Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A February Tale.

(…but first of all, a correction. It turns out that Old Growler is porter after all. It says so on the back label, and is rather tasty. So, apologies to Uttoxeter for thinking you porterless.)

The tale:

One February, back in my days behind the camera, I drove down to Pembrokeshire (south west Wales) to get some coastal shots from the cliffs. The weather forecast had been good, but it was wrong. The light was flat and grey, and there was a cold gale blowing off the Irish Sea. I took a few nondescript shots for the sake of it, more to relieve the boredom than anything else. This is one:

I was staying at the Pwll Deri Youth Hostel perched high on the cliffs above Ynys Mau, and it was a bit basic. The lounge was a long and very draughty room with a small coal fire at one end, and I spent the first evening with the only other ‘guest’ staying there. She was a big-boned German woman with hands the size of dinner plates and a serious disposition. The conversation was a little forced, I remember, as we sat in two armchairs either side of the fire and pulled up as close to it as possible. What little heat was being generated by the mean amount of fuel was more than counterbalanced by the even meaner gale invading the room via the ill-fitting door at the other end.

When bed time arrived, Brunhilde and I parted company. I intended to have a shower before turning in, but found that the washroom was a corrugated iron annexe to the main building. It was unheated and there was no hot water. I washed my hands and face instead. Hurriedly.

The dormitory was unheated, too, but since I was the only person in there, I felt justified in borrowing several blankets from adjacent beds and turned into a caterpillar for the night. The wind moaned mercilessly, but it didn’t stop me sleeping. I vaguely remember feeling relieved that Brunhilde hadn’t made any improper advances.

This looks like her:

This doesn’t:

A few days later I came down with a heavy cold which took weeks to clear. Did I say that February is a long month? February is a long month.

No comments: