For some strange reason, Helena was keen to visit Newport, the town in South Wales where my parents still live and the place where I was brought up. So we set off yesterday and returned yesterday for a whistle-stop tour of all the sights – Tredegar House, the Transporter Bridge, Big Pit in Blaenavon, the Fourteen Locks in Rogerstone, and Cardiff Bay. Pictures from all of this joyous industrial tourism can be found here.
The Fourteen Locks are on the Brecon and Monmouthshire canal, just north of Newport. As the picture above from our visit shows, they are very overgrown and no boat has passed there for half a century or so. Or so I thought! Because apparently Waterscape are offering boat trips along there – see this. The canal association has the same news on its site here. Now, it’s beyond me how you can manage to get any sort of boat going along there, unless you have a boat like Ducktours uses with wheels on it too.
The second mystery is the South Wales obsession with Ikea. The superstore in Cardiff Bay is signposted from major dual carriageway junctions, and even has its own sign on the model plan of Cardiff Bay at the Visitor Centre. Is the store of such importance to kit out all of the new flats being built in that part of Cardiff that it merits such a degree of public-funded publicity?
Your disparaging comments about your home area made me think about the following Philip Larkin poem. Widen your education and read it!