Uk 1995 diary Aber

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  • 1. UK 1995 Diary Angel June 30, a Friday, we left Oxford at 8:30, arriving at Llanbadarn Fawr in Aberystwyth at 1pm, at its hottest time of the year (it was summer solstice) and the hottest day in 60 years, Thomas Parry Library according to Ben Davies. We visited the library and the Dept of Information and Library Services (DILS), and Aberystwy listened to an orientation on the library OPAC, LISA, th libertas, their housekeeping system, and got our library card and email account. Dinner was getting better, but my bedroom, which faced the library building and social hall, was a disappointment. Saturday was a free day, so Masuda, Amara (from Sri Lanka), and I went to the main campus downhill (Rosser Hall), and strolled around the castle ruins, watching the seagulls hover over the ruins, then to the Old College by the beach, the Cathedral, and antique shops in narrow streets. I bought two porcelain dolls on the way, and for the first time, boarded the bus back to the Llanbadarn Campus.
  • 2. Aberystwyth is a small university town situated in the west coast of Wales, with a resident population of 12,000, mostly students and senior citizens. The Llanbadarn Campus sits on a hill overlooking the town of Aber, the Rheidol Valley, and Cardigan Bay. Sunday morning, we went on a sight-seeing trip to the Devil’s Bridge at Dyfed (about 12 miles from Aber), where the lowest and oldest of the three bridges (built one on top of the other) spanning the ravines of the river Mynach, is 12th century old (before 1188 reputedly built by the Knight Templars). The story is that it was built by the Devil for an old lady who outwitted him. The falls below are about 653 ft. below sea level. We took the steam railway, which survived 2 world wars and became the last railway owned by the British Rail. The line was opened in 1902 to serve the lead mines and timber traffic of the Rheidol Valley; the line had many sharp curves and steep gradients. To get to the Mynach Falls, we descended 94 steps, Jacob’s Ladder, before a marker that warned us that the path was steep and slippery, “not suitable for the aged and the infirm,“ then crossed the bridge, and went back the same way, to climb Jacob’s Ladder. We had lunch near the waterfalls, and shopped at a small souvenir store at the entrance of the site. There I bought Cybele’s Indian canoe slippers for 12 pounds, and a red sheepskin bag. July 3, Monday, was the start of our Aber training program. After a group photo session, we had a good lunch. The pm practical session was spent navigating the web and sending emails. At the dinner reception, I met Joyce’s husband Paul (a GOOD-looking Scot). The next day, I took a taxi with Chuli, Tina and Dorothy to the Reception Hugh Owen Library in the main campus, to check the dinner dormitory where I would stay after the Aber training program, and also found in the Internet a single room Black Lions Pub at Middlesex, London, for only 9.50 pounds per night. I took the bus back with Chuli after picking up the photos and shopping for toiletries. Wednesday night was chilly. Dinner was super – Salisbury steak with baked potatoes, peas and carrots, cake and fresh fruits. Thursday dinner was another plus – minced beef, fish chips, salad, hard-boiled eggs, boiled cauliflower, and green watermelons. After dinner, we went down the corner to Black Lions Pub to listen to 3 locals playing strange Welsh instruments. Coke was expensive at 2 pounds and a pack of Benson & Hedges was 2 pound fifty. But Masuda paid for both. Typical Aber house
  • 3. Friday afternoon was spent on a stroll to the town by myself along Llanbadarn Rd., passing by some pretty houses along the way, buying needles for Cres and doilies (doyles) for myself. Got to the bus in the nick of time, and in time for dinner too. Planned a trip to Harlech with Ida and son Anthony, Yati, Terry and Joan. July 8, we started on our train trip to Harlech with a short stop-over at a small village town called Machynlleth, the ancient capital of Wales, where the Old Parliament building was built by Owain Glyndwr, a Welsh Prince, in 1404. I bought a skirt for 13 pounds, 3 thimbles for 10 pounds, horse-shoe- shaped doorbell, and a tiny bell in a quaint souvenir shop. Market day here was Wednesday. Then we changed trains and traveled along the Cambrian Coast thru the Dovey valley, passing by some spectacular sceneries, mountains, meadows, seascapes. We crossed the marshlands thru Barmouth bridge, and passed some castles and village towns. Machynlleth clock Harlech Castle is one of the most magnificently sited of Welsh Castles. A world heritage site, it has a commanding view of Cardigan Bay, the Lleyn Peninsula, and inland, the mountains of Snowdonia. Harlech, together with Caernarfon and Conwy castles, was built by Edward I (1283) to form an iron ring of majestic fortresses, believed to be impregnable, until it was captured in 1404 by Owain Glyndwr, who established his court here until his family was taken prisoners four years later. We had lunch at a restaurant near the souvenir shop. Clarach The next day was spent at Clarach market Sunday market (about 1.5 miles from Aber) from 10am to 2:30pm and bought some pasalubongs. I slept until 6:30 and some young men at the Social Hall gave us dinner. Monday pm was spent at the National Library of Wales (another copyright library), and for the first time since we came to Aber, it rained cats and dogs. Chuli and I took a taxi home, in time for dinner of trout, roast beef, baked potatoes, green peas, custard pie and fruits. A misty evening, wet but not so cold. July 11, a Tuesday, was foggy but not cold. The sun came out at 1pm. I went to town after the practical sessions, and bought shoes for Carlos and Rio at Clark’s for 25 pounds each (they were on big sale). Baby shoes cost too much. Wednesday and Thursday afternoons were spent shopping downtown at Peacock’s, where I got an all-weather jacket for Carlos. I also bought my bus ticket to London for July 20. Ate ice cream by the promenade and fed the pigeons. We had cocktail dinner at Lucy’s home and passed by Joyce’s. On the way to Llanbadarn, we passed by the pub again and stayed there until 1:30 am. Friday was graduation day, and Masuda and I went to town to shop for his mother. Graduation dinner was superb; Chuli cried Graduation banquet
  • 4. all night. After tearful farewells, we bade goodbye to Lucy, Joyce, their husbands, Pat Ward, and Alan Clark of DILS Library. July 15, Saturday, my classmates boarded a Roberts Coach for London. Masuda, Yati, Terry, and Amara cried as they bade me farewell. I took Carolyn to the Social Hall for breakfast with Ida and Tony, who left after breakfast for Manchester. Then Raphael (a librarian from Papua New Guinea who was doing his thesis at Aber) came to pick me up and helped with my luggage to transfer to Rosser Hall at the main campus, where I paid 60 pounds for 5 days’ stay. Walking back to Llanbadarn, we passed by the Llanbadarn Church, the oldest bishopric in Wales, the old town cemetery, and the beautiful house for the mentally retarded. There was a wedding party Lutheran church at the campus when we House for mentally arrived to bid goodbye to retarded Carolyn Davis. Sunday, Raphael didn’t come, so I walked alone to St. Michael’s Church (beside the University College) for service at 11am. I also visited other churches nearby: Our Lady of the Angels along Queen’s Road, and St. Winefride, with its beautiful Presbitery. I also paused for a St. Michael’s photo of a Lutheran Church along the road. After lunch, I took a Church stroll along the promenade toward the Aber castle ruins. The castle was built by Edward I in 1277, and captured by Owain in 1404, partially destroyed by Henry V in his attempt to retake it in 1408, then finally destroyed in 1649 by Cromwell’s forces. Back to Penglais Road, I stopped by at Spar to get some groceries for dinners and breakfasts, and got back to Rosser Hall before it became real cold. Promen ade National Library
  • 5. I spent Monday to Wednesday at the University Library (Hugh Owen) for a 3-day library attachment training program. The first day, I visited the University College by the sea, and the Ceredigion Museum, which is housed in a restored Edwardian music hall. I had dinner at Joyce’s home Monday evening (No. 10 Ceredigion Museum Trinity Road) and took pictures of their house, living room and toilet, then outside the house onto the street, and nearby, the Trinity Church. In the afternoon of Tuesday, Raphael came at 6pm to pick me up for a stroll downtown (he got sick for 2 days). We had merienda and planned a fine dinner on my last day in Aber. Raphael came at 6pm for a stroll downtown and dinner at an Italian restaurant. But when we got there, it was still closed, so we decided to buy take-out food from a Chinese restaurant, walked along the promenade towards the castle ruins, and the War memorial. This beautiful monument was unveiled by the Duke of Windsor in 1923. Underneath the castle grounds is a shelter where people come to sing hymns on Sunday evenings. In one of these shelters, Raphael and I had our last meal together in Aber. After eating, we walked back to the end of the promenade, threw a coin down the well, after making a wish, and walked back to Rosser Hall, arriving at 9:30pm, still light. I decided to pack up early for my long trip back to London the following day. Raphael gave me his email address and Papua New Guinea address just in case we would continue to communicate after his thesis was completed. He had hoped to return home before winter. He described winter in Aber, the biting cold winds, and thick snow. He said, he wouldn’t last another winter here. Anyway, I was glad I was leaving Aber and moving on to London. I couldn’t stand the cold nights. University College