Thursday, 14th July, 2016

I try to mention the good things which have happened to me each day on my Facebook Timeline, just before I go offline in the evenings.   But I’ve had so much to do over the last couple of days – a trip to Wolverhampton for one – that I was unable to do that.

I had a lovely chat with my friend, Ray Blackburne, while Rosie was at Bronglais Hospital for the surgeon to have a look at her poorly ankle on Monday.   As Ray and I put the world to rights, I had five phone-calls on my mobile-phone from “Unknown Number” (or something similar).   Each time I tried to answer, the calls just disappeared.

I was waiting for a text from Rosie to pick her up at Bronglais after her examination was over.   I became nervous when, after half-an-hour, she had not texted me to tell me to pick her up.

Ray, seeing what was happening, said the calls could be from the Hospital.   He said I should go and see what was happening.   And he was right.

Panic mounting in case something bad had happened to Rosie, not having heard from her via her mobile, I drove up there quickly.   And there, waiting at the main-door, was Rosie.   Nothing bad had happened.

Well, apart from there being no mobile signal where she was!   The Receptionist had kindly tried to contact me on the Hospital’s land-line to say Rosie was ready to be collected.

I’m grateful for that kind Receptionist – and to my friend Ray for his advice!

We now have a mobile-phone signal in our village!   It took five years for the mast which was built to be operational.   And, from our front-room, the first person I phoned to tell the good news was my daughter, Liz.

Rosie, though in pain from her osteo-porisis (? spelling) and osteo-arthritis, chose to go to see her brother and sister in Wolverhampton on Tuesday.   A brave thing for her to do.   We went via the not-very-smooth, narrow, meandering road through Cwmystwyth to Rhayader.   Hadn’t been that way for a few months – and I was gobsmacked by the sheer wild beauty of that length of the Ystwyth Valley.

Then, as we went down towards Rhayader, I saw one of my top-favourite views:  looking down on the lake and flatter fields at the other side of the Cambrian Mountains from where we live.

We drove on through Knighton and near Ludlow, each stretch of road presenting a new view of the beauties of the Marches.   We passed through five counties going that way.   Going along the road between Bridgnorth and Wolverhampton itself brought back many memories of our courting days.   We went out there on the ‘bus many a time, and discovered that we both loved the open countryside.

A warm welcome from Rosie’s relatives, a good chat, then home again via Shrewsbury, Welshpool and Newtown.   More lovely views, and the countryside became more hilly and, then, mountainous as we crossed Wales.

I have to mention that the English rain made driving on the M54 a time to concentrate on my driving through the wetness coming down and the spray coming up!

From the Plynlimmon Pass, I saw another of my top-favourite views, looking westwards on the big bends – and remembering that scene from the 1950s.   Sweet memories.

The last couple of miles, from Ffair Rhos to Pontrhydfendigaid, gave me a third look at another of my top-favourite views:  looking right across Cors Caron and the Teifi Valley.

Yesterday, our Liz came to visit us and – surprise, surprise – Grand-daughter Milly was with Liz when I arrived for the pick up in Devil’s Bridge.   My solo drive through Rhos-y-Gell brought me the usual sweet memories of times I’d spent on holidays there with my Mom and Dad, and Uncle Doug, Auntie Joan and cousin Susan.   Nostalgia is a hard emotion to carry.

Milly nipped into our house when we got there – and Rosie had a lovely surprise.   We hadn’t enjoyed Mil’s company for far too long, and the entire visit was one of nattering merrily away about all sorts of things.

On the return journey, Liz admitted to something which I did not know:  she has become a Nasty Leftie!  And she and husband Ian are both card-carrying members of the Labour Party now.   I assure you that I did not indoctrinate my daughter in my political views as she grew up.   She worked it all out for herself.

Again, driving back home, alone, through Rhos-y-Gell (“Marsh of the Grove”), my memories stirred.

I am so blessed with having a loving, caring Family and good friends.   And to live where I know I should live is a total joy.

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