This is a merge of my 'Wanderer' blog that tells of two years of my three years on the streets, and a new blog that tells of my life after the Diocese of Winchester ripped through my life for for the last few years on top of the previous serious harm that left me homeless
This is a day to day blog of my life as I continue to survive, work on recovery and on the social problems that I have and try to come to terms with limitless traumas I have survived along the way.
This blog is in tandem with my blog about my experiences in the Church of England

The former name of this blog and the name of it's sister blog are to do with my sense of humour, which I hope to keep to the end, which appears to be ever more rapidly approaching. At least I laughed, and I laughed at the people who were destroying me. Don't forget that.

Here are my books, which I wrote for you if you would like to know more:

Wednesday, 6 June 2018


Good evening peeps,

I am in my office. I completed an article, did some reviews, and am mooching through various work.

The day started badly because I wasn't deeply asleep and I was in pain, so I suffered trauma about the church of england and police all night. Eventually I had done the chores here and I went out.

I had planned to go to Cardiff, it was a nice enough drive, despite the amount of speed cameras on the way and in Cardiff. I don't speed, but I am not so good at gauging the speeds with an unfamiliar car and road, I didn't speed, my satnav makes a rude noise if I almost go over the speed limit.

When I was at Cardiff I started feeling tired and ill, so I stopped for a cuppa and some food, and tried to gather myself together. I decided eventually to do a change of plan and go to the place that I most wanted to visit, which wasn't in Cardiff, it was at Blaenavon.

The drive was nice, and the adventure was epic. I went to the Big Pit, Wales's National Coal Museum, which has been the long anticipated highlight of my holiday.

So, I went down a coal mine.

There are huddle of attractions at Blaenavon, including a working steam railway that was unfortunately not running today, those who know me know I am a great fan of trains, especially steam trains, I am not a fan of bad train services like the one that I came to Wales on. But anyway, there is also an ironworks centre and a heritage centre, but I didn't have time for those today, and I didn't mind, the pit was what I really wanted to see first of all. Maybe next time for the rest of it.

I went into the visitor centre to ask them to for change for parking, and they were very kind and helpful, the Pit is amazingly free, but parking is a few pounds.

I did the parking and then they gave me a ticket to go down the mine, they told me it was a bit busy and noisy in the waiting room but I should go and wait and a guide would come.
The waiting room was full of language school children, so it was a bit noisy, but they were under control, unlike the ones back home.
I waited at the back as guides came up every 10 minutes to take groups, and I moved forward each time a group went, a German couple joined me, and they were a bit daunted by the children too, but they and I were put together as a separate group, just three of us, and we were issued safety equipment, a hat, a lamp, a safety mask in a tin. We had to wear the hats and lamps but the masks went on a belt.

No phones, car keys or cameras are allowed in mines due to the risk of sparks. So we left our things in a locker, and boarded the lift. The lift went down 300 feet, which is a long way in the dark, with water dripping down the lift shaft. It's a right head rush.

At the bottom, we went into the mining tunnels, some of them are very low, sinking into the ground despite the supports, we found some of the coal trucks, and we were shown how the alarm system alongside the tunnel used to work, just by pressing wires together, before the massive tragedy caused by wire sparking led to a different system being used, we were given so many dates and figures for things, but what I remember is that the mine was opened in 1860, and there was a previous mine on the site in 1840.

The mine has white gas, which is dangerous and is cleared out each day with ventilators. We got to to see the machinery, the massive winching machinery. And then we continued into the low tunnels. It was a lot about bending over to avoid hitting your head, and it was pressure on my spine and lungs but not too much. The floor was wet and there were tracks for the coal trucks.

We were told about the circulation of good and foul air up and down shafts and through tunnels,  and there was a door to deflect the good air, but the door had to be opened to let the horses through, so they used to tie a six year old boy to the door, with a candle, so he would open and close the doors to let the horses in and out, he was tied to the door because it was easy for the candle to go out, and they couldn't afford to lose the door.
Can you imagine a six year old down there in the dark, tied to a door in the cold air and dark? And at great risk of death as he let the horses through.

Anyway, we went on, to the horse stables, they used Welsh Cobs, which are relatively large compared to what you would expect, Dartmoor or Exmoor ponies and the like, I struggle to imagine a Welsh Cob in a mine. They had up to 70 horses down there, in stables cut into the mine. The horses were tended by young boys aged about 7 to 11. The life expectancy of boys working in the mine was 17 years or so. The men who worked in the mines came into the mines to work when they were fully grown, but the children came in when they were six, and didn't live long. Women worked in the mines as well, until Queen Victoria had a commission carried out, and had a law passed forbidding women and children to work in the mine.

We continued through the dripping wet, dark and dank mine tunnels, learning more about the tunnels, the carriages that are still there, still full of coal. And we went to the coal face. The coal face used to be extremely dangerous, dug out by hand as rocks fell, until a lethal machine like a giant chainsaw was invented, and it ran up and down the coal face and cut the coal out, the coal then went on a belt that ran it down to the waiting trucks, and they were then moved out by horse or motor.

The mine tunnels run 10 miles underground, into the hills that I will post some pictures of on the next blog. I will do this blog seperate from the pictures as it is all such heavy stuff. I have no pictures of underground as it is illegal, as I said.

The guide is an ex miner, and he was telling us about the use of candles and how dangerous it was in a mine, and he explained that inventions had been made to make it safer, he showed us something and asked if we knew what it was, and I did.

'It's a Davey Lamp!'

The visit to the coal pit touched my roots and ancestry, of course I grew up by a different coalfield, even if this one looks so similar, and my Dad worked at the mine, but in the office. The pub down the road was called 'The Davey Lamp' because we were on the coalfield, where there was mining. I used love our walks up to the snibby, to see the coal trucks, I was really scared of trains back then but I loved them all the same.
It felt so strange to be kind of going back to my roots.

It was real special to see a Davey Lamp, and have it explained, it was like fitting a piece in the puzzle of my roots, the davey lamp gauges the amount of methane underground and tells miners how safe it is, as well as providing them with light. They did also use canaries, but usually after a methane explosion, and the canary is more susceptible to methane and dies before the danger to the miners becomes serious.

It was funny that the guy kept speaking to me as if I was Welsh as well, I am English Welsh, my accent is Queens English with a little cider. I am usually rude in Welsh, but not out of disrespect for the Welsh Welsh.

Anyway, that was it, we put our lamps out and went back up the shaft in pitch black, to watch the light grow as we went up. But in the pit, without light, your eyes don't adjust to the dark as they do in open air, it is pitch black. I got to meet the canaries when I went to take my lamp back.

That was the experience of a lifetime, I always wanted to do that.

After that I enjoyed scrambling round the machinery and artifacts, one of the museum displays was closed, but I went in the other and made the most of it, a great photo shoot. I saw the miners' baths and lockers, and a huge amount of artifacts and video demonstrations, it was fun.
I got some pictures of the hills of the coal field as well. It was too late in the day to visit the other local attractions, and I was really tired, absolutely drained, so I thanked everyone for making that experience of a lifetime so special for me, and I headed home.

At home I have been doing housework and working, and looking after the cat, and idly watching television.

You know what's funny? At home I watch Are you being Served DVDs on repeat, and that is my calming, soothing, safety thing, and here I am in Wales, and when I turn the TV on, the same Are you being Served series is on television. I didn't bring any DVDs with me. I have Amazon and Netflix, but Are you being Served isn't on either.

It has been another cool day, but more sunny, pleasant. I had a lovely Chinese meal for supper, because I am on holiday.

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