.by Anura Guruge
>> Sherry-Lehmann — Nov. 15, 2013.
>> 2013 race to London — Nov. 13, 2013.
>> Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 Day — Oct. 17, 2013.
>> My review of Georges Duboeuf Beaujolais Nouveau
>> 2012 — Nov. 15, 2012.
++++ Search on ‘Nouveau‘ for ALL the 2012 & 2013 posts
and there were many >>>>
One of the Morgans Hotels in Swansea. Do NOT remember it.
I, even today, consider Swansea my ‘home town’.
I spent 3 of the best years of my life, 1971 – 1974, in Swansea. I would not be seated here, writing this, if I had not gone to Swansea. Swansea is where I went, kind of on a whim, to get my first degree — in computer technology. My 3 years there was a study in riotous hedonism coupled with intense amount of energy expended on learning to program, programming languages and operating systems. i didn’t go to many classes. There were some that I never attended, at all. In the British system of the time, per centuries old tradition, there was no continuous assessments, quizzes or tests. Attending class was also not mandatory. All you had to do was sit for a STIFF set of exams at the end of each year, each exam 3 hours long — and typically you had about 6 you needed to sit. If you passed your 1st year exams you were allowed to go to the 2nd year and if you passed your 2nd year to your 3rd and final. And then, at the end of your 3rd year, you had your FINALS. That determines whether you got a degree or not. So, despite not attending classes, living a very hedonistic lifestyle I still managed to get a degree and I didn’t even sit for one exam because I had no idea about the subject since I had never attended a single class! But, the British system was made for reprobates like me. 100/100 was not the limit on an exam you took! Aaahh! At the top of the exam paper it would say something along the lines of ‘correctly answering 6 of the 9 questions will enable you to get full marks’. So each question was worth around 16.7 marks — though you always got a few points knocked off. But, with luck you could get 10 to 15 points PER question. So 6 got you 90. But, IF you, in the 3 hours managed to answer ALL 9 you could get 120 or more. So that was my strategy. I knew I could ace, more than ace, anything to do with programming, computer systems and some level of calculus. So, I would set out to get 120 in the exams I sat. It is the total of the 6 exams that count. So I could scrape by and still get an Honours degree even if I stayed in bed during one of the final exams. Plus, I had an unconditional job offer, degree or no degree, from IBM. But, I wanted to get a degree just for the heck of it. So, suffice to say, I have basically good and fun memories of Swansea.
I do NOT remember these hotels from my time there. I wasn’t into hotels at the time. I was young.
I lived, for 2 years, in a delightful old mansion, with a bunch of older reprobates and an old retired couple who owned the place, called ‘Uplands House‘ — opposite Dylan Thomas’ birthplace on Cwmdonkin Drive. Can you say that: Cwmdonkin Drive. I looked for it on Google Maps. Have a dreadful feeling that it was torn down. It was old and kind of decrepit — but huge.
It appears that Swansea is now famous for its Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations.
That is new to me. Though you could drink in England when you were quite young, definitely by 16, I didn’t start drinking till I basically left Swansea. Drinking, and especially being drunk, would have got in the way of all the fun I was having! That is the reason that I also never did drugs though for periods of time I hung out with some heavy inhalers. I didn’t want anything ‘clouding’ my brain because that would have prevented me from savoring every second of my life. So to me, hedonism was always with a clear mind sans the need for any external stimulants. But, as I am the first to admit, I am strange. That said, I would not, even today, swap my 3 years in Swansea for the promise of not being strange.