Greetings from Wales!

After an uneventful flight and a 3 hour drive through absolutely gorgeous countryside at alarminly high speeds, we arrived at The Swan Hotel here in Hay-on-Wye, Wales. It is every bit as lovely as its website shows it to be, and the people here are taking marvelous care of us. Our room offers a fantastic view of the gardens, which have been sunny and bright (until about an hour ago, when it clouded up and the rains started.)

Still, I won’t complain (much) (because no one will listen, anyway) as we did have a lovely unexpected day of sunshine.

Hubs went off yesterday to meet and greet the company – apparently, the suggestion “it would be nice for all to show up to the meeting” got translated as “its manditory that all showed up to the meeting” so a jetlagged Pete pulled it together to give a short but apparently excellent speech to the company, and then was shuffled off to meetings for the rest of the day. I’m surprised that they let him in on the confusion, as it would have been a rather large boost to one’s ego to have so many show up (about 250 or so) when the typical turnout is only 50. I think he was relieved to have it done with, he was nervous (although he never, ever shows it.)

Meanwhile, I have been busy as well.

It was an interesting start. Many of the shopkeepers were friendly but reserved, and much of the clothing stores I popped into didn’t even greet me – they looked up, and continued their conversations. I wasn’t feeling very hopeful about the fact that they are used to outsiders moving in and thus are very friendly & easy to approach.

Walking down the street I saw a little sign for a fitness center called “Gym and Tonic“. That was enough to have me pop inside and get information (as, the way i’m eating here, I’ll need to join before I leave! How do the Welsh stay so thin with all these creamy salad side dishes. Nom nom nom….) but I digress. Where was I? (Jet lag, remember?)

Oh, Gym and Tonic. So in I go to find the worlds smallest fitness center. The owner was cheerful and helpful. After a tour and more chatting, she offered to help me with anything I needed once i settled in. She was also a non-local, and had been through the move-in-get-settled bit. It was such a relief to hear welcoming words, I can’t express it. And, though small (you work out by reservation – only 4 women are allowed at a time) I think it might be just what I need to get motivated. I’m sure I’ll be back!

I popped in and out of some more bookstores, made a few small purchases (good thing I didn’t pack my bag full). Did I mention how much I lurve books? I do, I really do. Also found another bookshop where, initially reserved, the shopkeeper jumped into conversation after a few questions, and proved to be very helpful and thoughtful. I do believe that moving here is going to push me outside of my ever so comfortable introverted personality. It makes my stomach churn to think of it – I’m just not good with meeting people…

What else…well, I blew up my flat iron on the first use. I think it warmed up, and 35 seconds into it, it just well, died. However, a local salon had a very posh pink one. I had to buy it! (well really I did, because it was the only one in town.) I’m looking at it as an investment, one Pete must appreciate (as otherwise he’d have to look at me in a frightening state the rest of the trip). I’d need one eventually.

One other thing I would need eventually is a phone, so I caved and purchased at a local phone shop. Pay-as-you-go, of course, because we-the-creditless-in-the-UK cannot get a phone contract! I was also sad to learn that O2, the service provider contracted to the iPhone, has no coverage here in Hay.

Anyone want to buy a slightly used iPhone? I’m crushed, simply crushed.

I rounded out my morning with a trip to the Estate Agent, a kind man at Russell Baldwin and Bright who was really helpful. I also popped into another estate agent, (who shall remain nameless) who was NOT helpful at all. I’m not much for name dropping, but it is apparently that I’m going to have to start introducing myself as “Mrs. Managing Director” if I want some people to help me out. I haven’t done it yet, as I think it is a better judge of a person’s character if I go in anonymous-like, and let them think me a normal person moving here. I decided to beg for help from someone who works with Pete – it seems his advance introductions are a happy medium – we get an introduction that says that we are serious but it doesn’t make me feel like a pompous eejit.

Lastly, I popped into the local Primary School. It is a lovely jumble of colors and activity, and I really think that both Sam and Maddie will love it there. The teachers were kind, and the preschool teacher asked for Maddie’s name so she could include it in what she needed to make up for the Fall Session. They even allowed me to take a few pictures, which will help ease the way for Maddie and Sam in terms of comfort.

All in all, I’m looking very hopeful regarding our pending move to this charming little village. It will turn us all upside down on our heads, but in the end, it will be very exciting.

But for now, the sun has popped back out for a bit and the rain stopped, so I think I’ll go in search of something to nibble on while I wait for Pete to return!


  1. Sounds like such fun, seriously!

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