Wednesday, 30 October 2013

St David's 2013: Part 3

We deserted Pembrokeshire today and headed north to Cardiganshire to meet long standing friends S & D at my undergraduate Alma Mater, Aberystwyth. Great to meet up with them and, rather selfishly, great for me to indulge in some nostalgia. I wish I could say that I spent three years immersed in my studies but.....let's just say that I sustained an interesting mix of academic and social activities.
The sweep of Aberystwyth as it clings to the curve of Cardigan Bay. Constitution Hill to the left background and the Old College in the right foreground. The promenade, always windy, was a great place to walk off a hang-over (or so I was told).
The Old College, where I sat every single one of my undergraduate exams, is the site of the original University of Aberystwyth. Founded in 1872, I believe it was the oldest college of the erstwhile University of Wales. It was built as a  railway hotel but acquired at a knock-down price by the University when the developers went bankrupt. In my day it housed most of the Arts departments but nowadays it's full of the administrative functions. It's a wonderful Victorian building with lots of interesting Gothic features on the inside. 
View from the prom looking west. As long as there's sea and sky in the camera viewfinder, there's infinite variety and interest.
12 Marine Terrace, of blessed memory. I had a room, out of sight around the back, here for two years. I was rather disappointed not to see a blue plaque commemorating my time there. Maybe that was around the back as well?
Aberystwyth Post Office. Not much to look at but a very special place in the annals of my political activism. It was there in 1967 that I, and about 30 others, held a 'sit-in' to protest against the Vietnam War. Did we achieve anything other than bemusing passers-by, infuriating the counter staff and irritating the local police? I like to think so. After all, it wasn't that long after that the war ended with the Fall of Saigon (on 30th April 1975 actually but it couldn't have been a coincidence).
And finally, I received a couple of blog-inspired presents from our friends today. Both are appropriate in their own ways. The first, a nod to my understated Republicanism, the souvenir edition of Hello magazine, jam packed with wonderful photographs of THAT christening (Photoshop here I come!). The second, a doll in a tutu to commemorate my recent foray into the world of ballet. What thoughtful gifts and ones that will give me unexpected pleasure. A frabjous joy! Thank you, D & S.

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