Monday, 13 February 2012

10 Places on Earth I am Grateful for...

My second post for the Gratitude Project...see here for original post. I considered the places that I am grateful for.
I've chosen places that evoke powerful memories for me or that mean something particular, though coming from a modest background means I don't have any foreign travel stories...that will have to wait 'till the children have left home and Vince and I can travel! So my Places are all home grown!

1. This is Hove, or rather Hove actually... I was born in what is now apparently called Brighton and Hove, but I still differentiate between the two. I took this picture just after sunset one evening sitting with one of my best mates on a stone groyne beside The West Pier, or what was left of it! My favourite places are beside the sea. This picture, even shows the power station at Shoreham in the far distance, a chimney jutting up on the horizon...where my husband proposed to me!

2. This brings me to Brighton...I miss Brighton terribly! I love the diversity and vibrance of the town I frequented as a teen and love going back. It helps that it's on the seafront, I used to work in Brighton's council offices, and my desk was beside the window looking out upon the ocean. Yes, I was a daydreamer when I wasn't working...staring out at the sun twinkling on the sea! This picture brings back waves of memories...

Just along the coast is Rottingdean...and this is my favourite photograph, taken on one of those glorious days when the sky allowed rays of sunshine to burst through as we climbed across the rocks and pools...

3. Butlins always brings a smile to my face...many childhood holidays spent in the pool, funfair, shows and on the monorail (which is now sadly defunct). Minehead was the destination most years...and we've enjoyed a couple of lovely holidays there in the last few years with my own family! (That's me in the blue costume).

4. When I was young I loved reading Malcolm Saville's 'Lone Pine Five' books, many of them were set in Shropshire...and I developed a love of the countryside he described, so much so that I desperately wanted to visit The Stiperstones. I wanted to see the 'Devil's Chair'.
I remember a trip up to Chester zoo a few years ago with the children and on the way home, following the map, I saw The Stiperstones just off on a little detour...not so little, but we got to the car park and set off, ignoring the ominous clouds brewing above. A long walk across the heather and grass and we finally made it to the rocks! It was late, about 9pm, and suddenly the heavens opened...we grabbed hands and ran, racing down the hillside dodging stones and dips in the grass. We got back to the car drenched to the skin, but laughing our heads off! The children remember the visit to the zoo, but it's the adventure up to the Devil's Chair that they remember most!

5. Talking of Devils...the next place is Devil's Dyke in Brighton. Many, many memories over the years. Kissing in the moonlight, playing pool in the pub, breaking up, first romantic dinner out in the new restaurant, walks across the green hills, adventure, love, and an anniversary dinner just a year or two ago...

6. Petit Bot Bay in Guernsey... I went on holiday with my friend, then a year later was spending my honeymoon there...obviously full of memories!

7. As I've said I love the ocean...and holidays in West Wales turned out with us living up here. A childhood holiday found Aberieddy, and years later I took my daughter there to swim in the gorgeous green water one hot summer day! Swimming in a sea-fed pool 300 feet deep, felt surreal and wonderful. People also dive off the ruined building on the far side of the lagoon...couldn't bring myself to do that! 

8. Edinburgh is in my opinion the most beautiful city in the United Kingdom. We took the children on a mystery tour...waking them at 5am, driving to Cardiff airport, giving them their first aeroplane ride and watching them trying to guess which destination we were flying to... We were in Edinburgh before we knew it and adored it! I loved the Writer's museum and marvelled at the pavements outside. This was just beyond the Royal Mile in a quiet back square...and we discovered paving slabs covered in quotes and poetry...I loved reading them!

9. I love Welsh legend and lore, and the sculpture of Llewellyn up in Llandovery amazes me...anywhere with a castle and some history and I'm happy! 

10. My final my home. Carmarthen has been my home now for eighteen and a half years. It is right in the middle of some gorgeous countryside...I'm close to beaches and the ocean, to mountains, to rivers and reservoirs, to castles...and waterfalls and name it, it's here! We went up in a helicopter a few years ago and looked down on our house and got amazing pics of the town where we live. Just behind my home is a narrow forest of pine, opposite is the hospital (just in the right side of pic) and just to the north of the picture is a river that runs beside an old steam railway. My favourite dog walk is by the river, unfortunately they are planning to reopen the disused railway line...(you can see the railway in my banner at the top of my blog) so we can't walk right by the river anymore. 

So these are  my favourite places, the places in this world which I am most grateful for, or where I am most happy to be!


  1. Love this post! I grew up in the South-East, and used to go to Brighton with my friends to browse the quirky vintage shops in the Lanes and eat waffles on the pier. The place I love most now has to be the village in Somerset where my parents live. Even before they moved there we used to visit on holiday, so I always associate it with having fun – and freedom from school, which I hated!

    1. Thanks Emma, we went back to Brighton for my daughter's 18th last year...spent a day in the Lanes and on the Pier, paddled and ate magnificent cupcakes from a new cupcake shop in the Lanes! Had a great time! Somerset is lovely, we had lots of day trips around Somerset when we stayed at Minehead. If I could afford to move anywhere in the country it would one of three places: Shropshire, Derbyshire or Somerset.

  2. Thanks for sharing places I would never know about otherwise:)