A lot of things change in 18 years, which was how long it had been since all four of us kids had got together with the folks for Christmas. For instance, I don't remember much about a Jamaican cricketer Christmas tree decoration when I was a kid.
Luckily though, some things don't change. Good times!
It was a rare chance to spend time with the whole family, aunties and uncles, and all seven nieces and nephews, so I made sure I was a good Uncle and kept the youngest of them well stocked with Corona and Grolsch.
This year, we'd also been roped into the Christmas Morning Swim at Coney Beach in Portchcawl. It's a bit of an institution back home and this was its 47th year so I thought it was a good chance. They reckon 2000-3000 people turned up to watch more than 900 swimmers. I say swimmers, it wasn't exactly a course, more of a run in, scream and shout, then run back again. Not helped by it being low tide and a long, long way to go before you even reached the water.
Good fun but bloody freezing! (Last photo by the wonderful Mandy Thomas)
The Blue Anchor in Aberthaw completely burned down a few years ago but good to see it back to its former glory. Like the Plough & Harrow, The Bush and hundreds of other pubs back home, there's nothing like sipping a pint in front of a real fire.
The original Stonehenge, known locally as The Gorsedd Stones. Actually they were put up slightly after Stonehenge but no need to go into the details...
Nash Point and the Sand Bar. Site of many an adventure back in the day. Good to know guys are still getting out there. Timing is everything with the tides round here.
In the time it took my Full Breakfast to go from this...
... to this
The Esp went from this...
Up The Bwlch to meet the locals
time for a quick duet
before making the pilgrimage to Caerphilly, birthplace of Tommy Cooper
then over to Castell Coch
before a pint of Brains, since 2012 is the Year of the Dragon
back over the bridge. Free to get into England but it costs to get into Wales
lunch in a Cornish pub
then a tour of the manor with KK... and Rudolf.
Hell's Mouth on the North Cliffs near Hayle. Just round the corner was where this video of the massive cliff collapse was shot.
Lunch in The Spreadeagle Inn
before a look at the other Stonehenge
and to round of a great trip home, thanks to JAL's increased baggage allowance of 46kg each, even in economy, I was able to take all this stuff back for the Knit Ishinomaki campaign. Unbelievable effort from Lianne, Obie, Mum, Gill, Roisin and Jack.
Pics from the delivery of this stuff up to Ishinomaki coming up.