Because I’m Welsh – Moving Home

Glorious Pembrokeshire sunset at Newgale 14th April
This is Wales, where the restless waves of the Irish Sea forever wash wide grey sands and the sunsets linger for hours, where the greens of the hills and the water meadows have a hundred hues and a symphony of birdsong starts in the semi dark of a misty dawn and only dies away in diminuendo when the stars come out in the blue black sky.

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….

Welsh Beaches rank amongst the best in the world

Top ten Pembrokeshire walks

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7 Responses to Because I’m Welsh – Moving Home

  1. Margaret Glenn says:

    Sounds idyllic and I know you are happy to be ‘home’. Enjoy it, we miss you. x

  2. I thought you’d gone quiet! What a lovely part of the world to call ‘home’ – I look forward to more tales (& tails!!) and lovely photos from you. Un Saludo from Spain xx

  3. deniz says:

    Welcome home! Hiraeth is one of my favourite words in any language. I’d love to live in Wales myself someday! Looking forward to living vicariously through you :-)

  4. BacktoBodrum says:

    Glad you are happy to be back. We went back in 2000 and I loved being back in the UK after 19 years, but by 2012 I was ready to come back home to Turkey. I’m a bit confused as to where “home home” is.

  5. GaynorB says:

    Hi Karen,
    I just happened on your blog via Annie’s blog and was intrigued by the title of this post. I’m Welsh, currently living in England and about to take early retirement and live for most of the year in our house in France.
    I understand what you mean by hiraeth. Sadly, I doubt that I will ever return to live in Wales. My parents are dead and the family home sold, but that longing for Wales is deep in my soul.
    You certainly live in a wonderful spot.
    Some friends from Staffordshire, Amanda and Dan, have just retired to a lovely converted chapel in St David’s, where they’ve established an art gallery. If you get chance look them up.
    Best wishes
    Gaynor

  6. Jason Noble says:

    Hi, Karen.

    Nice to see you’re blogging again, and great to see that everything has gone well with the move back to Wales. We should be in Turkey soon (July at this rate) so thanks again for all the help. Will pester you with pictures and a progress blog once we get it up and running…

    All the best,
    Jason & Sirem

  7. Claudia says:

    Is this magical word something like ‘huzun’? You truly sound happy to be back to your roots. I am not sure what made you go back right now but I think with all that is going on right now here in Turkey, you made the right decision. I have been feeling extremely unsettled for the last few months but have decided that in all probability I am not going to leave and to ride out the storm. I was in your neck of the woods just last week! ie Selcuk! It is so lovely around there … Wishing you all the very best, Claudia

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