There, like the old preacher, I've tried to 'say' something, and failed. The asking was right enough, but the answer is inadequate and perhaps quite wide of the mark.
Y Faner (8 Awst, 1968)
The children don't understand the relationship. But they will one day. What mystifies them is the fact that a child so young could have been an uncle. After all, it's not easy to think of a two-year-old as uncle to a man of forty. But perhaps I had better explain.
I'm not one or those fortunate people who are wealthy enough to accumulate rare and costly treasures — the original oil on canvas, the small piece of carved marble, the first edition of an antiquarian book. I was tempted, some years — ago, to buy a clapped-out old car at the wheel of which, so it was claimed, Lloyd George1 had once sat. But it was the same old story — I'm not one of those fortunate people who are wealthy enough to accumulate . . . And yet I do possess a few odds-and-ends that I should be sorry to be without — the bric-à-brac of the years that have some personal significance or family association. The picture of Leusa'r Injin, my grandmother's grandmother, hangs in the dining-room, her traditional Welsh costume coloured by the diluted, insipid oils of some long-forgotten artist from Neath. On the mantelpiece stands the brass kettle in which my forebears used to boil water but which is now nothing more than a cold ornament, a mere memento of many a cup of tea and a chat. And a host of other things, relics of the blood and family roots, symbols of an undeniable belonging. But among all the treasures in my home, the little Llandeilo boots are by far the most cherished.
My grandfather, on my mother's side, was — like Naaman the Syrian — 'a mighty man of valour'. A man of strong physique, he spent his days, and sometimes his nights, in the heat of iron-furnaces. And on Saturdays he would go down into the heat of the serum on the rugby-field, in the days when players of that game sported