I may flatter myself in thinking that the readers of this blog are savvy intellectuals, sophisticates, oozers of erudition, people of the world – both real and ethereal. They appreciate the finer things in life. I can tell by the standard of comment. That being clearly and undeniably the case I am pleased to be able to present, for your entertainment, a further series of photographs very much representing me enjoying the good things in life.
Before I go any further however we should clear the air. If you are of a jealous disposition you should not read on. Also political views are not part of this debate. After all even Aneurin Bevan MP, socialist hero and creator of the National Health Service, used to save up so that he could indulge once a month in a seriously hedonistic night out at the Savoy Hotel. The envious should leave now, reading no further, and immerse themselves in the cold bath of self pity. Go.
Today’s photographs are a selection taken from an extensive collection assembled over two days of my stay at the Celtic Manor Resort Hotel whilst watching the Wales Open Golf Tournament. I was there as a guest of Wesley Clover, the Terry Matthews VC business. Note there is a megaprize competition at the end of this post – haven’t had one for a while.
I have included a range of subject matter that gives you the best flavour of the experience. I warn you now, if you expect to see anything of the first 17 ½ holes then you will be disappointed for most of the action takes place from the corporate hospitality tent overlooking the 18th green. For the cognoscenti the 18th is a monster 575 yards par 5 and if you don’t hit the green with your approach shot you are knackered. Your ball will either end up in a bunker or if it falls short, the water. You need to know that the front fringe is mown short and slopes steeply back into the lake before it.
After a hard day of watching golf I retired to the relaxing comfort of the spa. There are no photos of this bit as it would not have been appropriate. Also the steam from the steam room would probably not have been good for my phone.
The Clytha Arms is great. If you have never been you should make a detour to visit. In fact the same applies for any of the locations I mention herein. The Clytha is a classic country pub and the meeting place for the local hunt. The food is great though we didn’t partake, saving ourselves for the curry at the Kings Arms back near the Celtic Manor. The Kings Arms as some of you may know is sadly no longer a pub but at least it has been replaced by a purveyor of fine curries. Before I finally leave the subject of the Clytha I should tell you that most of the attendees at the cider festival seemed to be staying in tents at the back of the pub. There are 100 pitches available. A bit crammed in it looked to me but hey…
There were plenty of small souped up cars with big attention-seeking exhausts in the car park. Apparently a regular feature of the country life if you are a young man. When we turned up in our Celtic Manor transport it must have seemed quite a contrast. We were obviously not camping. Incidentally I’m a bit dismayed that I left my Cider Festival souvenir glass in the limo on the way home. Ah well.
I should also mention that one of the reasons for going was that one of our party was Simon Gwatkin (seen wearing jacket in the pic). The Clytha used to be Simon’s local and he wanted to taste one of the Gwatkin Ciders on offer at the festival – never tasted it before. We all had one. We needn’t have bothered. It was rough as anything!
After lunch on the first day we were treated to an interview with the brothers Molinari. These boys were part of the victorious Ryder Cup team from last Autumn. Having seen the course (18th green), the hospitality area and hearing stories of hte celebrations I wish now that I had made the effort to go.
Before I finish I have a little competition for you. Who are the two guys I’m being photographed with in the last photo? Usual prize. None of those in attendance at the golf are eligible to enter in this case.
The last photo is of me in front of the Bentley Mulsanne used to ferry me to the railway station at Newport. That’s Terry Matthews’ chauffeur Michael in the photo with me. The car is a very nice 7 litre twin turbo job (not that I’m particularly a car person) that retails for £259,191.07. The seven pence seems a bit petty to me but who am I to say???
Oh and by the way Miguel Angel Jiminez was waiting in reception with me for a car and I was with Gareth Edwards in the lift though we didn’t speak – the lift was full and someone else was chatting to him 🙂