Going back to Wales with my girl was such a trip down memory lane for me. Ellie was so excited to be staying in a caravan and that only she, the pooch and I would be able to run round mental without disturbing grumpy pants, Mark.
What should have taken two hours, took us four, on Friday to get to our destination. We sure had numb bums and Eddy was bored out of his wits. No sooner had we landed did we de-robe into our jammies after being taken care of by our host, Heather. Eating a pile of lard ensued and watching garbage on the Tv aided our restful slumber until, ahem, 11.30 am the next day. We didn't care! I made us proper caravan tucker of bacon sammiches and tea before getting dressed to go to Holyhead. Ellie couldn't wait to meet my old school friend Tracy but en route, I whizzed round the country lanes to show ellie my old stomping grounds. As I drove through a village called "four mile bridge" (whose bridge is only about 200 metre long - hum???!!!) I noticed that a shop I used to frequent was still there. Copperfield was my haven when I was a kid and I'd go there to just drool over its wares, even when I had no money. I was so attracted to that little shop that I often thought I should have it for myself and not tell anyone else about it. I slowed down to a screech, parked up and said to Ellie that I was about to surprise her eyes. Well, we walked into this
Big, fat juicy ric rac in Union Jack colours and some cool Union Jack flaggy ribbon came home with me
As well as these huge spotty buttons and gorgeous pale teal spotty ones too
It has changed so much but so much for the better. The owner stepped down from behind the shop and greeted us. Well that was it. I was in total girl mode and enquired "Are you the original owner" to which she replied yes even though I recognised her instantly. Before long, I was bombarding her with how much I loved the shop some, eeeeeeeeeek, 28 years ago. I told her that when my sister and I went crabbing off the bridge we would go to her shop and just marvel at all the knick knacks she used to sell and that now it was just as knickety knackety. Im sure she thought I was a special nut case job as she just gawped at my air headedness. She now sells quilting fabrics and buttons and felts and ribbons and ric rac (hello??!!) and Jelly Cat stuffed toys (our favourites). I couldn't resist buying Ellie a Dachshund Jelly cat and myself these little bit as well as some proper wool felt. The owner and I chatted FOREVER before I realised I was supposed to be at Tracy's house. I really did NOT want to leave and Ellie was truly mesmerised by the colours in the shop.
On the way, we swung by the church of St Ffraids that we got married for 30 seconds too and I had a little think about our wedding day some 15 years ago (weep, weep)
Getting to Tracy's, well - I could have driven blind folded. I know those roads so well except that Holyhead, itself, has changed a lot. Tracy and I used to be the BESTEST of friends and our sisters used to be best friends too. When I left Holyhead in 1987 to join the RAF I officially left home for good and never went back to live there as my mum and dad moved to the East coast of Yorkshire in 1997 (ish). There really wasn't a reason for me to go back as Tracy had moved on with her life and everyone in Holyhead seemed to have this insular life that didn't extend to visitors from beyond the borders of Wales. It's not ignorance, it's just how they are and I know, I was one of them for a short while! So going back to see her to meet my girl was so exciting. I had met up with her last year at my sisters school reunion but on this occasion she was going to meet my Belle. The afternoon went by so quick after talking and reminiscing with Tracy and her husband who I knew in our teens. I miss her so much and yet we talk to each other like I hadn't left and believe me there was a good 14 years with no contact whatsoever as previous to last year, I had only seen at my wedding in 1995. She has a lovely son, called Danny, who I think Belle is smitten with! too. She spent the afternoon watching a DVD with him and that, in Ellie's world is like being almost married to him. Heeeeeee.
We went "home" after Tracy's via the old beach in front of my old house. I didn't want to take a picture of my old house because it has changed so much and it just didn't look like my old house at all - that made me feel truly sad :( So off to the shale beach we went where I used walk our old dog, Holly, on a morning before school. God, the winters in Holyhead were rough and remember almost blowing off into the sea on some days on this very beach. It makes me want to cry watching my daughter play on it like I once did at her age.
After that we head back to the Caravan but before we got back inside our holiday home, Heather (the owner and a fellow scrapper) invited me in to her home for coffee and to meet her absolutely BEAUTIFUL daughters and new Bichon Frise, Flint. Ive know Heather through UKS, events and my log for a few years now and we have politely exchanged conversation. I love that she speaks Welsh and English to her girls and remind myself of some of the words I still remember. Heather is a total paper craft freak so you can imagine, we get on! She invited me to her crop the next day so I promised that, after a good nights sleep from all that lush sea air, we would go.
Well what a contrast the next morning was. It was like someone had stolen July and replaced it with November. Those harsh winter reminders had come to haunt me. Belle and I tucked ourselves in for another lie in at that rate but soon woke ourselves up with the thought of lush bacon sammiches to warm the cockles. we pretty much lounged for a few hours after that before packing up the caravan and heading for the crop. I can officially announce that I have now been to a scrap event in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales now - woo hoo! Heathers crop consisted of three scrappers! What a great escape, I say, in a beautiful crafts centre on the other side of Anglesey. I promised to teach them a little mini class whilst I was there, just for fun and it was great to meet Annwen and um, the other lady training to be a vicar (sorry!). Can you believe you have to get a degree to be a vicar? I was really stunned at that.
We had no sooner landed to discover that it was time to go again......time flies in Wales, I tell you! We had arranged to meet up with Tracy and her family for a meal before we left. I just loved sitting round that restaurant table talking to my dear old friend and before long it really was time to go. Well, I just didn't want to; petulant, I know. Leaving late on a Sunday ensured a travellers dream come true - 2 hours door to door! woohoo!
And that was my weekend. Hope to do it all again very very soon. I miss my lovely friend, I hope she reads this and knows I mean it xx
One other thing before I go.
The cover mount for this months Crafts Beautiful features chipboard pieces that I designed (I also have a FREE download at the above link for all your hybrid crafters!). I struggle to shake my own pompoms at such things like this but I worked so hard on this summertime sweet treat themed collection and I have 150 of them as a giveaway.
If you want a packet you will have to help me out, ok? Id need an A5 41p Stamped Addressed Envelope sending to my house (address here) to the first 150 names in the comments section of this post. Id love to post you all out one each at my own expense but it would cost £61.50 in stamps alone, let alone the cost of the envelopes! You are welcome to grab yourself a set with an SAE but can only extend this invite to UK residents only :( (obv!)