Notes From Swansea


Swansea High St at night gave a fair imitation of a late summer evening. The trees still retained their leafy canopies and the evening air was comfortable. On Bethesda St, Matts Cafe held a pop up restaurant so we left the train station in search of the street (shown above) and curry. The food was excellent as were the bands.

The good wather did not hold. The following day began with my host family’s activities: BSL lessons, a session at Outcasts in Llansamlet, lunch at Peg 2 in Mumbles, accompanied by heavy rain and drizzle. image4.jpeg

Peg 2 is a restaurant that donates its profits to good causes across Swansea and is part of a wider network that works to offset poverty across the city. I later met the cafe workers at a church service. The food at Peg’s is excellent offering a wide choice of food well prepared and presented. 

I especially loved the tiny herbs on my plate of sweet potato hash and it takes some skill to poach an egg well. The food was good value for money and all in a good cause. The one thing that has struck me is how much of a cafe culture there is in Swansea, and how it has become a city of eateries, drive through restaurants, pizza places, ice cream parlours and coffee dens. There are places to suit all tastes; there is even a roadside cafe on the road to Penclawdd selling Lebanese food which I’m assured is excellent.

Of course Penclawdd means salt marshes and mists and the weather closed in so that it was impossible to see across the estuary or beyond the motor boat. The marshlands are full of sea birds and wild life, and the seagulls squabbled and swooped until their leader succeeded in opening a chip packet

Caawell Bay was a heady mix of woodland and salt. The surf was lively and small children braved the high winds around the coast, like an army of wetsuits flanked by anxious watchful parents. Ibeatched a surfer far out in the bay and mapped familiar points in my mind. It seemed each cove or rock held an association with family and friends as I created a memory map, and even as I write this I remember more connections not just from childhood with my sister and brother but from my teens, when we built fires and grilled sausages , drank coke or Fanta and made twisty things out iv flour and water. Those idyllic summer days seemed far away in the teeth of a chill wind, and the grey high tide. I guess I’ll have to wait until next year for a swim.


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