AFTER spending three nights and three days in Llandovery, an Abergavenny man remains convinced he can converse with the dead.

“I’m a man of many talents but I didn’t think I was a natural medium,” explained semi-professional paranormal investigator Johnny Turnip, “But after my stint in Llandovery I’m convinced that not only do the dead walk amongst us, but with a little gentle persuasion they can be persuaded to open up and let us know what life is like on the other side.”

Regular readers will be aware that on the advice of a mysterious stranger, Turnip had gathered together a posse of ‘knights’ to travel to Llandovery in the hope that he could find a clue to the final resting place of the legendary King Arthur.

Turnip explained, “Llandovery is not exactly a bucket list destination, but when you’re on a mission to resurrect the once and future king and save the world from the forces of darkness you can’t be picky. Anyhow, as Nanny Annie 'horror show’ Turnip always said when catching the bus to Brynmawr, ‘It’s not about the destination but the journey!’

“Having said that, the journey was pretty boring. Me, Big Tony, Fast Eddie, and JFK Jones had to listen to Puerto Rico Paul whinge about how the kids today just don’t get his Simon Le Bon tribute act.

"He moaned on about how they’re all too busy filling their face with Botox, getting crap tattoos, and watching influencers cook things on Tik Tok to appreciate the edginess and avant-grade talent of a band like Duran Duran.

“‘Don’t generalise!’ I said to him. ‘Generation X may have had better music, style, attitude, and social skills, but we can’t give up on the youngsters. Once I get my hands on Excalibur I’ll build a new Nirvana!

“‘Don’t you mean Utopia?’ Said JFK Jones.

“'What!’ I replied. ‘Never heard of them. Sounds like a lame Brit-pop band to me!’

“That shut the mouthy tart up and as Ed Sheeran came on the radio Puerto Rico Paul puked up a little blood. However, he soon recovered as Big Tony shoved his Nevermind CD on and we were soon all singing along enthusiastically to ’Smells Like Teen Spirt’ as we entered the town of Llandovery, or as I like to call it, the ashtray of Wales.”

Turnip told the Chronicle that after parking up in the car park by the castle, they did what they always do when entering a new town or city - drink themselves senseless!

He explained, “You can’t beat the feeling of walking into an unfamiliar pub in the day with your mates, lining up a round and getting on a session.

“A few hours in we’d forgotten we were even in Llandovery and Big Tony even had a game of pool with the locals. They looked a bit dodgy to me though, so I refused to speak to them and just bleated like a sheep every time they looked my way. They soon got the message and left as Fast Eddie pulled out his harmonica and we started singing ‘Dirty Old Town’ by The Pogues.”

Turnip added, “After being thrown out of the pub we all slept in the castle grounds that night by the statue of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. In the morning I woke up with a sore head and dry mouth, but I hadn’t received any visions from the Welsh Prince about where King Arthur was buried.

A knight statue
(The statue of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd overlooking Llandovery: Tindle News )

"After a brief discussion with the boys about what to do next, we hit the pub again, ended up sleeping in the castle grounds again and ended up hangover again.”

Turnip explained, “The horror of being in Llandovery was forcing us to drink ourselves into oblivion every day and we had to break the cycle.

"It was on day three that Big Tony suggested we take a trip to the nearby Lyn Brianne Dam and Reservoir to get our heads right for the quest.”

Turnip explained, “After a full English and five pints each to steady our balance and restore equilibrium, we set off in the Bedford Rascal and spent the day looking at the water and trying not to get on one another’s nerves.

“If you’ve never been to Lyn Brianne, it’s worth a visit just because it has Europe’s biggest overflow pipe. Big Tony used to go kayaking down there in his inflatable back in the day, but he’s a bit porky for that sort of thing now.

A reservoir
(The overflow at Lyn Brianne Dam and Reservoir: Tindle News )

“When we were there the overflow was dry as dust and Fast Eddie made the outrageous claim that he once skateboarded down there in similar conditions.

"Even though Eddie is very athletic and has a very low centre of gravity because he’s technically a pygmy, I still think he was lying out of boredom.

“Nevertheless, the seeds of some sort of crazy challenge had been sown. Spying some nearby shovels discarded by lazy council workmen, Puerto Rico Paul suggested that we could race to the bottom of the overflow on them.”

Turnip added, “As we grabbed the shovels and jumped onto the concrete, some offical busybody in high-vis shouted, ‘Oi! Get back here! You can’t do that!’ Puerto Rico Paul just stuck up his two fingers and roared, ‘We’re Gen X baby! This party never ends!’

“Whooping like Apache braves we all did a weird little war dance before sitting on the shovels.”

Turnip told the Chronicle that as they set off on the shovels they soon picked up speed and the whooping came to an abrupt end. As ashen-faced and silent they clung to the hard wood sticking between their legs for dear life and waited for the ride to end.

Turnip explained, “We all hit the pool of water at the bottom in one piece, apart from JFK Jones. He had slammed into the concrete before hitting the water and sort of bounced a bit before rolling into the pool. Big Tony fished him out but apart from a few bruises and a messed up ankle he couldn’t put any weight on he was ok.

“Puerto Rico Paul on the other hand hadn’t physically hurt himself but he was hyperventilating and having some millennial-style panic attack. We made a point of ignoring it until it passed, and then I said, ‘Well, that was a bit of fun, but it’s time to get back to Llandovery and carry on with the quest. Knights! On me!'”

Turnip explained, “As we walked back up the overflow in single file, with Big Tony carrying JFK Jones, who was fading in and out of consciousness with pain, the guy in high-vis started having a go but he could see from our demeanour and the way Fast Eddie suddenly started doing spontaneous karate moves that he needed to leave us the hell alone. We had a world to save and dead princes to talk too, and no jobsworth was going to interfere with that!”

To be continued....