2023 – September – Nash Oakland

Beginning of September and a few of us had decided to have a few days away. There would have been more but some 90 year old decided to have a birthday party taking one of our group out, one of the others used the excuse that his other half was that he’d just got her up the duff. It’s not like he needs to do anything; he’s done what he needs to do; perhaps we’re just getting to learn who actually wears the trousers in the Lowther household.

Anyway; what can I say; the weather was outstandingly hot hot hot.

Some of us turned up on Wednesday, Thursday and then the final arrival came on two wheels on the Saturday. Basking in the glorious weather we had to keep hydrated and thankfully we’d taken one of our five a day in the form of cider to accomplish that.

It was a chilled out few days as it was too hot to do anything energetic; even putting up tents made us sweat like Prince Andrew does during an awkward interview. Cider was drunk, whisky was sampled, snacks were eaten along with a good deal of protein.

Some of us took on a meat finding mission into the local village (which was successful) but we also took the opportunity to find a coffee and cake and ended up at the only place that was open at that time of the day – the Judges Lodgings in Presteigne which as the name suggests is the old Victorian judges lodgings. Very interesting it is but we were there for the coffee and welsh bara brith cake, both of which we had and very nice they were too.

Our resident knife Jesus had set his crayfish trap in the river and was pleased with his haul, managing to catch a total of seven of the little blighters over a couple of days. Not enough for Jesus to feed the 5,000 with five loafs of bread but enough to get a snackette for three of us. The crayfish were all duly despatched and ended up in the pot. They are rather lovely on an Indonesian cracker.

Given the heat, a couple of us headed off in search of the next days coffee and cake and headed to the Sidney Nolan Trust buildings, which by chance was across four fields from our camping location. Nice. We ended up going in the rear entrance (oo err missus) but managed to find the correct way out on our return. We timed it right and instead of getting just our coffee and cake it was open house day so free to explore. We did our cultural bit and looked at the exhibitions including the World Photo gallery which was nicely setup in the orchard area. Some of the exhibits I think you had to be a bit of a luvie to ‘get them’; especially the two hanging blankets in the form of a hammock; even Andy wouldn’t sleep in those. The house itself is lovely and the informal guide from NZ was excellent. We strolled back from there just in time to see knife Jesus finally loaded up and about to depart; which was rather strange because four hours later he was still sitting there having dinner with us. He had heard that the Welsh guy was turning up the following morning so decided to head out whilst the going was good.

As if on schedule, just as we were about to start the staple breakfast (criossant, bacon, black pudding and a coffee), the aroma must have been working its way down the valleys; Andy turned up on two motorised wheels. Amazingly he still was able to bring out bags and bags of snacks from his limited carrying capacity.

We also visited the Maize Maze which is on the same farmland as Nash Oakland so a brief walk in the mid-day sun saw us at the entrance. The maze wasn’t officially open on the Saturday but we’d plied Rick with a dram earlier in the day and he’d given us permission to explore it; so that’s all the excuse we needed. Chard, it seems is the maze expert and confirmed it was the best maize maze he’d been in. You couldn’t see the other paths once you were inside. Despite being the maze expert it seems Chard doesn’t know which way a plan should be orientated. We’d probably still be in there given his instructions. ????

Many drinks were consumed; it must have been the extreme heat; so much so that Andy decided that we should have a timed run to the end of the field and back on his bike. Chard and Mac hadn’t been on a motorbike for the best part of 40 odd years so that was definitely a bit of fun.

For the record Team B won the quiz. Again.

All in all, a cracking few days away; just wish there was more of us.

Movies discussed during the weekend include :
Still Crazy, Knives Out, Salyut 7 and the Escape Artist.