Seems about time to take some sort of stock of my having moved from South London** to South (West) Wales, after almost two years here ... a major move for me .... **(after 17 years in Walworth!) Most of these points in both lists are Swansea specific, but with some inevitably applying to S Wales more generally, at least a bit. NB No football related comments are allowed, footy forum thataway! Just as I think of them, no particular order of merit/dismerit. Pros 1. Stunning coastal and other Welsh scenery within very easy reach of the City, the Gower never stops impressing. 2. Quieter pace of life here is mostly a pro, I thought I'd miss London's ever happening hustle and bustle but on my frequent returns to the Metropolis I find it much more hasslesome to get about than I remember, and more crowded too. 3. Massively inexpensive here, Swansea, some public transport aside, is a very cheap place to live in. 4. Our local CAMRA gang are lovely people, never short of suggested events/pissups, and being involved in the 2nd biggest beer festival in Wales each year (see relevent threads in this forum, plug plug) is really rewarding. But see point 1 below, we fight a hard battle! 5. Reassuring that so many people hereabouts seem to be left or leftish politically, and certainly anti-Tory. To be fair though that may be the ones I choose to hang out with .... it's more true at work than not though, as well. Union (PCS) membership an expected thing for most .... 6. Big relieved thanks have to go back to the old Ministry of Transport, back in the early 1970s, for deciding back then to establish the (UK)-national headquarters of the DVLA here. They're Swansea's second? biggest employer, but for them I'd still be jobless! (see point 5, cons). 7. Dylan Thomas Centre, National Waterfront Museum, Glyn Vivian Gallery, etc. 8. Continental Cafe in town (it's Italian-run, by Castle Square). Majorly good breakfasts on Saturdays/Sundays! 9. Seems mostly safe and crime-low, with trouble easy to avoid. This includes where we are, a poor and 'inner city' area of sorts, but quiet. Despite the Evening Post's sensationalising, we do not go about at night in fear of attack or of being robbed. See a couple of qualifications below, though, no shortage of petty-delinquent youth around. 10. Last but very much not least, festivaldeb has made sure I've not once regretted moving here -- personal and love life still very much thriving. Yay! Cons 1. Despite point 4 above, Swansea and area is a terrible beer desert that's seriously deprived of good quality ale (except once a year!). There's a big lack of decent pubs selling varied quality choices here. The rare exceptions are great. A big shout goes to the Queens, the Potters Wheel -- with reservations -- and to the Railway Arms, Upper Killay, and a few others. But to have a city of 120,000 or so people having fewer top quality real ale pubs than (for eg) Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire (pop 3 to 4,000) is an embarassment. 2. Wine Street. I can't express how negatively I feel about this (luckily avoidable) hellhole, and remain mystified about why so many people from in and out of town choose to flock there on Fridays and Saturdays. Maybe I'm getting too old now, but there's plenty older than me who go. That 'bar' packed thoroughfare is living proof of point 1 of my cons as well. 3. Many years ago Swansea's most famous son, Dylan Thomas, called Swansea the lovely, ugly town, and sad to say the city itself is pretty ugly mostly, especially in the centre, with post WWII modernist vandalism (see Kingsway!) run riot. The grand view over the spectacular Bay is a very positive antidote, but overall I find this place a hard city to love visually. 4. Treboeth, Brynhyfryd, Clase, Morriston (the areas between where I live and where I work) seem to have few to no redeeming features and thus help to make my point 3 of the cons for me ... and point 1 too ....... at least where we are, Hafod, though not much more scenic, and no better for pubs, it's close to the centre and railway station! 5. Serious lack of work here, Swansea was unemployment central for me over 18 months, and heaven knows I tried hard to find some. Hours were grand but the pay was shit But see point 6 in the Pros list. 6. Weather, this was a negative that I fully expected after many visits to Swansea both before and after meeting festivaldeb. Despite two unusually dry winters here, sometimes the wind and rain are relentlessly downheartening over many days, like just now. And I say this after by no means a bad summer, I hate to think how I'd feel after a truly shit summer along 2007 lines .... 7. There seem to be lot of boy racer wanker-drivers around, many of whom are also drive by shouters** **(= ie total wankers, universally, no exceptions, zero redeeming features). 8. Glass breaking cunts covering the roads and cycle paths (also footpaths) every weekend with smashed remnants of Bacardi Breezer and Budweiser bottles. Dog injuring, cycle-tyre-puncturing scumbags, it's a really bad epidemic here at times. 9. Major shortage of gigs. Gaps filled by cover bands in pubs, most of whom have enough time on their hands to be pretty good at what they do actually! But it's rare for any even half way well known bands to come as far West as this. Cardiff or nothing for the tours, often nothing -- Cardiff misses out a lot too. TBF the gig shortage is made up for a bit by several good free events in the city, Castle Square particularly, over the spring and summer. 10. The Evening Post. Vile and rubbish paper, part of the Rothermere empire .... some of its front page headlines (sensationalising, and ramping up shock horror fury! about the most minor of crimes and 'outrages') are more worthy of a village newspaper than one fit to be read in Wales' second largest city. 11. This is quite a serious one (maybe some connection with 10). I find plenty of people here pretty parochial and limited in general life outlook compared to London (Debbie finds this too and she's lived here for 18 years). Perhaps to mention London is not at all a fair comparison, but I post as I find, and when I meet people in work who rarely come into Swansea even, and spend all their time in Ystrad/Ystal (Upper Swansea Valley, SA9 ) I do wonder ..... and YES! (rolleyes! smiley!) I'm fully aware that there are plenty of negatives about London/other big cities too, but they're different ones largely. Footnote to 11 above, and to point 3 of the cons as well, and point 1 too as it goes : To add to the pros though, if I ever feel particularly negative about aspects of Swansea, I just think of my fleeting visits to Ammanford, Port Talbot, Aberdare .... enough said I guess you have to know and be from those places to appreciate them! I can probably think of more pros and cons but that'll do for now. I'd also like to emphasise that I'm very conscious of posting as an incomer here, so any true Jacks reading this, please try not to feel too insulted. I'm well aware that there are plenty of pros of being here after all. Reactions/thoughts welcomed!