“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”
This heart-wrenching, yet inspirational, quote from the best-selling ‘Me Before You’ novel by Jojo Moyes roused me into heading for the cinema once it premiered. The film relates how a small-town girl forms a bond with the paralysed man whom she is caring for. Their sentimental moments have enchanted filmgoers, while their separation (not unexpected, so this is not really a spoiler alert!) made them cry. While watching it I also discovered another thing on the screen that fascinated me. Pembrokeshire.
Pembrokeshire popped up as the film location and I later discovered much more about this county in West Wales, such as that film directors love its historical town Pembroke and that ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’, and ‘Robin Hood’ were all filmed there. For ‘Me Before You’ Pembroke Castle – the birthplace of Henry VII, no less – provided the exteriors of the Traynors’ massive estate, and its surroundings as Louisa’s neighbourhood.
Along the south Pembrokeshire coastline, the walled town of Tenby attracts vast numbers of day-trippers with its fantastic beaches and sailing activities. The harbour with its church, St. Julian, draws boating enthusiasts throughout the summer and Barrafundal Beach – in a small bay with crystal clear water and backed by golden sand dunes and pine trees – is voted one of the best in the world, and very reminiscent of a Caribbean beach.
Moving to the south-western tip of Pembrokeshire we find the ancient city St. Davids, which is the smallest city in Britain. St. Davids, the Patron Saint of Wales, became renowned as a teacher and preacher who founded monasteries and churches throughout Wales. Thousands of pilgrims visit St. Davids Cathedral on 1 March each year to celebrate his life and work.
Saint David’s last words to his followers were: “Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed. Do those little things that you have seen me do and have heard.” Since then, the phrase: “Do the little things” has become widely popular, reminding us to pay attention to the little things in life. Just as the movie’s message that encourages us to:
“Live boldly. Live well. Just live.”
Presented by Goongging Thanisara