Friday, 21 August 2015

How do you measure a year?

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand moments, so dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love.
--from Seasons of Love by Jonathan Larson from the musical Rent.

Well, my friends. It has been a year since we left England and moved to Cymru. Can you believe it? It has been a rollercoaster of a year with many ups and downs. Many things did not turn out the way we had planned and many things are better than our wildest dreams.

I am still not permanently employed, after a year of searching and applying for all sorts of jobs. Interviews--oh I've had 'em. Feedback? Well it was awesome. Aparently I am passionate and fascinating--just not what they were looking for.  For a while (a rather long while) this was incredibly hard. I was homesick. We were worried about money. I had nothing to do with my time. The winter was cold and we were trying to save on heating bills. I was home alone, cold and bored, frustrated and angry, sad and confused. It was only when i realised that I needed to stop fighting and give in that I began to relax. Maybe what was required of me was rest.  Maybe what was required of me was faith. Maybe what was required of me was trust in the belief that it would all be ok.

Then things started to get better.

My friend Priya who owns a two clothing boutiques in town needed some part time help. It wasn't regular, but it was work. I found that I really enjoyed it and it felt good to have something to do again. But not too much to do.

Then recently some friends asked me if I would be willing to tutor their two children as they were taking them out of mainstream school and were planning to homeschool them. Their children are (nearly) 7 and (almost) 9 and for one day a week i will go to their house from 10:00-2:00 and teach them literacy and maths. It is another part time paid job doing something I like and may lead to other opportunities. Or it may not.

And I am cool with that. Because this year has taught me that I don't need as much money as I thought to make me happy. We need a food and shelter and i need to be able to buy some craft supplies here and there and maybe a day out every once in a while, but mostly what I need to make me happy is friends. 

This was the part of my life that I was the most concerned with. I make friends really slowly. We lived in England for 11 years and took me most of that time to go from being a friendly aquaintence with people to a "Come over for dinner or let's go somewhere together"  sort of thing. It was only in the last few years of out time in England where i felt a sense of belonging and feeling like I was forging real, deep friendships. I had become very active in our local Quaker Meeting and had finally begun to find the sort of friendship I had dreamed of and now we were moving away. How was I going to cope far away with no friends and no job and nothing to do with my time?

This is where our lives have become more than I could have ever imagined. On our second week here we met Kathryn and Peter who were running a vegan information stall in town. They were so friendly and welcoming and the following Saturday we were at the Waverly cafe meeting other vegans, eating delicious food and chatting like we'd known each other forever. Straightaway we were invited to go on some day trips with the offer of a lift from Priya and we spent the day in the great outdoors hiking and picnicking--first to Caldey Island and then to Llansteffan where we picnicked in the shadows of a ruined castle by the sea.

The rest is history. Nearly every weekend we have something fun to do with friends. Outdoors if the good weather and indoors when the weather is too wet. We eat, drink, laugh and talk about serious subjects. We sing and dance and run a vegan outreach with free food 4 times a year. We discuss deep subjects like spirituality and then make corny jokes and groan.  We spread the vegan message by being healthy, happy people.

Last week a big group of us hiked from Stepaside to Saundersfoot.  You walk in the green of the woods then through some old rail tunnels that were dark and scary out to the glorious view of the sea.

It's a good life.

We are happy living here. We may not have what we expected to have but we have everything we could wish for.

We have each other and we have love.


  1. Wonderful post my friend!

  2. You nailed it, chickadee. One of my facebook friends said "they have each other" and they will always be happy.