Hmm, so what place do I consider home…
In response to this, I suppose I should choose my current residence. After all, I call it home, and I can’t wait to get back to it each day when I finish work.
However, there have been places over the years that I have visited and left a piece of my heart in. I do still hanker after those places, and at times they suffuse my dreams.
When I was a kid, my dad’s grandparents owned a chalet in Abersoch, North Wales. It was an upmarket affair, four-bedrooms with an en-suite in my grandparents’ room and a jacuzzi bath in the main bathroom. It was situated on the beach front and I remember falling asleep to the sound of the tide kissing the shore just yards away.
I was entranced by the sea and spent hours just staring out into St. Tudwal’s bay, armed with the binoculars my Grandad kept by the door. I was fascinated by the islands in the bay, one which was home to a small building and a herd of red deer, and other with its lighthouse that blinked late at night. For a time, we had a speedboat and my dad would take us out to speed around the islands and visit the seals on Seal Rock. They were as fascinated with us and we often saw their little heads bobbing in the waves as they ventured closer.
We spent every school holiday there, my brother and I, and I remember days filled with beach walks, exploring headlands, rolling down sand dunes, and building sand castles. I taught myself to swim in the sea in Abersoch, and spent many an hour pony-trekking along the beach, cantering through the shallows and hacking along the winding lanes. My favourite riding school put on 2-hour hacks which ended up on the beach outside our chalet, a long stretch of clean sand leading from Abersoch village up to Llanbedrog headland. Here, my Nana would watch and wave from our patio, and I felt like my heart would burst with happiness.
It was all so idyllic. We were privileged children there in Abersoch but took it all for granted, and I wish I could get those days back. Of course, they are long gone, but I still dream of Abersoch, and our beachfront chalet on The Warren.