Thursday 5th April


Today I leave JM at the holiday cottage. She paints watercolours of castles. 

My destination is CAT at Machynlleth.

52N 4W

Nearly there!

On the way I contrive to drive near a confluence. A confluence is an artificial point where a line of latitude crosses a line of longitude. Does this matter? No, unless you're a bit weird. This one is at 52N 4W. I've been to 52N 0W.

I drive along the B 4337. I get within 237 odd feet - do I submit it?  It is a cheat, getting within the qualifying range of 100 metres by car on a minor road. These confluence hunts normally involve preparation and a bit of a hike.

It is raining heavily. I take a photo of the GPS as evidence, get very wet, and drive on.

Onwards...Jones the petrol fuels my car. "Foot and Mouth you see. The Farmers haven't been out driving so I have no repairs, only MOTs.." I forgot to time that one.

Centre for Alternative Technology 

Rain on PV Array

Raining on impressive working demo

Raining on new shop

RainLast visited CAT in June 1999. Then they were running solar water heating course. Then we saw the sun.

Today it is absolutely pissing it down.

The new theatre and shop have been completed. During my last visit these were no more than foundations. The theatre uses straw walls, and the shop packed earth. It's actually better than that may sound.

Inside the shop I get talking. 
"50% down turn of visitors attributed to Foot and Mouth." (1 hr 5 minutes). 
A sign says: "Extra donations would be appreciated!"

I consider becoming a life member.

The restaurant menu is splendid as before. Worth visiting on its own - even if you're not into green recycling eco issues!

I buy some technical books on Photo Voltaic Panels, and a wind up toy torch. (May not be a toy...) and a PV panel and fluorescent lamp. Something to tinker with! 

(Abergynolwyn is about 7km from CAT - 1984 existential weekend.)

Coincidence. As I leave, BBC Radio 4 "Changing Places" has an item on CAT.

Then the weather report states that 28mm of rain fell on Capel Cureg - Wales's  second largest mountain - not so far away. 

Yes, it did rain.


JM joins me at the Half Way House, a pub on the A40 between Llandeilo and Carmarthan. There's a good menu available - nice food on offer. No, she wants something familiar. She adores faggots with mash and onion gravy.

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