This weekend my grandparents came to visit. As a couple who are very active and busy for their age, it is always nice to treat them to a weekend away from the farm when they can relax and enjoy some of the benefits of living in a more urban environment.
At 70+, my grandparents got a sneak peek into the life of a student, as I had to enroll at university before the semester begins. I had suggested that they wait outside for me while I quickly nip into enrollment, however when I came out I found them wondering the halls of the university’s Law School having a snoop at the lecture theaters and library rooms. Though their faces tried in vain to hide their disenchantment, I could tell they expected a far grander, more impressive setting and were somewhat disappointed that Cardiff University being considered a ‘red brick’ uni does not necessarily mean its has a beautiful campus with a quad encircled by majestic, classical buildings. If this is the image you have in mind, I can understand how Cardiff’s student high street may come as an anti climax (NB I love it!), but on the other hand, the post enrollment brunch certainly did not disappoint.
Catching the last of the September sun, I took my grandparents to Penarth. I was pleasantly surprised that my grandparents, having lived just outside a coastal town for 33 years, were enthused by Penarth’s pier and promenade. While the sun may have been shining, I found it far too cold for ice cream. They, on the other hand, thought it simply mandatory while by the sea.
When I think back to what I was doing this time last year – living in France, immersing myself in the culture as much as I could – it is often the food which I miss the most. I was therefore over the moon to stumble across the cutest French cafe just off Penarth’s town centre. I was so excited to find somewhere where I could satisfy my cravings for French cuisine and have a feeling that I’ll be returning many a time in the near future. With its Parisian decor and authentic take on French quirk, The Bistro transported me back to my Erasmus year for just a half hour. The escargot wasn’t half bad either!
Roles reversed and for once it was me making my grandparents a Sunday roast. The post-roast walk is compulsory to the Sunday routine regardless of at whose home we’re eating, so we took a stroll around Cosmeston Lake. The lake itself is tranquil and picturesque, but personally I find the bevy of swans awaiting food from you on your arrival to be unnerving. Running past them in no way deterred the swans – if anything it only spurred them on to chase me which meant that I spent the first ten minutes of what was meant to be a gentle walk actually jogging to safety. Oh well – all cardio is good cardio!
Although my grandparents may have been hoping for a slightly more relaxing weekend than the activity-filled walking holiday which they ended up with, I am pleased I have been able to send them on their way with many a funny story to recount and perhaps the need for a lie down.