On a day-off from kitchen duties, Chef did me a packed lunch and bottle of red for my walk up the mountain : Cader '68. Cool estuary early morning blue sky start. Shorts and shirt. Great to get going first time into Snowdonia itself. Soon no sign of habitation - just sheep and dry stone walls and always the mountain above and just walking without stopping to reach the top. Plenty of energy fuelled almost from the start by picking at the packed lunch. I'd stop only momentarily to keep sight of what i thought to be the peak just some 2,000 odd feet above sea level and i had started at sea level. After a couple of hours of pleasant walking it began to get hot. It always looked like the summit was just over the next stone wall. It never was. There was always a further little hill and another stone wall. Eventually it seemed like time for a little red to quench my thirst. i had thought i would open bottle to celebrate arrival at summit. The bottle went down in just a few full gulps. i felt great as i continued over a stone wall...up the next hill...through a gate...staring sheep...over a stone wall thinking i must surely be close to top of Cader. And eventually i think i got there in my estimation. With good directional abilities i started down the mountain. Couldn't wait to get into Barmouth on the coast and started thinking of refreshment at a pub. Was i thirsty! Didn't loiter to admire the view from the top. Was i drunk! i came down that mountain at speed. My arms swinging high like windmills but somehow balanced with no thought of falling. i guess i was running down the mountain with no notion of drunkenness. Just euphoria speeding me down the mountain footpath. In town i bumped into Paul the porter from the hotel where we worked. We went into the nearest pub together. 3 pints each of Double Diamond downed in about half-an-hour before closing-time and for some reason i did not feel at all drunk. Paul was droning-on in his cockney voice about Chef's problems with getting a girl-friend...why don't those waitresses fancy him he asked.
Katy was an art student from Stamford and only arrived at the hotel half-way through the summer season. She looked great in her blue check waitress gear. Keen to make friends she came down to the cove on the estuary with me one afternoon. We did not broadcast the fact. No big deal. The cove was some half-a-mile from the hotel on the Mawdach Estuary. i think we talked about art and the poetry i was writing. Mostly we sat quietly on the bank and dreamed our own dreams. So peaceful. So quiet. We stayed all afternoon only returning to go back on duty for the evening shift. i was a kp and loved it when Katy shyly came in and out of the kitchen with her orders from the dining room. But did not enjoy Chef's fat leering manner. Towards the end of service Chef said to me = Enjoyed yourself down at the cove with Katy this afternoon did you. And how would you know, i asked. i saw you, he said. And where were you, i said. I saw you from here he said, I was looking through the telescopic sights of my rifle. I often shoot rabbits of an afternoon when i'm not playing pool.
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