I found myself in a strange situation on Saturday. I was walking from Cardiff Queen Street station towards H&M, not a long walk by any stretch of the imagination, maybe 200 metres, and I had free arms.
Now, by this I mean FREE. Relaxed, released, escaping arms. It was weird. Completely freaked me out. What I mean by this, is that I had no pushchair to grip onto, no little hands pulling me in directions I didn’t want to go in, no raisins, or sippee cup, or baby bag, or Spiderman figure that had been promised to be carried by the biggest little man, or any of the other child-associated stuff that I usually end up holding.
There was just me, and my teeny weeny bag that was just big enough for my purse and phone. Definitely no space for nappies and wipes.
It was liberating, in every sense of the word. I LOVE time on my own; I always have. And space away from my family is good for all of us. Because when I get my equilibrium back on track, I’m a much better wife to live with, a more patient Mummy, and I am far happier in myself.
Anyway, back to my day. It was splendid. Cardiff is a great city to spend a day in, though to be fair, I’m not that fussy and will always make the best of what there is, but I genuinely enjoy spending a day there. It’s small enough to not get lost and feel friendly, but big enough that there is plenty to see and do.
My favourite coffee shop of all time is Barker Tea House, with over 50 teas to choose from served in proper teapots and quirky china tea cups, and sumptuous winged leather armchairs that just seem to inspire clandestine meetings (alas, I’m far too boring to do such things, but my imagination isn’t), this place is perfect. They even have rugs on their outdoor tables (which aren’t really outdoor because it’s in the Victorian arcades, but still) to keep you cosy. And nice loos. Always important. So, without a doubt, this place had a visit.
I had to get some cheapy essentials as I managed to put holes in all my leggings over the winter, and the Big Big Man needed socks, so Primark got done and dusted nice and early while it was still relatively quiet, so I had the rest of the day free.
I met a friend and we headed to Wahaca for lunch, Cardiff was quite privileged to be the first city outside London where they opened, and I’m so glad they did. I’m not a chain restaurant snob at all, and it’s just as well, because if I were, I would miss out big time. I’m not a fan of the downstairs eating area, but upstairs is calm and relaxing, and the food, well, the food. I almost did a ‘When Harry met Sally’ moment at the table, because of the food. Highly recommend the sweet potato and feta street food dish; you never knew sweet potato could be so awesome.
We then pottered about a bit, and found a bar with a few outdoor tables, and managed to drink several lagers in relative warmth, due to some unexpected Welsh sunshine. Blissful. Though I don’t think it warranted the amount of people who were wearing flip-flops and shorts; it wasn’t that warm.
I relish a day like that. Not ostentatious. Not profound. Just being ‘me’. My children are my priority; I don’t generally do what I want too, because they don’t enjoy it, and then there’s no pleasure in it for anyone. So I bow to them, and find that when they are happy, I am happy. But every now and again, I indulge myself, and I am selfish. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.