Aberdovey in West Wales is one of Jane’s favourite places on the planet. I knew this before we got together, as she had written about it many times in her personal blog. I really admire her writing and it was pieces like Postcard to the Seaside that got me hooked. Read it and you get an intimate insight into her love affair with this pretty town/endless sand combo. And since we have been together, Jane has regularly waxed lyrical about what going to the seaside really means to her. It’s THIS place.
So, I have to admit to a mixture of emotions when the opportunity came up for us to take a long weekend in Aberdovey. I was excited to share this oh-so-special spot and I could see the excitement grow in Jane. But equally, there were question marks. What if I didn’t care for the place? What if my natural contrariness (yes, I confess) led me to come across as somewhat lukewarm? What if I, in some way, spoilt it for Jane? This wasn’t just a place that she had visited before (as I had with Tuscany, which was new to Jane). This little resort at the mouth of an estuary has its tendrils tightly entwined around MsMc’s heart. And to me, never having visited, emotionally it meant nothing.
So, in terms of my titular see-saw, my relationship with Aberdovey was sitting high in the air, whilst Jane’s seat was firmly planted to the ground. But very soon after arriving, I found myself tiptoeing towards the pivot point. Lovely accommodation on the seafront with a stunning view over the estuary, warm sand between the toes and a picture-postcard row of multi-coloured properties. It would be easy to imagine Dylan Thomas’ Captain Cat in any of these homes. So … aesthetically, at least, it was ticking the boxes. But interestingly, my route along the balance beam was guided (unconsciously, I might add) by stamping my own sensibilities on the place.
What do I mean by that? Well, for instance, I love hill-walking. I always find myself trying to get a little bit of height to enhance the views. So I picked up a map and we marched through the back of the town and up into the hills. This was new to Jane and we made slow progress as we frequently stopped to admire the vista across the dunes, the river mouth and the coastline south to Borth. It felt like we were part of the weather system that was rolling in from the Irish Sea – fabulous!
We also sated our appetites and quenched our thirsts at establishments that Jane, usually flying solo or with daughters in tow, would have previously skirted past.
After 3 lovely days, I understood Jane’s relationship with her favourite spot, but also claimed a perspective of it for myself.
And in this way, my end of the see-saw gained heft.
And I can’t wait to book our next trip back.
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