Wales

Today I ate lunch on The Great Orme, facing out towards The Isle of Man, 57 miles to Douglas. If I had a speedboat…

The Great Orme. There’s definitely a dragon buried here. It’s a huge hill on a promontory. If you were a Viking you’d use it for navigation, and there were plenty of Vikings running around this area. Orme as a word looks like worm. Worm, for dragon, was in common usage. It fell out of common usage some time after Beowulf, and got clawed back into the language along with so many other archaisms by JRR Tolkein. But clearly the hill contains one of the great Welsh dragons, in deep slumber. Back in the day, one of the great Wyrms crept into a cave here, tired of slaughter, and laid her iceberg sized head down for a long sleep. When she rolls, the earth shakes. One day she will rise from her slumber and send her fire to the pathetic monkeys that have stripped her land and filled the air with poison and the sea with plastic. But for now she sleeps. And we ate our lunch on her.

Picnic from ASDA. Mackerel and French bread and camembert and tomatoes and salami. Cheap as chips and tastier. We sat and looked at the sea mist where The Isle of Man was hiding. As Tristan opened a can of gin, someone said “That’s a very civilised picnic.” Well, we have just been doing fine dining. And it was only a couple of quid.

Unfortunately, with the dragon sleeping below, the seagulls are channeling her boldness. We had an attendant seagull, frogging around and yarking at us. It got a whole half of mackerel and shoved it down in one. Then it was eyeing up our leftover salami.

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Thank God we are larger than birds. They are inevitable, like time. They’d have our eyes as soon as blink if they weren’t base level aware how easily we could break their necks. It knew where all our food was. At one point, with this particular gull, I lured it so close with a piece of salami that I could’ve broken its neck with ease. I gently touched the back of its head and it dropped low and yarked. It didn’t stop it from coming back.

In the evening we met Liam at Theatre Clwyd. I’ve never been before. It is an amazing theatre. A producing house surrounded by sheep and views with one of only 21 full sized paint rooms in the world, a 570 seater main auditorium and a gorgeous extremely customisable studio space. The things that you could make in this big theatre above a little Welsh village so close to Liverpool – it boggles the mind. As Liam said “You can see why we moved house for this job.” He’s Executive Producer here, and as part of our tour told me the extent of his plans and ambitions for the building. It’s already wonderful. He wants to make it more so. I’m sitting with him now, with 2 other lads. Four old friends who still make theatre, talking about life. It’s good to have a few days down. It’s good to see old friends. It doesn’t feel like summer if I don’t see Liam, having worked so many consecutive years for him at Sprite. I’m going to get back to the conversation. Stefan is talking about comparative genocide. How lucky we are to have the luxury for these conversations while other people are caught up in this shit.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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