Truly in the style and spirit of Challenge Robin / Challenge Robin II, this sweary idiot decides to try to cross Wales in as close as possible to a completely straight line, cutting through dense woods, farms, rivers, hedgerows and back gardens. Cut up by barbed wire, stung by nettles, swimming through freezing rivers, and chased by farmers, it makes for gruelling, hilarious watching. Link is to the four-hour playlist; put it on in the background.
It was 1949 when highways officials started to look at traffic issues affecting Newtown.
A multi-million pound bypass that has been 70 years in the planning officially opened in Powys on Thursday.
One haulier said Newtown bypass will make a “big difference” due to 45-minute hold-ups in the town, while the local AM said it was a “momentous” day.
The Welsh Government said the road will ease congestion by about 40% in the town centre.
A public notice printed in 1949 shows a bypass was being considered by the former Montgomeryshire County Council.
The four-mile (6.4km) road runs to the south of the town with two lanes in one direction and one in the opposite direction, to provide overtaking points.
Never thought I’d see the day. Back when she used to work in Newtown, Claire would routinely be delayed on her journey home by traffic passing through the town that could quite-justifiably have gone around it were it not for the lack of a decent trunk road, and she’d bemoan the continuing absence of the long-promised bypass. That was like 15 years ago… I can’t imagine what it’s been like for the people who’ve lived in Newtown, waiting for the bypass to be built, for their entire life.
In the time it’s taken to build this bypass, people who’ve been too young to drive have heard about it, grown up, had children of their own, and those people have had children who are now old enough to drive. The mind boggles.
The unprecedented spell of hot, dry weather across Wales has provided perfect conditions for archaeological aerial photography. As the drought has persisted across Wales, scores of long-buried archaeological sites have been revealed once again as ‘cropmarks’, or patterns of growth in ripening crops and parched grasslands. The Royal Commission’s aerial investigator Dr Toby Driver has been busy in the skies across mid and south Wales over the last week documenting known sites in the dry conditions, but also discovering hitherto lost monuments. With the drought expected to last at least another two weeks Toby will be surveying right across north and south Wales in a light aircraft to permanently record these discoveries for the National Monuments Record of Wales, before thunderstorms and rain wash away the markings until the next dry summer.
Claire, Peter and I gatecrashed a friend-of-a-friend’s house party last night, and ate all of their Pringles. One of the housemates’ music collections was fab: all the best of the Goo Goo Dolls, 3 Doors Down, Nirvana… and some weird (but actually quite good) Welsh rock band.
(Is Welsh Rock a genre? Or just something you buy on the prom at Aberystwyth?)
Must start my Christmas shopping.
[Edit: Came home from the party with an irresistible urge to listen to Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’. Weird.]
Cool And Interesting Thing Of The Day To Do At The University Of Wales, Aberystwyth, #18:
Play drinking games and ‘dare’ in a pub on an Outward Bound weekend… with your lecturer. Laugh as he has to ask the bar staff if they’re virgins, announce he’s gay, and go into the ladies toilets with his trousers around his ankles. Laugh slightly less when you have to shout “the Welsh are all sheep shaggers” at the top of your voice, and subsequently get lynched. Ah well: you win some, you lose some.
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.