We have amassed, like trophies, many a grey, drizzling rain drenched Welsh holiday. We seem to have a knack for them, especially when camping. But this last holiday in April was miraculously and gloriously sunny. Skies turned from bright clear blue during the day too silvery, pearlescent and almost otherworldly in the early evening, then throwing rainbow colours across the horizon at sunset, eventually turning to a pitch, haunting black at night. It was warm enough for sandals and sun dresses, warm enough for pink shoulders.
This was an unexpected Mother-Daughter holiday to Wales as Dave had to work. So rather than cancelling and moping around at home in a grumpy malaise, I decided to go alone with Frankie-Rose, which was both wonderful and at times really hard too.
We were staying in Wendy, a converted vintage train carriage perched on a cliff top in Aberporth, complete with tiny wood burner, sofa’s, plush beds and a bijou bathroom and kitchen. With the sea crashing against the cliffs just a few meters away, and with the most breath taking view, It is without doubt, the best-located holiday rental I have ever stayed in. It was surrounded by yellow gorse glowing and blossoming in the hedgerow all along the length of the cliff top, punctuated by drifts of blue bells.
We woke in bed together, wrapped our pyjama clothed selves in blankets then ate our cereal on the terrace in the intense glow of the sunrise. We held hands to walk to the beach, or she scooted, and I ran, and we ate pack lunches in between cliff scrambling and treasure collecting and dashing in and out of the tide.
I know I’ve had a good beach day with Frankie when I have to surreptitiously discard rocks, shells and feathers on the way home because my pockets are so full they're pulling my trousers down...
One evening we packed a picnic complete with glasses and linens and ate al fresco on the cliff top outside our holiday cottage (well, train carriage as it were). I will never forget that evening. She loved all the details; the napkins, tapas food and proper glasses and was such good company.
I sat alone in the evenings with the tiny log burner, watching the orange, red and purple sunsets blazing across the sky, drinking wine and writing (a bit!) or reading.
But…. (you knew this was coming, yes?) But there was also carrying way too many bags down the unexpectedly long road to the carriage, multiple times, whilst cajoling Frankie to come with me as I couldn't leave her alone in the train carriage that far away (my fault for not reading the instructions before arrival). There was the smashed, broken phone, which made me feel oddly panicked and isolated, and the noise of gulls landing on the roof making me wake with a start. The loneliness of staying on a cliff top, which during the day was perfect, suddenly engulfed me in the middle of the night a couple of times and made me question my rural living dream. There were some intense parenting moments, mostly revolving round her wanting me to buy her things everywhere we went, or her needing more interaction than normal; more role play and attention from me. I found that by the time Frankie was asleep, I was too tired to write, which was what i hoped I would do. Natasha, my Stitch + Forage collaborator, joined us for a couple of nights toward the end of the trip and I think both Frankie and I welcomed some fresh energy in the mix by that point!
But still, when I think back to the trip, now 2 months ago, the images that loom large in my mind are the silvery evening sky, like polished pearl; Frankie throwing her head back in laughter during our sunset picnic; her hot little hand in mine as she walked excitedly down to the beach; sunrise breakfasting on the terrace; and being genuinely grateful for her (mostly!) marvellous company.
Here are some photo’s (video is coming soon too!)
Thank you to the kind folk at Caprera who sent us goodies for our picnic. The pickle was divine (long gone, sadly) and F loved the buttery welsh crackers. Also, the photo of me above was taken by Frankie, my stand-in Instagram husband! Not too shabby eh?
Here are a few pics of what the carriage looked like inside. Cosy and gorgeous!
Thank you to Under the Thatch for this trip, on which we were grateful guests. All opinions are my own.
Still to come: Sisterhood camp and Marakesh!