Its always a pleasure to go to Wales . Memories of childhood holidays in Anglesea and Tenby remain clear and precious and any chance I get , I head west across the border ,  driving through the utterly glorious mountains of Snowdonia National Park.

My brother Dave used to go fishing to a spot near Abersoch , in north west Wales.  Its a beautiful spot , hidden from the tourist trail,  looking out onto an expansive bay . He loved it so much around there , that he brought a little house in a village called Aberdaron …just up the road from his ‘favourite place ‘  .  He never got to enjoy getting to know the house as his illness took him away far too soon.   When he died , we had a bench put up on a small area of ground overlooking the bay and each year I make the trip , armed with a bottle of wine and flowers , to sit with him and watch the tides together for a while .

When mom passed away  in 2016 ,  it seemed right to put her plaque next to Dave’s .   Now it’s the three of us watching the eb and flow of the sea as I sit and offer a toast to them both .  ‘ Just a spot’  mom would say when offered her favourite New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc . And so that’s what we do …. just a spot on our very special bench .

I took the trip this year on crisp ,  Autumn day .  The drive never fails to take my breath away . People talk about the golden colours in places like New England but this , to me , is just as good . Better , I think , because it feels more like home.  There is so much beauty on our doorstep  – sometimes we miss it in search of far away destinations .  Its rare, too, to be able to say that driving is a pleasure these days but on the winding , empty roads through a stunning backdrop like this, it really is a joy .

‘Just a Spot ‘  mom and Dave .  See you next year ….I’ll bring the wine and we’ll chat for a while .