Dodgy oyster

I WENT to a meeting of a local history group on Monday. I was hoping to find out something to help my family research project, and stayed to listen to a talk about the Mumbles Railway.

It was the world’s first passenger railway, but it was launched in 1840 to haul limestone from the quarries at Oystermouth to the docks at the other end of Swansea Bay.

The speaker had brought along two small limestone rocks. “Hit them together and smell them,” he said. A pungent odour filled my nostrils.

He explained how the limestone was created over millennia by dead sea creatures sinking to the bottom of what was then a tropical ocean.

The pong I was smelling came from 300million-year-old shellfish.

One man’s noise

Better news about the Springsteen book. A chapter on the ideas behind the tracks on his Born To Run breakthrough album prompted me to take it down from the shelf, and put it on the kitchen CD player.

Listening to Jungleland (played loud), while relaxing in the sun on the patio with the doors wide open, was very enjoyable. I’ve apologised to the neighbours.

Shut that door

Walking back from the newsagents on Thursday morning, I bumped into a Labour activist acquaintance, who was just coming out of his house by the entrance to our local park.

I complimented him on the fine display of Vote Labour posters in his windows, but could not help noticing that none of them had any mention of Jeremy Corbyn.

He is unhappy about this airbrushing of the Labour party leader. “He was elected democratically. You stick to your principles,” he said. Then he added, somewhat mysteriously: “You don’t burn down your house because you don’t like the colour of the front door.”

If the Labour party is the house, and Corbyn is the door, it strikes me that what is happening in this election campaign is more a case of putting up a screen in front of the door, in the hope that everybody looks at the house instead.

Problem is, if you can’t get past the door, you can’t enter the building.

Don’t know what to think

The Current Mrs Feeney and I went shopping for an upcoming trip to Spain. In Primark, she picked up a silver, see-through beach bag, and asked me: “What do I think of this?”

It turned out that she had no idea.


Shopping done, to the cinema to watch Jessica Chastain turn in a fantastic performance as a Washington DC lobbyist in Miss Sloane. Fans of TV shows like The West Wing or The Good Wife will enjoy the dialogue-rich experience.

But while the tv shows were 60 minutes per episode, the film is over two hours long. For the first time, I found myself wishing for a commercial break.

Here we go (again)

MY football team, Swansea City, has survived in the Premier League after looking doomed to relegation for most of the season.

Huge relief. Now I can start worrying about next season.


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