When we were on holiday we went to Anglesey for the afternoon.
We went because I have never been before, and I always like to collect new places. Anglesey also, I was led to believe, had a plethora of interesting local biscuits, not available anywhere else in the British Isles.
I’d go a long way for an interesting biscuit.
And Anglesey was quite a long way. And then, when you get there, it’s just a small expanse of greenness sitting in the sea.
Firstly we drove from one end of Anglesey to the other. That in itself didn’t take very long, and it was quite cool as an end in itself. I like getting to the end of bits of land. It’s geographically very satisfying. And I like seeing how many times I can use the word ‘end’ in one paragraph.
At the end of Anglesey is Holyhead.
What can I say about Holyhead?
I had kind of imagined it as being rather pretty, and a bit holy. I think I was possibly mixing it up with somewhere like Lindisfarne, maybe.
It is not at all like that.
We drove around Holyhead in a perplexed manner. We were looking for somewhere nice to stop and have a cup of tea and a bun.
It did not exist.
As we were driving around I turned to the children in the back seat. I said: ‘Do you remember all the times I have tried to describe to you what it was like growing up in the Nineteen Seventies?’
They nodded. I said: ‘This. This is what the Nineteen Seventies were like.’
We all wept.
On the way out of Holyhead we stopped. Jason and the children wanted a restorative milkshake from McDonalds. I wanted to go to Asda next door because we needed bread and milk. Well, I didn’t want to, because I’m not keen on Asda in general, but I needed bread and milk and it was handy.
I have never been in such a dismal Asda in my life. Truly. It smelled of death and stale buns.
And I was stuck in the queue behind a woman buying three whole boxes of cartons of UHT milk, which in itself was enough to plunge one into depression, even if they weren’t your cartons.
And there were no special Anglesey biscuits to be seen.
So I sulked, and pulled out my feathers a bit.
To add insult to injury, I was sticking the stuff in the boot when a car horn sounded behind me. I instinctively turned around to look, and shut the edge of the car boot lid on the side of my head.
Thank you Holyhead.
We left suspecting that the old version of the name might actually have been Holey Head.
It certainly was for me.
It was one of those injuries that was so sharp it felt hot, and then it made me cry, and I felt rather sick, and everyone was a bit concerned in case I suddenly dropped down dead.
But I did swear quite a lot.
I needed Anglesey to redeem itself, and fast. We were all beginning to wonder quite why we had wasted an afternoon.
On the way back we passed a sign for a National Trust property called Plas Newydd, so we decided to visit, and prayed that it was still open. National Trust visiting is a fairly seasonal event, and lots of properties either close, or have very Nineteen Seventies opening hours (Wednesdays 3.00 p.m. until 4.30 p.m. etc) after the summer is over.
We pulled into the car park to find that it was still open.
Not only was it still open, but it was beautiful.
The property was gorgeous. The grounds were gorgeous. The staff were super welcoming, really knowledgeable and great with the children, and the tea room was, in the children’s parlance; ‘epic’.
Anglesey finally redeemed itself.
Although I didn’t see a single special biscuit the whole time I was there.
I am wondering if they knew I was coming and they had deliberately hidden the key to the biscuit cupboard.
After all, I am an invading foreigner.