Shopping and Nightlife

‘So,’ says Ma, ‘are you any closer to the shops?’
There’s a petrol station about a mile and a half away and we’re fifteen minutes closer to Carmarthen which is still some twenty-six miles away. Ma, who’s still recovering from her accident, adores shopping, but will have to be content with her next-greatest passion, gardening, when she comes to stay with us in few weeks time.

The ongoing boiler saga aside, Tom and I continue to be thrilled to bits with the location of our new home, but it’s very tucked away, as the photos show, and wouldn’t suit anyone looking for shopping malls, pubs and clubs and a choice of restaurants and theatres. What many people would regard as essential services are thin on the ground and as for transport links? Well, it’s off to Carmarthen or Aberystwyth for the nearest train.

Fortunately with Lily and Russ living at Cardiff Bay we have the perfect excuse for a city break. Last weekend we stopped off for a quick fix of shopping at the retail outlet at Sarn Park before catching up with Lily and Russ in Cardiff. We were there for our Christmas present from Lily and Russ, a trip to the Millennium Centre to see the Welsh National Opera’s staging of Puccini’s Turandot. Okay, so three hours of Puccini isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but this was a stonking production and I had a brilliant time and a very good ice cream. Thank you Lily and Russ for looking after us so well.


Posie said…
It looks such a perfect location Chris and reminds me of happy memories of so many holidays spent in Wales. No shopping malls here either...but fantastic online shopping ;-)
Frances said…
Chris, I think your being so far away from commerce is marvelous! Glad that your Ma is able to come visiting, particularly during what must be a fabulous time to discover what's actually growing in your garden.

Having written the above, I admit I am curious about how you all manage to keep milk, and other staples in the house. Is there any sort of delivery service or bus service that links your area to the city 26 miles away? Do folks ride bicycles?

Aren't I nosy? xo
Fennie said…
I have to confess to being a Carmarthenophobe. For some reason as I progress westwards it always seems as though I am falling off a cliff; abandon hope all ye that get much further than Bridgend, sort of thing. By the time I reach Carmarthen I have a distinct feeling that I may never see home again and my life will be lived out in an eternal grey aspirationless monotone.

But then of course Carmarthen is a bit like the sound barrier. Press through that barrier of the ruins of endless dairy farms and quota-derived heartache and you're through into the sunshine again. Pembrokeshire, the Ceredigion coast, Aberystwyth are all quite fun. I spent many happy hours in Pembroke once and even have a signed photograph of the castle to prove it. I have even travelled by tug up the Cleddau estuary and back. So I am sure you are living in the sunny uplands of a blessed spot but long may your remain your 26 miles from Carmarthen.

Incidentally your spell check says 'ainglued' - the sort of thing you might find written on the back of an Aberdeen envelope, perhaps?
Debs Carr said…
It sounds like my idea of heaven. It's rather difficult to be too far away from people over here on an island 9 x 5 miles.
HelenMHunt said…
You've certainly picked a fantastic place to live.
Diane said…
Ftsouthwark from Twitter here - in other words Diane...
Your latest blog sounds like my idea of heaven - as a previous person commented - who needs shopping centres or malls when you can shop on-line and the main staples of life - as long as you have a big freezer and store cupboard I would be fine - every day staples - bread could be made or bought and put in the freezer - milk too I believe can be put in the freezer these days too if not buy the cartons of Longlife milk which has a long shelf life of about 4 no probs in the food dept from what I can see...
Green with envy...Diane xxx
Preseli Mags said…
I think it looks fab - I vaguely know where you are having passed by there many times when I was a student at Aberystwyth. It's a lovely part of the world - who needs shopping malls?!

How fabulous to see Turandot too. What a lovely present. It's a bit of a blood-thirsty opera, but there's some great tunes.

But what's all this anti-Carmarthen thing from Fennie? Carmarthen's lovely. The BEST car park in the world (last time I was there I parked between an Aston Martin DB9 and a Porsche). And it's got a lovely new shopping area now. Don't anyone listen to Fennie, Carmarthen's great!
Chris Stovell said…
Posie, I'm preaching to the converted with you, aren't I?! The online shopping has its advantages, like not having to trawl round shops, but I try to keep a lid on it for the sake of my bank account.

Frances, Ma's going to love the garden and I'll be glad to have the benefit of her considerable knowledge. The petrol station sells basics and there's a small town about 9 miles away from us, but it's easier to just travel and stock up. Saves on petrol too. You need good strong legs to ride a bike round here - it's very hilly - and the last time I rode my bike in public some lorry drivers shouted ' a bit wobbly, love' at me which put me off a bit!
Chris Stovell said…
Fennie, I think Mags has responded on behalf of poor old Carmarthen! I love living in this part of the world; yesterday we went to Cardiff which is 100 miles away and nearly two hours by road, we had a great time being in the heart of the city and then returned to this lovely stretch of the coast. You certainly don't get those dramatic contrasts in the busy south-east of England where I grew up.

Debs, I've never been to Jersey, although we sailed to Alderney so I had a glimpse of the Channel Isles. Hopefully, I'll see more one day.

Helen, thank you. Just hope I'm not sounding smug - I'm just happy here.

Diane, hello, lovely to see you! For now, it's glorious living somewhere so peaceful, what I've been looking for. I can see there will be a time when I'll need to move closer to a city, but right now it's brilliant. Thanks for your comment.

Mags, you'll have to come over and see, please? Yes, Turandot is very blood-thirsty! 'Nessun dorma' isn't quite so romantic-sounding when you put it in context and the first act of this production was particularly chilling. it was a great evening, but, yes, as you say, quite strong stuff!

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