1) When I was at school I was one of the last in my year class to learn how to swim independently. By the time I was 10 years old I was beginning to get really frustrated that I couldn’t overcome the fear of letting go of the floatation aid etc. At that time my family took me on a half-term holiday to mid Wales, and we spent a day in Aber. We played on the beach and in the sea, and for some reason I remember thinking ‘What the heck, just swim’. So I did: just swim, in the sea, at Aberystwyth. You should have seen the look on the face of my swimming teacher at school the next week.
2) In February 2008, my wife and I went to visit my sister at Aberystwyth Uni for the day. The weather was freakishly warm for February, and I remember driving down the hill along Penglais Rd past droves of student in shorts and T-shirts. We spent the afternoon walking through the town and along the New Promenade taking photos of everything and anything in order to make novel Valentines cards.
And then came the perfect sunset. In that last 30 minutes before we lost the sun behind the horizon, the starlings came out from beneath the pier and gave an incredible show under a deep orange sky. After this we went onto the beach beneath the castle grounds and found an abundance of flat pebbles perfect for skimming across the rock pools. All-in-all a great day. The only downside is Aberystwyth has perhaps the worst takeout food in the whole of the country. I don’t know how the students put up with it.