There are many reasons why I love the eccentricities of Brits – and I do include the Welsh among that number. One of the reasons is because I am slightly eccentric myself, but only slightly, not to the point of people questioning whether I should be wearing my cardigan back to front, if you get my gist. Another reason is because of joyous and crazy entrepreneurship like this:
Travelling through Wales today up to cloudy Llandudno involved us needing a pee, a drink and food, in that order. We were in the middle of Nowheresville on the A470, scanning the roadside for any sign of a café when we came across this extraordinarily whimsical and wonderful place – http://www.machinationswales.co.uk/rabbit.html
At some point in the past a Welshman, or woman, decided “You know, we’ve got this collection of automated wooden sculpture things that are a bit spooky, but quite clever and they’re just cluttering up the place – why don’t we open a museum so everyone can enjoy their spooky cleverness?”
“Good idea love!” says the husband/wife, “and we could have a café for the customers’ refreshments”
“Well if we have a museum and a café my little daffodil, it only needs a Rabbit Village and we’ve got a fucking goldmine!”
“Let’s do it!”
And the genius of “Machinations Rabbit Village” was born.
We pulled into the car park beside ourselves with excitement. I have to say it was an excitement curtailed by the 50p admission charge for the Rabbit Village – but we enjoyed watching the little fluffy beasts hoppity skip around their little authentic stone houses with tile roofs and a wee castle on top of the hill, through the café windows. Most of them were flaked out panting in the heat while small children stroked them needily, but we enjoyed the spectacle as we ate a fine and reasonably priced lunch, listening to the whirring of several automated wooden machines in the background. On our table we had a wooden guitarist, hand driven by a little gear that you wound while you were waiting for you quiche. We casually discussed how different he would look if you removed the guitar. Well, more how pornographic he would look really. Then looking up, we realised with newly lascivious minds (we were hungry) that all the little hand wound, automated, wooden automaton things would look pretty erotic if we coupled them up – especially the guy who was lying on his back with his mouth open doing sit-ups. If we got bored with the ingenious wooden machines, or the cute rabbits, we could always invest in a plastic farmyard animal or a cuddly welsh dragon – all under one roof. It’s safe to say we all considered it the best lunch stop we ever had. What is there not to like?
Agreed the large, old, moving wooden sculpture of three musicians and a dancing monkey sent shivers of horror down my spine and the bunnies hopping around a make-believe village was a creative idea which veered fully round into something a little sinister – and it was in the middle of bloody nowhere in deepest Wales. But that is why I loved it. I strongly urge you all to visit and join the eccentrics!
Weirdly enough, they didn’t sell carrot cake though…