Some pre-travel conversations

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With five days until I leave for Wales I find myself having some interesting conversations:   ‘What will the weather be like in Wales, Liz?’ ‘Summer when I arrive.’ ‘And after that?’ ‘Autumn.’ ‘Followed by winter?’ ‘Well, yes…’ ‘So, it’ll be cold and grey and it will rain a lot?’ * What will you eat…

Poldark – a post series reflection

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I didn’t watch the Poldark TV series in the 1970’s. But I’ve seen the DVDs at the library, looking somewhat dated and uninspiring. I have also turned the novels over in my hand and wondered whether I might enjoy them. They are Cornish and therefore Celtic, Cerynweg being a sister language to Cymraeg (Welsh). I’m…

The Anchoress – by Robyn Cadwallader

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The author’s name first attracted me to this book. Surely she was a Welsh woman? On investigation, however, I found the her to be an Australian. Oh well, dim ots, that made the book a possibility for the Australian Women Writers’ Challenge. Everyone was talking about it – a debut novel, such an interesting topic,…

A week of small things

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Last Saturday, I told my husband I wouldn’t be speaking English and spent the day chatting in Welsh on Skype, doing SSiW lessons, and listening to Radio Cymru. It was a long, intense, surreal kind of day. As daylight gave way to dusk, I took the dog for one more walk around the block and…

Changing Patterns by Judith Barrow

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Changing Patterns picks up the lives of the Howarth family in 1950, soon after the events with which Barrow concluded her earlier book Pattern of Shadows. We are allowed a brief moment of happiness before a single tragic event upsets the whole balance and the family are thrown into chaos. Old secrets return to threaten…

Pattern of Shadows – Judith Barrow

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Having just recovered from an upper respiratory tract infection, you will imagine my horror when I found my husband had returned from a work trip, carrying another version of the sniffly, snotty, headachey and generally laid-low versions of the virus. We are now both sitting in front of the fire like a pair of old…