Mehefin 2004 June

Carrog - First Impressions

Impressions can be very deceiving as I discovered to my delight, when I was invited to a meeting in a small village in Wales.

Alan, my colleague, wanted me to meet his business partners and discuss potential work. I had not been to Wales since I was a small child. My memories were bleak, of grey sea and caravans on a windswept coast. The skies were grey when we left Leeds. “If it’s like this here, what will it be like over there?”

]But, as we approached Chester the clouds began to lift; sunshine peered through at us. It was a warm welcome to Wales. On winding roads we approached our destination, Carrog, set by the banks of the River Dee.

My first glimpse of the village was from across the river; a small cluster of houses and a pub as we came across the old stone bridge. Behind us, the mist was rolling down from the surrounding mountains, a stark contrast to the sunlight reflecting from the warm brick and white render of our destination.

I instantly fell in love with my surroundings; the little railway station, the river meandering down the valley, the peace and quiet, the lack of traffic and the way buildings nestled into the valley side, as though they were trying to hide from prying eyes.

We were staying at Dewis Dyddyn with Alan’s business partner Paul and his wife Christine. I had a sudden fear of meeting them, we were 3 hours late, what would they think of this Yorkshire stranger. I need not have worried, I was welcomed like an old family friend. Like Paul and Christine, the village itself seems to make you feel you belong. Its beauty captivates you. Surrounded by mountains and with the mist growing ever nearer, only the Grouse coaxed us to venture out. The reception was warm and friendly, the food and company great. It was wonderful just to relax, look out at such beautiful surroundings and be enveloped by a sea of tranquillity, such a change from city life.

Later, as I lay in bed, I listened to the sound of the river rushing under the bridge and gurgling through the stones at the waters edge feeling like I had been here before. I longed to stay, but work called. As I write this article back in Leeds, I think of the short but wonderful time I spent in the beautiful village of Carrog and hope to return one day soon to sample the delights of the village that has won my heart.

Jayne Ogier. Leeds.

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