Last week, I went to the south of Wales with my mum to look after my nan's cat for the week while she was on holiday, so we turned it into a mini holiday for ourselves. I was born in south Wales so the area is quite familiar to me, but seeing how things had changed was a shock, especially as I left Wales when I was 5 - a whole 16 years ago!
It was nice walking Freddie in boundless fields and along canals, but Wales definitely isn't as quiet as I remember it. Cardiff is like hell now, all I wanted was to have a mooch around Primark and I spent far too long dodging baby buggies and slow walkers, then ended up incurring a £10-odd parking charge for 2 hours and 10 minutes. Blimey, I've learnt my lesson from that.
The majority of my family live in Wales so the trip incorporated visiting them, both living and not. I'm not usually affected in the slightest by graveyards, but when it's your own family, it's a different story entirely. Wales is an emotional place for me, everything has bad connotations for me growing up and I get very worked up when I'm reminded, but I'm aware it's going to take time to get over it.
The best thing about the week was Sammy, my nan's adorable cat who kept me company, and sane, through the days and nights. The unfamiliar setting of sleeping in a double bed was made much easier by this little cutie who would take up half of it just to make me feel squished. I'm really missing waking up at 7 to a cat standing over me, staring at me sleeping and purring away like a machine.
The downside though - lack of wifi and phone signal. I know, I know, third world problems, but I really struggled being so disconnected from the real world for so long. I barely managed to get one text a day to reach Mark, which was a serious change from texting every hour as usual. We made it through though, considering I was running up the back of my nan's garden to find enough signal to send off a text.
I even sat outside the Starbucks in Cardiff clutching my laptop desperately trying to send off uni work that was due. Many weird looks were received.
Oh, and I bought the skull of Owain Glyndwr!
Okay, maybe I didn't, but English readers probably wouldn't get that reference to a classic Max Boyce joke. I actually found this beauty in a garden centre of all places. I'm thinking of painting him up and turning him into a paperweight rather than leaving him outside in the cold as he was intended.
All in all, it was a good time away to recharge my batteries, but boy am I glad to be back home, where there's significantly less sheep and significantly more signal.