Sunday 22 April 2012


Apologies to regular readers for the long gap. Blame the mobile reception at the Travelodge in Colwyn Bay where the Orange toggle on the lapdog (as I call my portable pc) can only muster a 1990s-style "dial-up" speed which these days seems like the Golden Age of Steam.

I was up there to meet local managers and Trustees and to visit a new service in Wrexham - all very inspiring and a tribute to our staff and Members in North Wales. Also (tempting fate!) it is gratifying to note the friendly and efficient working relationship between our North Wales Office and Hafal's Head Office in Neath, not something you can take for granted and indeed all parties work hard to get this right.

While I'm up there we publish our local election Manifesto which sets out five priorities with which to badger candidates before the ballot on 3 May: take a look here and of course make sure you get out and vote Thursday week.

Driving home on Friday afternoon I repeat an occasional but longstanding ritual of this journey (25 years certainly since the first time) by stopping at the picnic site below the Sugarloaf south of Llanwrtyd Wells and walking to the top to look down on East Carmarthenshire. It's only a short climb as the road is very high up here so you get an impressive view for little effort (see above). You can see the Heart of Wales line snaking away on the right having just exited the tunnel under the mountain, the Wyddon tributary heading down the valley into the Towy, and the trunk road to the left also on a sharp descent.

Sunshine gives way suddenly to icy rain so I am instantly soaked and have to retreat quickly to the car. Back on the A483 I make my way home while blasting myself warm and dry with the heater on maximum temperature and fan settings.


Today on my walk I get up close to the landscape viewed at a distance on Friday...