Goodbyes and Hellos

It’s the last Sunday lunch in Borth. Feels like we’re standing by the edge of the precipice now. All that’s left to do is jump.

Chloe left yesterday – driving back back home with her dad. She’s going into a new year of school – her last year of primary. Then she’s likely to join my old secondary school in London. I feel a connection with Chloe – a familiarity I don’t often get with my own girls. Plus, she has a pluck that is hard to beat. I really admire her for it. Don’t worry my girls, if you’re reading this one day. I love you too.. I just wish you were as enthusiastic about entering a library as Chlo. Groan all you want ladies.

Another family came to visit us too on Saturday. We first met them in St Lucia, mid-April 2016. They were the first ‘kid boat’ we’d met. We spent the next year seeing each other in different places, sailing in and out of each other’s lives. The Higgins family. Higgins is the name of their boat. We’re known to them as Quest. 

Higgins headed to Wales for a week’s holiday. Down in the Gower and up to Snowden, they met us in the middle. We greeted and presented them with our beach shack. When they looked around, I felt a rising smattering of goose pimples. You know when you meet people somewhere else than your home environment? Then they come to visit? Their only point of reference for us has been our pretty lovely, fifty-foot boat Questie. Did we warn them that we also lived in a one-bedroom bungalow? Perhaps. We’d been to their large Surrey house a couple of times. With their grounds included, I’m pretty sure you could call it a mansion. 

‘We love it,’ they enthused about our house, ‘it’s a great location.’ When location is being mentioned, you know it’s downhill from there. Still, in doing so we revealed our true selves to our friends. We don’t have a fancy boat and a fancy house. Saying that, we do live in Mid-Wales. You can’t walk any further west without hitting the water. The people with the big houses tend to be the sheep magnates or people who’ve dragged their money over the border. That seems a strange mix for me. Can you imagine the mingling at the neighbourhood party? ‘Would you like some sheep dip, I mean cheese dip?

Higgins told us they were staying half-an-hour up the road on the banks of the River Dyfi. 

I said, ‘Isn’t that the hotel where someone got locked in an airing cupboard and died of hypothermia? I don’t think anyone found them for a week or so.’

At the look on their faces, I started kicking myself. ‘Probably not that hotel. It’s called The Talgarth.’

They nodded. ‘That’s the one.’

Oh dear. Time to hit the beach. 

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