One year ago today we moved from West Wales to Cardiff. In some ways it has flown by and in others I feel as though we have always lived here and the West Wales interlude but a distant memory.

I am asked sometimes if I miss the countryside and of course there are some things which I miss. I miss the space both inside the house and outside, but this small modern house is much easier to keep clean and I can weed the garden in one afternoon instead of being always one step behind the emerging weeds. On the other hand I have had to curtail my plantaholism and only buy small plants to fill a cleared space. When we moved we had already drastically reduced our hoarded belongings, but I am still trying to find space for the things cluttering the garage. The people we bought from were minimalists so there were few built in cupboards, no shelves and only a shallow roof space. Luckily I have a very handy daughter and husband so, after several trips to IKEA , I now have bookshelves lining the dining room walls, built in wardrobes and a beautiful user-friendly kitchen.

My son in law GG got me all set up with digital technology (I have more remote controls than a space lab!) I can use the basic function of each, but have to make frantic phone calls to him if anything goes wrong, I always assume that I have done something wrong, never that the evil one inside the gadget is playing up!

I miss the dark nights and the night sky, there are so many lights here. I kept going downstairs to check that I had not left a light on.

I miss some of the wildlife, Fred the pheasant and his harem who used to wait outside the back door for Himself to feed them, the army of helpers to keep my garden organic, the bats, the hedgehogs and the frogs and of course the huge variety of birds, from the tiny wren in the rockery to the red kites who gave a daily aerial display swooping and gliding over the field outside my sitting room window.

I don’t miss the rabbits who ate all my new plants or the mice who ate the tops off my seedlings or Cyril the squirrel who crept into the barn one day and chewed his way out through the new roof!

I don’t miss the once a week bus service. I now have a bus stop minutes away and a bus pass, and a frequent service into Cardiff which also passes the end of Jennie’s road.

The biggest plus of all is, of course, the main reason for moving to Cardiff….the family. It is lovely having them 10 mins away instead of 100 miles of twisting roads. We can see our gorgeous grandsons growing up into confident little people, I can go shopping with Jennie (much to the relief of Himself) and have a giggle together. She has eclectic tastes so accompanies me to Musicals etc and her father to classical  concerts.

We were lucky to move when we did, the market had already slowed down, but now seems to have come to a stop. It has been a good year for us, we have seen a lot of our family and GGs family, this small house is easy to maintain and heat, (no more boilers to stoke), we found a good doctor and dentist only minutes away, we have saved on petrol, and have visted the theatre and cinema more in this year than the previous 10 years, and we are planning our first overseas holiday in years. So yes it was a good move and we have no regrets.

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