What a truly lovely day.
I’m not talking about the weather (although it was at least bitterly cold & dessicatingly dry, if not actually unstintingly sunny); but about my Grand Day Out, courtesy of fine friends Boo & Carl.
It started in the usual flurry of activity: cleaning the house; doing some washing; milking our Toggenburg ladies; the farm chores; emails etc; after which I indulged in a quick bath & hastily changed into my ‘glad rags’, although I was not feeling too well with a bit of an upset tum.
Boo arrived as chauffeur as well as entertainer so we headed into Carmarthen in anticipation of enjoying the town’s Winter Fayre; however to our bemused disappointment, all roads into our ancient local town, were completely logjammed with the ample cars of frustrated Christmas shoppers stuck in ‘bleeplingly’ heavy traffic.
Rather than fighting our way through the crowds & having to hurry round the Fayre, we decided we’d learned a salutory lesson for next year; when we will go first thing in the morning (if I’m not actually attending the Fayre, as a vendor – now there’s a scary thought!); so we opted to travel to our more local Cardigan instead, so we could indulge in a leisurely lunch before going to the ballet.
We visited a nice little café we’ve had our eye on for some time, located on the High Street; where we enjoyed tasty, homemade fayre including delicious cockles with laverbread (*!*) & bacon on toast, which were cooked in cream with a squeeze of lemon & a little pepper, served with a salad; followed for me by a hearty Christmas platter whilst Boo had a tender chicken breast in sautéed in garlic mushroom sauce, which she exclaimed was quite delicious.
Our appetites thus sated, we headed off to Cardigan’s lively Mwldan Theatre for a quick pre-performance drink & then settled down to enjoy the Swansea Ballet Company’s rendition of the ‘Nutcracker’ – & it was utterly fantastic. Indeed, it proved a very impressive performance; especially considering the rendition was by a relatively minor company having to perform on a relatively small stage – but I cannot stress enough that the whole thing was utterly magical & we will certainly go again, next year.
I suspect that at one point – big kids that we are, despite me now hovering dangerously close to 40 (& I won’t reveal Boo’s age as it’s her birthday, the day after mine!) we came wickedly close to being thrown out! We’d both suffered a massive fit of the giggles – which was absolutely nothing to do with the performance but was rather owing to a puppet representing a rat which looked remarkably like a beaver!
To explain, we’d earlier been waxing lyrical about cooking unusual dishes; for which I’d recommended a wonderful website which offers a staggering two million tantalising recipes – including some for more distinctly obscure species of game (in the UK, at least!) such as elk & bear.
Boo responded to this, that she’d love to see our local butcher’s face if she asked him for some beaver – I certainly would, given her unintentional double entendre! So when said puppet appeared….the tears of laughter flowed freely despite our best efforts to ‘put a sock in it!’.
But we were especially entranced & delighted with the exquisite performance of the two princpal dancers; graceful, athletic, faultless….they enjoyed a superb rapport & were so wonderfully energetic yet incredibly light on their feet, very delicate & elegantly poised – a joy to watch, the rest of the company still richly glowing with their talented performance, in their light-footed shadow.
Entranced by the ballet, we returned to Boo’s exquisite Edwardian 5* B&B, Maes-Y-Derw, for yet more dancing – this time to watch the exciting but nonetheless comparatively staid ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ semi-final; after which I reluctantly had to allow Katherine to drag me back home so I could pirouette my solo dance around our demading caprine audience, & grudgingly tuck the farm up in its’ comfortable, collective, bed.
But what was a truly delightful surprise that made me light on my feet with happiness – was the stunning bouquet from Tony, urgently couriered here by our caring neighbours but tragically a ‘drive too far’ & evidently far too long, for our exhaustively overworked postman; as the lovely lillies & roses Tony had splashed out on, had already wilted for lack of water – despite our neighbour’s grand emergency dash – by the tardy time they arrived on the Ffarm.
Being a closet supporter of Sennybridge’s “local hero”: that focussed, hardworking Welsh young classical singer Rhydian, I made a rare point of watching the ‘X Factor’ final; & after weeks of spurious, talentless results found myself inevitably very disappointed with the ultimate outcome. Leon (spooky – add an ‘A’ & you have the gloriously-sweeping orchestration of the previous winner’s budding female vocalist; detract that letter & you have a reasonable, crooning, cringeing Siantraesque RatPack ‘hopeful’ who to he brutally honest, could be any other reasonable, crooning, cringeing Sinatraesque RatPack ‘hopeful’ of which there seem to be all too many, at present) won; I suspect not by out-&-out talent but by the fact that as it’s transpired, a formal inquiry has since been launched (yet again) into the legalities of this latest Telephone Voting system ‘scam’. I for one, certainly would not bother to waste my time & money again on plumping for those whom I consider most deserve my vote; knowing that either the lines will be blocked or my option simpy will not be counted – regardless of the pathetically paltry percentage of our pounds, we are assured are donated to a suitably worthy cause.
Sorry to seem cynical; but hey, this is how I have been recently swayed to think – & sadly, it’s nothing to do with either the music or dancing – rather than encouraging the beating of my ultimately tender & genuinely philanthropic heart.
A sorry conclusion to a wonderful & true story, isn’t it?