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 I was pleasantly surprised at how little The Village had changed in the 40-plus years since the show was originally made: Portmeirion’s Pantheon, for instance, was still recognisable as the green domed home to Number 2, while the stone boat on the shore still looked as mad and as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: