Coconut flowers, Cows, Cwt Tatws and A Chance Encounter on the Coastal Path
(T - 2days)
A wonderful weekend to look back on today as I sit trialing a pair of sliders and feeling like I'm cheating on flip flops. It is T - 2 days, the reality of this is yet to really sink in (to my brain at least, the reality has well and truly sunk into my purse thanks to so many last minute purchases).
Back in May, proudly sporting Bastley blue, four of us headed to the Llyn Peninsula for a weekend of slowing down and switching off a little. Thanks to the generosity of Shona, Nwsi and their family, we stayed in 'the cottage' and reveled in the pace (I initially wrote peace which is actually a brilliant word to use) and way of life that cottage life both enforces and affords.
Although we didn't venture into the sea this time (which is somewhat moronic as it was far warmer and sunnier this weekend than it had been on January 1st...), we did a fantastic cycle around the peninsula, pausing at 'Whistling Sands' and stopping for lunch at Kin & Co in Abersoch wherein MOJ had "the best sandwich he'd had in a very long time" (to the extent that he considered ordering two), and some coastal walking, bumping into Mr & Mrs Plant at Cwt Tatws as I was in the throes of an animated debate (mostly with myself on account of the other three being incredibly laid back) about a controversial topic linked to the Rappers' Delight CD in the car. MOJ also caved and played a board game, in the process discovering an appreciation for (I will not stray so far as to say 'love of') Boggle.
I remember now that I was reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini, during this weekend. I initially picked up this incredible book during my A Level year, but slammed it shut in rage as I read of Mariam being married off (gotten rid of) by a father so admired. When I met Bear some years later she informed me she loved this book so much that whenever she sees it in charity shops she feels a strong urge to buy it and just leave it somewhere for someone to find. I tried again then, but couldn't get into it. Much as 'the wand chooses the wizard', I feel that, to an extent, 'the book chooses the reader'. Depends where you're at. When Jonny moved in to Astley and we started chatting books he told me that A Thousand Splendid Suns was also his favourite and so, ten years later, I picked it up again and this time became completely captivated: the book consumed me. I wept. I proceeded to tell everyone about it. When the time is right for you, read it. It's too important not to. It was wonderful to then learn that one of my pupils had been recommended the book by her grandmother a while ago and had decided it was time to read it. We shared a mournful silence in admiration for Mariam, Laila and Hosseini.
|"Coconut flowers" - the gorse smelt so tropical in the sunshine this weekend.|
Inside of the book I found an envelope addressed to myself in my own hand. I had no idea what it was! It transpires it was a postcard that I had written to myself on my final day of Teach First training (...) - proof, at least, that I had attempted the re-read back in 2013. I'd completely forgotten about the postcard and the process of writing it, but memories came flooding back. The note provided an injection of motivation and helped to see me through to the end of my teaching days. New adventures await.