As you might have noted, I've been on holiday for the past two weeks. For the first part of that time, we were staying on the island of Anglesey (in Wales) in a gorgeous cottage belonging to a colleague of Mr. Bsag. We've both had a very busy year, and it was wonderful to get away from everything for a while. What made it even better was that my parents very kindly offered to come and stay in our house for the duration, to cat- and house-sit for us. While we have an excellent local cattery, it was great to know that they would be looking after (in other words, spoiling rotten) our cats. In short, it meant that we could really relax, and really relax we did.
I don't think I've been that chilled out in ages. We did a fair bit of walking, but also lazed around in the garden or on the beach, and I read a lot of novels. We had timed the holiday to coincide with our 10th Wedding Anniversary, and that day was particularly special.
The cottage was right next to the beach, and the day of our Anniversary was one of those freakishly sunny and hot days that Wales occasionally enjoys in compensation for the large number of grey, rainy ones that its inhabitants must endure. We walked along the beach to the village in the morning to pick up a few things, and choose a restaurant for our evening meal. When we returned, I went for a swim in the sea 1. Since it is so rarely hot and sunny in Wales, the sea doesn't ever really get a chance to catch up and take part in the sub-tropical vibe. Consequently, the water was pretty cold. There were other people in the water surfing and body-boarding, but they were all sensibly clad in wetsuits. No matter - I am fairly tough, and since I am not skinny, I have my own thin layer of blubber which helps a lot with insulation. I couldn't stay in long, but once I had got through the whole 'not being able to breathe out' stage, it was lovely. The water was very clear and sparkled invitingly in the sun, and I loved diving through the little waves.
After I had got out and showered, we both sat in a small walled garden at the side of the cottage. It is a great sun trap, and is sheltered from the wind. We sat on a comfortable stone ledge, our backs against a cracked, whitewashed wall, listening to the waves and smelling the sea. We ate rolls and cheese for lunch, with our own tomatoes and some grapes cold from the fridge, then cracked open a celebratory bottle of Prosecco.
You get a great buzz from swimming in a cold sea, and feeling that buzz while being warmed by the sun and the Prosecco, and lulled by the white noise of the waves was absolutely blissful. In the evening, we ate local fish at a restaurant in the village, then walked back after dark along the beach, slightly giggly. It was very dark and starry, and we took our time, using our torch to avoid falling in the small river that cuts through the beach. Ten years ago, we made another night walk — in our wedding finery — through the streets of Oxford from our reception to our hotel. It seems such a short time ago.
We need to do this more often, or we'll forget that we're living.
1 I know! In the sea, without a wetsuit, in Wales! It's like some kind of alternative universe. ↑