Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Holiday Diary (1)

Seagull, Anglsey
We've just returned from a 10-day holiday in North Wales. We stayed in a holiday cottage at Borth y Gest, just outside Porthmadog. We didn't have an internet connection where we were staying, but I did keep a diary, with the intention of blogging it later. It's not just about what we did - mountain walking, music,  poetry (RS Thomas, Peter Finch) and photographs come into it as well. So, here's the first installment...


Borth y Gest

Went into Porthmadog and had a walk round. I went off to Cob Records, a brillaint second hand record shop opposite the Ffestiniog railway station. There are thousands upon thousands of old LPs there. On this occasion I don't think I intended to buy anything. Browsing around there is a bit like doing the same in a museum. It's nice to look at the old record sleeves of progressive rock albums that I have no desire to listen to but which take me back thirty-five years. Pure nostalgia, right down to the destinctive smell of the sleeves: a sort of mixture of student bedsits and dirty old leather jackets that have spent too long hanging around in pubs. I had no desire to listen to most of them then – on the whole, they belonged to people I hung around with at school. (I wonder what the Welsh word is for flaneur? Since the word is borrowed from French anyway, I think it's probably flaneur).What I was actually listening to, on Radio 3 via headphones, was the Brazilian musician, Raf Vilar:

It wasn't what I'd usually listen to - but that's what I like about Radio 3.  As well as it's core repertoire of classical music, it plays a surprising variety of other musics.  One thing it has over the internet is that it throws things at you randomly. When I discover music on the internet, it's at the end of a chain of associations: I've searched for terms or followed links that interest me. When I turn on the radio I simply get what I'm given.

I'm probably usually five years behind in the technology stakes: I've got a mobile phone now with a built in FM radio and use it more as a radio than I do as a phone. It has the great advantage over old Walkmans and similar devices that the battery stays in and just needs recharging. Having to get round to replacing batteries has always stood between me and a gadget habit.

I could whinge about how, come the analogue switch off, I'll have to replace this excellent device, but I won't. I'll save that for another day.

After the Brazilian stuff, a great jazz programme featuring the guitarist Mike Stern.


Gwilym Williams said...

Lovely photo of Jones the Seagull.

I'm looking forward to your mountain walking post.

Elisabeth said...

Great photo, joyous recounting of your relaxed holiday and such wonderful music. What more could we want? Thanks Dominic.

Gerry Snape said...

Dominic...wonderful music, I loved it. and was it recorded in Alkmaar? as I used to stay there regularly with friends...great place!

Dominic Rivron said...

GW: Thanks. It's going to be an ascent of Cnicht.

Elisabeth: You're welcome.

GS: Sorry, but I don't know - I know very little about it. I just encountered it randomly on the radio.