Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Travel, broadening the mind

Isn't Wales breathtakingly beautiful?

I swear I always said so.

Even though I refused for years to step across the border, and okay, maybe in 2008 I did so by accident and became slightly hysterical and ran back over the field to England where I was sure I would not be cursed, stabbed, maimed or otherwise assaulted and have my naked torso dragged behind a horse.

I'm sure I never thought that. Never about anyone with a Welsh heritage being capable of violence towards my English head, because that would be WRONG and BAD.

And anyway, say if I did, well, you can't pin on me the label that I am a screaming racist against the Welsh because my fears are merely sublimations from my several points of special insight.

First, I have (apparently), an entire extended family of Welsh people. I think I have met one or two of you at funerals, so please do not find this blog. But yes, I have married into a family proud of their Welsh connections to scholars and poets. So there.

Second, I have heard insider tales about the cultural elite of the Welsh and I cannot say the literati come out well.

Third, because the extended family are in Wales, I jolly well know how parochial and small-minded they can be. I mean, you cannot select and draw to the forefather's bosom only one member of a family on the basis that their middle name is Madoc and 'they look a bit Welsh'.

Fourth, I suffered my thirteenth birthday in Swansea. I had a miserable time of it. By miserable, take the full teenage experience of profound, deeply, life critically, death-formingly horrible pain. I subconsciously must have decided death was a better option than what lay ahead, since I came home and set about trying to achieve it. Swansea should take the blame for starting it all.

So you see, I am safe with my Welsh-fear heritage.

But it doesn't stop land in Wales being achingly beautiful, and I immediately wish we were staying for much longer. Then I could walk some proper sights, rather than drive-thru Snowdonia en route to Anglesey.

Now, because grit's day is, in part, a blog able to be read by a woman chained to a desk at a council office in the shires, where she has been given a shed load of home ed files to sullenly stare at, then have this. Our home educational experience for today. I wish you a moment to pause and reflect on the usefulness of your job sheet, and I bet your annual holiday is a long way ahead. Out here the sun is shining, the wind is gently blowing, and I don't have no boxes to tick.

Record 1: Visit to Parys Mountain and Amlwch's Port to explore The Copper Kingdom. This thoughtful, well-equipped, and beautifully presented museum sits in a geopark of worldwide status. Material indeed for the gritlets in their general geography studies and in particular for Squirrel's love of rocks.

Record 2: Walk along the North Anglesey coastal pathways for lessons in geology, coastal geography, history of Christianity, and rock climbing.

Our lovely friend and walking leader Chris is really a goat, merely in human form. She springs about these rocks, bringing their points, pitfalls, and sunken pools of water to life with her stories of growing up alongside them, how they change and stay the same, and how her sister nearly drowned. For that, you can tick Geography (twice), History, English, and languages. (Welsh.)