Posted by Andy “Class of 79” Bell.
I am a graduate of the University of Wales, University College Swansea & also worked in and around the area.
The second city of Wales is a place dear to my heart and I returned there for some disappointing football (association) and scrumptious & unchanged ice cream.
Its most famous native, Dylan Thomas, had a more fraught relationship with the place than I.
He called it an “ugly, lovely town”, but on a sparkling early autumn day it is pretty special & far from ugly.
Returning somewhere important in your life can be fraught, if you allow it to be.
The changes often disappoint, the things that have stayed the same can get you pining.
I think the trick is to have your heart open & your brain semi unplugged !
(Some might argue, that is my usual modus operandi)
So while Swansea City lost 3-0 to Everton I was not down in the dumps in my £35 seat.
I was glad to be there.
The Swans play at a spanking new stadium, some might say a stonking new ground.
Anyhow, it was my first time there.
I spent my time as football supporter and (strange, but true) reporter/commentator at the club’s old ground – the Vetch Field.
The little shed thing on the roof of the grandstand was where I used to sit when reporting for Swansea Sound.
I ventured to the old soccer stomping ground and there wasn’t much left of a place where games were won and lost while many meat pies were quaffed and scarfed.
It wasn’t sad to recollect, it was a little gratifying to tell the truth.
And to complete the gratification there needed to be one more stop before hitting the M4 to return to Cardiff.
Some of Swansea’s built environment around Joe’s had changed, but the 99 cornet still passed muster.
(Across from the shop is the place where I saw “Picnic At Hanging Rock” in a converted chapel)
Indeed, while the green, green grass may have moved, the most wonderful vanilla ice cream taste of all my days had stayed put.