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When I Think of Wales

Last updated on September 24, 2020

Langland Bay, Swansea - by Ben Holbrook

When I think of Wales, I think of home.

Of my friends and family… my sunburned youth.

Endless days at the beach, chasing waves and girls.

Summers spent in soggy tents and cars without air conditioning.

 

I think of Faith and Gwenan, of Saucy Lady and sailing across Swansea Bay with my father,

wishing I could be a seagull.

Barbecues on Langland beach, sunsets at Caswell.

Riding my neon yellow-and-pink bike (six gears!) to Verdi’s for ice-cream, stopping at Ripples for more mint-choc-chip on the way home.

 

I think of the ‘Mumbles Mile’ and pints for 50p. Cinderellas and Covelli’s chip shop.

Johnnie’s.

Dick Barton’s.

The White Rose.

 

I think of Gower pubs and the thrill of Cefn Bryn. Knowing everyone, everywhere, all the time.

The Uplands Tav. The Cross Keys.

Castle Gardens and Holbrook’s Coffee House.

Open mics and triple whiskies at The Office.

Funk nights at Barrons. Oranjeboom at Monkey.

 

I think of the wild lavender that grows in my aunty Marcia’s garden.

Swansea marina and its diesel-spiked sea air.

Treasure on Newton Road and the Tivoli.

Brandy Cove and Oxwich.

 

When I think of Wales, I think of my home, of my ugly, lovely town and its fishing-boat-bobbing sea…

///

Happy Saint David’s Day!

Visit Wales to make new memories in ‘The Land of Song’.


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4 Comments

    • This is awesome, thank you for sharing! The beautiful Welsh language <3

  1. By happy coincidence, I discovered driftwoodjournals when doing some reading about Barcelona. It was then that I came across your post about your decision to move to Gijon. As a hispanophile born in Carmarthen (moved to Swansea, went to Terrace Rd. primary school and Bishop Gore), I fell in love with Spain when doing a university course in Santander (as required by the University of Cardiff). That was a long time ago.
    Your posts on the Gower brought back many childhood memories of happy times spent on the beaches there, from Swansea Bay, Mumbles, Caswell, Langland, Oxwich, Three Cliffs to Rhossili. I took my older son and grandchildren to Rhossili in 2018, and little seems to have changed over the years.
    Your love for Asturias and the north of Spain does not surprise me. Although I have travelled widely in Spain and spent extended periods in Andalusia (including a year teaching in Granada), I have always personally felt more “at home” in the north. I feel for Cantabria, Asturias, and Galicia something of the hiraeth I feel for Wales, even after having lived in Canada for many years.
    I have also thoroughly enjoyed reading your journals on other parts of Spain, and find your photos to be outstanding and your comments most illuminating. Congratulations.
    You will see below that I have a web page on Spain. The Travel Section plays a minor role to other topics, but you may find some comments interesting (including those of family members) during a 2013 trip from Barcelona to Seville and back). Best wishes.

    • Hola and diolch, Gethin! Much appreciate your comment and find it quite fascinating to hear how you share a passion for the same places. I now miss Spain as I missed Wales (when I lived in Spain). Both are my homes. Maybe we all have two homes, deep down? Maybe that’s the key to happiness.

      Thank you once again. I am happy to be in touch. Hasta la proxima amigo!

      Ben

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