I have been awake for thirty hours. I am lying next to Tami in a seaside hotel in Swansea, Wales. Why Swansea? Everybody asks. Kinda random. Diane and Pete put us onto Cardiff, to which my father asked, Why Cardiff? and suggested that Swansea was nicer if we really felt we had to go to Wales. Today even the customs guy said "Why Swansea?" and the car rental guy, while not saying it, definitely screwed up his face as if he wanted to say it, but felt constrained by his customer service role. To be fair, the customs guy used to live here.

No sleep on the plane, Tami keeps on losing jackets, I hate traveling, driving on the left is a pain in the ass.

On the plus side we drove through East Hendred, a town where our family used to vacation and saw Southernwood (the enormous house in which we stayed). We had a great lunch at the Wheatsheaf, a pub in which I used to drink when I was fifteen and an American boy abroad looking older than I was. It's now a lot posher than it was then. East Hendred has gone the way of Rowayton, all upper class suburbanites commuting into London or starting some trendy home based business. As Rowaytonites play at the role of sloppy sailors, I suspect in East Hendred they play the role of country farmer.

Tami at the Wheatsheaf
Tami at the Wheatsheaf

But it's beautiful country around there and as we were driving through, me white-knuckling it all the way through these tiny country lanes, I was reminded of how much it filled my lyrics when I was a kid in songs like "You Are Free" and "Decline and Fall" . It is so great to be able to share all this with Tami.

So I'm lying in bed awake at the Norton Hotel across from the beach on the mouth of the River Severn. This is where that fatigue sets in that prevents you from getting any sleep. If I had a cigar, I'd go down to the beach and smoke it but I have a really bad cold that has been kicking my ass for four days now and I just can't smoke. I really need to feel better. There's a lot of driving ahead and it's all on the left.