Gaz and I have been together five years now. I know, I deserve a medal.
Last year, we forgot our anniversary. I couldn’t very well scold him for not buying me diamonds when I only realised we’d been together for four big ones about two weeks later. And that was supposed to be the year I was in charge of organising the fun – the year before, Gaz had taken me to a luxurious hotel in the Cotswolds and I’d promised that I’d do something equally fancy the following year.
But instead I forgot.
So this year, and five years is a milestone, I decided to do something really special. I decided to book us into a Travelodge in Merthyr Tydfil, which, one friend told me, was a town she studied in GCSE geography as an example of urban decline – a town that fell apart once the mines closed. While another friend added gleefully it also had the highest teen pregnancy rate in England.
He’s a lucky man, my husband.
We were very excited about our Travelodge experience because we were going walking and we quite like walking. It’s near the Brecon Beacons, a lovely part of the world for walking, and we planned to celebrate our ability to stay together for five whole years by walking around a few reservoirs remarking on the beauty and thanking god we didn’t move to New Zealand like we thought we would. We’ve got all the Middle Earth we need right here.
Then it snowed. Loads.
The frantic, scare mongering media decided to put Merthyr Tydfil on red alert. It was, according to the BBC, the worst hit part of the country. Drivers were warned not to drive. Avoid travelling at all costs! Don’t leave your homes!
But we’d spent £19 on a room. And we had a Skoda. Ain’t no snow going to get in the way of our plans.
This sight greeted us when we opened the front door:
Gaz hopped in the driving seat and off we drove. In your face, BBC weather warnings.
We reached the bridge that lets you into Wales and Gaz opened his window to pay the toll.
‘One ticket to Wales please!’ he said, looking at me for approval when the toll booth fella ignored him.
As we drove on, he looked at me, perplexed. ‘That was comedy gold. Aren’t you going to write it down for your blog?’ he asked. Here you go Gaz, your comment made it. Happy anniversary.
Merthyr Tydfil was pretty much shut. Sometimes we wondered if the roads were closed and no one had told us.
Hello pretty tree!
I didn’t even see any pregnant teenagers.
All the fancy restaurants I might have taken him to for a romantic dinner were shut due to all the snowflakes. But there was one. I hate myself a bit for it, but we were hungry.
We did manage our walk. I wore all these clothes:
Stuck some hand warmers in my wellies and we were off.
And that’s about it. I just wanted to show you all the pretty pictures I took. (Alright, Gaz took the good ones.)
Oh look, a robin!
Oh look, a doggie!
I was up to my knees in snow. Literally.
Isn’t snow a wonderful thing? I really liked it, until I dropped Gaz’s new camera in it and it broke. That wasn’t so great of the snow. I was just trying to take pictures of the horses. Bloody horses.