Go…

the way beckons

take the stride

do come forth

leave the hive.

 

halfway you go

doubt befalls you

keep the footstep

upfront, up ahead.

 

however it ends

shove any regret

bask in the pride

you’ve refused to hide.

Summer in and around Llandudno, North Wales

Day 1: The Promenade and The Pier

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the view of the pier from the promenade

It was on a whim and a last-minute family decision to travel to North Wales and explore Llandudno which turned out to be a pleasant discovery of an old-fashioned coastal town in a first-world country.

After an exhausting but uneventful six-hour drive from the South of England, we arrived at our hotel that was conveniently situated at the sea front and just a few steps away from the scenic Llandudno Promenade. The whole vista was indeed a welcome sight to behold!

It got my expectations of the town all hyped-up.

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main entrance of the hotel

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seafront and beyond

Determined to make the most of our short stay, we were at the promenade just as soon as we have unpacked. Our leisurely walk along the pebbled shore was accompanied by the intermittent squarking of flying seagulls. They seemed to be everywhere and spontaneously appearing out of nowhere! Well, that was an inevitability we have had to accept. These seabirds were bound to be visible at their natural habitat and territory.

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seagulls were everywhere and they squarked a lot!

We then came across a sandy part of the beach when we realised we’ve reached the mouth of Llandudno Pier. A waft of freshly baked donuts filled the air. They were a temptation one couldn’t say no to.

We gobbled up our donuts with gusto as we made our way towards the end of the pier. Noticeably audible as we plodded on was the familiar sound of country music. Hmmm. Definitely American. And so, there it was; a stall selling music CD’s of just that! (yes, CD’s. I did say ‘old-fashioned, right?)

I would say that it is rather a rarity in England to hear this music genre.

Before settling abroad,  I lived in a place in the Philippines listening to the likes of Johnny Cash and George Strait. To have been able to listen to them again in a pier in far-away Llandudno brought wondeful memories of home.

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Llandudno pier, the longest in Wales

Midway into the pier was a mini kiddie fair where families with young children got fascinated with the rides and games on offer. Llandudno is also a definite if you are looking for a family-friendly summer retreat.

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coastal view from the pier

The panoramic view of the Llandudno coast from the longest pier in Wales was worth the trip. A glimpse of old hotel buildings lined up along the seaside is quite a landmark. No wonder Llandudno attracts a lot of visitors, old and young alike.

The same can be said about the view from a reasonably-priced boat ride that we took the next day.

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coastal view from the boat

Regrettably, the famous cable cars were not operational due to the windy weather.

A summer night stroll has revealed that Elvis Presley is a common favourite in Llandudno. Many hotels that we have passed by featured a nightly entertainment of an Elvis impersonation…his music, his moves, attire and all.

And guess what? Our hotel did, too.

Our room was above the entertainment hall and as it was an old building, we could actually hear the reverberating sound of ‘Jailhouse Rock’ as we slept and looked forward to another summer day in Llandudno.

Every snapshot has a story: The ‘Welcome’ Sign

‘Welcome’ signs are iconic. Some are simple, yet exude an idea or two about a place.

Whenever I see them on my travels, exhaustion turns into relief. Having a sense of the right direction, I feel safe and secure.

Not only do these ‘welcome’ signs give me the comfort of knowing where I am but also the thrill and assurance that I am headed to where I want to be. After all, in life, as it is on the road, being on the right track matters. A lot.
Reaching your final destination without any delay and hassle is heavenly.

I have passed by this particular Kapangan ‘welcome’ sign a number of times where, thankfully, there have been no border checks. No unnecessary controls.
It has only pointed me to one direction.
Welcome to the other side. A place called ‘home’.

When Lightning Strikes Twice

Affirmative. It did. I have barely got back on my feet and started believing that things were getting better, when, like the first time, lightning struck without warning. Another shocking truth revealed. This couldn’t be happening!

This time, it was more forceful, more poignant and more painful. It totally knocked me off my feet.

I thought of all the others who got hit the first time and have been trying their best to move on. They have worked really hard hoping for that light at the end of the tunnel. But, has the strike of a second lightning, a more disheartening truth, rendered those efforts useless? And I can’t help but ask: Was I taken for a fool that I didn’t deserve to know the absolute truth the first time?

I am not angry. I don’t think I will ever be. However, I am deeply hurt to the core of my being. I may have every right to be. Well, give me that, at least.

What now?

My heart bleeds. I’m finding it difficult to breathe. Nevertheless, I have accepted the blow and have resolved to bravely live with it. Now and then, I force myself to stop those tears from flowing because crying neither stops nor changes the harsh reality of it all.

You see, discovering a lie for the first time, becomes an impetus for a massive shake-up of your personal beliefs.

Being struck with another lie the second time around, your world crumbles and then buries you with it. It numbs and sucks the life out you. It can kill.

What keeps me going? Unconditional love.
It stops me from blaming anyone including myself. Stop the blame. Live the game called life.

It makes me sane and be understanding of why lightning hasn’t struck once but twice.

It keeps the suffering under control.

Whatever happens next, unconditional love is a weapon that I am unable to surrender to the enemy. I will fight with it, not just today or tomorrow but definitely for eternity.

 

‘Of The Sea’

There were four

That became two

‘Of the sea’

Just  you and me.

 

When the world shook

An arm kept me safe

‘Of the sea’

Did it for me.

 

Kept apart by miles and years

The flow of blood, fervent

That bridge between prevails

Unbroken, forever unburnt.

 

My love, respect and awe

Never lost, be in the know

I miss the big bro

Of the sea, so I speak.