It is another grey day and chilly but we don’t mind too much as we are returning to London today. Our train is at 11:28, giving us time for breakfast and a visit to Swansea Market.
The hotel cheerfully accepted to store our bags while we went out. For the last time on this trip we went up the road to The Bank Statement for breakfast. Afterwards we walked around the the indoor market. Not as big or as fine as some of the markets we have seen, it seems a good market and was quite busy.
We walked back to the hotel and reclaimed our bags. The clerk called a cab for us and this arrived within 5 minutes. The journey was short and the fare next to nothing. At the station, we realized we had hurried more than we needed and now had an hour to wait for our train. We had recourse to the usual stand-by, the Pumpkin cafe.
Along the way we talked to the taxi driver and asked whether he spoke Welsh. He said he did not and that although he had lived here all his life, his parents were English. I suppose that must be the case of many and that it must in fact be difficult to determine who is Welsh or even what this means. The same question, of course hangs over those other two adjectives that people like to bandy about without ever stopping to think what they really mean – English and British.
Whereas "British" can de defined in legal terms (i.e. you are British if the government is prepared to issue you with a passport), "English" has no objectively definable meaning, no matter how much certain groups and individuals wish that it did.
When I got up to leave the cafe, I found I could hardly move. Perhaps sitting on the hard wooden seat had affected my back. I supported myself with my walking stick in one hand and the other hand on a nearby screen. I remained stuck for a couple of moments before trying to take a step. Eventually, I could walk but with difficulty.
Tigger took both wheelie bags and hurried to the train as it was approaching departure time, and I hobbled along behind.
Yesterday I said the pain wasn’t too bad but today it is worse, despite the painkillers, and I am getting spasms in the small of my back. Between stations I go for a walk up and down the aisle in the hope of stopping my back seizing up during the long journey.
When we reached London, we left Paddington station and took the 205 bus home. We decided we should go out for lunch and do some shopping. It was at this point I realized I had left my shoulder bag on the train. Over lunch in the Millennium Cafe, we discussed whether to go to the station and try to reclaim my bag. Tigger then realized that she had left her back pack on the train!
I think we were so concerned about my back and getting our main luggage off the train that we had forgotten these other items on the rack.
After doing the shopping, we took the bus to the station and enquired about our bags. We were lucky. A member of the public, we were told, had noticed our bags and handed them in. We recovered them intact. Thanks to our anonymous bag rescuer!
So our holiday ended on a rather strange note but that did not detract from the holiday itself. Wales came up to our expectations and we shall return there in the not to distant future.