Been to Abersoch today to speak to the Caernarfon Branch of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales. First branch meeting that I've visited since I was elected President. Always enjoy driving through Pwlleli where the town centre, Tory Blue Conservative Club is so in-your-face'. The downside is that it reminds me of just how much ground my party has lost in 'Welsh' Wales over recent decades. Around 40 enthusiastic CPRW members turned up. I did a Cameron style off-the-cuff speech, and expected a bit of disagreement in the response. But it was terrific. Really positive stuff. Charges of 'Nimbyism' or 'Single Issue-ism' are the opposite of the truth in Caernarfon. Now that a General Election seems to be on the back burner for a while, I should be able to give more time to the CPRW.
My favorite stretch of road in all the world is the drive from Dinas Mawddwy to Dolgellau. Today was brilliant. Not too sunny and cloudlets of mist floating amongst the mountains. The mountain tops were lost in low cloud. Its special climbing up the winding road to the top, hemmed in by mountains on both sides - only to emerge onto the plateau which runs gently down to Gwanas, with Snowdonia as the backdrop. Here, its easy to imagine the voice of Tom Gwanas soaring amongst the hills. Today my imagination was drowned out by a Springsteen CD - 'The Rising' which he wrote after the attack on the World Trade Centre. At the time, I was playing its second track, 'Into the Fire' at full volume. This track will always be special to me because I played it over and over when I spent some time in hospital recovering from surgery in 2002. "May your strength give us strength. May your faith give us faith. May your hope give us hope. May your love give us love". So many images crowding in at the same time. Keep your mind on the road Glyn.
Worst part was that I missed little Ffion. I was not expecting a visit today, because Karen has not yet fully recovered from the birth. But visit the happy threesome did in my absence. Sally, Verity and Mrs D all had serious cuddle time. I'm told that No 2 Son, Patrick showed the first ever glimmer of paternal interest - as did No 3 Son, Tim. Anyway, Ffion is coming over again tomorrow. I expect to have my turn.