The Search Continues
After several months in North Wales, I’m still searching for a permanent home and a local Asian grocery!
Next on my list of places to try for the latter was Llandudno – a town made momentarily famous during the lockdown for its most unusual visitors…
Revealing Hidden Treasures
After a week of every foul weather you can imagine, the morning dawned bright, sunny, and still. I seized the chance and ventured out.
Driving into Llandudno, memories of seaside towns from the past flooded my mind, and I was immediately struck by how pretty it is.
I fell in love with the elegant, sweeping long promenade fronted by baroque-style buildings, painted in pretty pastel shades overlooking the beach and sea. And although the pier – built in 1867 and the longest in Wales – is currently closed, it completes the idyllic scene beautifully.
The town is bounded on one side by a headland called The Great Orme, and on the other, The Little Orme.
It was the Great Orme goats coming down into town and ravaging a few gardens during the lockdown that hit the national media, delighting a struggling nation. (The goat theme continues!)
Interestingly, the name Orme derives from worm or sea serpent – I reckon that may be the Welsh dragon connection.
Stepford Wives and seals
When I visited Llandudno, I found the centre almost deserted, but thankfully, the food shops were open. Sadly, I had no luck finding an Asian grocery. But as it was such a beautiful day, and I had a house viewing later in Menai Bridge, I took the opportunity to meander back via the Little Orme.
To access the Little Orme, I drove through an alarming estate. Alarming because every house looked exactly the same, and each had a perfectly manicured garden. It looked as though someone cut the grass with manicure scissors! A shiver of Stepford Wives ran down my spine, and if not for my satnav, I would have got hopelessly lost.
Strolling up the Little Orme, I was delighted to see it virtually untouched apart from a few safety fences for those inclined to peer too far over the cliffs. I found a tucked-away, inaccessible bay where I could look over the cliff face to view myriads of seals sunning themselves below.
There were hundreds, and I watched delightedly as the seal pups galumphed along the pebbles on their bellies, wailing out to their soporific parents. Take a look at this picture. I challenge you to spot the seals – so well camouflaged, are they!
An almost tempting viewing
My next stop was Menai Bridge for the viewing.
Having driven fruitlessly around for ten minutes trying to find the place, the estate agent guided me in over the phone. As I inched down the tightest, narrowest, descending, unmade road I had ever encountered, the house finally came into view.
And what a place!
Though the house was not much to look at, required a lot of work, and, with five bedrooms, was too huge for me, the grounds were incredible. It even had its own waterfall!
There was an almost magical atmosphere with old derelict stone croft cottage walls, a stone plinth bridge crossing the stream, and sheep meandering around the grounds.
This property also had a public right of way through the garden with a corresponding lack of clear boundaries between where the public could wander and what was private to the occupier – a further negative for me.
While this one was not for me, I am certainly getting to see some fantastic properties in my quest. And Llandudno is undoubtedly a place I will explore further once restrictions ease.
When I returned home, I caught up with my friend Simon Weston, who came up with a great idea on the Asian grocery front, ‘ask a good Indian restaurant where they get their produce.’
Thanks, Simon, now why didn’t I think of that?!
If you have any further suggestions, please do drop them in the comments section below. All are gratefully received in this ongoing search 🙂
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