At long last, Hello!

October 25, 2017

So here it is - my first blog! It’s certainly been a long time coming, but to be fair on myself life has been pretty hectic the last couple of years to say the least and at times; challenging to complete anything on my growing to-do-list. I've even considered adding 'drink tea', so I at least get to tick something off at the end of the day! A number of guests who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting have said that I should share my stories with the big wide world to inspire others. I guess life has been been a bit of a rollercoaster at times and the reason for us moving to Wales in 2009, wasn’t typical either.

In future blog posts, I hope to share with you my hopes and dreams for the business, hints and tips of what to do and where to explore here, particularly with kids or dogs in tow, as well as sharing the behind the scenes of what it is to own and run holiday homes and live in the Brecon Beacons.

I’m not a professional blogger, so can’t promise good grammar, spelling, or be able to commit to to a regular schedule of posts. Neither will I be abiding to the rules of a blog, with word counts and all that. My aim is to simply doing a brain dump, every so often of things that might be of interest to others, which is likely to be tapped into my iPhone in the middle of the night!

But for now, let me introduce myself…

So who am I?

I’m the owner and creator of Brecon Retreat, but also known to my 3 children as ‘Mumma’ and I also have a growing herd of furry, fluffy, feathered and hairy dependents too.

So as you may notice when you hear my accent, I’m not Welsh. Although at times I do hear myself sounding a bit ‘Wenglish’. I’m a city girl from Southampton originally, but by the time I had met my husband Chris in 2008 I had gravitated to living closer to Newbury, which is where I had been working in the corporate world of Vodafone for 13 years. Our whirlwind honeymoon romance was cut short when I was dealt the life changing blow of being told that I had stage 3, type 3 Breast cancer. It wasn’t genetic, or hormone related, so it was a case of enduring chemo and radiotherapy for 12 months and keeping our fingers crossed. At 29 years old, it was certainly a lot to take in, especially as the medics tried to also manage my expectation of having any children. But, as you can see from my photo - miracles do happen and in my case - 3 times!

I remember the moment vividly, I was sat in the bath with not a hair on my body when it hit me; life is too short. Whatever the outcome, I wanted to be surrounded by fresh air, nature and rolling hills. So that was it, I shouted to Chris that we were moving to Wales! It was definitely a tail between my legs’ moment, as even on our wedding day I reminded my Welsh Valleys husband that I had no intention of ever moving to Wales! Having trawled Rightmove and viewed several places later, our sights were set on Mill House, which is now known as ‘Swn Yr Afon’ Sound of the River, which now serves as a wonderful holiday home for couples and families. We were short of funds at the time to make a firm offer, but when the insurance company paid out my life policy, it was certainly a mix of emotions - we had exactly the amount of deposit to the pound required, but then there was the realisation they didn’t hold out much hope for my life expectancy - don’t tell them I’m still standing for goodness sake!

On Friday 20th Oct I joined in with people across the UK to #wearitpink to raise breast cancer awareness and to celebrate now being 8 years in the clear. There’s not a day that passes that I’m not grateful for still living and breathing. I certainly feel like a cat with 9 lives, having escaped a few early exits a number of times now in my life! But these experiences have shaped me and helps to put life into perspective sometimes. I appreciate and value things differently and the world around me and the people in it.

I hope I’ve done ok with my first blog and will be in touch again soon! As always; I look forward to meeting and greeting you for your next Brecon Retreat.

Helen x

P.S. Girls check your boobs and boys, make sure you check your moobs!

Proud to #wearitpink

Behind every small business there is a family - this is mine!