Dreaming of Wales…

I’m sure you’ll agree, dear friends, that I’m usually anything but a moaning Minnie; I’m an eternal optimist, I always try to look on the bright side, I’ve been trying to cheer you and myself up during this Coronavirus lockdown… But there are times when even the most cheerful of us start getting depressed; and yesterday’s news finally did that for me.

Our know-all Prime Minister, who nearly croaked from the virus himself not too long ago, has declared that the economy has to get going again now no matter what, so millions of people in the big cities of the UK will be forced to enter crowded buses and tube trains again every morning to get to work – honestly, dear friends, I can see a catastrophe coming.

London Crowds

The biggest and most crowded city here in the UK is, of course, London; and my darling husband and me have the ill luck to be trapped in it. Well, there was a time when I first came here when I was fascinated by this city – all the sights and the museums and the shops! But there comes a time when you feel you’ve seen just about everything, and then it starts getting a bit overwhelming and hostile and even threatening, and especially in the conditions we are in right now.

We haven’t been ‘to town’ at all for months, of course, because as freelancers we’re lucky enough to be able to work from home; we’ve been ‘hiding’ here in Tottenham, our own little part of London – with the pubs, the shopping centres and of course the football stadium closed; Tottenham has turned REALLY depressing…

Now I’ll tell you a secret, dear friends: shortly before this whole pandemic started, our new landlord here had threatened us with a rent raise by the end of the year to £1,000 (!!!) for our little one-bedroom flat – which would have eaten up almost our entire humble income as indexers. So, we decided we were going to move to Wales; but that’s been put on hold, of course… We’ll be sitting here staring out of the window all summer while there’ll be a new surge in Coronavirus cases and deaths thanks to our government, and we’ll neither be able to travel to Greece and see my parents and daughter (whom I last saw in January), nor of course move out of here…

5LockdownSky

Anyway – we can at least dream… I’ve told you about Wales, dear friends, when my darling Ian and me went there on our first trip together two years ago; actually, you can sum it up in one word: Paradise! Green fields, golden beaches, blue sea, dramatic cliffs, little flowers everywhere… Who wouldn’t gladly swap the grey asphalt jungle for that?

 

We stayed on Anglesey then, right out in the Irish Sea, and that’s also where we were going to look for a flat. Our hotel in Benllech was one of the cosiest I’d ever seen, and it had a pub restaurant where we had Guinness and cider and whisky and the most delicious lamb pie – we were just SO happy there!

 

We’d go down to the beach which was quite empty already in late summer, and we’d sit down in the beer garden; perfect peace and harmony, without the neverending sirens, honking, blaring car radios and rows in the street that you get in the big city…

 

Honestly, I never thought I’d be longing so much for the countryside one day; I grew up in a medium-sized town with a population of about 60,000, and I always wanted to go somewhere bigger – and so I did, first to Munich, then to Athens and then to London. And now, all I want is to live the rest of my life in a quiet little town in the countryside… This beautiful song by the Wolfe Tones says it all – it’s from Ireland, of course, but then Wales is so very similar to Ireland in so many ways…

 

Those beautiful, peaceful green fields where the famous Welsh sheep graze, those little villages with their tea shops and the friendly, welcoming people…

 

My darling Ian knows Wales very well, of course, his mother was Welsh, and he grew up in Chester right on the Welsh border; he’s been studying Welsh history, culture and mythology all his life. In the meantime, as a foreigner, I’ve been trying to get acclimatised as well: I’ve been learning Welsh on Duolingo, and I can proudly say I’ve already got to the future tenses and the conditional by now! So, when all this is over, I hope we’ll be able to pack our things and move – and hear the famous slogan:

Croeso I Gymru – Welcome to Wales!

Welcome to Wales sign D002

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