As mentioned in my last blog, I went down south to see friends and family last week. I also went across to Wales, to visit the spot where my father’s ashes are scattered – a place he loved, by the Nant y Moch reservoir (in the picture above).
It was a trip that had been planned for a little while, but just before I went, it took on another purpose. Both Graham and I had recently begun to realise that the things we missed – seemingly quite small, but adding up all the time – were beginning to outweigh the things we love about Shetland.
I’m very close to my family and I miss my sisters, so it was hard when my eldest sister Niki came over to the UK from her home in Cyprus, and saw all my siblings, but couldn’t get up here to see me, nor I down to see her. And although it’s amazing waking up in the mornings to oystercatchers and curlews calling in the bay, I really, really miss blue tits in the garden, butterflies and bee flies, and the sounds of songbirds in the woods. I miss foxes and roe deer and badgers. And we both miss pints of real ale in proper country pubs.
We’ve also come to the conclusion that we can make a better living in a place that’s cheaper to get to (ie, has more tourists), has a longer tourist season (ie, all year round), and has a greater variety of wildlife. So we’ve decided to bite the bullet and, before winter sets in again, head south.
We have chosen to move to Wales, where all the above things are true – plus there are hills and even mountains (which Graham still hankers after), and it’s a whole heck of a lot nearer family and friends. And my dad, who I had a long chat with on my visit, would approve – he lived in mid-Wales for about 40 years and loved it unreservedly.
So, our sojourn on Shetland will come to an end at the end of October. It’s been an amazing year, we’ve seen some amazing things, and had, all in all, a pretty brilliant time. I’m glad we’ve done it, and it’s been a heck of an experience.
But now we are looking forward to a new beginning in Wales, a new adventure, and a new phase of our lives. With blue tits and bee flies… and beer. At the moment I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with this blog, but I will definitely let you all know when the time comes. Thanks for reading.