What is real and the kindness of strangers…..

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This photo was taken on Wednesday night, from the top of one of the mountains that nestle the valley, where I have chosen to put down roots and make the next chapter of my life. I have found a little apartment in a 17th century converted coach house, on an estate and working farm, in the depths of rural North Wales.

I am aware, as one of life’s ‘cliff leapers’, that I may not always have all my ducks in a neat row, but I have faith and trust in what is meant to be. I was drawn here, (never having been to the area before), and as soon as I drove over the mountain range and saw the valley stretching out before me, with the little medieval town in the middle, my soul spoke the words ‘You are home’.

My new home

With much gratitude to the loving support I have had, I came into land last Saturday and a few things happened in quick succession. My original choice of apartment felt all wrong as I unpacked my car and stood in the middle of the main room. My warm spirited landlord caught on very quickly and I was moved to another apartment on the estate. As I spruced the place up and settled in my laptop died, my phone struggled with any mobile signal at all, the Wifi signal was faint (that is being kind) and nothing electrical in the place worked. I have not collected my belongings from David’s yet, so I had very little that was familiar around me. The care agency work I was assured was a doddle to get into, is anything but, and I awoke the next morning to a cold feeling of ‘Oh what have I done…’.

OK, I thought, this is fear and I will acknowledge it, but not sink into it. I have been stopped in my tracks for a reason, but I am very definately in the right place. The fear is not real, what has gone before is not real, for it is in the past, and my imaginings on what might happen next are not real either.

What is real is what I tell myself and how I tackle this. I am capable and I have my smile..I can climb mountains.

My landlord on various visits has sorted my sparkly clean washing machine, which I can now set the dials on and start with a ball point pen…he’s ordered me a new button. The oven is now functioning (it had a dicky timer) and is sparkly clean. My laptop is fixed and I have made friends with the friendly man in the computer shop in the town and a lovely lady who runs a cafe nearby. Rachel lent me her laptop and let me sit in her cafe for hours on end as I job hunted. I have sussed the water timer and I can have hot, deep soaks in a sparkly clean bath. The sparkly clean theme now runs throughout my whole place and it made my landlord smile when I texted him a friendly warning to wear shades to combat sparkliness when he next visited. He is also buying me a Wifi booster. I am starting to get to know my neighbours, as there are forty odd places all rented out on this estate. Some are in the main hall and others in the coach house, stable block and assorted cottages and farm buildings dotted about.

Midweek, a visit to my Mum and Dad, who now live less than an hour away, was much needed. Mum got my washing done, fed me, sat me down to watch an escapist film and sent me back home with all sorts of goodies. That was real.

The job hunting has clarified something for me and I think it is based on all the blessed forms to be filled in and hoops to be jumped through…I am a self employed lass at heart. So I have created some handmade cards and started advertising myself as a ‘Home Service’…think Mary Poppins. Anything from cleaning to decorating, right through to cooking and baby sitting. I had a think you see and what is real are the things that I can do right here, right now. I can do accounts and finances, but why would anyone let me loose on those when I am in a foreign country and I am an unknown? If I start by being of service; work, smile, gain trust, talk to folk and get to know those in this farming community, then I can expand my services.

With the kindness of strangers; my cards are being handed out, helpful tips are being shared (along with some much needed local knowledge), decorating work is being promised, I was given a yummy piece of chocolate cake lovingly made by a neighbour’s young daughter last night, I have been gifted a beautiful rose bush for my patio, along with a thoughtful lavender plant (they are alongside a pale pink geranium from my Mum), friendly greetings are called out as I go about my daily tasks, invitations are being issued for coffee, dinner, a visit to the top balcony on the coach house (the views are breathtaking), advice for joining local business groups and I have been driven up one of the mountains to see the valley from there. Kindness is flowing….

What is also very real here are the views from several five bar gates. I can see the cows and sheep in the fields, each afternoon I can hear the cows in the wooden barn opposite me, hear the fountain playing through my kitchen window and each evening I watch the swallows flying in formation and calling to each other as they cool off in the evening breeze, just before the bats start to fly in the dusky evening sky.

I am home.

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30 thoughts on “What is real and the kindness of strangers…..

  1. What you clearly are is very brave. I know what it is like to move a long distance from your previous setting in terms of routine, life-style and friends and it is a big leap with some unexpected side-effects, all detailed with your normal guts, acceptance and humour. Wherever you are, I am sure you light up the lives of those around you

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  2. Jane,

    There are some native Welshmen on my poetry site. It sounds like a truly magical land. Having read this beguiling story of your settling in, I am doubly convinced of the magic of Wales.

    You spread sunshine wherever you go.

    sarah

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    1. Thank you Elena and I am surrounded by lovely people here…there is much support, laughter and banter going on. ❤

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  3. O, Jane, sometimes the best fun we can have is in getting our hands dirty. More than once, I’ve found untold blessings in the simple act of putting one dish after another in the pantry. Those who’ve been in that place are silently envying you the joy! ❤ There's something absolutely wonderful about a clean plate. 🙂 I love you……

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    1. Oh Bobbie, yes, joy in simplicity and long may it continue…you would love where I have landed and there are different opportunities opening up…I just need to harness my courage and step forward…I hold you in my heart, always ❤

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  4. Oh you really do have a special cape Jane, one which has taken you home. I do so hope this works for you; your place looks and sounds absolutely beautiful. It looks so very “you”. Im so happy for you and privileged to be accompanying you on this exciting new journey. There is so much good waiting for you here Im sure of it. Sending much love and big hugs. ❤️ Xx

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    1. Your never ending support and love is a gift Chris and I am so grateful for it….much cape flicking going on at both our ends. I hope you had a lovely holiday with the grandkiddies? Much love ❤ and funky teapot hugs coming to you.. xXx

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      1. Spending time with the grandchildren and time in general with all the family is the big positive I brought home with me Jane. But there was also a learning experience for us all; Center Parcs is mot the place for me anymore. We went two years ago but my mobility has worsened since then and being surrounded by all the activities and people doing them just left me feeling more disabled than ever. I had a couple of meltdowns which my older daughter talked me through ( I am blessed with a psychologist daughter!). And my younger daughter got very upset for me which turned into anger for MS and then I felt sorry for her. You can see all the ripple effects here. So we will go somewhere completely different next time.we are all learning. ❤️ Xx

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        1. My darling Chris, I think you are very brave and show real courage. I can only imagine the ripples that your changing illness have on life for you and those who love you. I had a thought the other day …. we are changing all the time. Our cells are changing even as I type this and you read it…our twenty year old bodies are gone, as is our body from a few moments ago. It’s a dicotomy isn’t it, that we resist change in our lives, when change is all around us. I know one thing, you will find the gifts within this and light the way for your loved ones and others facing the same challenges. I love you. ❤ xXx

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          1. We fight against the only constant don’t we? We need to learn to surrender to change but it is so much harder than it sounds. You are so right, everything is always changing; paths to acceptance keep being re-laid don’t they and we just need to keep walking them. ❤️Thank you for all your love xx

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  5. Oh Jane, we are quite a group of girls, you and I. You see, I have the job and no home.. you have the home and no job. How silly is that? Too bad we can’t meet in the middle. There’s that blasted pond!
    Sending love and many hugs,
    Jeannie xxxxx

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    1. Aaww Jeannie, we are cheering each other on, as we always do. Click those sparkly red shoes of yours my lovely, and I’ll flick my cape…Much love and many hugs for you. ❤ xXx

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    1. Dear Diane, it is lovely to hear from you, as always. You would create here, like the clappers! It is right up your street. Sending much love and many hugs to you across The Pond. ❤ xXx

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  6. Jane, this is delightful. What strikes me is how you’ve approached this adventure with such aplomb. Just like many a good novelist, you’ve carved out a scene to which any reader can take himself and see and hear and experience the things you are writing about. I, for one, kind of wish I was there in that charming town and estate myself.

    My absolute best wishes to you on this endeavor…and you are right, as soon as these folks get a chance to know you and your talents, doors will open wide.

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    1. Oh Al, my brother, thank you for all your kind words and the thoughtfulness behind them. I will keep you posted on developments. My builder neighbour has very kindly said that when he gets decorating jobs, he does not like to do them, so I can have them. He will also lend me his tools. The kindness of strangers. Another neighbour came to my door tonight, with tears in her eyes, to say that I had managed to capture the ‘feeling’ of this place and now she can see it through my eyes. There is a magic here, an unspoilt feeling, and I have a place where I can finally heal…I have been running for so very long. My love flows to you, always. xX

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    1. Hello lovely, thank you…can you send me your email, as I have been unable to contact you! Which will never do. ❤ xXx

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