18 June 2008

Having A Wales Moment

Tintern Abbey

Chepstow Castle

Welsh Flag

My old man is a Welshman. Born and raised in a fine part of southeast Wales, Chepstow. I have been there once and lived with my grandparents. As I get older I want my missus to see this part of the world and I would like my kids (assuming there are more after this one) to also see and learn the family heritage from my old man's side of the family.

Two of my favourite places are Tintern Abbey and Chepstow Castle. I am a bit of a history buff and the rich and long history of both these places have meant that I have spent countless hours just hanging around and soaking up the atmosphere and escaping into the recesses of my mind wondering what it would have been like to be living at the time these areas were in their respective primes.

The funniest thing I can remember includes Chepstow Castle. I went there with my sister in 1991 just for a look around. People have always said I look like my old fella but I have never believed them until this particular moment. Normally, you have to pay to get in and the Sis and I had no problems with that. The money is useful in terms of the upkeep of the castle.

However, I was strolling on up to the counter to pay and was about to fork over the cash when the cashier said, "you're Alan Baiton's son, aren't you?" I am like, "yeah!", "have we met before? or did my grandparents call to let you know we were on the way?" She just smiled and said, "you're the image of your dad!"

This woman apparently went to school with my dad and would not have seen him for 30 years and my dad was a real skinny bugger in his younger years and I am certainly not on the slim side of the coin. Still amazed even after all this time.

One day I would like to go back there with my old man so that he can tell me about the places of his youth in his own words and in his own way.

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