July 18, 2019, 10:24:15 AM

Author Topic: The Seasons of Pembrokeshire  (Read 262 times)

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The Seasons of Pembrokeshire
« on: August 31, 2017, 06:19:55 PM »
Bit of writing I just did about life in my home county.

The Seasons of Pembrokeshire

Little Tourist Season (April-June): The locals start to emerge from their houses. Business owners wish each other a happy new year. Fulmars and razorbills take up residence along the cliffs and get ignored in favour of puffins. Locals take walks while they've still got the free time and admire the familiar pink dottings of thrift. A few tourists migrate into the area, mostly either bird enthusiasts or city folk happy to be visiting at an affordable time of year but displeased by the lack of wi-fi signal. The weather is deceptively chilly.

Tourist Season (July-August): This is it. Everyone to your stations. The tourists are upon us. Let the seven-day work weeks and traffic queues commence. Yellow raincoats and nautical stripes dominate the pavements. Tenby is awash with buckets and spades and sticks of rock of every colour imaginable. The coast path becomes a snake of walkers. Every Saturday, a conveyer of almost-gleaming Range Rovers leaves St. Davids, faced by the oncoming legion of scruffy older vehicles as the county's quiet working class heads out to clean cottages that only their managers could afford to stay in. Money is squirreled away. The clouds clear and the sky puts on a blazing show of warmth. It seems that nature, too, has joined in this great production, donning its deep blue summer attire and lining the cliffs with heather - until a disappointed family returns to shore, wondering why the inconsiderate puffins insisted on leaving before the schools broke up. Cars buzz like honeybees towards the County Showground. The undulating melodies of jazz float through the cafes and streets of Fishguard. Someone, somewhere, inevitably follows a Sat Nav into the sea. This is when Pembrokeshire truly comes alive; the activity builds in a crescendo, and the coast becomes busier, livelier, louder, until...

The Great Exodus (day after August Bank Holiday): Families pack up and hurry home to get their last-minute school uniforms and pencil cases. Second-homeowners return to Oxfordshire in droves. The richer locals smile and pat their comfortably padded pockets; the poorer ones furiously budget for the months ahead. And then, in an instant, all falls eerily quiet.

Indian Summer (September-October): The county collectively flops onto the sofa and has a quiet cup of tea. Bus users lament the loss of Sunday services. The sky remains bright - rewarding its children for a job well done - and a breeze clears the air of its stuffiness. The sands of Newgale and Broad Haven become paler, having lost their dense patterns of footprints. The odd coach trundles in and out, leaving a sea of half-finished cream teas in its wake. Locals become explorers, venturing to their favourite obscure beaches and revelling in solitude upon finding them empty. Fluffy seals appear in pebbled coves as their sleeker parents' inquisitive heads pop out of the sea like whiskered periscopes.

Hibernation Period (November-March): Rainy days begin to outnumber clear ones. Seaside resorts become ghost towns. The auks and the middle class have left for southern climes. The braver of the local hikers embrace the horizontal rain. Photographers head to the Preselis to catch the fleeting snow and the green splendour of the northern lights. Lake Newgale forms. Knotless threads wish for the bustle of the summer, knowing that by that time they will once again crave the winter's solitude...

Thank you, Wolfie!