I haz internets.
This is a marvellous thing. Especially as we are in North Wales with their huge mountains and fierce, killer sheep, and sometimes it’s even quite hard to get Radio Four, so any internet at all is amazing.
It is quite fitful, it has to be said. It is not the fastest, or the shiniest, and if the wind is in the wrong direction or the sheep are looking baleful, things go badly awry, and after wrestling with it at the beginning of the holiday I decided it was not worth the stress, and that I would take a few days off.
We are going home tomorrow, and I am half way down a farewell bottle of fizz and feeling no pain, and my advanced state of relaxation has allowed me to go head to head with the internet without weeping and wailing, so all is well, and here I am.
We have had a wonderful week.
This is quite astonishing to me, given the stress and aggravation of the weeks preceding it, and the fact that we were not at all prepared in any way for this holiday. We packed on Friday night, and when my brother came to feed the cat on Saturday afternoon he was amazed to find us all still in Broughton Astley, farting about with increasing levels of stress.
And we still hadn’t got around to dropping my car off to yet another garage, because when it had its MOT stuff needed doing…
But, we finally got here, and a very lovely here it is too.
We are about a mile outside the town of Porthmadog, which is right next to Portmeirion (which is lovely), and Black Rock Sands (which is lovely) and we are in a beautifully converted barn in acres of farm surrounded by mountains, which is lovely too.
Our barn, which was recommended months and months ago by a rather clever blog reader, is everything she said it would be. It is warm, and clean and spacious, and wonderfully equipped. We have a roaring fire, and underfloor heating when we cannot be bothered to roar. We have multitudinous bathrooms and acres of hot water, and a washing machine, and a tumble drier. This is not to be sneezed at at any time when you are staying in North Wales, but even more welcome when there is a distinctly wintry nip in the air.
The housekeepers live in the farm house across the field, and have been extremely welcoming. There were fresh flowers in the dining room and on my bedside table when we arrived, and they have been utterly charming and helpful ever since, but without getting in the way or being overbearing at all. Plus, their chickens lay a mean egg. They are delicious.
The kitchen is well equipped, and I have not had to use my emergency cafetiere or sharp knives. There are hefty mugs instead of weedy cups, and a dishwasher, which makes me feel very decadent indeed. The sofas are comfy, and even Jason approves of the beds. It is the first holiday house we have ever had where there really isn’t anything to moan about.
The only thing that terrifies me is that as we are indeed in the middle of the fields, and quite high up, the cart track to get to this place, which incorporates two five bar gates and a couple of serious bends with scary drops, is not my favourite or my best. But as Jason is driving, all is well, and I just don’t look down as he negotiates the bends. Even he says he would be fairly bothered by the track at the sign of the first serious frost.
Luckily there has been no sign of a serious frost the entire time we have been here. In fact, the weather has been unseasonably clement. On Sunday it was so warm we actually went to the beach, and did not cower in the car until it was all over. We have had little in the way of rain, and mostly we have been blessed with glorious autumnal sunshine and wide blue skies. It has been bucolic.
I also have my holiday to thank for making two of my long term bucket list wishes come true.
Firstly I have always wanted to go on holiday, carrying only a toothbrush and a credit card, and secondly I have always wanted to shop for a whole seasonal wardrobe, just like they show you in magazines.
On Saturday, when we were packing, it was my job to finish all the tidying of the house, sorting out the cat, packing the food etc. It was Jason and the children’s job to pack all the bags of clothes etc. Which they did. Except that they left behind all my things.
All of them.
When we got here, quite late in the evening, to find that I had nothing except a bottle of champagne, a cafetiere, some sharp knives and a lot of chocolate, I was not quite as happy as you would think about this.
After a stern talking to I decided to take advantage of everyone’s utter guilt, and we embarked on a shopping spree to kit me out in full holiday style. As the only place that was open at the time was the 24 hour Tesco in Bangor, my spending capacity was quite limited, as were my wardrobe choices, but I did my best. And I have had a very acceptable holiday indeed clad in my new A/W 2012 wardrobe.
It has actually been quite liberating to find out how little stuff I need, and how champagne goes a long way to softening the blow of finding all your stuff gone.
I was, it has to be said, more upset about the fact that my books got left behind, but thank goodness for the Kindle which was in my handbag, and has done sterling service this week.
It has been bliss. We will be sorry to leave, but we have enjoyed every minute, and I will bore you with my holiday snaps and all the details upon my return. For now I am off to finish that wine and see how much emergency chocolate is left in the back of the breadbin.