Illuminations: An Anthology of Welsh Short Prose

By Meic Stephens | Go to book overview

thereafter, she had chosen to live apart from the community, geographically and socially; she had a nice house built for herself on the slope of the hill beyond Bodiwan 2. In a word, she kept herself apart, and she was to have no more influence on the life of Bala and the district of Penllyn. She was a prisoner of her own past.

As I watched her shopping along the High Street that morning in 1967, I was half-hoping that she had changed, that the severe formality had thawed and become more flexible, and that after the age of three score years and ten, time had brought her reconciliation with a past that I could only guess at; in a word, I hoped that she had matured and, as Pantycelyn 3 put it, that she had 'conquered and passed through the tempests of fire and water'. It may be that my guessing was all in vain, my interpretation wide of the mark; anyway, in just three words the old woman put me in my place and back into the only time in which she was able to comprehend my existence, back at the table of the European History class in Church House in 1932. Nothing had changed, and so it was 'Good morning, Lloyd'.

Bore Da, Lloyd (Gwasg Gwynedd, 1980)


In Modesty and Trembling

Hafina Clwyd

I came up to London in September 1957, a young and innocent teacher full of confidence, energy, and ambition. There wasn't a white hair to my head nor any hint of crow's feet around my eyes. How are the mighty fallen! I had then a naive faith in human goodness and a healthy prejudice in favour of children. What I didn't know was that London children and the children of Dyffryn Clwyd were of different breeds, indeed, almost from different planets.

What worried me most was the thought that I shouldn't be able to speak English all day without breaking down, or drying up. As it turned out, I was surprised to find that there wasn't any need to have worried. I couldn't understand a word they said; this wasn't the English I had learned at school. It was an ideal situation: we didn't understand each other. If you have watched the television pro-

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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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