Hector and I have just returned from a fabulous week of recharging in our favourite bolt hole North Wales. This time we rented a tiny cottage built into the castle walls at Conwy overlooking the Marina. Not quite Marbella in either yacht size or temperature, but marvellous in every other way. Most days were sunny and bright, pretty chilly with the wind blowing off the sea – so bracing walks were the order of the day followed by treat pasties for lunch!

It’s been quite a challenge since my husband died (4-years ago this February) to work out how to take a break. I’ve visited friends in Australia and my friends & colleagues in Ithaca NY but the lazy beach holidays in sunny climes have gone by the wayside. I’m so glad that we did exotic holidays whilst he was with me as I’ve magnificent memories. And I’m now making the transition to shorter UK breaks with my trusty hound and reintroducing my culture weekends to Italy – surprisingly easy to do solo.

Our most recent residence was about the size of the apartments we are building in Evermore developments. All mod cons with latest kitchen equipment, stylish wet room and of course wifi. It was the perfect space to relax, unwind and escape from the busy world we usually inhabit. The solitary aspect I chose too in order to recharge after a very busy start to the year. Oh yes, I still spoke to my colleagues in England, Ithaca and Western Australia and in between read, slept, walked and did a bit of creative thinking. The part that was missing was conviviality, company and that physical human contact we all need.

So, on the advice of my host, I paid a visit one evening (with hound in tow) to The Albion pub in the centre of Conwy. It’s a fantastic real ale establishment – also famous for its scotch eggs! It was absolutely rammed full of people and assorted dogs. Great atmosphere and a little daunting for a solo newcomer. We jumped in, bought a drink and joined a table of people who were extremely welcoming. Well it’s really Hector’s cute factor that starts the conversation wherever we go.

Within no time at all, I discovered that two of the party lived three-miles from my Cheshire home and that one of them had been a nurse in a well-known care home group before becoming a counsellor. What an incredibly small world! As so often happens, there’s no need to be lonely or isolated as you’ll usually find friendly souls with things in common.  I shan’t tell you what time we left the pub, let’s just say it was later than I had imagined!

The recharging has worked a treat, I have a March spring in my step and I’m raring to take on the next phase of our growth. It did bring home to me once again how important our mission is at Evermore. Providing a great place to live is only one piece of the jigsaw. It’s the companionship, conviviality and what my late husband would call, the ‘Craic’ that makes life worth living. I’m even more determined to make that happen with the help of my colleagues and friends.

Sara McKee