On his birthday.
On his birthday.
On his birthday.
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.
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.
I traveled to Wales, and one of my favorite places was Rhossili Bay. It was somewhere I could feel again, where I was to heal. I only knew one person here in this place; wondering if he could take on my being; this empty, fragile soul. I was in need of replenishment of self love, companionship; and so was he I think. Discovery would be a part of the process, our healing process would be a journey, it would be our return to really living.
Most of spend so much of trying to do more and be more so our lives; will have “purpose” when really, our only purpose should be to simply love and be loved.
He helped me heal, saving me from myself. There was not anything that I did not love about him. We had traveled all summer; experiencing different cultures and places. He taught me things and gave me confidence back in myself. Together, we became best friends, companions for life, both of us filled each other with so much life and love in both our lives. From then on, there was nothing missing in our lives.
We married. And now because of love, I am the girl who found pleasure in life again. Wales is a place where we found beauty in everywhere; even in everyday living. It’s perfect here, yet I am far from perfect but as I am learning: healthy means more than physically well.
Wales is mentally and spiritually fulfilling. It has become a positive in my life; it’s where I found love again.
Love has become a great influence in my life and In each moment, by day and by night, I find myself immensely happy and celebrating being here. However, “here” is more than I could ever imagine; what love would become like, how it would look – but then I never imagined things could be this good. Funny how life works, isn’t it?
Rhossili Bay, The Gower, Wales
Rhossili Bay curves along an arc running northwards from the village. The sandy beach is three miles (5 km) long and is backed with sand dunes. Locals refer to the beach as Llangennith Sands. Behind the beach just north of the village is Rhossili Down with the highest point on the Gower Peninsula, (the Beacon), and a number of prehistoric remains. It is between Rhossili Down and the beach proper that the Warren is found.
At the southern end of the Bay is the small tidal island called Worm’s Head. At the north is Burry Holms. These islands are accessible at low tide only. Also at low tide, it is possible to see the remains of several shipwrecks, wood from the wreck of the Helvetia being the most prominent when looking north from Rhossili. Worms Head consists of two islands, Inner and Outer Head. Outer Head reaches 56 metres in height (184 feet), Inner head 47 metres (154 feet).
Rhossili Bay featured in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, a youth choir began a cappella performances of “Bread of Heaven” live on the beach with was broadcast at the Olympic Stadium. The bay has been used as the setting of New Earth in the sci-fi show Doctor Who and the bay including the Old Rectory was used in Torchwood: Miracle Day. In 2014, it was voted the UK’s number one beach, third best in Europe, and 9th best in the world, by TripAdvisor users.