Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose

By Meic Stephens | Go to book overview

reluctant to fall in real earnest. It would threaten a large, soft flake or two, and then turn into rain or cease altogether, but our hope wasn't one bit diminished for all that. And at last our hopes were fulfilled. It had been extremely cold that morning, and a few flakes had fallen from a dark grey sky, but this time it didn't let up and it didn't turn to rain either. By playtime at eleven o'clock a slight breeze had arisen, and by one o'clock it was high time to be on our way home. The snow lashed in from the cast, until there were drifts on the roads and the hedges were lost from sight, and no school for a fortnight. That storm fulfilled the hopes of years, and perhaps it's because they were so completely realized that a man, almost in spite of himself, will still look hopefully into a dark grey sky towards the end of January and the beginning of February. And anyway, it's much easier to think on winter's cold in August, however poor that month turns out to be, because there's only one kind of snow at summer's end, and that's the snow of yesteryear.

No, things might as well be left as they are from now on, a ragged hotch-potch of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. There's a pattern to the weave somewhere, no doubt, although it's hard to make out while the stuff is on the loom and the weaver's fingers busy hurtling the shuttle back and forth. It will be easier to see the pattern when the material is a bit longer. But then perhaps the material itself is merely a part of some greater pattern. On its own it's only something very, very small, like one of those hundreds of pieces in a ragmat.

Mân Sôn ( Gwasg Dwyfor, 1989)


Uncle John's Boots

Bernard Evans

There's a black sheep or two in every family, about whom no one speaks without a shake of the head and a lowering of the eyes. Uncle John is one such. I can remember him at home in my grandmother's house among the rest of my father's brothers, a collier just like them. And then he disappeared.

He was there, and then he wasn't, as some chap 1 from North

-202-

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Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • The Village School 1
  • Fear of the Sea 7
  • A Windy Night 9
  • The Late Lemuel Parry, Esq., J.P., O.B.E. 12
  • On Drowning a Cat 18
  • The House Across the Way 21
  • Weobley and St. Emilion 25
  • The Man in the Street 28
  • Old Dent 31
  • On Collecting Roads 34
  • 'their Land They Shall Lose' 42
  • The Red Flag 46
  • Strolling Players 50
  • One Sunday Afternoon 57
  • Salem 61
  • A Trip to the Circus 63
  • Thoughts on Coronation Day, 1953 68
  • From the Pulpit 72
  • How to Choose and Treat a Wife 77
  • To the Mountain 83
  • The Imperative Upon Me 88
  • Disenchantment 92
  • The Hiring Fair 94
  • The Man at Chapel House 97
  • Question and Answer 102
  • The Little Llandeilo Boots 105
  • My Last Day in Prison 108
  • A Discovery 118
  • A Land of Romance 121
  • Hi-Ho! 129
  • Ancestors 133
  • While Shaving 138
  • Of Time and Distance 141
  • A Methodist Deacon's Advice 146
  • Of Violets and Bells 148
  • Remembering Mrs Newbould 151
  • Good Morning, Lloyd 156
  • In Modesty and Trembling 162
  • Christmasn in the Valley 166
  • On Stammering 169
  • Butlins 172
  • A Millionaire 176
  • A Scene from Military Life 178
  • An Exile 180
  • The Fox Under Glass 183
  • A Doctor's Medicine 186
  • The Little Huts 189
  • Three Heads 191
  • On Memory 198
  • Uncle John's Boots 202
  • The Fur Coat 207
  • An Holy Kiss 214
  • Notes on Authors and Texts 217
  • Acknowledgements 238
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