by The Curious Scribbler
In the ten years I have been writing Letter from Aberystwyth I have prided myself upon being both succinct and factually accurate.
It was therefore a surprise to find Letter from Aberystwyth, with a startlingly similar font, appearing in the online news service Nation Cymru on the 6 November.
This proved to be an article in which the author Shara Atashi shared a variety of thoughts stimulated, or perhaps stunted, by the rigours of cold water swimming at Aberystwyth. Consider the following extract about the scenery viewed from the sea at South Beach:
Behind that there are a few pyramidal green hills, and upon one of them is Pen Dinas, an Iron Age Celtic hillfort, and on it a column with no monument.
The monument, built in the 1850s, carries the name of Wellington, but his statue was never installed. Visitors to the area are likely to wonder why.
Wales is full of mysteries, which remain unsolved to remain mysteries. I never tried to find out why the Wellington Monument is without Wellington’s statue. I just thought that a monument with no statue on it feels just right, especially when it is situated upon an Iron Age Celtic hillfort.
If a single person’s lack of knowledge and disinclination to find out about their subject constitutes a mystery then the bar for Welsh Mysteries is set extremely low!
The author has also refrained from consulting a bird book :
When I watch a heron standing there with its wings open wide in the sun, I wonder whether it is troubled by the wind tousling its feathers. They seem to be boasting when they dive for more than a minute and resurface with a big fish in the beak.
and she conjures a puzzling image of her early morning swims at North Beach
I swim here North Beach early mornings, when it is quiet and I can enjoy the horizon while following my thoughts. The scene is never the same.
Sometimes I am surrounded by a group of sea gulls and their juniors rocking on the surface of the water. They look like little boats. Sometimes there are a few herons fishing around me.
There can be no doubt that these herons are in fact cormorants!
I do hope that none of my readers have attributed this article to me.