It does not divide, and I think it’s meant to unite us.
With a team of two; love can conquer.
It is an admiration and acceptance with grace.
And above all; respect even in spite of differences.
Love is inclusion and a boundless amount of forgiveness, energy and giving…
Thank you for including me in your life and for all you do.
For my Valentine.
February 13, 2016
They had only just drifted off to sleep, or so it seemed, but now someone had wakened them. They had both thought about quite longingly of just rolling over onto their side and allowing sleep to claim them again when they heard the soft sounds of someone moving closer, sounding as if they were practically sliding across the hay to the holding pen. The humans were approaching them and they were aware of how much noise the other sheep were making. He baaa’d slightly at the sound of them. It was enough to wake the dead.
As his eyes adjusted to the sun in the late afternoon. Doris and Norbutt watched as two seemingly blobs of people moved their way towards them.
It was only as they drew closer that one could see those human attached to legs to a human. “Oh great!” Another darker blue ribbon. It was harder to spot in the midst of the afternoon. It was Norbutt’s of course, it would be Norbutt’s.
Maybe we should really would just roll over and go back to sleep. “Doris, are you awake?” It was soft and hushed and it made him snort with a baa. A whole group of all of them woke up after all of that racket!
“Don’t be a geezer, of course I’m awake.” He managed to keep the sting out of his words although he often felt as if Doris tested his patience with that every single day.
She had the kind of personality that he had often dreamed about. His nerves were never strained when she was around and his sensibilities always affectionate towards Doris.
Still, he wasn’t a terrible ram even if all he ever wanted to do was watch Rugby replays and reruns of Lewis Hamilton F1 races from 2013. Oh well, we all can’t be warriors. And Norbutt generally liked watching whatever Doris had on the TV except for police and crime shows and even if it tested his patience.
They had been standing all day in the middle of the pen and knackered from no food. Right now, he was definitely feeling less than a bit charitable, but he tried to push past that. “What is it, Doris? “Did you get another blue ribbon?” In a tone from her voice as she questioned her friend.
“Yes,” Norbutt answered honestly, with little preamble. It always shocking with how easily the other admitted to his faults.
Norbutt had spend much of his life being told how good he must be, being shown examples of youngsters that never lived up to the expectations set for them, and being instilled with the pompous sense of priority that knowing he would be the leader of all of these things one day. Admitting to be something is as hard as being scared. It was a weakness, and something easily exploited by others and yet Doris could tell him this without turning a hair.
“I’m proud of you, Norbutt.” He rippled out a baa. “Thank you Doris. Go back to sleep now.” “Ok Norbutt.”
Finally, we are in our new house! I can’t hardly believe it! Imagine this; an American Girl from Texas meets British boy, they fall in love, she moves to Wales, they get married, together they buy a house and live happily ever after! Sounds like a fairy tale doesn’t it?
It was only a year ago when I first began writing and photographing Wales. And now I have a weekly column in the Evening Post! How much better can it get? I have so much more to write about and my days are so full. Today, Kevin the painter is here. I think he’s the greatest even though I only understand very few words when he talks. Yet, he is a true Welsh friend and gentlemen. After all, you can’t just let anyone touch your walls; right? “I trust you completely,” I told him. He replied, “You would not believe it if I told you how may coats of paint and wallpaper were on the walls,” he said. “There were seventeen layers!” As I was tying the bags up, I noticed the remains of one of the wallpapers. It was dark blue with white astronauts floating in space. Another patch was red Victorian flowers. Really?
Now I know why there are 37 black bags of wallpaper and paint chips! I know I can’t put them on the sidewalk all at once, after learning the hard way. One time I placed 4 black bags out for pick-up. The bin collectors only picked up 3 black bags and then place ‘a naughty notice’ on the fourth bag and left it there. Therefore, only 3 black bags at a time from now on for pick-up every week. So, I guess it will take 12.3 weeks before all the black bags are gone.
Just to be here in the new house makes me feel so alive and full of hope for the future. I have not felt this good in years. Both Jim and I are making decisions on everything. We just purchased our first new television together. It’s a 42 inch LCD with HD and the entire SKY package! After taking it out of the box and having it mounted on the wall; then turning it on for the first time; it was almost like giving birth!
I am excited by everything I see and do…I am meeting extraordinary people, having real conversations, watching films and the BBC, while making an already beautiful house a home and all the planning that goes with it.
Jim wanted to pick the paint for the walls but had a difficult time deciding. So, the other day we took the doggies for a walk in The Gower in order to take a break, forgetting the fact he has purchased 27 samples of Farrow and Ball paint; while in short chose only four out of the 27 colors.
Anyway, I think Woebly Castle is one of the most beautiful places in the entire world. Walking above the marshes, remembering one time when we found a lovely sea shell and an old crab and some kind of seaweed flower; I think we were just having a silly moment pretending it was real treasure we found. We laughed for hours; we were barefoot, carefree, the sand sliding up between my toes felt great watching the dogs run and play.
I loved it, with the wind in our face, the waves washing up to shore, the sun was going down, I loved the day even more, because I couldn’t even tell where sea and sky began or ended. All I know is that it felt as if I were a part of it; a oneness of earth, the sea and sky, home, Wales and me.
It’s a kind of love here in the most tender ways, I can feel my face against the breezes from where the four winds blow, with my feet steady upon the sands; it’s a place where you could walk for miles. It’s a place where I feel happy and free. Wales is a comforter and it’s where Swansea is my love; it brings meaning to my life and settling here seemingly is the answer to all my prayers.
This source of comfort is always present and I love your mind and thoughts and not to even know where you begin or where I end, or whether we’re any different than the sheep grazing on the cliffs along shores of this beloved Wales.
All I know, it’s where the blackberry grows wild, where the seagulls sings beautiful songs and it’s the views I see standing from here that elevate my mind; it’s home calling to me. And it says, “I know you through your thoughts and it’s about the beauty here that you will write about and that will be your inspiration.”
I think Wales will be my anchor; just Jim and I; the doggies too… and Swansea our nest. So, from now, it will always be the place I’ll call home. You are all the colors of Farrow&Ball, and if allowed, I will paint your name and cross my heart; just for another chance to say; “I love you Abertawe Cymru.”
Pages from “A Bit of Texas in Swansea
By Katie Murphy, August 26, 2015; previously published; South Wales Evening Post.
If anyone were to tell me that Swansea is not the most beautiful place in the world; I could never believe them. I think that the Gower is proof. If you don’t believe me; take a drive through the Gower on a Sunday.
Everything was so green; the sheep dotted the road and fern marshes and hills; wild ponies were everywhere along the estuary with their fouls laying along the roads; dozing in the sun on the commons. Just being there in the Gower makes me want to own a derelict old stone farmhouse and fix it up. It could be somewhere I could go on the weekends and write and have that inspiration, there in the Gower.
I went to the Gower festival this weekend When I arrived there was a Dog Show going on for cross breeds. We had taken the dogs with us; Beau and Daze; so naturally I had to enter them. I’m not partial to them, well maybe a little! And of course I had to enter them. They both got ribbon! Beau got fifth place for the breed with the most beautiful eyes! Daze won fourth place for the dog the judge would like to take home. I couldn’t believe it! I had that cheeky smile on my face the rest of the day. You know that smile; it’s the one where Jim makes fun of me when I do it; like a swell with pride; smiling like I just had invented something witty.
As we were driving back, we took an alternative route since the roads were so busy. As a result we discovered Weobley Castle where we bought a marsh lamb; but just the part leg portion of course. We had it for dinner. It was delicious!
Weobley is one of the few surviving fortified manor houses in Wales. There aren’t many places in the world left were you can stand in the same window as someone did half s millennium ago and witness the same unspoilt view; much less have a chance to taste the bounty of the marsh and it’s lambs from so many generations ago. The view from the North Gower marshland, mudflat and estuary is such a rare and enchanting place in Swansea.
That is when I find myself in places where I have been and where I am at now, I feel so lucky. Staring up at the ceiling as I lay in my bed, with thoughts racing through my head; I can hear the wind blowing through the trees and the faint sounds of waves as they struggle to push and resend. We are in the new house and my being is awakened within my heart.
No longer do I struggle to search for the answers; because now I know I was meant to be here. A lot of the time has past and today, I know there more answers than questions. I love Swansea. It’s as if I am a part of Swansea now and just maybe it’s a part of me too.
The sheep upon cliffs along it’s stride,
The sand caresses their side,
Grazing the hills to and fro,
Nor even a care where they go.
While the days gently float by,
Underneath this Welsh sky,
It’s as if the waves start in the heavens,
Makes my heart open.
On days like these,
Across this Celtic sea,
Everything feels ok,
I have come to terms with the day.
I’ve spent enough time on the other shore
This is home now; smiling and happy,
I’ll be in Wales from now on
Here asleep at night in my own bed,
Safe together; dreaming about us
Next to you; where you stay
Still within my head.