Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Life's journeys

Our son Danny is now in Australia - for at least a year, possibly two, and then travelling to Thailand, so I don't know when we will be seeing him again.  It was very hard to say goodbye.  In the end, I didn't dare give him a hug or I would have lost it completely.  I suppose we should take some comfort from the fact we have helped give him the confidence to go.

Here he is, packed and ready to go, lookingmore than a tad tired after farewell-partying with friends over the weekend!

We are very proud of him for having stuck it in a job he loathed, for 18 months longer than he ever wanted to be there, just so he could save to go and work in Oz.  He has saved nearly £4,000 and that in itself is a great achievement, quite apart from also having the guts to take off into the unknown on the other side of the world.  He has his best friend Joe as a sidekick and I think they will have the time of their lives.  We will really miss him though . . .  Keep safe Danny.

Anyway, I needed to get out of the house to get my head in the right place again, so we had a day out yesterday.  We had to meet up with a friend yesterday in Haverfordwest to hand over a whip for restoration, so after tea and chat with him, we drove up the coast to the very edge of Pembrokeshire, and had a wander round Fishguard.  The above photo shows what was probably the original harbour area, or certainly where offloading was done as there was a huge warehouse in the inlet.

Anyway, going backwards, just after we had left Haverfordwest, I stopped to take photos of the rock formations above (and in the new header photo).  The dead bracken and probable Whortleberry twigs were the only colour in the landscape.

We stopped for lunch here, at this old Watermill, which now housed a small and welcoming cafe.  We opted for ham sandwiches (home cooked ham on home made bread) which came with a lovely side salad and crisps!  It was obviously popular with ladies wot lunch and my husband was the only male in the place!

Unfortunately it came on to rain whilst we were inside, so we couldn't properly explore the beautiful woodland at the back but I did get a few pictures of the Mill workings and leat.

There is just something about old mills - I love them, be they windmills or water mills.  I especially love stoneground organic bread flour to bake bread with . . .

The cascade of the mill leat was stunning.

There was a busy little stream close by, and I assume the mill leat was diverted from this higher up the valley.

Then we drove on to Fishguard.  I have to say it was a very quiet little town - perhaps in the summer it is much busier, as the Irish ferry sails from here so lots of people going both ways and more footfall around the town, but if you are a teenager there, I dare say you can't wait to escape!  These brightly-coloured houses reminded me of Ireland.

We had a wander round the antique shops and charity shops, before heading for home, x-country - the scenic route.  Except the rain was so heavy by that time, it hid the scenery!


The Irish ferry was just setting sail as we parked up at the old harbour.  Journeys - we have come full circle, but Australia is SO much further away than Ireland.

Update:  I was going to call this post Journey to the Edge of the World (with subtitles!) as we had gone to the edge of land.  In a Llandeilo Charity shop this morning, what did I see in the window but a book of that same title.  Strange . . . .   !!


  1. Good luck Danny ;), I am sure he will be safe. He reminds me of my son going off to Ghana for a year or so, my last good bye to him on that trip was outside the chemist clutching his insulin (which had only just arrived) as the car flew up, he grabbed the stuff and off they went to the airport, me pretty sure I would never see him again. That moment in time Jenny when you let them go is always full of tears xxx

  2. Here is a response for you from Australia. It isn't the other side of the world to us! It is however very hit here in Melbourne at the moment (43,42 and now 44 and 42 forecast for Thurs and Fri). I wonder where he has headed first. I can identify though with preferring to be in the same hemisphere as the people we love! Jean

  3. ...that was 'hot' but the heat does hit us!

  4. Jayview - bless you for that!! He's in Perth at present, with his cousin. Heading East for work in about 10 days' time - he is still in touch with some Australian friends he made on his Grand Tour in Europe, and they are going to put him and his friend in touch with jobs (fruit picking etc). We still have the ever-present Welsh rain, so he is going to think the temps are bliss.

    thelma - your comment has made me feel more positive. How must you have felt, with your son insulin-dependent in a foreign country. I think he will return full of traveller's tales, but it's a very emotional time for me right now. His father (of course) says Danny is just doing what HE did, at exactly the same age, only he joined the Army for his travel!

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  6. Being a Mum, especially when the chicks fly out of the nest to test their wings is very hard. If I may boldly say to you and DH. From the blog I read about both of you, and the upbringing you have instilled, your D will be just fine. You have placed strength, willpower, honesty, and the drive to set out. You and DH are the "rock" that D has built his foundations on. I wish peace upon you and DH, and safe sailing to D.

  7. denim - thank you for that comment. I would like to think that our support has made it easier for Danny to make this choice and follow it through. Raising children properly is never an easy job but perhaps we haven't made too bad a fist of it. Hugs to you.

  8. You must be feeling so much - lots of positives but negatives too. Big hugs from down here on the moor. xx

  9. ...and more from down here in the Forest !xx

    I know how it feels to see your grown up children head off into the unknown. You are right to keep busy and have some days out for distraction. Once Danny starts to make regular contact he will feel much nearer to you.

    The mill, with its waterfall and wheel look beautiful and must have such a history.

  10. It is hard to have your children so far away. But I am sure all will be well plus he has a friend with him.
    What lovely stream the photos were wonderful.

    cheers, parsnip

  11. Remember too that most folk in Perth were quite unaffected by those bushfires that may have been in the news there. Tonight Perth is 13 degrees cooler than us in Melbourne, though it will warm up again there soon. Lots of British folk in Perth - I am not sure how many are Welsh. Jean

  12. You must be going through so many emotions at the moment - being a parent is never easy and seems harder sometimes as sons and daughters get older. I'm glad he has a friend with him and these days with the internet it will hopefully be much easier to keep in touch with him. I am sure he will have the most wonderful adventures to share with you.

    There are some lovely photos from your day out and I loved the old mill :)

  13. R.Robin - I have calmed down a bit now and am happy he has Joe with him as when he travelled Europe, he was on his own and I did worry then. Glad you liked the photos.

    Jayview - BUSHFIRES?!!! No, hadn't heard about them, but have heard from Danny who has had his first Ozzie BBQ, first Kangaroo steaks in Os (we've had them here at home) and how he LOVES the Ozzie beer! We are English folk in Wales, but Danny was born here and counts himself Welsh rather than English (bilingual too, as we are in a Welsh-speaking county).

    parsnip - middle daughter is the nearest, being just 25 miles away in Swansea. Our eldest daughter is the other side of the country in Sheffield, but visits regularly. Wasn't the stream pretty?

    DW - at least we can stay in touch much more easily now, and I am VERY relieved that we had a temporary repair done to the phone line. Further up the valley they are still without and have been since 3rd January now.

    Em - thank you for the moorland hugs. I bought myself a little piece of Brixham pottery to cheer myself up on Tuesday - one with a Goldfinch on one side and a Kingfisher on the other.

    Thank you for all your support, both old friends and new.

  14. You must be feeling very relieved to have heard from your son by now. I am another from down under, but a lot further north than Jayview. Hopefully Danny will eventually work his way up to the Qld coast and the Great Barrier Reef - fantastic part of the country. Are you able to skype with him? Seems to be a wonderful way to communicate with loved ones on the other side of the world these days.
    I loved the photos of your day out. Cheers

  15. Robin Mac - thanks for that. Danny and Joe are just based in Perth so as to have a base with D's cousin for their initial few days. Then they are going to fly across to Melbourne, where he has friends he stayed in touch with since meeting in Europe in 2012, and they are going to point them in the right direction for work. They plan to gradually travel up the East coast, meeting up at some point with a 4th-ish cousin of mine near Brisbane. We intend to keep in touch by Skype, so that's another skill to learn (along with getting to grips with Netflix!)

  16. At least these days with technology you can keep in touch more easily and at least see him using skype. I hope your spirits pick up and good luck to Danny in his new venture.
    The old water mill is very pretty and I'm glad you enjoyed your lunch-sounds lovely, I really like it when a place makes a sandwich so much more than limp bread with cheap meat! P.S. well done BT lass!