So here we are. Wales, a pub called the White Lion, or is it the White Stag? Oh, it’s actually the Star Inn. The man behind the bar opened up for us – we were two minutes too early. He recently bought the place as an investment and has been renovating the rooms upstairs. His voice carries over the now hum of the pub, where we sit in the corner by a warming fire and pluck away at our keys.
I fear that the plucking of my keyboard disturbs the authentic and calm atmosphere of the pub, but no one seems to mind, so I’ll keep going. Today we visited ruins – spectacular, enormous, inspiring and terrifying ruins. A destroyed medieval castle, where a man with a greyhound was walking his dog, and an old abbey where dogs are no longer permitted. Part of the Abbey ruins morphed into a pub and bed and breakfast, merging these walls that have crumbled to the ground more than a century ago with the brews of the Brecon Beacons. Almost a week with minimal contact with the outside world (meaning anyone we actually know) was definitely not what I expected. It wasn’t a vacation of writing from dawn to dusk. It was an inspiration and a refresher with barely any words plucked on the keys. It was reading, and discovering new authors who can tantalize your senses. It was reviewing and finding new potential in the work I’m creating. It was experiencing new voices, accents, roads and ruins. It was digging in nature, and smelling the rain at night. It was waking up to a cat scrambling on the roof. It was startling the sheep grazing outside the door. It was freezing and overheating, and of course, getting really creative with meals.
Above all it has been pride and acceptance.