This is home. On the very tippy-toe of Wales. A few brisk strides takes you to the shore. The road ends here. Next stop: Ireland.
They call this place Little England Beyond Wales, because it’s in Wales, but not really Welsh. I don’t speak Welsh, I don’t know anyone else who does. Pembrokeshire people are a kind all their own. Perhaps more akin to the Irish, many of whom settled here in the glory days of the dockyard which was the heart of the town. They are laid back, curious, kind, lazy, feisty, and friendly.
I’m not most of those things. But then I was born here, but not bred. I have no Pembrokeshire in my genes – but I do have it in my blood. This is home. I never realised that more than when I was away. Four long, long, long years. I denied it fiercely, the whole time, but I was homesick. Dreadfully homesick. For the kind people. For the startlingly green landscape. For the sea, warm enough to swim in during summer, and for the surfers who congregate here. For the soft rain that blankets us five days out of seven. For the crazy snaking roads and lanes, and the summertime tourists in their caravans and VW’s. For the castles, their walls and fortifications forming the skeleton of the county. For the landmarks on the way home from any journey, 50 more miles, 30 more, 10, 5. The easing of my spirit, and the singing of my heart as we get closer and closer. The sense of fit, of belonging, of home.
The only place in the world I ever want to be.