Monday, 21 July 2014

Aberaeron and Anne

I was very impressed with Aberaeron, a small but very likeable coastal town on Cardigan Bay, south of Aberystwyth. I was pitched inland only a few miles away, at Oakford. I hadn't holidayed in this part of Wales before, and will definitely want to return, perhaps next spring.

The appearance of the town is rather a surprise. Unlike the average town in these parts (such as New Quay, the scene of the 'don't park here again' incident that has put me off the place), the houses have architectural merit. In fact, it's a Georgian gem. It is a planned Georgian town that has altered little in its layout since the nineteenth century. This 1905 Ordnance Survey plan could be used today:

I won't say it's a little Bath by the sea, and most certainly the likes of Beau Brummel never came here, but it has a visual impact that I thought very attractive indeed. The local council have decreed which house colours can be used in the town centre, to ensure that the overall effect is eye-catching but pleasing and harmonious, and without the dreadful colour clashes that you sometimes see. So there are no mustard yellows next to deep pinks. Or oranges next to purples. It's all rather more carefully done than that - and yet still so vibrant that if you respond to colour, you want to take pictures on every street corner. Here are some of the shots that I took on my two visits to the town. See what you think.

So far as I can make out, the deeper colours - predominantly blue and red - are chiefly on the main road through the town (the A487), while the harbour area and the back streets have more subdued, cooler hues. It isn't just the colours. The architectural detail varies too, so that no two adjacent houses are quite the same:

Aberaeron's harbour is very nice:

Truly a place to bask in the sunshine. I found a family crabbing, and a boat that had my name on it:

A river runs through the town to the sea - the River Aeron. Inland, it gurgles through a cool, shady park. More seaward, it becomes part of the harbour:

The beach is composed of pebbles, although there is sand at low tide. I was walking along the beach when a lady in a wind shelter looked up from emailing on her tablet, and gave me a smile. She would have seen me like this:

I went over to her, and sat with her for a long and lively chat that must have lasted half and hour at least. We were clearly both champion chatterboxes, but I think she just took the prize! Her name was Anne. Here she is:

She was three years older than me, but in her own estimation already a little too old to uproot herself, move a hundred miles from her old home, and then try to establish herself in a new place. But she had done it. Given how she felt, this was pretty brave of her.

She had made efforts to find local friends, but it was slow going. I felt certain that she would succeed in the end though. She had for instance taken the wise step of becoming a volunteer at the nearby National Trust property, Llanerchaeron, which would in time bear fruit. She had her own car, but (unlike me!) wasn't keen on driving. This didn't matter, because she liked taking buses to places like Carmarthen, and (unlike me!) had a bus pass and could do it for nothing. I thought she was a very nice person, and if I lived in Aberaeron I would certainly want her as one of my local friends.

Later on, after processing the shots I'd taken, I thought that she might like to have a print of the picture above. She had mentioned the number of her Aberaeron home, and where it was in town, but I didn't have her full address. However, undaunted, I produced a print of that shot of her in the shelter, and of that one of myself on the beach (so that she would realise who was getting in touch). I did my best to look up the postcode, and despatched the prints with a covering letter. There has been no reply yet, so I'm thinking that either I misheard the address and it's gone astray, or she did get the prints but decided not to reply. It would actually have been an unusual thing, a total stranger going to that kind of trouble after a casual meeting. I really can't blame her, if she was hard put to see how best to respond. Never mind.

1 comment:

  1. Is the town owned by Dulux? If nothing else it certainly is colourful and I quite like it. It reminds me of the houses seen in places such as Norway where they use the colours to offset the otherwise grey and dismal surroundings

    Shirley Anne x


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