The girl with the dragon tattoo lives in a remote cottage in the mountains of Wales

In this eleemosynary existence of a person who has had a
stroke, living on a pension of pittance, holidays are few and far between.

But when Amoret sets her bookkeeping target on something, it can happen.

She felt we all needed to get away for a change of scenery, but we are limited in that
we have three Border Collies as part of our retinue, making stays at five star
hotels non-existent (not to mention the extravagant and unaffordable cost).

The past two years we have gone to northern Wales to satisfy
the scratch to our getaway itch. And Amoret again found the perfect place for
us in Wales for the third year. Why Wales?

It’s close – 2 ½ hours.

It has seaside – Barmouth.

It has mountains, same shot, different time day – Snowdonia.

It has history – Castles (this one is Harlech).

It has food to be coveted – Anchor Inn’s leek sausage

(If I sound like an advert for the Wales Tourist Board, I’m not employed by them, although I would
like to sell them some of my photographs, one from Wales recenly used by BBC, if they would just get in touch).

So, what if you could find a place that was roomy and
interesting and safe for the dogs? And affordable?

Amoret did.

It had about an acre of fenced land around the remote
cottage, in the mountains, with a coursing stream that ran through the property.

Inside was everything you could want in a cottage – completely equipped
kitchen, satellite TV, BBQ , three bedrooms… etc.

More than all that is the feeling that you were at home. Or
was because I wish it were home?
Probably, but it still felt like I was at home.

Well-worn furniture, not tacky, but not designer-home new.

Easy accessible kitchen with all the gadgets you would have at home.

Comfy beds with satellite TV in the bedroom.

On the second night I could navigate within the parameters
of safety in the dark (and it gets dark in the wild mountains of Wales) without
leaving a wet spot next to the toilet, I was that at home. You know how some
buildings just give you a sense of comfort, a sense of smell like a faint
incense of childhood of known, familiar things? This was it.

It was during this holiday that I developed the third part
of my Swedish phase.

First, I was captured by the TV series Wallander…in
Swedish, with subtitles.

Then I talked like Swedish chef off the Muppets (hurdy burdi
hamburginsky bullski bůmm  sergudd) which
may been from watching too many subtitles.

Then I was absorbed in the Swedish crime thriller trilogy.
This just involved silent reading, but I couldn’t get enough of The Girl With
the Dragon Tattoo (and then the other two in three weeks after we got back – one character has a stroke) and
I still had time for walks with the dogs, taking some photos, seeing the
wildlife and cooking (not the wildlife) and talking with Amoret.

In other words, I relaxed. I felt good. Life felt good. I was in the driver’s seat of my life and the stroke, and its obvious effects, took a back seat.

That Amoret! She sure knows how to spoil me.


2 responses to “The girl with the dragon tattoo lives in a remote cottage in the mountains of Wales

  1. Lou, you may envy the gigs I go to but I envy the peace, relaxation and equilibrium you have developed in your post stroke life, each time I read your blog I feel you are more settled. I never seem to get more settled or relaxed, which seems to be the curse of my physical condition. I think not having a proper holiday in 5 years is also a big issue – you have inspired me to find somewhere to go (that I can be driven) next summer. If I haven’t found some way out of this terrible fatigue by the end of next year I fear for my sanity. My other point is amoret sounds like Gold – she is the most valuable thing in your world. Take good care of her.

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