|Rhubarb! Who knew?|
There’s damp in the air as the taxi deposits us outside Slice, a thin wedge of a building perched on a hillside in Sketty, but there’s no dampening our spirits as this is an occasion we’ve been looking forward to for weeks! It’s our wedding anniversary (twenty-one years) and we’ve managed to book a table at this tiny (just 16 seats) and impressively reviewed restaurant. We get a friendly welcome from one of the two chefs who own and run the business before being shown to our table upstairs by the equally friendly and knowledgeable waitress. We opt for the six course tasting menu and the accompanying wine flight so all we have to do is sit there, enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and wait to be served a series of delicious treats. Every course is clever, innovative and perfectly cooked, but the roast turbot and langoustine with burnt leeks, radish and langoustine beurre blanc is one of the most sublime dishes I’ve ever eaten. And who knew rhubarb could be so amazing? The vanilla cheesecake, poached rhubarb and rhubarb sorbet served with a pink Moscato is a revelation. It’s a wonderful evening and we walk back to our hotel on a night that sparkles with rain feeling happy, content and already planning our next visit
We spend the next two days catching up with Rose, Lily and their families. Time, as I always forget, flies by with small children so it’s early evening before I check my phone and see a message from my niece. Ma’s fallen over rushing to catch the post and is in A&E being stitched back together. After an initial panic, it seems that Ma has actually got off relatively lightly (discounting the 10 stitches in her elbow and three in her hand). ‘Everyone keeps telling me how lucky I am not to break any bones,’ Ma grumbles - quite rightly - ‘but if I was that lucky, I wouldn’t be in this state.’ After only two days, Ma walks to her local newsagent to buy her favourite magazine, ‘well, I can’t just sit around,’ she says. And not for the first time, I give silent thanks for the resilience and determination which make her such a strong, independent woman.
Having been blown away once by a named storm, and in spite of a few mutterings about coronavirus, the Llanelli Half Marathon is set to go ahead. Tom drops me and Helen near the start, but no sooner have we left the car when we’re hit by a deluge of freezing rain.
We struggle with our plastic ponchos as they flap in the wind and we’re both drenched through and have wet feet and cold hands before we’ve even begun. It turns out to be good preparation for what lies ahead; there are stretches of the course when I can barely stay upright, let alone run so being blasted with hailstones as well seems a particularly brutal touch. Helen and I run our own races but, finding ourselves neck and neck at the last mile, we decide to cross the line together. It’s a particularly joyful moment. I’m delighted with my official result (2:11:59 seconds - and no, I’m not rounding it up) and I’m very, very happy to have laid the ghost of my accident to rest. I’m up again. And running.