Re reading that bit of observation inspired writing from Cardiff Bay inspired a few more ideas, so for the moment and as a bit of light relief from a couple of other more serious (?) scribblings (any excuse to avoid real work!) I thought I’d take Pendragon and Davies for a little walk and see where they lead.
PENDRAGON PART 2
Davies kept his face as immovable as he could under the circumstances as he read the content of the letter the boy had brought him. He stood up, dropped a couple of coins on the table as a gratuity and walked out of the Norwegian Church. The breeze from the bay made it cooler than the scene had looked from inside despite the sunshine. Davies allowed himself a thin smile. It was Wales after all.
He tucked the note back in the envelope and put that into the inside pocket of his jacket. Old fashioned clothes as the boy had said. Old fashioned meant different things to different people Davies had decided years ago. To the transient Cool Cymru mob of the late 90s it had meant something to be sneered at, dismissed and walked, if not run, away from. To Davies it meant solidity, unyielding values and a sense of place and being. He glanced at the Senedd building which housed the work of the people Davies ostensibly worked for. Its style embodied something of that sense of impermanence that came with iconoclasm for the sake of it. As he passed the front of the Assembly building it continued to remind him of an oversized 60s ashtray perched on a load of scaffolding. Be nice when it’s finished.
In front of him was the solid form of the Pierhead building. Red brick, built in 1897 and good for a few hundred years more with a bit of care, even it had been built by Englishmen. Davies wondered how long Rogers’ bit of flummery would last. Davies skirted the side of the basin, now called for some reason Roald Dahl Plass, currently occupied by the lady Boys of Bangkok before heading off up Bute Street. Were there no Welsh writers or artists who could have been honoured Davies wondered.
He walked up Bute Street, a small piece of what the docks had been, left over almost by accident it seemed in the gentrification of the Bay area. Davies liked its permanence but he wasn’t stupid. He remembered the state of the area before redevelopment came along. He didn’t think everything should be preserved. He just didn’t like the way any old rubbish could get built if it was labelled as new, challenging and radical in concept. He didn’t like what the Goleuedigion were planning for Wales, for the world come to that, and if it took a radical approach to stopping them Davies was prepared to bend a few rules. He smiled as he got to the top of the old street and crossed over from the new build houses to Cardiff Bay Station. Bend a few rules? He was prepared to throw the rule book out of the window.
Today was a case in point. The only thing he should be doing with Pendragon and his kind officially, was removing them from the field of play. Oh they had met before. Had a drink, a chat about their respective sides’ views on the world. But they were most definitely not on the same side. And yet here he was chasing over Cardiff to meet him, dancing to his tune so that, presumably, Pendragon could work out whether this was some sort of trap or not. So be it, Davies could shake as fine a leg as the next man when required, even at his age.
He stared at the timetable. Sure enough a train was due in a couple of minutes. He took out the note and glanced again at the copper plate handwriting.
“Y Bachgen Drymiwr Dettingen, 1400.
The screeching of the old DMU approaching brought Davies back to his current surroundings. The train pulled up at the single line terminus and disgorged some tourists and a few political apparatchiks. He took one last glance at the paper and put it away, safe in his pocket again. He hoped he had read it correctly. He understood the Welsh well enough:
“The Dettingen Drummer Boy, 1400, P”. The Battle of Dettingen had been in 1743 not 1400 so he presumed that meant two p.m. He had no chance of getting to Germany by two o’clock so he hoped he was right about Pendragon meaning the Dettingen Drummer boy in Cardiff, and if so, that his memory of where it was , was correct. He jumped on the train and grabbed a seat. Time to find out.