Hard to know where to start. Known him for almost (but annoyingly not exactly) 60% of my life. Three kids, six houses, twenty countries, eleven cats. He laughs at my jokes, ignores my tantrums, humours my whims and holds on tight when I get one of my big ideas. He won’t let me have a dog. He’s cleverer than me but he thinks I’m cleverer than him. He’s politically sound, physically fit and intellectually excellent. I love him. It’s just the dog thing…

The Lunch

I chose the Grape and Olive for my first lunch because it’s at the top of the tallest building in Wales and the views are spectacular. We sat on the town side which I was pleased about. I never tire of looking at the sea but this was about Swansea – friendly, crazy, beautiful, special Swansea.

Special? Here you go: I was playing with my new iPhone 6 when a passing waiter noticed it. He came straight over to ask what I thought of it and called his friend over. We had quite a long chat, despite me being in the middle of my meal. My phone was passed from hand to hand and the financial implications of it (both his and mine) were debated. Later we spent quite a long time with another waiter talking about his therapy, his fears and his post trauma recovery. It was an intensely personal conversation – a lovely man opening his heart to us. I clearly remember living in other towns – people don’t do stuff like this anywhere else.

If you zoom in on the photo of the city you will see a black rectangle in the middle which is the gable end of a building where the words ‘Poetry is needed’ have recently been written, presumably as part of the Dylan Thomas centenary celebrations. This is great and very true, but even better was the event witnessed by one of my kids during a drunken night out on Wind Street. Under the text, some local no-good-boyos added the following: “Roses are red, my cock is massive, I want to blow you”. The nod toward poetry, the bathos of the second line, the oddly homoerotic nature of the last line – is that really what they meant? Again, that’s special, and Dylan would have laughed like a drain.


23 September 2014

The Grape and Olive, Swansea

View from The Grape and Olive



Inside The Grape and Olive



Suddenly forgetting the doom hangover of last weekend which meant the word ‘wine’ provoked a wave of nausea right into the middle of the week, I found myself ordering a glass of champagne. The 21st century is shit in so many ways but the advent of posh crisps, the internet and champagne by the glass are good.

The Grape and Olive do a set lunch – three courses for £14. I would have been happy to order off the more expensive A La Carte menu, your fiftieth is no time to discover a mean gene, but there was no need. I had three good courses: a goats cheese and fig salad, steak and then a rich, sticky, hideously decadent date pudding. I hear bad things about the service in there but we had no problems at all.


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