We needed a break from all things chemo and career change, and so headed over the border into the Monmouthshire hills for a week. Despite being on our doorstep, it really does feel like a world apart. Whereas I often worry that I’m spoiling the view in manicured places such as the Cotswolds, in Wales we can enjoy the wildness. And I’m sure I don’t feel this way just because I’m Welsh.

Dervla panicked a little when she realised that she didn’t know some of the new roads leading out of Monmouth, but all in all she did well, and got us safely to our haven for the week – The Hayshed. It’s a newly built barn sited where, you guessed it, the old hayshed used to stand, and it’s gorgeous. Deceptively large inside, toasty warm thanks to underfloor heating, very well equipped, and with this view:


Before we’d even unpacked we knew that we didn’t want to go home. The trouble with staying in holiday homes as beautiful as this, is that you realise that you really need to up your game and tidy your own house up a little, which we’re in the process of doing. But now we want to live in a barn, in the middle of nowhere.