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dorinda mcann N.

IWENT down to Carmarthen last weekend and it was the first time. I had made the journey by train since the eve of my 20th birthday. It took almost seven hours to get to a town that is not much more than 120 miles away and that by anyone's reckoning is ludicrous.

Having said that the journey was beautiful even though the weather was overcast. Colwyn Bay beach was a study in sepia with a solitary figure walking a dog and all along the journey the hedgerows,dripping with moisture, were covered in May blossom. ``Ne'er cast a clout till May is out'' my mother was wont to quote - an expression that refers to the blossom rather than the month - if I dared ask if I could leave my liberty bodice off. It was my mother casting a clout that bothered me as she probably would have had done had she found me,in her opinion, half naked without the dreaded garment with its rubber buttons and telltale sleeves poking out from under a sleeveless summer frock.

Little had changed on the journey except the sandwiches. In those days they may have curled like a beckoning finger but at least you knew what to expect. They were always white bread with a liberal spreading of yellow axle grease and a choice of either a thin layer of yellow (cheese)or a suspicion of something pink (ham). Nowadays,it's not as easy to identify the fillings even when you're actually chewing them. I don't know how they managed to make a cheese and onion sandwich taste it quite so revolting but here's my own stab at the recipe. Take two small pieces of loft insulation and marinate overnight in Swoop-any wild bird food will do as long as it has a good sprinkling of hard seeds to exasperate unsuspecting denture wearers. Then take a piece of yellow wax cut thinly and strew with a few unidentifiable green bits that one can only assume started life as a spring onion, strangle in plastic, slap on a pretentious label,charge what you like and voila! - a BR cheese and onion sandwich.

I just hate the way food is messed about with these days and given such inane and meaningless terms - jus - what the hell is jus?It's all roulade this and terrine that but my particular bte no ire is `pan fried'. What else can anyone use to fry in?

Quite apart from the food the journey was lovely with blossom frothing all over the place and all the trees in new frocks. I arrived in Carmarthen in the pouring rain and went for a cup of coffee in the little Wimpy Bar that's been there for many years. I hadn't eaten a Wimpy for ages so ordered a bendy frankfurter, egg and French fries just for old time's sake.

The people in Carmarthen smile a lot but then they have just cause,it's a lovely little town. My beloved joined me and on the Saturday morning he and I strolled down to the market place for our usual pilgrimage. I was hoping to get a string of onions from the French bereted Sioni Wynwns as we call them in the West but he wasn't there this time and the nearest I got to France was the music of a piano accordion played beautifully by a middle-agedbusker. We had a wonderful weekend and once more I'm so indebted to the Carmarthen people who no matter how often I visit,never let me down. They are friendly,open and have a joie de vivre that I envy.

I love the shops which manage to retain an old fashioned charm; a notice in a jeweller's window made me smile,on a hand written label underneath a wedding ring was the caption, ``Bargain-engraved with `forever yours'-second hand.''

On the way home we called in my old home to see David and Julie and as always stayed far longer than we intended.

They presented me with a bottle of their wine bearing the label ``Chateau Dorinda'' and I was extraordinarily flattered. We drove home up the lane full of bright pink campions,bluebells and drifts of white stitchwort and it all looked the same as it did 50 years ago.

It's good that some things don't change as it isn't always for the best,BR sandwich makers-please takenote.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 17, 2003
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