This is the forever home, the one I always come back to, because I’m Welsh. We even have a word for it; we call it “hiraeth”, a nostalgic, melancholic longing for home. It never leaves us and every now and then we give in to it and go back to the green hills.
I’ve come home, back to Pembrokeshire, to another valley, far from Kirazli and the olive groves and the pine clad skirts of Gul Dar. I’ve come back to a tiny village near Wolfscastle, somewhere between the soft old curves of the Preseli Hills and the wrinkled cliffs of the Pembrokeshire coast. Back to a valley with a river running through it, the sewin shadowed Western Cleddau, flowing sunlit through the meadows and dark under the old stone bridges. Back to a valley that runs east to west and gets the sun all day, back to the house Phil and I built fourteen years ago amongst the sycamore and ash trees, the house he loved best.
Now it’s May, we have been home for three months, we saw out the tail end of a mild winter where the frost barely silvered the grass and the snowdrops came early.
We saw dazzling winter afternoons at Freshwater West where the sand looked like mercury and the stumps of trees from the drowned forests showed through the sand like the backbones of dinosaurs. We have watched spring sunsets at Newgale and high tides at Lower Fishguard. We have seen the wild garlic go from sharp green shoots to drifts of white puff ball heads along the edges of the garden and down the bridleway.
We have gardened and painted and laid marble and fitted kitchens and basically worked dawn till dusk to put this house back to how it should be. We have planted two hundred rose bushes, several thousand bulbs, sown a million poppies.
This afternoon there are bright blue skies and dazzling high rise clouds being blown along on a light westerly breeze. The dogs are all out on the lawn, soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the space, they now have 1/3 acre of garden, several wide open fields and our own patch of ancient woodland to dig in and that’s without all the beaches on our doorstep. They love it here.
I am unbelievably happy to be home. I wake up every morning and am truly grateful to be back. I doubt it will be forever but it will certainly be for a few years and whilst I am here I may as well write about it, just like I did with Kirazli because again we have the best of both worlds.
So it will be food and beaches and purple prose and photographs of pretty things from here on in, nothing changes so much as it stays the same.
Pembrokeshire Beaches and Walks – a few links to start showing you how beautiful here is….