Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose

By Meic Stephens | Go to book overview

reality. And indeed, perhaps, in some sense, that is what every such discovery is. Opening a window on to the eternal.

Y Cymro (26 Mawrth, 1974)


A Land of Romance

Alun Llywelyn-Williams

One of the great privileges that my father quietly bestowed upon us children, without our fully appreciating at the time how fortunate we were, was the family holiday. He was a man of generous heart, and adventurous at that. The venturesome spirit must have been part of the family's inheritance. Two of his brothers went overseas as young men, one settling in South Africa and the other in the United States, and my father himself had wandered much of the world before marrying. He was never to buy a car, that's true enough. When still a comparatively young doctor setting out on a career as a health officer in Wrexham, he insisted on acquiring a motor-bike, and so I've heard, made quite a name for himself with this early machine as he whizzed gleefully on his rounds, a danger to the life of man and beast in those pioneering days. But by the end of the first world war, when he had once more settled in Cardiff, he was nearly fifty years old, and his eyesight too poor for him to drive a motor-car, and so as a family we were deprived of the privilege of enjoying an occasional trip into the country of a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, as did some of our friends who could afford to follow the new fashion. It was on foot that I had, as a boy, to get to know the countryside around Cardiff, and today I'm very glad about that.

But this didn't mean that we children hadn't plenty of opportunity for setting out from home to see the world. Whenever my brother and sister were home from boarding-school, my father would hire a car to take the family to visit some remarkable place or other in the vicinity, and we were taken, each in turn, to spend a few days in London, like that time I accompanied him to see the Empire Exhibition at Wembley. He took care that we all spent time fairly often with

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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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