Tripping Down Memory Lane

[US translations in square brackets. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ]

Update: it turns out that I can’t reply to comments on the individual photos, so if you want a reply then leave your comment on the post rather than in the slideshow. Sorry about that.

Yesterday I stumbled across some photos I had taken in Wales in September 2013.ย  I didn’t post them at the time because to someone else they are just poor-quality holiday snaps but to me they represented an open wound.ย  I had taken the trip back to Wales to say my final goodbye to my nanna.ย  It turned out that I also needed to say goodbye to a place.ย  I took a walk along streets and paths that I had walked countless times before but will probably never walk again.ย  The weather was suitably dismal that day and the wind was too strong to take clear photographs.ย  However, I wasn’t taking pictures for the art of it but as mementos to look back on, like I did yesterday.

I walked from the bus stop in Kinmel Bay past houses that I had walked past as a child.ย  I walked past my nanna’s house; the one she had lived in for as long as I knew her, the one that still forms part of the scenery of my dreams.ย  I walked the few hundred yards that it takes to get from her house to the sand dunes.ย  The spiky Marram grass, the drifts of sand and the dog crap [?] were familiar from childhood.ย  I stood and looked out over the angry, dark sea for a while and then headed along back streets to the bridge that would take me into the neighbouring town – Rhyl.ย  Once into Rhyl, I found a Fish & Chip shop [fast food outlet] within a stone’s throw of my childhood friend‘s old house.ย  I walked back to the seafront and sat on the wall with my back to the wind and to the treacherous sand that lies at the rivermouth.ย  A schoolfriend once told me that those shifting sands had swallowed her friend’s horse.

As I sat eating my al fresco lunch the wind blew the chips [french fries] off my plastic fork. I had to choose between burning my fingers or feeding my lunch to the seagull that had turned up to collect the flying titbits [tidbits].ย  (I was hungry so I chose burnt fingers.)ย  Finally, I walked up Rhyl seafront as far as the clock tower.ย  When I was growing up, children wandered the landscape like feral cats.ย  It didn’t mean that we weren’t attracted to the same things that attract children today though.ย  We just had to walk further to get them.ย  It wasn’t the beach that used to lure me to Rhyl, it was the amusement arcades with their flashing lights and buttons to press.ย  I dropped many a penny into the Penny Falls machines.ย  Later on I enjoyed playing arcade games like Pacman and watching the boys play Tron.

If you click on one of the photos below it will take you into a slideshow where you can accompany me on my walk and read about the scenes.

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Posted on January 7, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 59 Comments.

  1. Forgive the newbie question: The sign shown on photo Rhyl12. Is that bottom part written in Celtic/Welsh dialect? Do you see much of the old language on the landscape in Wales?

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    • Thanks for the questions. Most of the official signs in Wales are bilingual. They are written in English and Welsh. Welsh is in the same group of languages as Irish and Scottish gaelic. I learned a little Welsh in school in the same way that Irish kids learn Irish in school. I think there are more native Welsh speakers than Irish speakers though. You can often hear Welsh being spoken out-and-about but I hardly ever hear Irish spoken in daily life. There are areas in Ireland that are supposed to be Irish-speaking areas (Gaeltacht) but even in those it is rare for outsiders to hear it spoken.

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  2. I loved the photos. You gave me some ideas for our beach renovation that is occurring in our town. Was the wall of photos — tiles or glassed in photos? I love that idea.

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  3. Sarah, I really enjoyed this trip down your memory lane…feels like i was right there..thanks for sharing this ๐Ÿ™‚

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  4. Thank you Sarah for virtual walk in Wales! Very beautiful photos! Now I miss summer and the beach!
    Have an outstanding week Sarah! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. It was lovely to see your photos and also enjoy a trip down memory lane too. We had many family caravan holidays in Rhyl in the late 60’s and early 70’s when I was very young (1 – 6 yrs) but… I do remember the monorail and many other scenes especially the penny arcades! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    • Oh wow, I love that you also have memories of Rhyl. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for letting me know.

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      • Although I was only very young I do have two very vivid memories…
        …My Aunt, who is only six years older than me, brought her stick insects on holiday one year and let them loose in the caravan…yuk! They seemed to be everywhere!!!
        And…being hauled over the beach wall and having both my kneecaps shredded into the bargain ; (
        But overall I do remember being happy on those family holidays – looking back I think one family must have booked it….and then the rest of the extended family stayed with them for the week! resulting in more people than humanly possible staying in one little caravan!!! Eh, the good old days! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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      • ๐Ÿ˜€ The good old days indeed. Sorry you got your kneecaps shredded. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But I’m glad you had happy family holidays overall. We used to go camping in England and Scotland on our holidays. Great fun!

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      • Camping is something I have never done…I don’t think I would ever be able to sleep because of my arachnophobia!!! But I know lots of people who absolutely love it and have had great times too ๐Ÿ˜‰

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      • Oh dear, I can’t invite you to my place then. I got my husband over his fear of spiders through repeated exposure. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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      • Brave, Brave Man!!! I don’t think my blood pressure could cope with repeated exposure ; ( I would be a quivering screaming wreck – you would be sending me straight back home… without a doubt, I’m such a wuss when it comes to eight legged beasties no matter what their size ;-/

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      • ๐Ÿ™‚ Poor you. I’d take pity on you and hide (not kill- I don’t kill spiders) them all.

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      • That’s really sweet of you, as much as I don’t like them I wouldn’t want them harmed either ๐Ÿ˜‰

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      • That’s refreshingly nice; usually when people are afraid of something they want to squish it out of existence. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • I have two lines of defence, obviously my first is run…!!! .but if/when I’ve got over the shock of seeing one and its not tarantula sized (Like the huge beastie I had a couple of months ago) for my second, I have commandeered the dog’s tennis ball launcher as my ‘arm extension’ to scoop it gently and place it out of the door – even at double arms length away I still find it frightening ; (

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      • Oh that’s so kind. ๐Ÿ™‚ The first time my husband-to-be visited my old house he saw all the spiders and went and hid in the airing cupboard. It took me a while to find him. I couldn’t believe it. I told him that the airing cupboard probably had more spiders than anywhere else in the house. And he still married me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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      • Now ‘That’s True Love for you!!!’ I bet he soon removed himself from the airing cupboard with that comment ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not only were you the perfect partner but you helped him through his phobia too – wonderful ๐Ÿ˜€

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      • Yes, it’s surprising how fast a man can move when motivated. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Beautiful. I like that you captured a walk down memory lane. My home town has changed so much in the past 20 years that it no longer feels like home to me. I do like seeing the pictures of when I did live there because that is what stirs the memories.

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  7. Not sure if Ihave this word correct, eistofydd? Are those still a major competition? Are theold tales, like the brave queen, Rhiannon, told? I found this posting poignant. I went to “hometown” several years ago. So many changes, so many of the old homes gone or turned into apartments. Families dispersed.it was very sad.

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  8. wonderful post & snaps!

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  9. The slideshow was a great idea. I enjoyed the tour, and it’s a beautiful place. I wasn’t expecting that after your melancholy post. I’m glad you had a chance to say goodbye to the place that holds so many memories.

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  10. Oh! I just love the pictures! It’s like being there ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. Beautiful and poignant post, my friend. Thank you for sharing a lovely part of the world I haven’t been to, and your lovely take on the world. I adore your sense of humor…lively even in darker times. xo

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  12. i loved the photos.

    Regards
    Roshan

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  13. Awesome photos. They truly capture the essence and personality of Wales and particularly the coastal towns like Rhyl. I remember happy holidays there when the sun was shining (maybe it was raining but I don’t remember it that way!).

    Thank you for sharing this valuable archive.

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  14. My first holiday was in this area of wales, but that was a long time ago. I am sure there is nothing left of the tiny village that was there then. I am talking about the late 1950’s. hugs eve

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  15. I’m very sorry about your grandmother. It appears that the weather may have been trying to match your mood the day you were there. (I love the personal cabanas in that old picture.)

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  16. Lovely. Just lovely. I lived in Prestatyn as a child. The dunes and beaches from Talacre and Gronant to Prestatyn, the Ffrith and then Rhyl are a part of me and I suspect, you.
    The beach in winter was the best. Isolated. Cold. Windblown and enchanting. You could be anyone, do anything.
    at night the sea made a constant background noise, interspersed with the the clanging of the marker bell and the plaintiff cry of the gulls.
    Thank you for bringing those memories flooding back.

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    • I was the other direction really. I used to cycle regularly along the sea wall between Pensarn and Kinmel Bay and those were our main beaches as well. But we do have Rhyl in common. I house-sat in Prestatyn one summer. The beach was great but crowded by Pensarn standards. I miss the sea. I never really appreciated how lucky I was to be able to grow up within walking distance of it. Magical times.
      Thank you for sharing your memories of the sea. I’m glad my post brought them back to you.

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