Monday, 6 February 2017
The A40 to Brecon . . . and family history
Well, this is the A40 getting closer to Brecon, but is the only photo I could easily find to illustrate this post.
In yesterday's Sunday Telegraph, there was a motoring article: "Blasting through the Beacons: the finest wilderness in Wales." The author was road-testing a Porsche Panamera (a snip at £91,788!!) and waxing lyrical about the Welsh countryside. There were some familiar (to me) photographs - a truly splendid one of the truly spectacular Usk valley, the standard view of the row of pastel-coloured houses the other side of the bridge over the Towy at Llandeilo (taken from the Ffairfach shore) and some smaller ones recommending walks in specific areas.
After starting his journey in Abergavenny, and mentioning the walk up to Pen-y-Fan, he went on to talk about the drive from Hay-on-Wye to Llandovery . . . "We sweep West on the A40 towards Llandovery (blablabla bit about the wonderful Porsche) . . . These roads provide the perfect environment for this car: wide open, flowing and fast." Oh really? Not past Trecastle they don't.
Now, we know the next stretch of the A40 very well - I always seem to get to drive it when I am tired and it demands concentration. It is beloved of blokes on motorbikes of all ages who head for the West End Cafe in Llandovery for a bacon butty and a cuppa. They choose it because it is several miles of tight hairpin bends through the river valley, with double white lines all over the place, and roadside shrines to the ones who thought they could overtake on a blind bend with impunity. All I can say is, either the Porsche is better at bends than our ageing Doblo, or this chap only saw the route on a map! He was a bit more honest about the A4069 from Llangadog to Brynamman, mentioning "every kind of corner, surface and camber".
Today is going to be a catch-up day. I have an ironing mountain hidden under curtains in the Junk Room, sorry, Library, and I want to catch up on some of the tv programmes I have recorded whilst I do it. My temporary membership of Ancestry is running out and I want to try and tie up a few more loose ends before I lose it (I can't really justify permanent membership as family history research is just something I dip into now and again. I've got back a fair way on it and really need to pad out the names and dates and find out more about the individuals if I can, without visiting the areas they lived in and looking at parochial records. I know there must be notes about my Hennock ancestors as both John and William Bolt ended up on parish pay and there would be documents (lodged at Exeter Records office) with all sorts of life details about them as such details had to be recorded to justify their claim in a particular parish. There are also a couple of Bastardy Orders up in Yorkshire, on my husband's side. I shall have to send Eldest Daughter off in search of those as she's living in Yorkshire. Perhaps I should actually consider paying a researcher to do the Hennock parish records for me, as it would be cheaper than going down there myself.
Oh, and just to add insult to injury, as we are having all these viewings, we thought we would go and view the property we had fallen for, and which we saw when we did the recent drive by. BUT - and it is a huge BUT - it has now been SOLD. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Lastly, just to let you know that either a) spring can't be too far away, or b) the blardy things are aggressive/hungry throughout the year, I got bitten on the ankle by a Horse Fly on Saturday, and the bite was driving me crazy. Fortunately my OH had the remains of a very geriatric tube of Dermovate in his sock drawer (!) and two applications of that have calmed it down considerably. Blasted insects. Have they ANY use in the grand scheme of things?