Helo! Dw i ddim yn ysgrifennu fy mlog i yn aml yn ddiweddar – Hello! I haven’t written my blog much lately. Mae’r achosi? – the cause? Wel, dw i wedi bod yn trio canolbwntio ar fy nofel i – well, I have been trying to focus on my novel.
Dw i ddim yn gwybod os bydd y nofel erioed yn cael ei chyhoeddi – I don’t know whether the novel will ever be published. Ond mae rhaid i fi ei orffen hi – but, I have to finish it. Mae rhaid i fi ddweud wrth y stori – I have to tell the story. A dw i’n moyn fy nofel i i bod y nofel wella iddi hi’n gallu bod – and I want my novel to be the best novel it can be.
Felly, dw i’n gweithio yn galed – therefore, I am working hard. Gwna i llawer o newidiau – I am making many changes. Weithiau, ffindiais i fy mod i’n gorfod i dorri darnau o’r nofel – sometimes, I find that I am forced to cut parts of the novel. Darnau mawr – big parts. Darnau llawn of ysgrifennu eitha neis – bits full of quite nice writing (wel, dw i’n meddwl – well, I think so).
Felly, meddwlais i, efallai, bydda i’n newid y blog ‘ma tu fewn bin sbwriel – therefore, I thought, perhaps, I will change this blog into a rubbish bin. Felly, nid rhywbeth bydd yn gwastraffu – therefore nothing will be wasted. 🙂
Syniad da? Good idea? Dw i’n gobeithio – I hope so.
Bridie sat waiting for Rhys. She had something to ask him. Something important. She’d been trying to catch him all week. Finding him alone wasn’t a problem. He often spent time by himself. But whenever Bridie had been almost ready to approach, Alf had made one of his clumsy attempts at friendship, or Ma had set another foolish task, and the moment passed.
But no one was going to stop her this afternoon.
Doctor Roberts had called a cleaners meeting and Ma rested. Rhys sat alone. Bridie had a queer skittering feeling in her tummy, half excitement, half nerves. She was determined not to lose her resolve.
Rhys sat behind the horse-box. Bridie had seen him squeeze in between the two small boats. She would like to have joined him, but it wasn’t a place for two. It didn’t matter. She had plenty of time. Alf would be hours.
Laying her dad’s notebook on the deck, Bridie leaned against the horsebox. The sun felt warm on her bonnet. Its heat prickled the skin of her neck. Sweat teased and tickled beneath her bodice too. But there was nothing she could do about that.
She wriggled her toes in their encasing of stout black leather. Ma insisted she wear her boots between decks and, generally, Bridie didn’t mind. The floor of steerage was damp, almost composting. It would have felt slimy beneath her feet. But here on the main deck, it was different. The timber was airy, sun-soaked and clean. It would be nice to take her boots off, to feel the breeze on her sweltering feet.
Bridie tugged at the laces of her boots. Glancing about to make sure no one was looking, she slipped her hands up to the garters above her knees. Two quick movements, and her feet were free. Rolling stockings into a ball, she shoved them into her empty boots, allowing her toes to bend and flex in the sun.
They had been at sea for almost a month. Alf was knotting each day into a length of string. The first two weeks they zigzagged back and forth between England and France. Last week they had passed the Bay of Biscay. Now they were somewhere, way off the coast of Morocco, where the skies were blue, bluer than blue, the clouds a whisper on the breath of God. Strange birds wheeled in the skies overhead. Sleek grey dolphins swam beside their ship, arching and dipping, in the white froth at their prow. It was a holiday, a summer picnic, cucumber and cress. It was raspberries, sweet blackberries and plums.
Tilting her head back, Bridie squinted up at the man in the crow’s-nest. He was looking for Corvo, the northern most island of the Azores. Alf said they would pass it any day now, so long as the winds remained favourable.
Bridie couldn’t fault the wind at the moment. The ship fairly danced along its yards of canvas bowing and bucking like shirts on washing day. After Corvo, they would pass a host of other little Portuguese islands, followed by the Canary Isles, which were Spanish. It seemed to Bridie the sea was filled with small scattered islands, like a giant’s hopscotch, all belonging to different players. It would have been interesting, if only Alf were not so intent on turning it into a geography lesson.
From the Canary Isles, the captain hoped to pick up the northeast trade winds that would carry them down to the Equator at which point Neptune might pay them a visit. Bridie hoped he would.
A scuffling on the other side of the horsebox caught her attention.
Maybe Rhys was finished already!
Further scuffles and a whine, told her it wasn’t Rhys, while a cold wet nose confirmed it was a puppy, a black puppy, with a patch of white around one eye and splashes of brown across its tub-of-lard body. Its mother, on the other side of the horsebox whined and scolded, alarmed by her offspring’s daring.
Bridie picked up the pup. He was warm and soft with folds of ready-to-grow skin. Smiling, she held him close, enjoying the tickle of his downy new-puppy fur against her cheek. ‘Go back to your ma, little one. Can’t you hear her call?’
If the puppy did, he wasn’t listening. He opened a miniature snout, full of pinpricking teeth, and gnawed her hand.
‘Ouch,’ Bridie adjusted her grip, holding him at arms length. The puppy gave a small annoyed yap and squirmed in her hands. ‘You’re a tinker,’ she said. ‘But if you don’t go back there will be trouble. Trust me, I know.’
She put the puppy down and clicked her fingers, pointing towards the horsebox. The puppy wasn’t interested. He plonked his bottom on the boards and raised his tiny, teddy bear’s nose, sniffing.
The yelping and scrabbling on the other side of the timber panels intensified.
‘Naughty pup, listen to your ma, she’s worried about you.’
The puppy wasn’t going anywhere. Bridie pushed him along the smooth wooden surface towards the sound of his mother’s distress. He turned, cuffing playfully at her arm. It was sweet, his paws being so chubby and uncoordinated. She could have played with him for hours but his mother barked, thumping heavily against her pen. She would have to take him back.
Scooping the wriggling pup into her arms, Bridie crawled towards to end of the horsebox, rounded the corner, and came face to face with Rhys.