We went to Aberystwyth for the day yesterday. It's a little seaside town on the Mid West South Wales coast, about sixty miles away from where we live. In our family it's been almost a ritual that at least one day in the year is singled out for for the pilgrimage to Aber. My O/H when he was little, used to go with his mum, sisters and brother. His father was usually unable to leave the farm. It was a time of great excitement - the brown cardboard suitcases, buckets and spades and all the paraphernalia you had to take on the train. They used to stay at Mrs Roberts' guest house, not the last word in comfort, but who cares when you're ten - and that's long gone. An empty weedy space where the house once stood.
And then his mum and dad used to take our children and my sister-in-law's children when they were little. Mum and Dad retired from the farm now and time out to spend with their precious little grandchildren
And yesterday we sat on the bench with my sister-in-law and wondered where it had all gone.
It was a lovely time. Most of the families had gone home and the college students not yet started. The place was all but deserted except for a few oldies like us. You could breathe in the bracing sea air and feel it doing you good. The seagulls dive bombed any titbit of food they spotted on the pavement.
We watched a lone black headed gull, surfing the waves and then suddenly disappearing beneath them to come up a few seconds later with a wriggling fish in it's mouth. That gull had a good dinner yesterday.
We leaned over the rails and looked down into the rock pools. If you look closely the pebbles and colours of sea algae are amazing.
Along the promenade there was a strip of deep blue salvias in a concrete rectangle. The bees were collecting almost the last of the nectar before they go. I love salvias. Must buy some seeds and sow them when I get home, ready for next spring.
Do you have a special place of happy memories? Everyone should.