of legend!!!

    I'm eager to know what you thought about those pesky Daleks troubling them there downtrodden people of Hooverville?

  • At 9:37 am , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Thomas - Yes indeed I did enjoy it, hopefully I will be visiting again in the not to distant...

    Steve - Good! Thought "Bapilicious" you would particularly appreciate the comparison...

    Timewarden - Bonnie and Rod eh? That's a good pairing for a duet - a bit better that Bonnie and Shakin' Stevens anyhow (although they are both native Welsh people so there must have been some attraction).

    Ahhhh my Daleks in Manhattan review is shortly forthcoming...delayed but forthcoming...


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