Portmeirion - a cornucopia of styles 

This week’s musings are inspired by Sir Clough Williams Ellis, and his most famous work, the charmingly beautiful and quirky Portmeirion Village in North Wales. 
I’d long wanted to visit but I wasn’t really sure why. I knew very little about the place but felt drawn to it. We’d tried visiting for the day several years ago as we were camping not too far away in Barmouth. If only I’d done my research I’d have known there were no dogs allowed. We found out at the gate. 
Six years later I finally got my wish as my lovely husband booked us a couple of nights in the picturesque, grade II listed hotel within the village, right on the estuary with the most amazing panoramic views. We have just had the most fantastic weekend to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary. 
And in fact, I’m really glad we couldn’t get in before, as, because we were residents we got the opportunity to wander around freely after the day visitors had left. It was SO peaceful and quiet. We were able to explore the meandering streets and wonderfully colourful buildings made up from various bits and pieces of reclaimed architecture. It’s a cornucopia of styles but there is a strong Italian vibe. Everywhere you look there is something different to feast your eyes on. 

Sir Clough Williams Ellis 

We bought a guidebook to read the stories behind the reclamations, it was fascinating.. Sir Clough Williams Ellis must’ve been a real character, the more we read about him the more we liked him! It goes to show the power of story. It brings emotion and a feeling of connection to the man who had the vision to create such a bonkers place. He really was ahead of his time regarding what we refer to today as upcycling and quite an individual, not afraid to do his own thing. He was a pioneer leading the way around conservation, environmentalism and architectural design in the 20th century. 
“Cherish the past, adorn the present and construct for the future.” 

I was almost 50 when my outlook changed 

So, let’s deconstruct this quote of his and think about how it might apply to us, as FAB, Sassy Queenagers today... 
Cherish the Past 
As I’ve got older I’ve realised that life happens for you not to you. There are lessons to be learned from every experience we have. I was almost fifty when my outlook properly changed. I’d come across this piece of writing many years earlier but hadn’t fully embraced the message. Have you seen it before? 
ATTITUDE By Charles Swindoll 
"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so, it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes” 
To me, this reinforces the message of cherishing the past and taught me to always remember to look for the lessons. 

Being mindful, live for now 

Adorn the Present 
Being mindful is all about being present and living for now. Seizing the day and being in the moment. You know the saying about getting old being a privilege denied to many? How do you adorn your life? How do you make it more beautiful and attractive for yourself? Do you wear your favourite things everyday or save them for best? What about that perfume you love but only gets used on special occasions? The best china, the luxurious bubble bath, the fairy lights that bring you joy but they only ever come out at Christmas because people might think you’re a bit mad. So what? Who cares? It didn’t stop Clough creating what is today enjoyed by many. 
In the spirit of seizing the day and doing something for fun we took our wedding outfits to Portmeirion at the weekend...it’s become our tradition now to wear them on our anniversary and take some photos. It came about as our first anniversary was during the first national lockdown and we couldn’t go out to celebrate. We decided to dress up and drink champagne at home instead. We set up the tripod, put the camera on self timer and recreated some pics from our wedding day. It was so much fun we did it again last year despite being able to go out. This year we ummed and ahhed a bit about doing it in public but decided we’d regret it if we didn’t take advantage of the gorgeous setting. We did it. It was fun and we made some fab memories. 
Pensions, wills and powers of attorney 
Construct for the Future 
This living for today malarkey is all well and good but if we’re being sensible and acting like grown-ups there has to be an element of planning for the future. Things like pensions, and wills and powers of attorney become more front of mind as we get older. You might have lost your parents already and had to go through the probate process – that’s stressful enough even when there is a will in place. 
Without wanting to seem morbid I’ve been thinking about my funeral recently and what I’d like it to be like. I’m thinking about stapling these wishes to a copy of my will. Anything that helps remove some of the stress from whoever is left behind to organise things is a good thing as far as I’m concerned. I’m also finding myself thinking ahead and wanting to preserve my health for as long as possible too. 
Live like we're dying 
I’m sure there is so much more I could explore and discuss but I’m going to leave things there for today. Hopefully I’ve given you a little bit of food for thought. And maybe even inspired you to take a trip to Portmeirion. They’d be very pleased to see you.. 
Meanwhile make a few minutes to check out the lyrics of this song  
Tagged as: Love Yourself
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