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On going to Wales and returning to past their best bananas…

February 26, 2014

It was half term here last week and the beloved and I decided to leave soggy Devon and visit Rella in Cardiff.  We drove there and for the first time in weeks it didn’t rain. In fact the sun shone! It felt as if  a great wet weight had been lifted. bridge

Cardiff was bathed in sunshine. We wandered the city marvelling at the architecture. The castle was looking spectacular, but it was a bit pricey to get in and we were on a budget – and although the weather was warm, it wasn’t quite warm enough to spend long enough in the  castle to justify paying the entrance fee.

So, even though it was sunny, the museum beckoned – mainly because the buildings were so impressive and covered in dragons. When you live in a small town, as we do, which has higgledy piggledy Elizabethan building nestling along the main street,  you get easily impressed by the kind of grand architecture that capital cities boast. We thought we’d just pop in to the museum and see what it was like, but once through the door we got drawn right in and stayed for hours. There wasn’t anywhere near enough time to even scrape the surface – we’ll have to go back soon. It’s a good job Rella’s in her first year at university.

Rella-Arlo-Graham-in-Cardiff

If we’d been thinking we’d have made the most of the sunshine and headed out to the museum of Welsh rural life in St Fagans, or to Barri Island, or Penarth, because Wales is a lot like Devon when it comes to weather – two fine days in a row is unlikely. But instead we did those things in the rain the following day. There’s no helping some folk.  St Fagan’s is fantastic even in the pouring rain and my mother tells me that in one of the cottages (the museum consists of a series of buildings  – cottages, a mill, shops, a school – all representative of Welsh rural life)  there’s an organ donated by her family (a musical instrument that is, rather than a kidney or something quietly rotting).

Dinner was at Wagamamas  in Cardiff Bay. Really nice. I had a prawn kare lomen which is an explosion of taste (coconut,  lime, coriander with a hint of something I couldn’t identify) on a bed of ramen noodles. It looked really pretty as well. Forgot to take a photo which is a shame as it was a very photogenic meal and we were practically opposite the water  as the sun was going down so the waterside was bathed in a pink glow. Have to go there again too.

After a night in an Ibis budget hotel – not as bad as you might think , and quite fun for a 12 year old who got to sleep in a top bunk above his parents’ bed- we headed out along the coast to Penarth. I took a photo of Arlo holding up Penarth Pier – fantastic pier – no amusements or rubbish, just a very reasonable cafe, lovely exhibition space and a cinema. Windy though.

Arlo-and-Penarth-pier

It reminded me a bit of Southwold pier, but without Tim Hunkin’s rather good games.

When we finally made it back to Devon, the bananas in the fruit bowl were smelling very bananary. The whole kitchen smelled of banana. This time I tried baking them. I wasn’t sure it was going to work. I didn’t think I liked cooked bananas, but they were OK when Katrine barbecued them way back – they were good in fact – and I hate to waste food.

banana-for-baking

baked-bananabaked-bananas2

 

 

 

 

Arlo is a bananaphobe, so he wasn’t interested and the beloved was busy finding something savoury to eat, but I slung a banana into the aga for me. The aga was very hot as no one had cooked on it for a couple of days so the banana cooked quickly. It looked brown and speckled when it went in and came out a scant 10 minutes later puffed up and brown – the skin  split, which isn’t really the aim as you get banana all over the oven (unless you put it in a baking dish. I didn’t). Then all you have to do is carefully peel  the banana and then dollop some yogurt on and eat.

It’s heavenly.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 3, 2014 7:58 pm

    Glad you liked your trip to Wales

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