So I survived Wales.
The Christmas Party I went to in the middle of nowhere was good fun, though getting there was a bit of an adventure. The A-road I was supposed to go on after coming off the motorway was shut due to a big accident, meaning that I had to figure out an alternative route by coming off at a later junction. The rush hour was pretty bad on this new road, probably because it had to host all the cars that would usually have used the other one. Then, in order to reach the Wern Watkins bunkhouse, I had to drive halfway up a mountain on incredibly narrow and windy country lanes. Thank heavens for my iPhone’s GPS and Google Maps, which amazingly did function.
Inside the bunkhouse there was lots of nice food and loads of booze, and it was cool to spend some time with, and learn a bit more about, the people I usually only see for a few hours every Tuesday. The bunkhouse itself was very smart. The centrepiece was a massive room which was split into lounge, dining room and kitchen sections – it was a cool use of space, well designed and expensive-looking.
I got to bed at about 4am after an epic game of charades and increasingly drunken conversations (trying to explain the whole Julian Assange situation was probably inadvisable at that kind of hour). Getting out of Wern Watkins after I had woken up was interesting to say the least. There had been a heavy snowfall overnight, and for a while it looked like we were going to be snowed in – the first tentative attempts simply to get one of the cars up the first hill near the bunkhouse weren’t particularly successful. But an advanced scouting party armed with shovels and grit eventually managed to make it possible for vehicles to reach the top, where we regrouped and then decided to go for it (“first gear, no brakes!”). Luckily, once we got a bit further down the mountain, we passed some houses where the residents had been out with grit. The lanes were bloody steep, so if they had just been snow and ice it’s likely that we’d all still be there.
But I got home OK. Due to the not-very-much-sleep and the concentration required to get away from Wern Watkins, though, I’m very tired indeed this evening. In fact, I think I’m going to wimp out and have an early night.