The Green Hollow by Owen Sheers: How to talk about it

As I researched the details of what happened at Aberfan, I realised this was a historical story with a deeply urgent contemporary resonance: a story of what can happen when a community is run by a corporation.
(Owen Sheers)

On Friday 21st October 1966 a slag heap shifted.  It slid inexorably towards a small mining village in South Wales, destroying several houses and at least one farm.  The worst hit building was Pantglas Junior School.  In total, 144 people were killed.  116 of them were children.  The name of the village was Aberfan.

I remember this disaster; I was a contemporary of the children in that school.  I remember the shock waves and the disbelief and later, the country’s sadness.  I would have been nine years old. Continue reading “The Green Hollow by Owen Sheers: How to talk about it”

Dewithon Diary ii: Welsh Tracery

My Welsh spider’s lattice trembles with the passion of those fighting to preserve a native tongue.

Margaret’s weekly prompt for ragtag Saturday is ‘tracery’.  In words and photographs, she offers us nature, pared back to the bones.  Like Margaret, I take much from the skeletal branches of winter trees.  When I think of tracery I think of intricate and often irregular pathways: interlocking, overlaying.  Tracery is embodied by the slumbering arterials of naked branches against a winter sky. Continue reading “Dewithon Diary ii: Welsh Tracery”

The View from Here: a tentative return

And in making her choice, the squirrel – generous squirrel – has granted me the opportunity to join her at her table.

This morning I watched a squirrel, sleek and plump.  The squirrel and I are at eye level. We are each intent upon breakfast: I, dallying safe in my warm kitchen in our inverted home built from bricks and glass, cocooned and disconnected from what it really means to be in the throes of life, and he, moving freely in a habitat more suited to his wild and precious nature where every sight, sound and smell weaves a story in his brain about how to survive.  He is intent on his task and seemingly oblivious to my silent presence, tidied away behind the glass and safely distanced from those sensory signals that shout ‘danger’. Continue reading “The View from Here: a tentative return”

“You reading this, Be ready”

Turning away, I returned to the robins in the sunshine and pondered for a while on the lives playing out around me… We intersect, but how rarely we connect.

We parked away from the main car park on our last visit to Lanhydrock, opting instead for the smaller and nearer car park at Respryn.

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It was a sparkling bright winter’s day.  The holly was polished to perfection and there were robins in abundance.  This bold little fellow caught my eye. Continue reading ““You reading this, Be ready””

The View from Here: autumn in a bottle

I’d like to bottle this autumn and bring it out to smell and savour whenever I need to stop and slow down and remember all that is good in this world.

It has been a languorous autumn.  Long, slow and peaceful.  Bright, crisp, sunny days only occasionally demarcated by a grey no-weather day or a day of relentless rain.  Frosty mornings.  Stunningly beautiful star-spangled velvet skies.  Continue reading “The View from Here: autumn in a bottle”

The View from Here: mist and morning moons

…the sky streaks with softest blush and ribboned strands flutter out across the heavens. The bright moon bathes in a sky-bath of pink roses.

Living just a few hundred miles further west than we were means the sun rises and sets about 15 minutes later than I’ve been used to.  I wouldn’t have expected this to make much of a difference but it does.  Already the mornings seem very much darker than I remember in autumns past.  And I like it.  I’m enjoying waking up in the dark; the bed warm and cosy; the bedroom chilly, making it that little bit easier to stay wrapped in the duvet.  If I’m lucky, Harri will be still sleeping quietly somewhere on the bed.    It’s a good time for letting my thoughts drift drowsily; a good time for gratitude.  The world is waking up; the whole day stretches before me: Continue reading “The View from Here: mist and morning moons”

Birds on the Balcony: babies, buzzards and soaring seagulls

When we were first talking about moving to Cornwall I made it quite clear that I didn’t want seagulls in my airspace

The balcony is awash with babies.  A plethora of fluffy fledglings, often with soft grey down still competing with new adult feathers.  They make me think of cuckoos, these innocent babes, for invariably they are larger than their industrious parents: puffed up by their motley mix of feathers, with their wings fluttering and their gapes wide and demanding.  Life is so precarious for these infants in their first few days of life in the big wide world.  Continue reading “Birds on the Balcony: babies, buzzards and soaring seagulls”