This week I will be lucky enough to be staying in this wonderful coral-coloured house in the village of Portmeirion, North Wales. The weather forecast is set for rain and more rain but this doesn’t dampen my spirits as I will be spending time with my best friends and have packed some knitting and a little embroidery project to play with. I can’t think of anything better than cosy days in a beautiful place with good company and a bag full of things to make.
This place means so much to me. I spent several wonderful family holidays there in my teens. (Come to think of it I must have been a pretty strange teenager, content with my parents’ company!) It holds wonderful memories mixed with sad ones as it was the place we enjoyed our very last family holiday only three moths before my Dad died suddenly in 1996. I didn’t think I would ever be able to go back. Then last year my Mum surprised me by booking a winter break in the village to celebrate her birthday. I had mixed emotions as we drove up the leafy drive to house just as dusk was falling. The strangest thing was that it actually felt like coming home. We spent an amazing long weekend re-exploring the woodlands and walking the estuary at low tide. So this year we’re going back again – no nerves this time, just excitement.
On those teenage trips to the village, I longed to be able to capture the spirit of the place in photographs but it was the days of film when every shot was precious and quite often disappointing when it was eventually developed. Things have looked up and moved on, as returned to Portmeirion last year as the very proud owner of a shiny new DSLR. I went crazy in the bright autumn sunshine and took over 400 pictures in three days! I won’t comment on the quality of most of them but I’m having fun learning.
When it came to Mother’s Day earlier this year, I was inspired to celebrate our times at Portmeirion. For my Mum I created an appliqué picture based on one of my photos. I was surprised how quickly it came together with little scraps of fabric and a few simple embroidery stitches. I presented it and felt like I was a five-year-old again, bringing home a painting from school. My Mum put the picture on the wall straight away and it now has pride of place in her living room. This feeling makes me smile whenever I see the picture there.