Visit Siani's Other Blogs

Visit Gower Strange Days

Monday, June 18, 2007

Spontaneous Saturday in Swansea Bay

I left the house around 11.30 on Saturday morning, planning to go no further than the vet at St. James's, to collect my cat's renal food. It was a grey, overcast, drizzly kind of morning, but not cold. Upon leaving the vet's, I was tempted to head to the Uplands, but knew I'd end up buying pasties and cakes at one of the bakeries. I then decided to head for town, planning to buy one or two items in Tesco, before getting a bus home. I turned off down Westbury Street after leaving the vet's, intending to walk along Brynymor Road and St. Helen's Road, to town. Then I realised the day's next temptation was facing me - the bakery on Brynymor Road, as well as the fish and chip shop. So I headed down a side street and found myself heading along St. Helen's Avenue. Haven't been along there for about twenty years, and for some inexplicable reason, kept going, trying to locate the house some long lost friends lived in. I failed to locate the exact house. I couldn't remember the number, and many of the houses had either been renovated, or had fallen into terrible disrepair, since I was last there.

Finding myself at the end of St. Helen's Avenue, near the cricket ground, and relieved to have passed neither a chip shop or a bakery, I turned down the road that comes out on Oystermouth Road, passing Victoria Park and the Patti Pavilion en route. As soon as I hit Oystermouth Road, I found myself swamped by hordes of loud, beer-swilling, piddling yobs and their equally loud and beer-swilling female friends. There were hundreds of them, on both sides of the road, heading west. Many more went past in cars and mini buses, shrieking abuse as they went by. I was perplexed for a few minutes, until an almighty drum beat started up from the direction of Singleton Park, and I realised it was Escape into the Park time again. I quickly crossed the road, and headed on to the beach, just past the poor old Slip Bridge's remains, relieved to get away from rampaging hordes, many of whom were already plastered at midday.

No sooner did I hit the beach and whip my camera out, than the rain started again. I was already sick of having to alternate between sunglasses and an umbrella by this point, as the weather kept cycling so quickly between blinding sunshine and piddling rain, and back again. But there was something very cooling and relaxing about being on the beach in light rain, so after grabbing one shot of Mumbles Head, I began to walk towards town.

When I looked north, towards Uplands and Townhill, I saw a sky full of ominous rain clouds, and decided I'd get off the beach at County Hall, and quickly make my way to Tesco.

A glance east wasn't very reassuring either, although it did look slightly lighter towards County Hall and Kilvey Hill, than it did over Townhill.

A quick glance west confirmed that the darker clouds were behind me and heading west.

I started enjoying my walk so much, I totally forgot my plans to exit the beach at County Hall, and found myself heading up the steps beside the observatory. I sat on a seat there for a couple of minutes, just to recharge slightly.

I decided to head for the salad bar at the nearby Sainsbury's, to grab some lunch. I picked up a very nice medium salad, filled with things like couscous, coronation chicken and a variety of pasta salads, and topped the whole thing with crunchy, bacon-flavoured pieces. Along with a bottle of water, I had a filling, tasty lunch for £2.31, even if I did quite literally get growled at by an assistant in Sainsbury's, for accidentally putting a salad scoop back into the wrong tub, meaning she had to change it for a fresh scoop.

I headed over the Sail Bridge to the SA1 quarter, to eat my lunch, never having been there before. I found quite an attractive square, near the Norwegian church. It had some kind of statue or monument, and a nice wooden bench to park myself on, and spent about 20-25 there. Fully refreshed, I decided to explore some more, and wandered along the dockside, alongside a building called the J-Shed. As I got further along, and moments before I took this next pic, as I passed the Zest coffee bar, one of their huge parasols took off in a sudden gust of wind, and no matter which way I turned, the damn thing chased after me. Even when I doubled back and went the other way, I swear it changed direction and came after me. Luckily, I was rescued by two members of staff, who captured the rampaging green bugger. They asked if it had touched me at all. I reassured them it it hadn't, then thought damn, I should have said yes. I might have got a free cappuccino out of it.

As I rounded a corner past a very smart-looking apartment block, I found myself alongside the River Tawe again. I can't get over how this river has changed, only in the twenty two years or so I've been in Swansea. It used to be a vile brown colour, and stank to high heaven. It also seemed to have breeding populations of submerged cars and supermarket trolleys. But it looks pretty clean and attractive these days.

As I stopped to take the above pics, en route to the lock bridge, I spotted a family of swans approaching. You can see my pics and vids of them in the next post.

No comments: