Monday, July 26, 2004

Travels of a Poet (5)

It was the simplest thing. Crossing the Menai Strait to the island. You hardly knew you were on the bridge. Turn right. Stop to read the map. It’s dark. Make my way into the small town and soon I’m in what looks like an industrial area. Find myself on a winding road. Menacing shapes loom in corners. Above and to my left a steep hill. The sky is full of black. An archway. The bottom of a winding path leading up winding steps to the back door of the Victoria Hotel.
Try again, more twisty roads, the high street, aha – there it is. Grand and imposing. Built overlooking the strait.
Shabby Victorian.
I’m greeted suspiciously, like the hotel's not used to poets. Which is odd in Wales. But the receptionist warms up as we chat.
I imagine the pride of the hotel’s first manager, looking out over the Menai Strait, the sun on the water, a glass of champagne in his hand.

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