Lately, I have been having a real dilemma in my life. Dan and I have been together now for almost 6 years and I often wonder what our future holds. We are dreamers; we love to talk about what we’d do if we won the lottery, what our ideal holiday would be and where we’d like to be in many years. It’s fun to do this but once you realise that it is just a dream, it’s a little wake up call. One thing that often comes up in our conversation is where we’d like to live when we start our family. You see, we currently live in Cardiff, a lovely Welsh city and I love it here but I originally come from a lovely town in South West Wales called Laugharne. Laugharne is just something else and if you catch it in the glistening sunlight, it truly is paradise. Laugharne is home to many a great man including both Dylan Thomas and…my dad! I have often wondered if I’d ever end up moving back there…
Whenever I go back West, I want to stay; I feel at ease, I feel at home. I love my life in Cardiff and I love the house we currently live in, but when I come back from being in Laugharne, I feel a great deal of sadness. This made me think about where I’d really like to live and started the debate of Country vs City in both mine and Dan’s minds. So I’m writing this blog, to voice my thoughts but to also get your opinion too. Where the devil should we live?
I am a beach lover, I love all things beach. I love my flip flops, my bikinis and my flowers in my hair. The beach is one of my favourite places, along with my swing in my mum and dad’s garden (and just their house in general) and my bed. In a conversation with friends the other day, one of them mentioned how, with Cardiff, you get the best of both worlds; the city convenience and the beach life. I started thinking about this, was this true and is that enough to make me stay in Cardiff? The beach is about 40 minutes away, in Barry…known as ‘Barry’s Island’ in Gavin and Stacey. It is a lovely beach and if you’re willing to drive an extra 10 minutes you can go to Southerndown, which is truly beautiful. However, if I lived in or near Laugharne I would be 5 minutes from the nearest beach and 40 minutes from Tenby, voted one of the best beaches in Europe. I could cycle or walk to the nearest patch of sand and not have to go near a motorway. This is something that really appeals to me. In fact, where my parents live, if you walk up on top of one of the many hills, you can even see Tenby.
Dan and I will sometimes say, let’s get up early tomorrow and go for a walk. When we do, it’s lovely; we can walk right around Roath Park Lake and when the sun is shining, it is beautiful. When I decide to go for a run (and that is rare) then this is where I choose to go. It’s a gorgeous run and never gets boring. You can go through the lovely flower gardens and even call in for a Joe’s ice-cream on the way back…yum! I love it how there are always people around, always other runner to smile at or children playing in the park whereas sometimes, in Laugharne, you don’t see a soul. The walks in Laugharne are extraordinary and each walk brings a new surprise or view each time you walk it. Dylan’s walk around Laugharne makes me feel incredibly lucky to have grown up with such beautiful things around me. The waters are so calm, the Castle stands tall and proud and the forest in which you walk bounces greens and golds all around you. No amount of words or adjectives can best describe this place so I have to add a picture so you can see what I mean:
Where I am now, in Cardiff, I am two minutes away from my nearest shop which is deadly when I’m on a chocolate hunt but perfect if I ever need something quickly or have run out of something. I am only a two minute walk away from the nearest restaurant, the nearest pub and a lovely, up and coming street called Wellfield Road. It has everything you need, a Tesco, a lovely little bookshop (hard to find these days), a gorgeous Café called ‘Tea and Cake’ (I am biased because I used to work there but it has delicious cake), a hairdressers, a beauty salon, a lovely gift shop with lots of quaint gifts in, a ‘Yankee Candle’ shop which smells amazing and a couple of lovely pubs where I will often meet the girls for a drink. That’s all before you even turn the corner and enter Albany Road where there are even more shops and restaurants to choose from not to mention the five minute drive before I get to the city centre. There is nothing that convenient back in the country. My nearest Spar is a 5 minute drive as are all the pubs and restaurants. Don’t get me wrong the pubs and restaurants are lovely and when you go in there, you are bound to greet the smiling face of someone you know who will always exclaim ‘well good God, you’re Swish’s daughter, I remember when you were this high.’ It is lovely being known and knowing people but once you’ve been there once, it does become a little boring and you do wish that you had a bit of variety now and again. Knowing everyone around is absolutely lush but it does make the spread of gossip a little easier and can also be rather annoying when you just want to walk around looking rubbish without seeing anyone you know. So, for the shops and the convenience, the city wins hands down! Especially as the Topshop in Cardiff is huge and 5 minutes away whereas, I have to drive 20 minutes to Carmarthen from Laugharne to a tiny Topshop. That makes the city a winner in my eyes.
Now, here comes the big issue, my mum and dad. I love these two people to the moon and back. They have done everything and more for myself and my brothers and continue to do so even though we all live apart. They own a gorgeous home, one that I feel very lucky to have been brought up in and one that I hope my children get to enjoy as much as I did. My parents have worked extremely hard to get the house looking as it does now and I absolutely LOVE (there’s that word again) going back there. It really is an escape for me and my number one favourite place to be. The inside is gorgeous, spacious, light and airy and the outside, well it is paradise. My mum and dad are keen gardeners and work so hard to keep it looking like this…
Beautiful isn’t it? Anyway, that’s beside the point. My point is; I want to be closer to them. I am a home bird, I call my mum every day to speak to her and she is my best friend. When I have children, I want both her and my dad to be as close as possible and the only way to ensure this is if we move closer to them. So I guess my dilemma is; does this desire of mine override all the other points I’m making?
The only thing is I am not the only person in my relationship. I have to think about Dan too. His family and a lot of his friends are in Cardiff, they would miss him terribly if we moved and I know he’d miss them too. He plays football for a local team on a Saturday and he loves it, and I love watching him (although, I do find it difficult to watch if he ever gets injured, fouled or does the fouling himself ;-)). He is a gym enthusiast and his gym is literally a 2 minute walk from our front door, you couldn’t get more convenient. I know moving away would be really, really hard for him.
Another reason to stay is my job, I love where I work. I hope to be there for a long time. Finding another job that I love, where there are even less schools, won’t be easy!
However the bike rides, the beach trips, the walks, the greens, the golds, the calm waters, the tranquillity and my mum and dad, is this enough to make me move? I guess my dilemma continues…