And so, northward we headed again. I have to say, I hate the drive to North Wales. At most, to the very top left of the country into Holyhead, it is only 200 miles. And yet, I find myself always taking over 4 hours, and normally about 5 hours to drive it. More staggeringly, I can almost do twice the distance on motorways within the same time. We left just after midday, and stopped mid afternoon just outside Llangollen where we'd found a nice humble butty van on the side of the road that was still open. The Eastern European woman did a most excellent cup of tea and we enjoyed a gentle chat whilst stretching our weary and travelled stained legs.
We arrived at the most hospitable Bryn and Di's where John promptly disappeared into their son's bedroom, not to be seen again all evening, and we then settled down for some of Bryn's homebrew. Yes, that is as dangerous as it sounds, but I thoroughly enjoyed the first pint. I don't remember the second. Or the third. Apparently the singing by the fourth wasn't a good sign either.
We left early on Thursday to go to the site and set up. I counted whilst setting up, the lengths of mains cable that I use for speaker wire. 2000 metres, or about 1.25 miles in old money, of cable that had to be unwound, separated, untangled, checked, double checked, laid out, hidden, and then plugged into each speaker around the site. I kind of wish I had a pedometer, because the mileage would have been truly awesome. I'd tried a few new experiments with the speakers, and much to my joy, we had sound pretty well all over the site by about 4 o'clock. We also had the usual "Would you mind turning it down?" about 32,000 times in the short 5 minute sound test with large volume.
The boatshow itself was superb this year. The weather was positively Welsh on the Friday, and a complete wash out, but being Friday it's always the lesser of the three days. The Saturday and Sunday were both well received, and on the Sunday our arrival actually saw a queue of cars arriving to enter, something I'd never seen before. The head honcho, Ben, had expanded the whole site so it was now twice the width, taking up most of last year's car parking space. This meant that a new field was used as the car park, and this degraded into a quagmire due the the slippery nature of mud on the Friday.
The highlight of the show was the arrival of Sunseeker, a large boat makers from Dorset.
This baby would only set you back a cool £2.1million, but haggle as I might, they wouldn't take my £4.12p that I had available.
Again, Swansea Watersports, a company that specialises in Watersports from Swansea, took care of getting kids on the water. We sat with them for the communal meal in the pub on the Friday night, and had such fun that by Saturday they'd promised us free goes on anything. Also knowing that they could get away with more, they gave John the ride of his life and me the photo of the week.
Unfortunately, whilst there, I started to feel unnecessarily dizzy again. I thought I'd been overdoing it, and the drive home that evening saw me unable to follow the car in front for 30 seconds as I nearly passed out.
The Monday saw us helping to pack everything away. My job of the day was to sort out 100 panels of wire fencing, including concrete blocks that they stood in. We arrived just after 9, and left at 2 to head over to Llanberis for lunch. On the way back to Holyhead I even had to stop for a kip, because both John and I were dying. Again, I spent the evening fighting dizzy spells, and by Tuesday morning I was unable to stand. I sent John out with Bryn to get me Buccastem, a medication I know controls the dizziness. 3 tablets later (you're only supposed to take two a day), and I was well enough to drive. We headed back south, but again found our entire journey taking 8 hours.
I'm all better now, on medication to control the slightly wobbly feeling, but all seems to be tickety boo. And no, before you ask, it wasn't Bryn's homebrew. Or maybe it was...
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