I was born and bred in London but Wales has been home for 32 years. In the early days of being here I longed for London life. In those days it took about four hours by car to get there, but it could have easily have been Paris or Rome. It seemed such a long way away from here-geographically, culturally and psychologically. Nowadays, it feels different. It's still the same distance, it takes about three hours, but the frequent Megabus that goes directly from Cardiff to Victoria makes it even a do-able day trip that costs about five pounds each way. I now do it a few times a year. I enjoy it enormously, but as a tourist might. We usually gorge on as much 'culture' as we can, like people who've been on a strict diet for a long time. This weekend we made the trip, staying with our old friend in Hackney.
We visited three exhibitions (Rhys did four):The British Watercolour Exhibition at Tate Britain, British Sculpture Exhibition at the Royal Academy, War Artists at the Imperial War Museum, and Rhys visited Images of Nature at the Natural History Museum. We went to the Barbican Theatre to see 'The Blue Dragon', a technical spectacle, directed by Robert Lepage, in French Canadian, Chinese and English. We saw the Coen Brothers film, 'True Grit' with Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and the brilliant young Josh Brolin. We had dinner with friends, dinner at an Italian restaurant, and I had lunch with a friend who I've known since primary school- 58 years ago!
My historical associations with London are still very important to me. But this morning on this sharp Spring day, as I look out on the hazy Garth and Graig Mountains, I'm glad I live here and not there.