I’m not particularly Welsh-centric. For that matter, I’m not in the least bit Welshaphobe.
It’s not so much I’m indifferent as I’ve never really thought about it
But actually, as an important member of our church group (a proud Welshman) prepares to fly out for a new life in Canada, it occurred to me that Wales has played a surprisingly significant role in Sophie’s life.
And here’s how.
Just days after discovering she was pregnant, my wife was charging her way up Snowdon, much to the horror of her parents who were terrified about what could go wrong.
A couple of months later, in the midst of my 3 Peaks Challenge event, it was exciting to receive a text from her explaining she had first felt our unborn child moving around while we were motoring through Snowdonia.
Then, for the New Year celebrations, we were back in North Wales, this time the wet and windy climes of Rhos on Sea to celebrate my parents 30th Wedding Anniversary. Fortunately, it wasn’t all wet and cold. My now heavily pregnant wife took advantage New. Years Eve sunshine to scoot up Great Orm. It was a trem-orm-dous (sorry) achievement.
This was all before Sophie officially arrived!
After she was born, we gave her a brief time to settle before exposing her to the Welsh elements. But expose her we did and on our wedding anniversary last July, we planned our first night away from her, staying in a lovely hotel. She was having an even better time back in Snowdonia, staying with her Mama and Grandad in a fixed caravan. All went well. Or at least it did for Grandad who got a bed all to himself while Mama slept in the main room next to Sophie!
Following this, we spent a lovely week in Tenby, soaking up the South Wales sunshine, visiting old haunts from my childhood and exploring the stunning cliff top scenery. Sophie loved it. We also had to drive the long way back through the length and breadth of Wales in order to get home. Epic distance!
When you factor in that the husband of Sophie’s godmother is also Wales, there’s been quite a heavy influence on her life. Not that she’s belting out Land of Our Fathers or going dragon hunting just yet. She doesn’t even really like pork and leek sausages. Although her hair is starting to look more and more like the Alice band style of Gareth Bale.
We’ve not got any trips to Wales planned with her for a little while. It’s probably going to be a helpful recuperation time!
NB: I wrote this post in tribute to our good friend Gareth who leaves for Canada and his wife in six days. Good luck and God Bless!