The draft of this post started out sounding like the beginning of an Irish folk song. Altogether now, 'As I was going over the Cork and Kerry mountains....'
As I was going over the Preseli Mountains, my mind was troubled. Questions were tumbling through my head, questions to which answers just could not be found.
What is the concept of 'self' and has it been eroded in this multimedia world?
Can boundaries ever be real, or are they merely imagined constructs?
At what point was Madonna ever actually Like a Virgin?
The landscape wasn't helping, to be honest. Dark and foreboding, mixed, as the cumulus allowed, with green and pleasant. In fact, it was pretty bloody spectacular. If I lived in one of those cottages, I would have little need of a telly. I'd just place a comfy chair right by a picture window and watch the seasons go by, hopefully with something suitably epic as a soundtrack. And high? Whilst not exactly Himalayan, from one point you can see Ireland, England and - less surprisingly - other bits of Wales. All of it daubed in green. In fact, to this city-dweller's jaded eye, GREEN.
But still my mind was troubled. Troubled, I tell you.
I drove on. In the barren land between more towns where vowels were clearly an optional extra, some standing stones caught my eye. I'd heard tale of how these hills were home originally to Iron Age tribes, who'd left their mark before farmers moved in 5,000 years ago. A hint of their ancient mysticism has never left these dark hills, the locals say.
Perhaps these stones still have the power to talk to us in this modern age? Maybe they could provide an answer even now? I stopped the car and went to commune with the wisdom of ages.
A gentle gust played around my ears. 'Baa,' commented a passing sheep. That's funny, I thought, as I noticed some letters on the largest stone. What could it be marking?
Well, I guess that's one question answered. And the answer is clearly, 'Under a stone in Pembrokeshire'. He was looking good for 67, though, I must say. Must be the striped hat and glasses that made him look younger.
And at the pub that evening, there was, indeed, whiskey in the jar. O.