Our adventure begun 8am Monday morning, with two very excited kids, a picnic and my trusted shopping trolley in the back of the car and the TomTom set for Chester Zoo.
When there we met with Geraint (Gruntius) Scourfield, his wife Tracey, their two kids, my brother Ifan, his other half Olwen and their two girls - it was an expedition!
Surrounded by 11,000 creatures from 4,000 different species and much bank holiday madness, we saw and discussed animals in both Welsh and English had a fabulous day in the company of good people, which ended in a local family pub that served the most indulgent ice cream sundaes… ever!
After dinner the Jones clan retired to the Holiday Inn on the A55, where I snuggled down for the night with an exhausted Angharad and Beuno and a rather large Merlot! Aran went to meet Geraint and Carrie Harper at the famous Saith Seren in Wrecsam for a social evening and a long overdue catch up.
Tuesday was our Eisteddfod day. Following a hearty breakfast, our beautiful cross country drive down to Bala was only an hour, so we arrived fairly promptly to lots of mud, and smiles all round from Karen and Crispin Goswell who we bumped in to by the main entrance.
Whilst Aran went to the S4C presentation I went with my brother to do the ritual (45min) queuing for Cyw show tickets - such a chore, but so essential!
We had a great day on the maes, coming across so many old school and uni friends, learners and oversized teddy bears, having faces painted and then smeared with ice creams, getting to sit in Sam Tan’s (real) fire engine, dancing with the stars of Cyw and buying a new bedtime story book each.
Aran also had the pleasure of meeting up with Lyn who so kindly presented him with the most beautiful hand made mosaic (will post a picture soon) all her own work and quite breathtaking! We’re now looking forward to finding pride of place for it in our home - it really is stunning.
It was an extremely muddy and slippery day, but otherwise warm and dry and despite being both completely shattered and unbelievably filthy by home time, we’d had a brilliant day.
The day ended with a take away, wine and much child oriented chaos at the home of our old friends Mabon and Nia and their three kids, in the beautiful village of Llandrillo, where we were spending the night. This is one of the very special things about the Eisteddfod, the opportunity to spend time with dear friends and family whom you don’t get the chance to see all that often.
On Wednesday we came home ‘the long way round’ up the coast via Dolgellau, Bermo, then lunch and HUGE ice creams in Harlech (served to us by a very friendly Welsh learner) looking out over the most spectacular views towards home.
It’s good to be home, but it was wonderful to be able to spend time with so many lovely people, and this afternoon we get to do it all again as we wander to Aberdaron for a barbecue with Andy Lowe, his wife Sharon and their kids who are holidaying there in their touring caravan! X