Three more days at home, then I broke for the border, in this case demarked by the Severn Crossing into Wales.
How pleasing to report that the tolls have gone*, meaning you can make Newport in 3 hours from Cambridge. Shame the M4 grinds to a halt at Caerleon.
I was bringing Matt to the Architects gig at Cardiff Motorpoint. You’ll remember I’ve escorted him to see them at Nottingham Rock City and the Ally Pally before; if only I was interested in his maths studies as his social development, says Mrs RM.
Booked into Future Inn on the Bay (Felinfoel on handpump, bath towels but no WiFi), we had a 20 minute walk in the light drizzle to the Golden Cross.
I was tempted to say “Meet you in there at 11, Matt” but suspected Mrs RM might have had something to say on the subject of parental responsibility.
I made sure he was in by 6.30, which is ridiculously early but he likes to get to the front, just as I did at a New Order gig at Doncaster Rotters once, bruising both ribs. Architects are the New Order of metalcore.
Oddly, I’d only been to Cardiff a month ago, visiting all my remaining GBG ticks on a largely disappointing evening.
Luckily, the trains take you further afield. But only after you’ve waited on Platform 8 for half an hour and then trudged through Barry at walking pace.
A decade ago I visited two Llantwit Major Guide pubs; this year they were joined by a couple more, which means an undemonstrative Glamorgan town of 9,486 has twice as many GBG pubs as Weymouth.
I grumbled about having to fit two pubs into 30 minutes, before I realised my delayed train was just going to the end of the line at Bridgend (appropriately) and would be rumbling back 15 minutes behind schedule.
So, plenty of time to explore the delights of the Rugby Club bar then.
Old Boys to the left, youngsters in the pool room to the right. I head right. Good-natured, bar the ritual disembowelment of a passing English pub-ticker (it wasn’t me).
Oooh, they’re still selling the Rocking Rudolph left over from Christmas.
Oh look !
You can’t really have a half in a Welsh rugby club, can you ? Especially at £2.50 a pint.
As you’ll know, when it comes to beer quality, I cannot lie.
I make that 3 scores of NBSS 4 or better in the last year (Winchester and Sawbridgeworth the others). Cool, rich and less sweet than the norm. I’m not making this up.
Sadly, not many takers for the cask, even at those prices, and as the rugby from Cardiff started up I went in search of Welsh beer.
*Just as they increase at Dartford again.