Good Morning Wales~ a bit of Texas in Wales

Lleyn Sheep, South Wales

       

  

Hardly anyone leaves America and moves to Wales, much less for Swansea, so that’s what everyone here I meet in Wales tells me and usually on a daily basis. It seems like every lovely Welsh person I meet, as soon as I open my mouth to speak, before anything else is sorted, or business transpires, they ask me; “You are from America Yeah”? Then they ask me what part and then ask me tell my story.  

They always want to know why I’m here and how long will I be visiting. “I moved here,” I reply and I’m from Texas; the Southwestern part of the United States.

I am from Dallas, Texas. It’s true, I lived there all my life and it’s where I was born. My origins are Cherokee with some Welsh ancestry. I remember the first day I arrived in Swansea, I got lost and would stop at gas stations to get directions and I couldn’t even understand what they were saying. I find the Welsh have an extraordinary accent even though they speak English, but looking back, I am sure they had a hard understanding me too. 

  

   

The Lleyn Sheep is a medium sized lowland sheep weighing up to 75kg at maturity, renowned for their hardiness, prolificacy, easy lambing, strong mothering instinct, milkiness and easy handling.

  

Even the road signs on the streets are hard to read. Why do they have three different spellings on every sign? When I was looking for SwanseaOn the sameroad sign, it is spelled three ways Swansea, Swɒnz and Abertawe. No wonder I kept getting lost. But now that I’m here in Swansea; and just beginning to find my way around.

Although sometimes my emotions get in the way. Like the first time I arrived in the UK, landing at Heathrow…good heavens!  I was so lost and overwhelmed with Gates and terminals only allowing access to certain trains, buses and taxis. How was I supposed to know that I needed a transfer to Paddington, then transfer again? I thought Paddington was just a teddy bear. Oh boy, was I proved wrong whereas I thought Dallas- Fort Worth International was big; Heathrow is massive and it’s big enough to be its own County with its own MP. Except I think the Welsh call the counties “borough’s” here in Wales. 


   

The Lleyn ewe’s wool is white and free from any coloured fibres or kemp and is of good length, dense and of high quality with plenty of crimp. Heads are feminine and warm white in colour with lovely wide foreheads.


So, after getting through Heathrow, I still didn’t understand the transit system here and thinking about having to read the signs if I could have found one; how was I going to get to Swansea. “I know…I’ll just rent a car.” Little did I know? All I could see was signs for “Car Hire.” I didn’t want to hire a car to work; I just wanted to lease one for a few days. But I followed all the signs to the car hire desk and low and behold; there was no one at any of the desk. There was no one to ask for directions, so naturally I’m thinking it being a Wednesday and only 10:30 A.M. in the morning; doesn’t anyone in Britain work?


   

Lleyn sheep originate from the Lleyn Peninsula in Wales and until recently were a relatively unfamiliar breed of sheep in the UK. The last 10 years have seen the Lleyn become the fastest growing breed in the UK, and now the Lleyn sheep can be found on farms almost all over Wales.


In America, I was always at work by 7:30 in the morning and left the office at 6:15 P.M., but I have discover they don’t here. So I pick up the red phone on the Car Hire desk and call the number as instructed. Unfortunately, for me, there was no answer; Imagine that. And why are there 11 numbers in the phone number system a “0” and a “1” before every British phone number? I wondered if this was an operated assisted phone call with extra charges, like when you make a call and the recording comes on and says: this is not a free call, you will be charged according to blah…blah.” 

Luckily, I had my trusty iPhone 5, switched it on to Data roaming, only having to redial 5 or 6 times, where I finally got in touch with SIXT Car hire. Great! They gave me instructions to go to Terminal 3 and “pop on” the shuttle. 


 

The Lleyn ewe is an ideal sheep; quiet in nature, prolific with great maternal instincts. The Lleyn thrives on both lowland and upland grazing, and its versatility makes it suitable for Wales.
 


“Could it be that easy,” I thought. After all I only had 3 large suitcase and I’ve never been one known to travel lightly. I’d thought I be smart and come prepared and found it here quite different. I was still quite confident until the day I received my iPhone bill. I was charged $1,491.69 for data roaming. That’s £971 in Sterling. Maybe I wasn’t so prepared after all. My phone bill was twice the price of the airfare. 

Anyhow, I caught the shuttle  to the SIXT Car Hire, hired a car rental and was finally on my to Swansea, so I thought; only to find the steering wheel was on the right with manual transmission only. But that’s another story for another day. 

But I’m here in Swansea now and I love it. I love the beauty, its culture and its lovely history; even in its vastness, the contrast and even the differences… and in spite of everything. Thank you for reading.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s