It is quite ironic that my happiest place in the world is the spot I nearly died as a young girl – Porth Ceriad, a beach on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales.
Floating out to sea on a dinghy, blissfully sunbathing and completely unaware of the turning tide slowly taking me out of my depth. My Mum called me and I jumped without taking a moment to look at where I was. I was suddenly drowning.
I don’t recall much of what happened next. Luckily a boat was passing nearby and I was lifted out of the water. I do recall sitting on the beach afterwards, wrapped in a big towel, telling my Dad (who was away diving when it happened) “Daddy, there are diamonds under the water”. The combination of sunshine and water in my eyes let my imagination run wild.
I wasn’t traumatised after this experience and I am far from being scared of water. I credit Mum and Dad for this. Getting me back in the sea and not letting fear take over was the best thing they could do. I love the sea, I am a water baby. I always have been.
I was lucky. Many others have not been. Whilst Porth Ceriad is beautiful and serene , it is also wild, rugged and like most of natures beauty spots it is dangerous. Over the years several people have been claimed by the rough seas and hazardous rocks. We have also experienced a rock fall from the cliffs above, which resulted in lots of cuts and bruises and a trip to Bangor hospital.
So why is this my most favourite and happy place?
Because no matter what crazy things are happening on our planet (or in my life) there is nowhere else that makes me feel as calm, grounded and happy to be alive as Porth Ceriad.
It is unspoilt and best of all it never changes. For this I am super grateful.
In a fast moving, turbulent world it is a comfort to me that this place remains the same.
From teenage angst to the darkest days of my life when my friend Ceri died and through rough relationship break ups, this special place has been a reminder that life goes on. The tide still turns, the sun still shines, the fish still swim, the view is still incredible and it is still simply amazing to walk across the headland and watch the porpoise jump out of the water.
I have many memories of Porth Ceriad from being a young girl to being an adult – catching Gobies in the rock pools, playing boules on the sand, jumping over huge waves, waiting for Dad to return from diving to see what fresh fish or crabs we could cook on the bonfire, fishing for Mackerel, swapping boyfriends with my friend Abbie when we were about 12 or 13 (never forget that one), singing ‘I will always love you’ by Dolly Parton on the cliff top with my friend Robbo (after a few ciders) the night Lady Diana died, setting fire to the bracken by accident with my friend Susan (whoops maybe shouldn’t admit that one), celebrating my brother Simon’s 40th birthday (cue more drunken singing with my friend Clair)…the list is long.
I was delighted to spend time at Porth Ceriad recently with my family and friends and swim in the sea with my daughter Elodie. It continues to remain the same and we continue to make special memories. 🙂