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Weekend Round Up


I think perhaps I was premature yesterday1 but anyway let's turn to happier matters and fill in some of the gaps from the weekend.

First the bad stuff: I'd like to give a special dis-recommendation for The White Hart in Talybont-on-Usk. On Friday night we'd had an excellent supper at The Star but we went to The White Hart on Saturday. Among other things that failed to impress were:

  • The enormous plasma screen TV which was on loud enough to dominate both bars. When we arrived the footie was on so I thought "fair enough", especially as Wales were playing that night, but that soon finished and we then moved on to The X Factor. Delightful.
  • The food, part 1 - well they were doing food ... but they couldn't take our order. We had to sit on a table and wait until we were called (it was actually even more complicated than that but it gives you a flavour of the paradigm). Late comers, and they weren't that late, had to virtually beg in order to get food at all.
  • The tables - no more than five to a table or you can't have food. And we weren't to move any of the tables. At all. There were seven of us initially, so Beth and I ended up on our own, separated from the rest by the ladies loo door.
  • The food part 2 - when it came they were, in truth, good size portions, but the battered cod we both had was mushy cod with far more batter than cod.
  • The food part 3 - oh you want pudding? No, puddings are off. I never did find out why but a sign just appeared.

Actually now I think about it here's some more bad stuff, or rather mixed for sure. The camp site was Gilestone Caravan Park and the news there was mixed. On the plus side the location was superb and a lot of us walked out straight from the site via an old road onto the canal and on to our destination. Nice field too with lots of stand pipes and mains hook ups and a toilet block in the next field.

The minor down side was the entertainment down at the centre of the site: some bloke who thought he was Tom Jones (and Sinatra) which was pretty loud even where we were. The major down side was the toilet block: the whole unit wasn't level so the loo doors didn't shut properly, it hadn't been cleaned in a while judging by the cobwebs and someone (not one of our crew) threw up in the ladies on Saturday night and it wasn't cleaned up. Yuck.

OK. Enough whining. What else?

Well with one exception2 everyone we met was very welcoming, which was nice.

Beth's put her photos of the weekend online now, you can find those here and my videos (and one she took) are here.

Who is that good looking bloke in the hat?

The thing I forgot to mention on Sunday was the "fun" we had with Dougal the Discovery. It being a modern car the keys are also radio transmitters for the alarm. So Beth unlocks the car, we pack up, she pops the bonnet to check the water level, then she shuts the bonnet and tries to start the car. All the lights come on, the aircon fires up, but the engine doesn't crank.


So we pop the bonnet again and fiddle about. Nothing obvious. All the fuses look fine and it's clearly not the battery as everything else electrical works. In the end we decide the only option is to call out Britannia Rescue. So I start doing that while Beth sends an SMS to the rest of them who've already set off for Pen y Fan. I stop however as I realise I've got no idea what my mobile phone number is. Beth tells me but she then has a thought: why not try my key?

I couldn't see the point to be honest: it's only a mechanical switch right? So I tried it and it started! Weird.

Then we tried Beth's key again and that started it too.

So at this point we convinced ourselves that it must be damp or something. Odd but it was all fine now. So we do some last checks and Beth tries to start Dougal with her key.


She tries mine and it's fine.

We deduced from this (and subsequent discussion in the pub today suggests we were right) that when you use the key the key and the car do an extra electronic handshake before the immobiliser is disabled and Beth's key battery was so flat that this no longer worked. Using my key disabled the immobiliser for a couple of minutes which is why hers worked once.

I've since replaced the battery and it's working again now.

  1. It looks like Jacqui Smith is going to have another go at sneaking in 42 days via a separate bill - let's hope the combined ranks of the Lords and rebel Labour back benchers send that packing too.
  2. An old bloke in The White Hart who was muttering abuse at us when we came in - do you see a pattern emerging here?

Tags: Brecon, landies Written 14/10/08

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