Saturday and a week here. It poured with rain, and we popped into the town for some shopping and got soaked. But I had the totally luxurious pleasure of reading the Saturday telegraph, sat on the bed and time to do it. What am I enjoying being home? Shops, familiar products and shopping, as I’ve said before, staff here are trained to be friendly, don’t care if they don’t mean it, it makes me realize how unfriendly Austrian ones are. When I need to ask something, I’m still rehearsing it as if it was to be in German! Mr Whippy ice cream. Understanding most of what is being said around me- we are in an international hotel. I’m still thinking I need to change the time zones, and suddenly realise I don’t! For a gluten intolerant person, I’ve found great ways of finding food for our picnicking. But eating out, the menus go from fish, chips, burgers, to all sorts of odd new dishes that I don’t even know what they are. English cooking has changed, no more gammon steaks, cottage pies, pie and mash, roasts, or am I more than a decade out?
We aren’t doing a lot, with no car, we’re fairly limited. Parks here have dogs off leads, and now Swingle has caught up on herself, she’s loving meeting lots of new dogs. Dave and I are picnicking with food, there’s a Coop across the road from the hotel. But I’ve had baked potatoes and cheese from a stand, wonderful!
We’ve explored all around the Cardiff bay area, and are fascinated by all the old feeder canals leading into Atlantic wharf, where they used to ship coal. Very little information, what a lost opportunity. I’ve photographed the whole network. We’ve been to Cardiff Bay, a huge tourist trap where Dr Who has been filmed. The huge shopping centre we’ve also explored, but thankfully for our bank balance and due to the dog, not much shopping. There are a lot of beggars, some of whom I think are fake, as they seem well dressed with phones. But one old guy, with tattoos on his face, who is out long before the others are up, I’ve given to several times.
Swingle loves the endless sniffs, other dogs and now is sleeping at night. The first few sleeps, she had us out in the early hours, maybe because her system was out of sync and she was drinking a lot too. She’s had more exercise than for years as we explore! We do think that the journey took a lot out of her. We had several broken nights where she began wriggling and tail wagging in the dark like when she needs to go out. And she did. But on one night, on the last we got outside and she just looked at me. The next time, I stroked her and comforted her, she jumped on the bed and settled. Panic attack? It’s still going on, but she is settling. She’s back to swimming at every opportunity, especially in the big park in Cardiff. Most embarrassing was when she did an enormous pee right out side Cardiff station, I make a point of helping her to find places to go now!
I’m soooooo looking forward to being in my own home, not just one room, getting my house ready, gardening, shopping for the house and having a car!
Sunday, we took the train to Barry Island, and Swingle had a ball. Sandy beaches, and she ran like a nutter, although not as much on her first trip in France. She’s seven now! She met so many dogs, who were also off the lead. She was in heaven. She did spoil it by rolling in seagull poo… The sun shone and we found a food caravan that did a gluten-free bacon and egg roll, I’d almost given up with such stands. Sheer bliss! Barry island was so quintessentially English holiday with crowds of people, glad I won’t be there on the Bank holiday! We looked for the railway to keep our street cred up with George, but it seemed closed!
So we will now be here until Saturday August 28th when we go to annoy George over the bank holiday. Cost a bit, but we haven’t had a proper holiday like this for over 14 years. We have to be out tomorrow as we have asked for housekeeping. Due to Covid restrictions, this isn’t done while the rooms are lived in, but you can request it. Doggy footprints on quilt and hair, so embarrassing. BUT I will be stripping the beds, after all my years of moaning when guests in our business never did it!
Monday has us wandering around Cardiff, washing off the dog in the river Taff as her coat was still full of salt! Trying to find somewhere to eat, all these odd sounding dishes that I have no idea if I will tolerate. Cant even do Greggs (which wasn’t here when we lived here).\ We found a hugely expensive cottage pie, when I just wanted a filling meal with all our picnicking in the hotel. When it turned up, it was the size of a small tea plate and about an inch deep. Roll on, when I, who hates cooking, can cook a meal I like!
Finally got my own UK account to send my pension to, just hope there are no more dramas, just moving into our new home!