Sunday 8 August 2010


A bracing swim early morning at Pendine before the crowds arrive. The tide is already half way out so a long walk to the sea and on the way back I find the RNLI "Bay Watch" team setting up for the day with fancy yellow caps and boards to skim out and rescue you with. I bet there is competition for this job as it must give them an edge in the resort's apres-swim scene.

I now know why I have had blackberry mousse for pudding twice in the last few days. They are last year's from the bottom of the freezer and are making way for this year's, the first of which are encountered in Laugharne later in the morning walking round the headland. A picnic by the castle at low tide offers the spectacle of the muddy creek at the centre of the estuary staked out by herons and local fishermen (at a respectful distance) presumably both after flounder (muddy flavour but that won't worry the herons).

After lunch I walk alone this time up the estuary past Dylan Thomas' Boathouse and back through the town via Corran's second hand bookshop, much shrunk from the time when it filled various dilapidated buildings to the rear but I find a copy of poet Robert Nye's novel "Falstaff" (1976) which looks fun. I think that Nye, like Thomas Hardy, wrote novels to support his (less lucrative) poetry-writing? Nye has a Welsh connection having lived in North Wales until the 1970s and written on Celtic themes.

Brown's Hotel is closed and forlorn. The Thomas trail seems to be going cold. Maybe the Americans aren't coming as they used to, though it's always beaten me how anybody could romanticise the life of this selfish and feckless sponger even if his poetry deserves its fame. I enjoyed the recent film about him "The Edge of Love". It was hard not to sympathise with the poet's mistress's soldier husband when he machine-gunned the house in New Quay where Dylan is carrying on with his wife.

We must line up more treats before the summer runs out of time - you can already feel the autumnal air at night...