Retreating to Wales

I have just got back from a long weekend in Wales.  I packed myself off to stay at the Ty Newydd Writer's Retreat  This was a real treat of a weekend for me as it ticked several boxes.
The opportunity to just shut myself away and focus on some projects was pure luxury.  I did momentarily pause and think that I could have just done the same thing at home.  I knew, however, that if I was at home I would find things to faff with.  I would be out in the garden, doing house chores, sewing, talking to the cats and fitting writing around every day life.  This  long weekend away let me do whatever I wanted but without the general distractions around me.  This was a good plan, I had some writing projects I wanted to work on and a talk to put together.
The reason for going to this particular centre are many.  Firstly it offered the opportunity I was looking for in a part of the country that I love.  Secondly the main house was the home of David Lloyd George who's political history is significant during the First World War and as one of the founders of the Welfare State.  He grew up mainly in Llanystumdwy and made his home here, at Ty Newydd, in his later years.  This once simple farmhouse was added to by Clough Williams Ellis.  As regular readers will know I love the work of Williams Ellis so I am being rather predictable by wanting to stay here.
Most important of all though was the peace of the area.  As I drove into Wales along the country roads lined with trees I feel like I relax a little more with each mile I travel. I know around the Portmeirion area well and I have driven past Llanystumdwy often.  I have visited David Lloyd George's grave previously as that too has been added to by Clough Williams Ellis.
The grave is just down the road from where I was staying and it is a stunning location.
It has a simple peace to it that just cannot be described.
It embodies the perfect blend of formality, reverence and yet not upsetting the landscape it sits in.
The grave is perched on the side of the river valley,
with all the recent rain the river was loudly rushing by.  I sat for quite a while and listened, breathed and relaxed further.
The landscape in this area is green and tree-filled.  I made sure I found time to go for a walk or two.  I needed to breath in the trees.  I've been reading about 'Forest bathing' recently and realised that I had been doing this for years without knowing it had a name.  There is something about connecting with nature, with walking and resting and staying and being, that makes a huge difference to me. 
We have had a lot of rain recently and so everywhere felt very lush.
As I walked I stopped for moments to enjoy how nature refuses to give in.  There were many oak trees along this part of the road, bursting through the walls.
I found a couple of cows.
I turned a corner and there was Criccieth ahead, my destination on this walk.  I wandered into the town centre and found tea and cake.
I went down to the sea front to wave hello at Dylan's Restaurant another Williams Ellis design.
Then back along the lanes I walked,
back towards the house,
and back to the tasks in hand for the weekend.  I wrote, I read and most importantly I was stilled.

I think you can be sure I will be doing this again.