Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Two Hundred Mile Lunch

'How nice,' people often remark, 'that you and Lily both live in Wales and can pop in and see each other.' Well, it's true we both live in the same country, but there's a hundred miles between where I live on the coast and Lily in Cardiff.  I also live 45 minutes from the nearest railway station.  An hour, if like yesterday, you happen to get stuck behind a milk lorry.  We love our remote location but some occasions are worth venturing out for.  On Saturday Tom and I drove to Cardiff to see Wales v Australia at the Millennium stadium.  We lost in the last minute and the bloke behind me dropped his beer down my back, but Lily and Russ gave us dinner which was lovely.  Then, yesterday, I travelled down again to meet some fellow Welsh-based members of the Romantic Novelists' Association for a lovely lunch...

We left the house in darkness so Tom could drop me at Carmarthen station at 9 am...
It was freezing - no wonder everyone's wrapped up.
The journey is very beautiful though - I bought myself a coffee and watched the scenery go by...

Coming into Swansea where the train takes a break...

It was perishing in Cardiff when I first got off the train, but there was a warm welcoming waiting...

L to R: Lorraine Hossington, Kathryn Eastman, Sandra Mackness (aka Toni Sands), fellow Choc Liteer, Evonne Wareham and visiting us from London, Jean Fullerton.

And just to prove I was there too...

I had a lovely time and really enjoyed sharing writerly experiences.  But it was also good to come home...

11 comments:

Flowerpot said...

Looks like a lovely day out. So good to share writerly experiences, isn't it? Just being with other writers is good I find.

Fennie said...

Yes it's strange, isn't it, the way that people imagine that Wales is about thirty miles square but four hundred miles from London or Manchester? Yet maybe we do it too. I've heard someone responding when asked whether they exported: 'Well, we sell a bit to England, like.'

Pondside said...

What a beautiful train ride that must have been. I'd like to visit deeper into Wales, having had a wee taste of the country's beauty in September.

Frances said...

Chris, you'd think that in a spacious land like Wales, there would have been plenty of other places for that bloke to pour his beer! Still, perhaps you'll find a way to get that episode into a novel....

Your photographs from your train journey show more beautiful countryside, and remind me that it is a land I do need to someday see for myself.

xo

Sarah Tranter said...

Sounds like it was well worth the trip, Chris. And the scenery on the journey looks wonderful. Definitely pluses and minuses to living in the back of a beautiful beyond LOL X

mountainear said...

I often think that were we somewhere like Australia you and I would probably think of ourselves as next door neighbours rather than distant friends.

Cara Cooper said...

Lucky you, I wish I was at the lunch. Toni and I regularly chat by e-mail and I was lucky enough to see Evonne recently at the Festival of Romance. I miss Wales, haven't been for a couple of years now but your lovely photos will keep me going until I get there again.

Toni Sands said...

Thanks for a lovely post and pictures, Chris. It was a very enjoyable session, well worth the journey though mine is about 60 miles not 100!

Toni Sands said...

Thanks for lovely comments and photograpshs, Chris. It was certainly worth making the journey though in my case, a 60 mile one rather than 100!

Chris Stovell said...

I thoroughly enjoyed it, Sue.

I think Wales is a still a mystery to many people on the other side of the bridge, Fennie.

It's lovely, Pondside, a journey that starts so well puts you in a good mood.

Frances, I wasn't impressed but it was malicious, so what can you do... but I did wish I hadn't been sitting right in front of him! It is beautiful here, Frances and that train journey is always a reminder of how lovely this part of the world is.

Sarah, agreed - the push and pulls of living far away from it all make it a constant juggling act.

That's a lovely thought, Mountainear - we're not that far away looking at the map, but it takes forever by road. My cousin's in Snowdonia which is three hours away from me.

Cara, you are always so kind. We'd love to see you at a Welsh lunch if you're revisiting.

Toni, it's still a long way to come though - I did very much enjoy seeing everyone so it was well worth it.

Elizabeth Musgrave said...

I know I commented on this! Wish blogger would not eat my words for me. On the lines of...yes, me too, as usual I expect!