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Returning to my birthplace

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Last month, my brother, nephew and I took the train from Paddington, London to Swansea, South Wales to visit family and re-visit our old home and the homes of our grandparents.  It’s something my brother has wanted to do ever since we emigrated to Australia in 1971. I have been fortunate to return to Wales twice since that time, so on this occasion it was a pretty special time for us to return as siblings and to show my nephew where his dad grew up.

We decided to go First Class on the train which made the trip so much more comfortable.Image 50The trolley lady came around and we ordered tea/coffee/muffins/biscuits and chips (or crisps as they are called in the UK) as we hadn’t had breakfast and as I went to pay, I was told that the snacks are complimentary for First Class passengers. Yay…she came back about four times over the three hour journey but after the first visit we were too full to eat anything else.Image 51I booked a lovely Airbnb apartment on the fourth floor of a building at the Marina in Swansea which had great views of the water, moored boats and Swansea city.Image 35Image 63Image 62Most nights we walked out to the Marina area and had dinner in a local restaurant and in the mornings we either went out to a small cafe [where we had to take a photo of the HP Sauce that was on every table as that is what our mother used to put on our cheese sandwiches when we first arrived in Australia – a fond and humorous memory for us] or made breakfast in the apartment.

And a couple of nights after a full day out we went to the local supermarket and bought cheeses, bread, dips and other snacks to eat at the apartment.  It was quite nice to do that and spend time just relaxing and enjoying each others’ company.  Swansea is a small city really but it has some lovely buildings and the ruins of Swansea Castle which we walked past one day.Image 4Image 23Image 24Every morning I would be up very early and off on a walk around the local area – I loved the homes around the Marina where the owners have decorated their walls and balconies with colourful baskets of flowers.Image 10After my walk, it was time for my proper exercise for the day; a jog along the beach.  The beaches are very different to those we have here in Australia i.e. no real waves but I love them all the same as I recall times our mother would take us down to the beach with friends to sit on the sand [pebbles really] for us all to enjoy a day out.Image 67Image 63Image 21Image 61It was so nice to visit our birthplace!  And one thing more that was special for my brother, was a visit to Swansea Football Stadium where we asked for a quick tour of the grounds but were told the tours had already departed.  So we returned the following day and pleaded for a quick tour and it worked! Very kind of the staff.Image 28Swansea brought back wonderful memories for Mark and me and new ones for Braydon!Image 62

(my shoe prints embedded in the sand after a morning’s jog)