Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus
Happy Saint David's Day
For Saint David's Day this week, I asked a few friends of Jwrnal to tell me 'What they love about Wales' in 100 words of less (harder than you think!) this is what they said..
and me? (I went way over the 100 words)
It won’t come as a surprise to you that I love Wales. Everybody that knows me well will always describe me as the Welsh girl.
I lived away and thought nothing of it, I thought it would be years til I ‘moved home’, I thought it would never happen! ‘I’ll retire to Wales’ I said. I moved home by mistake, really. It wasn’t planned, it just happened, and I’m so glad it did. I can’t quite put my finger on it, perhaps because it’s hard to summarise. I love packing up my car and driving 100+ miles through mountains, slate quarries, forestry, along coastlines. I love those conversations you have when you’re least expecting it; the regular at the pub who’s great uncle who used to manage a Welsh Woollen Mill (I also love Welsh Mills), the other regular who knows the ins and outs of the local area, answering questions you never even thought to ask. The friendly and frequent conversations I have with the postman, note: you never know your postman in London. I love it when shops leave a handwritten ‘back in ten mins’ sign on the door, or even better, when Robert at the Post Office had to close for an hour to go to the dentist ‘(toothache)’. I love that the 6 degrees of separation rule is more likely to be 3, as you’re never too far away from someone, who knows someone who went to school with your cousin. I love that there’s so many roadside ‘eggs for sale’ with honesty boxes. I love that my mums village has a conservation society, which costs £5 per year to join (unless you’ve been a member for 5+ years and then it’s free, which is why they’re currently looking for new members, the kitty is low) or the weekly indoor market that’s costs 5p (yes, pence. Five pence) to be an exhibitor. I love that you can buy Bara Brith in the village that’s ‘Baked by Aunt Betty, 92’
Of course there are things I don’t love. Sometimes I wish I could pop to a 24 hour convenience store, or cycle to work (without having to cycle 20 plus miles) and sometimes I scream inside when a cafe has no WiFi, or even card machine. But these things, these irrelevant, superficial and not even noteworthy ‘problems’ are so easily outweighed.
I think what I’m trying to say, is, I love the little things. The little things that make home; home. I love the community spirit, the people, the warm-hearted, unpretentious people of Wales. I love the landscape that is so dramatic and calming at the same time. I love the stories hidden within the hills, and the weird and wonderful traditions (yes there was always one kid wearing an actual leek on their jumper in school on St David’s Day). I love our patriotism, I love it when the hairs on the back of my neck stick up when the Rugby Team sing the National Anthem. And man I love Welsh Chapels!
And I love this. I love bringing this all together. If even in a small way, if I can start to share with you the amazing people and products and stories I am finding in our beautiful Wales, then I’m doing my job. It’s selfish, somewhat, I’m doing what I love, but I do it hoping that you love it too.