Hi, I'm Tom Scott. These are some of the things I've made and done. They'll probably come back to haunt me in a few years' time. (Want to get in touch about …
On this day in 1999 I sent out the twenty-eighth of my Cool Thing Of The Day To Do In Aberystwyth emails. I wasn’t blogging at the time (although I did have a blog previously), but these messages-back-home served a similar purpose, if only for a select audience. You can read more about them in my last On This Day to discuss them or the one before.
For technical reasons, this particular Cool Things Of The Day appears to have been sent on 27th October, but in actual fact I know that the events it describes took place on 5th November 1999. The obvious clue? The fireworks! I knew that Cool Thing Of The Day as shown here on my blog was out-of-sync with reality, but this particular entry gives a great indication of exactly how much it’s out by. And no, I can’t be bothered to correct it.
Back in 1999 I started as a student at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (now Aberystwyth University), moved away from home, and had a fantastic time. One bonfire night, I called up two new friends of mine – Rory and Sandra – and persuaded them that we should wander over to nearby Trefechan and climb the hill (Pen Dinas) there to watch the fireworks. It was a wild and windy night, and certainly not the conditions to climb an unknown and occasionally-treacherous hill, but we weren’t dissuaded: we set out!
You know those films or sitcoms where the protagonist (usually through their own stupidity) ends up on a date with two people at the same time, trying to keep each unaware of the other? That’s what I felt like at the time: because (though neither of them knew this at the time) I had an incredible crush on both of them. Of course: back then I was far shyer and far less-good at expressing myself, so this remained the case for a little while longer. Still: my inexperienced younger self still manged to make it feel to me like a precarious situation that I could easily balls-up. Perhaps I should have better thought-out the folks I invited out that night…
A storm blew in furiously, and the fireworks launched from the town scattered around, buffeted and shaken and only occasionally still flying upwards when they exploded. The rain lashed down and soaked us through our coats. We later found ourselves huddled around a radiator in The Fountain (under its old, old ownership), where the barman and the regulars couldn’t believe that we’d been up Pen Denis in the
A little later, I got to have a ludicrously brief fling with one of the pair, but I was fickle and confused and ballsed it up pretty quickly. Instead, I fell into a relationship with my old friend-with-benefits Reb, which in the long run turned out to be a very bad chapter of my life.
Trefechan – exotically across the river from the rest of Aberystwyth – didn’t seem so far away after a few more years in Aberystwyth… only a stone’s throw from Rummers! But for three new students, just a couple of months into their new home, lost and drunk and fumbling their way using an outdated map and seeing by firework-light, it was an exciting adventure. In 2004, SmartData (my employer at that time) moved into their new premises, right over the road from The Fountain and in the shadow of Pen Denis. The Technium turned out to be a pretty good place for SmartData, and it suited me, too. Some days in the summer, when it was warm and sunny, I’d leave work and take a walk up Pen Dinas. It wasn’t the same without the fireworks, the company, or the mystery of being somewhere for the very first time, but it’s still a great walk.
Sometimes I’d go up there in the rain, too.
This blog post is part of the On This Day series, in which Dan periodically looks back on years gone by.
Spent the last four days in Lancashire and elsewhere in the North of England, visiting my folks (among other things). Details follow…
Saturday 28th June 2003
Dan’s Mum’s House, Preston
More video games. Yet again I won at Mario Party 4. Claire is starting to get really pissed-off with always coming second-place. I don’t think she’d mind being last or second-to-last all the time, but coming second-place time and time again really seems to annoy her. Particularly when I proceed to dance around the room chanting “I am the Party Star!” at the top of my voice. Ah well.
Horton Tower, Horton
Went with Claire and my family to see the annual symphony orchestra at Horton Tower. It wasn’t as good as last year, but it was still fun. Taught Claire to waltz.
More to follow…
Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #30:
Gather together a werewolf and an irishwoman, and, together, climb an unlit hill with a treachorous unmarked cliff, in an unfamiliar nearby town, in the darkness of the night, during a storm, and watch fireworks while clinging to a hundred-year-old momument to save yourself from being sucked over a 140ft precipice over a wave-smashed beach. Fail to find the ‘fort’ which the maps clearly state is right by the monument. Cause excess concern in the natives in a nearby pub upon your return: “You weren’t up the hill tonight, were you?” Smile. Nod. Sup your beer.
The ‘cool and interesting things’ were originally published to a location at which my “friends back home” could read them, during the first few months of my time at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, which I started in September 1999. It proved to be particularly popular, and so now it is immortalised through the medium of my weblog.