Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

I made it safely to Cardiff and back

I had been worried about the weather but the day dawned calm and, amazingly, it wasn't raining. I managed to squeeze the Daihatsu into the last parking space at the station, jammed so tightly alongside a bush that I had to crawl out over the passenger seat. The train was ten minutes late, not because of the weather but because someone had been taken ill and the train had had to wait for an ambulance. We were still in time for the connection at Shrewsbury, but that train was standing room only due to the train before having been cancelled, again due to illness but this time it was the guard who was ill and of course the train couldn't run without a guard.

The crowd thinned after a few stops and I managed to get a seat. From then on the journey was much more comfortable though rather noisy due to the group of women from Liverpool who were on their way to Cardiff for some kind of celebration and who had started partying en route. Much prosecco had been consumed, but they remained happy drunk and so other than the the loud voices and occasional attempts to press sandwiches on any nearby passengers, they were no trouble.

Daughter wasn't able to pick me up until 4.30 pm, but I had planned on looking for some new shoes, so I followed signs to the St Davids shopping centre where there was supposed to be a Hotter shoe shop. I eventually found it (after searching what felt like acres of shopping mall) and my daughter texted to say she was in the city centre just as I was trying on shoes. I don't actually know Cardiff very well, but I managed to find my way back out of the St Davids centre into a Christmas market where I successfully rendezvoused with daughter, using an illuminated windmill as a landmark.

Christmas market, Cardiff

The rest of the evening was spent chatting and eating Indian takeaway.

The following day our son, his wife and the children came over and we made pom-pom animals and chatted and ate lunch of pizzas and salad. M and family then departed to meet friends and to go ice skating while Daughter and I drove to Tredegar House which had been dressed up and made Christmassy, including volunteers in Victorian costume in each room. It was all a bit crowded and I didn't learn anything about the house or family and had to Google later.

The stable block

Stable block, Tredegar House

A rather splendid tree

Splendid tree, Tredegar house

Me outside Tredegar House

Tredegar House

We returned to daughter's house for a quick cup of tea before she took me to Cardiff station. It's a shame we didn't set off 5 minutes earlier because then I would have just caught the Manchester train to Shrewsbury. I wasn't concerned because I was supposed to be catching a train 20 minutes later, but it turned out that one was cancelled. I'm not entirely sure why because the problems with storms and flooding were up in the NE of Wales. It was all OK, however, because the next Manchester train got me to Shrewsbury in time for the last train. It did mean more waiting around on cold draughty platforms though, which might have been the cause of the stiff neck I suffered from yesterday. It's a lot better today, so obviously nothing serious.

Overall it was a good short weekend away and I think I'll do that again as I feel that if I'm there all weekend, I'm starting to get in the way by Sunday when Daughter and her husband are so busy and have so much work they need to do at home (being university lecturers).

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