I used to live on the Gower side of Swansea, until I was 12 years old. After that I went back a few times for visits, but the last time must have been 15 years ago. So there was an odd extra dimension to spending a week on the Gower.
My 12 year old world was very vivid but oddly limited: there were places that were wholly new, that clearly hadn't interested me - and places that had that weird feeling of coming to somewhere you've dreamed about many times but had forgotten really existed. And my father's ghost was certainly haunting me in Mumbles, and I kept being reminded of our old dog Hearthrug. We walked along past the place where we used to keep our tender and looked out to where he kept his boat. I'm kind of glad it had all been tidied up and a whapping great Italian cafe (doing excellent sundaes) plonked in front of the yacht club. Or am I? Not sure. It kept the ghosts at a little distance, at any rate.
Polo kept expecting me to be able to navigate from memory! 12 year olds don't think in car routes,, and besides, I suspect the road network had changed.
We were staying in Penmaen, which I can't remember at all. Nice cottage: we shared the garden with the owners' boxer dogs, who got on very well with Az & Mollydog. At the back was Cefn Bryn, and at the front was a footpath down to Three Cliffs Bay (or, Oxwich Bay if you turned right). The dogs had a wonderful time with all those walks on the doorstep.
It was a Holiday Without Internet. On the whole it was brilliant: we missed our IT resources a couple of times - once when we damaged a tyre and had to find the Only Tyre Garage in South Wales That Opens On a Sunday (it's in Neath*, in case you were wondering), and once when we were trying to find a nice restaurant (we found the Welcome to Town, which is, oddly, in a place that is not, and has clearly never been, a town). But mostly it was great to concentrate on stuff that wasn't online - drawing, painting, and writing up (and drawing!) material for a new Traveller campaign.
We travelled back on Monday, detouring on the way to visit Dan yr Ogof Caves. They seem to have opened up hugely more caves than there were, which was very impressive, though it was sad to see all the dinosaur figures that I remembered being so terrifying, all brightly coloured and very plastic-looking. Still, it was nice to be allowed to explore the caves on our own, without even being told to put on a hard hat. (And the ceiling was pretty low in places too!)
* Neath used to be the armpit of the universe**. It's improved a lot. Polo described it as 'slightly chavtastic' but this is still a vast improvement on the coal-in-the-bath misery the place used to communicate.
** people may remember my saying that Merthyr Tydfil is the armpit of the universe. This is also true. Armpits come in at least pairs.