When we moved from Birmingham to North Wales, just over three years ago, I dreamt about Sunday afternoons. Those Sunday afternoons in the winter, where it is cold enough to see your breath but sunny, so everything seems to take on a magical sparkle. I imagined us wrapping up warm in hats and scarves and going for a walk, perhaps with the bikes or scooters, along the prom, before heading home for a hot chocolate, roast dinner and an evening of calm and chilling out before the new week started.
When we first moved here, we did it quite a lot. In fact, it wasn’t limited to just Sunday afternoons. We would be at the beach at almost every possible opportunity, and we all felt much better for it.
Life got in the way a bit over the past few months – pregnancy, lots of bad weather, school and a newborn didn’t make it easy to get out and about, and we got into the habit of hibernating. I realised just how much I missed the walks and how much they lifted my mood, and have been determined to get out more.
This time of year is my favourite in North Wales. Well, when it’s not pouring down with rain and flooding everywhere as it is at the moment, anyway. We are surrounded by hills covered in trees, which always look so beautiful when the leaves change colour. There’s often smoke rising up from the chimneys on the farms on the hill, and Gwrych castle sits up there, looking pretty and very picturesque. On a clear day, you can even see Snowdon from one part of the prom, with its peak covered in snow.
Sometimes, it can feel like a huge heap of hassle to get four kids dressed to go out, get the pushchair out of the car and unlock all of the bikes, but once we are out there, gazing out at the sea and the hills, it’s worth it.