For some reason I'm finding it hard to put into words what a typical day in Wales has been like. I think because we have been here longer than we were in either Cyprus or Germany, there has been a lot more variation in our schedule. We have also made more friends and been involved in a church community which has kept us active in all sorts of ways. But for the sake of posterity I will do my best to describe a typical day in this beautiful country!
8AM Wake up, check on the cats/let them out, write daily blog post
Another reason our time here has been harder to pin down into one schedule is that we are taking care of cats, instead of the dog we had in Cyprus and the chickens we had in Germany. Cats are so much easier to take care of! As long as their food and water dishes are always full, the litter box is always clean, and we give them plenty of cuddles they are happy campers. We do let them in and out of the house throughout the day so they can play outside, but as it's gotten colder they are much more likely to stay inside curled up napping by the radiator.
I've also tried to stay in the habit of writing my blog posts in the morning. My creativity flows much better first thing in the morning, and my whole day goes much smoother when I start out with productivity. I've hit a few snags here and there when I've accidentally slept in, we've gone on an early adventure, or when our laptop went on strike and we had to wait to get a new one (and now we are trying to fix the first one) but for the most part this is my writing time for the day.
11AM Break the fast
Our intermittent fasting time has continued to run from 11A-7Pm while here in Wales. By 11 we are definitely ready to eat, so we whip up something quick and usually watch a show while we eat. We binge watched the whole series of the British show Gavin and Stacey when we first arrived, and lately we've been hooked on the American show The Goldbergs.
12PM-5PM Errands & Fun!
Once we are fed and happy we figure out what the plan is for the day ahead! We are trying to walk at least two miles a day so sometimes we just wander around to see what we find. There are walking trails everywhere, and sometimes they are really hidden and feel like secret passageways! If you really pay attention you can see they are all marked with little signs indicating it is a public path.
We've spent a lot of time walking along Providence Lane, the pathway that cuts across the village and takes us to the local Co-op (grocery store). We've been along this path in all sorts of weather - warm, cold, rain and shine! It gets a bit muddy after a big rain but mostly it's a pleasant walk. It's about 1.5 miles round trip to the store and back, and we go several times a week.
All sorts of activities have helped to fill up this time every day. Sometimes we go to a castle...
Sometimes we make it to a local beach... (I'm almost never wearing the right shoes for this, which leaves me walking around barefoot on the beach no matter the weather - luckily I don't mind!)
Often we have had one church activity or another taking up some part of the day if not this exact time frame...
No matter where we go we usually end up with some spectacular views!
4PM Hit publish on the blog post!
Regardless of what we do during our free time I hit publish on the blog post at 4PM, to stick with my 10AM US Central time posting schedule. (Except for when we did the fall back time change a week earlier than the states so for one week the time difference was only 5 hours instead of 6.)
5PM Tea Time
We've picked up a fun British habit during our time here in Wales - tea time! We noticed that every time we hung out with friends from around here that this was a very important daily ritual. Our time frame has actually varied quite a bit, but we have had tea almost every single day! Joel has learned to drink his like a local - tea with sugar and milk. I have learned to drink mine like it's actually a cup of instant cappuccino enhanced with sugar (and lately brown sugar - gives it extra flavor!) I don't care for tea (unless I'm sick and then with tons of honey) but I do love sitting down with a 'cuppa' every afternoon.
6PM-8PM Watch Castle
Ok here is where I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that we really have stuck to a schedule. Early on I discovered that one of my favorite TV shows of all time - Castle - is on here from 6-8 every single day. So unless we have had something more fun going on, we have watched it basically every single day! [I've joked to Joel that our time in Wales has been all about Castles (the buildings) and Castle (the show)]. The living room of where we are staying is super cozy so it's nice to hang out in here at the end of the day.
(Full disclosure: we actually only built a fire in the fireplace once, on my birthday, but it's worth showing off). During this two hour time frame we also eat dinner, I get my 100 push-ups in for the day during commercials, and I make sure the daily blog post gets spread around our social media sites.
8PM-Midnight Cwtch the cats (if we haven't already), social media, reading, relaxation
Perhaps one of my favorite parts of each day is cuddling with the cats! Or "cwtch" as the Welsh would say. They get as many hours of cuddles as they will tolerate in the evening, and they are so stinking cute! I love to sit on the couch and read my Kindle while petting the cats.
Another thing I've loved about this housesit? A bathtub that is deep enough for bubble baths! Joel went to the store without me one day and came back with some bubble bath and I was so excited. It's been amazing to sit and read in the tub in the evenings - the perfect way to relax before bed.
I usually head to bed around 11 so I can be asleep by midnight, and ready to get up at 8 the next day! This schedule isn't an exact accounting of our days in Wales, but it gets the gist of it. We've had a lot of holidays to disrupt the schedule - My Birthday, Harvest, Halloween, Guy Fawke's, Armistice, Thanksgiving - and weekends are always different of course. (And yes I count my birthday as a holiday, don't you!?) No matter what the particular days have brought, we have loved pretty much every single day in Wales! This is the first one that will be hard for us to leave.
At church yesterday morning we were given many hugs and a very heartfelt goodbye from everyone. This included a serenade during coffee hour! It was such a magical moment as every joined together in singing us a song about returning to Wales again someday. I almost pulled my phone out to record it but decided to live in the moment instead. I'm excited for what's next, but Wales and everyone we met here will for sure be missed!
(Except Steve. We won't have a chance to miss him yet because he his taking us on a road trip through Scotland for two weeks starting on Friday!)