It’s almost imperceptable how life ramps up despite all good intentions to keep hassle and stress to a minimum. As hideous as pandemic lockdowns were, they reminded me that I love the simple things in life the most, and don’t need some of the trappings that I’ve surrounded myself with.
Despite all best intentions to live a more “lowkey” life, September has felt manic; child number one back to uni, child number two starting A Levels, two cars to get MOTd (mine failed so we were a car down for a while), a “routine” mammogram (which given my history is anything but routine. Which reminds me…no results yet….must chase), weekly vet visits for the dog (we are hoping the expensive injections helps her mobility), resumption of parental taxi services, flu jabs, dentist appointments, social lives gearing back up again after a low key couple of years, two homes 180 miles apart to keep going…Not to mention fitting work into the mix. Some days it feels impossible. But somehow we usually manage to keep all the balls (many of which are self inflicted so no sympathy required!!) in the air.
This weekend we headed back to Pembrokeshire to spend 3 days at Ucheldir, our second home. The plan was to tackle some DIY and get chores done. But on Friday morning we woke to beautiful, blustery sunshine so we decided to sack off the chores and make the most of the good weather while it lasts. We’re expecting winter to be pretty harsh – our bungalow is on a hill ridge in Tegryn, the highest village in Pembrokeshire. This means stunning views across fields to Presili mountains, but the payoff will probably be a winter in the clouds!
We drove an hour or so to Strumble Head, the North West tip of Pembrokeshire. The focal point is Strumble lighthouse, perched on a tiny island just off the coast. The sun was still shining but wow it was windy! My cheeks burned as the wind whipped up a frenzy. My hair was wild in the wind (mental note: remember to keep bobbles in the car) causing momentary blindness, making the cliff top walk slightly precarious. But, one by one, the metaphorical cobwebs and remnants of all those everyday life stresses were picked up and flung out to sea. Standing there, taking in the rugged, wild beauty of the Welsh coast, I started to feel serenity creeping back in, and busy Alvechurch life being brought back into perspective. The sea shimmered in greens and blues, the lighthouse magnificent in the autumn sunshine. There were no seals to see this time, but given the stormy seas that wasn’t at all surprising. The coast path at Strumble Head is nothing short of magnificent.
I wish I could bottle it – that feeling of serenity and calm that comes with being immersed in mother nature. I love being made to feel small and insignificant by the sheer beauty of our natural world. It’s not for everyone, and I’m definitely a fair weather “outsider” (I’m probably not venturing out into the torrential rain today!), but the contrast to everyday life can be a real tonic.
Right, back to DIY and chores….