les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Tuesday, October 04, 2022

A quick visit to South Wales

 Our flat in the centre of Bordeaux, conveniently situated very near to the railway station with frequent links to the airport, has a guest bedroom which Pat occasionally uses as an office when she needs to zoom. It is not sumptuously furnished, true, but the bed is large and comfortable and it came in very handy when Catrin came to lodge with us during covid confinement. However guests have been few and infrequent. 

So a couple weeks ago Pat went to Sussex to visit her family. She was able to see her sisters and some of her nephews and nieces and to refamiliarise herself with countryside where she grew up.

Last week it was my turn to fly off to Bristol airport to take the shuttle to Cardiff to see my sisters. They are ten and eight years older than I am, one lives in Cardiff and the other in the Rhondda valley no far from where we grew up.

One of the best things about visiting South Wales is to hear people speaking in my accent and dialect. I quickly slip into it myself. So at the airport I was very pleased when the driver of my bus asked me, ‘Where ‘ew going?’, then said ‘Cheers, pal’ when I’d shown him my ticket. I was heading home, where people say ‘Thank ‘ew Driver’ when they get on the bus and ‘Cheers Drive!’ As they alight.

It was good to spend time with my sisters, to eat British food for a while (I skipped a meal each day to compensate) and to visit Cefn Onn, a kind of arboretum park on the edge of Cardiff near my old homes, to see my first houses, and to visit Cardiff city centre. 

I didn’t get all the nephews and nieces in, but we’ve taken steps to better organise ourselves ready for next time. 

On the bus on the way back a man sat next to me and we chatted briefly. He was from Rome, living in Gorseinon and heading back to Roma for a wedding. A man sat slightly further forward started talking to the driver in Italian. ‘Don’t speak English, is it? Italian? I’m half Italian. My grandfather was Italian. We never knew him. I don’t speak it or understand It.’ she replied. My neighbour leapt - well, more liked leaned into action and reassured the chap that he was indeed on the bus to Bristol Airport.

At the airport on the way back I was able to meet up with a friend of long-standing. We talked for hours before he had to hurry off to his car and me to my plane back to be welcomed at the airport by the gang here.  

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