Saturday, 5 July 2014

My Big Fat Welsh Mini Break (Coming Home)

Before I start on my last blog about my holiday I thought I'd share an email I got yesterday. It is from my PH center.

'Dear all

The on going issues with Healthcare @ Home have reached a point where as a service we are looking to an alternative company. Details of which will be forwarded in due course, however if there are objections I would appreciate your views, as any change in home care provider could happen quite quickly.


How exciting! Looks like all the complaining has paid off. However I do hope it is not going to turn out to be a 'out of the frying pan, into the fire' situation. I guess we will just have to see.

So back to Wales.

Our last morning was spent visiting shops that, remarkably, were my favourite haunts when I still lived in Aberystwyth. I spent a fortune in Stars on clothing and stocking up in incense. I love their stuff and always call in to buy from them whenever I can. This time I got some light comfy trousers for lounging around on hot days, my joggers are far too hot in summer weather. A lovely gypsy skirt in a fabulous blue and a light hooded top, again for summer when you need something but not something as heavy as a fleece. What I find most wonderful about buying things from Stars is that they all smell wonderfully of incense which lasts until their first wash. They had some lovely long summer dresses and I could have bought at least three there and then. However the pump prevents me wearing dresses to they will have to wait until after transplant, then look out bank balance.

I was also delighted to find a new shop. This shop is a bit like Lush and smells just as good. They are cheaper than Lush so I bought some bombs to try out. If I really like I'll be bringing a box next time I visit.

After shopping we had another long lingering stroll along the prom and I felt so sad to be leaving. I wish I could stay longer or come down more often but with our separate work schedules and my dodgy health it is so difficult. Even though I had only really spent two full days I was exhausted and knew I needed to rest. Yes, I suppose I could rest in Aber but I just want to get out there and do and see all the things I miss. I have promised myself that post transplant I will spend more time in Aber walking the prom, Consitution Hill and Pendinas monument. If nothing else walking the hills will get me fit and it will be miles better than a gym.

We took Mum out for a meal and decided on a little, out of the way, place called Sosban Fach (Little Saucepan for my non Welsh friends).  This restaurant serves home cooked plain food, mostly traditional but with a curry and a sweet and sour on the menu to add interest. I had the sweet and sour chicken, Mum fish and chips and Peter the big all day breakfast. It was delicious and there was plenty of it. We were so full we had to skip pudding, which was my favourite, apple pie and custard. I was only half way through my meal when I noticed we were the youngest in the room by a clear decade. We'd decided to visit on pensioners day, all the cafes in Aber seem to have a pensioners day. This and our English accents drew some consternation and stares from other diners.

Back at Mum's we packed, loaded up the car and after a cuppa were on our way. I was sad to leave but this was tempered by my second reason for loving visiting Wales, the Abergwesyn Pass.

This ribbon of a road goes through one of the remotest and spectacular valley's in Wales. I had my camera on my knee all ready to go as sometimes the RAF make training flights through the valley and they can actually be flying below you, which is as weird as it is spectacular. Sadly no such luck this time. Our progress was slow, partly because of the sheep who get out of the way in their own sweet time and partly because we kept stopping to take pictures of the waterfalls and views. The waterfalls were not as good this year because, believe or not, Wales hasn't had that much rain, so there was not the run off from the mountains that usually follows a good downpour.

My favourite waterfall is shaped like a heart and is usually one of the prettiest but there was barely a trickle. Very disappointing. 

We also had some giggles as, not being that steady on my feet I managed to fall off a small rock covered in moss and then nearly landed in a stream after failing to see that the ground was slopping downward. These antics caused Peter to remark 'there's ungainly and then there's you', which had us in fits again.

Back in England we called on Peter's brother David, his wife Cordella and the children who were mostly out. By now it was getting late and I would have been really worried about running out of Flolan but with the new drug all I had to do was take five minutes out to change my cassette and I was done. This was the first time I'd really appreciated the new freedom the Veletri gives me and I am so glad I made the change.

We expected, at most, a cup of tea and a biscuit but we were served with a proper dinner. It was such a surprise and very gratefully received as we were both beginning to feel hungry. It was topped off with a big bowl of strawberries and ice cream. I was in heaven!

The rest of the journey was unremarkable and we arrived home gone eleven, shattered but happy. We'd seen everyone and had beautiful weather and bonus points for me for staying well the entire time. 

Now of course I can't wait to go back. Especially as next time I will walk and I will paddle but most of all I won't have to worry about phone calls. That is another freedom I just can't wait for.

Well that's the last blog about my Welsh adventure. I hope I haven't bored you all to death. I've encluded some more pictures. Enjoy!