THE MENAI STRAIT
Back some time in April 2008 I was in North Wales for a football match between Bangor City and Rhyl in the Welsh Premier League. And with plenty of time to spare I reckoned that I would go and have a good wander around a few places round by the Menai Strait. After all, I have a certain thing about bridges and there are a couple of good ones there.
The Menai Strait separates mainland Wales from Anglesey, the Viking Island of the Strait, or Ynys Mon as it is correctly known by its inhabitants today. The Roman writer Tacitus was the first to write about the inhabitants of this area - describing them as wild women with dishevelled hair or unkempt druids chanting weird incantations who decorated their altars with the blood of their captives, an opinion that is still held by many of those who live south of the M4, especially those members of the Welsh Government.
Tacitus tells us that the Romans sacked Ynys Mon some time round about AD65. Legend has it that they appointed Sam Allardyce to take over.
In fact, Tacitus' account sounded just like a football match between Bangor City and Rhyl - the only fixture in the whole of the Welsh Premier League that requires crowd segregation and a police presence - so it was well-worth my going to visit the site of his opus just to get me in the mood for the match.