Be Seeing You

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Be Seeing You

I almost forgot to mention… after leaving Hafod Elwy Hall in Denbighshire last Sunday, Clare and I embarked on a Keruoac-lite drive around North Wales. We headed west along the A5 and through Betws-y-Coed (or, as my brother prefers to call it, “Betsy Cohen”) before veering off in a random direction to see where the Road would take us.

Well, it took us past Moel Siabod and Snowdon and through some of the most rugged and gorgeous landscapes I’ve seen in quite some time. We stopped at a few places, took quite a few photos and ended up in Portmeirion. As you do.

In the popular imagination – well, in mine, at least – Portmeirion is the place where Patrick McGoohan’s famously numerophobic, former-government agent was sent to prison for a resignation he didn’t explain. As a huge fan of the cult 60s show The Prisoner, it was weird walking past all those odd buildings, so many of which have been hard-wired into my imagination since Channel 4 repeated the series in 1985. I was pleasantly surprised at how little The Village had changed in the 40-plus years since the show was originally made: Portmeirion’s Pantheon, for instance, was still recognisable as the green domed home to Number 2, while the stone boat on the shore still looked as mad and as incongruous as it did back then. Then again, it’s a boat. It’s made out of stone. How could it not look mad and incongruous?

Anyhow, here’s Portmeirion:

And there’s me, up there, by Number 2’s ornate lair:

And there I am again, outside Number 6’s home, cheerily refusing to be “pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, de-briefed or numbered.”:

I guess it pays to put your trust in the Road: sometimes it can take you to where you’ve always wanted to go.


About the Author:

My name is Tom Lennon and I'm a freelance writer who specialises in humour at the geekier end of the pop culture spectrum. I'm based in Birmingham, UK, and my work has recently appeared in BuzzFeed and Time Out.


  1. Tone February 19, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Surprised to not see you sporting a prefect jacket and number 6 badge there sir. Portmeirion is several shades of ace innit, only much tinier than they cunningly made it look onscreen.

    Now for the big question: did you do the running along the beach thing?

  2. davey February 20, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Dude, I thought you were always de-briefed, or is it just the way you walk?

    Ba-DUM, thank you and goodnight, I’m here all week.

  3. Tom Lennon February 21, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Tone: Portmeirion is indeed ace. Several shades of, in fact.

    I’ve been rewatching The Prisoner since I returned and, yeah, I was struck by how smaller Portmeirion is in reality compared to its on-screen depiction. A lot of clever camera work and those big interior sets went a long way…

    Sadly, didn’t do the running along the beach thing, although I’d planned to do so. The tide must have come in earlier in the day because a veritable moat seperated the beach from the resort. I wasn’t wearing the right kind of footwear. You know how it is.

    In the end, it always comes down to footwear…

  4. Tom Lennon February 21, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Dave: It’s the way I walk.

    Are you boys pub-meeting this Saturday?

  5. Tone February 21, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Not arf.

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