I can barely believe that the 9th June marks the end of our first year here in our lovely Cardiff home. Where did that go?! (And I NEVER double punctuate!)

It’s been a roller coaster – with some soaring highs and desperate lows – but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Our wonderful street has become the amazing place to live that we thought it would, as we slowly (I’m incredibly shy) get to know our neighbours. It’s lovely to live in a street with so many young children. Hallowe’en, Christmas and the snow were definitely highlights from a little people perspective.

Living next to the prettiest park in the city (I say that with some certainty) has many benefits, and enabled us to buy a house with a small garden even though we have a sizeable dog. And its a joy to walk the wolf late on a summer evening and have the park to yourself. We feel like we own it 😊.

Convenience; of transport, shops, parks and eateries is something I’ll never take for granted! In a few weeks time we’ll walk to and from an Ed Sheeran gig at the Principality Stadium – and next season I’ll walk to see my beloved Tottenham Hotspurs play Cardiff City rather than trekking down to Swansea.

We rarely drive around town – buses are such fun and so much more relaxing! And the food. Oh the food! I’m one stone heavier and am currently working to address this, hence fewer foodie posts.

The food scene in Cardiff has been a revelation to me. The talented chefs, fabulous venues most of whom embrace the growing vegetarian and vegan market are so many in number! We have particularly loved the Arbennig Emporium and The Bee and Honey. Both local. Both serving first class food. Both with gorgeous staff. I’m gutted that Arbennig will be changing hands in late June, but Chef assures me all will be well. I trust him, as commanded, but will be stalking his new venture … well it’d be rude not to!

As amazing as it’s been, it hasn’t all been plain sailing. Over Christmas and New Year we were told that our wolf almost certainly had cancer, and a few short months to live. We were even quoted the cost of leg amputation there and then. We left the vets numb – we’d only gone in because we thought she’d been bitten on her foot, hence a small lump. After a week of hell, we were told that test results showed that it’s arthritis. Great news …. and a change of vet.

The 17 year old daughter left home. We wandered around aimlessly (still do sometimes) asking what our purpose is and not knowing what to do with our time – but now are thankful to have a bustling city to keep us busy and entertained.

And this week, miserably, a planning permission notice landed on our doormat out of the blue for an extension our neighbours want to have. Having gone through some 9 years of our next-door neighbours carrying out illegal building work at our last home, we were glad to be shot of it …. we haven’t even been here a year! 🤦🏻‍♀️.

I can cope, but hubby – who has a natural light obsession – is very stressed at the prospect of losing light at the back of our North-facing house. A conversation will need to take place – party walls and all that, whilst trying not to cast a shadow (the irony) on an exciting time for our neighbours. I’m looking on the bright side and can see a lovely courtyardy passageway evolving … if I could just get Mr Vegi to see the same. But it’s early days.

So I’m now, I believe, a fully fledged townie. I thought I’d miss the countryside but I’m far to busy to notice. Moving has been a great thing for me. It’s more social, more varied and more flexible. The coming 12 months will definitely bring more challenges – but as long as I can always find a quiet corner in a cafe with cake and coffee – then Cardiff and I will continue our love affair.