Thursday, 27 March 2014


The harp has always been very special in the heart of Welsh culture, where it was seen as a tough, robust instrument, coming in many different sizes. Some were for the parlour and other for the lap.
We are looking forward to moving to the birthplace of Wales most recent 'super harpist'. Catrin Finch has brought the harp back from the 'twinkly fairy like' thing in the back of the orchestra to the fiery, passion, solo, robust all encompassing instruments. She blends her harps, traditional and electronic with those of the Chilean outback and with gourds encrusted with many sets of strings from parts of Africa.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

HIRAETH (hear eye th)

This morning I was reminded by our new vicar Nia Wyn Morris of the difficulty of translating a very special Welsh word 'HIRAETH' .. it is a kind of deep, deep, heart longing for home. 
When we first came to live in Drenewydd and found that in November the salmon go upstream in the river Severn to their home, I started to see a picture of struggle powered by an energy. The energy is 'homecoming'. Home (when ideal) is so important - a place where we are known - understood - recognised - sit at the table with friends - a place of common sharing - where we know and are known .
The salmon in the painting (now in Birmingham) have a longing, a HIRAETH, they push on against great odds, across many struggles to arrive at the heart longing.
We can hear the same theme in the spirituals of America & many other lands in songs like 'Going Home'. 


Robert Genn the Canadian artist (?) said in his latest blog that it is good for people to be curious.
'The cure for boredom is curiosity - 
there is no cure for curiosity!'

Keep looking at the world in a new light - see it first thing in the morning, last thing at night, during the night even. Look at its colour, its shape, tone, texture ... just look! Then ask questions - why, what, who, where, when ...

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


How nice not to HAVE to spend lots of money to celebrate a birthday. Loads of friends came if they were able to, to join in wishing little 2yr old Florrie Ava Betsi W a Happy Birthday. We were not stuck in a room, tied to a person for two hours hearing the 'did I ever tell you about' stories. Freedom! But the best thing of all was that young FAB was able to run, jump, eat, blow candles out ... safely.

Thursday, 6 March 2014


Newtown must have been a very busy place at one time with its 12 or more churches. Old photos show many services each Sunday, with Sunday School having almost 200 people in the afternoon, and that is at just one of them. Apparently belonging to Sunday School also meant you were able to go away on the free trips to the seaside ... incentive. But, you also learned to read and write ... so not bad all in all!
Without the shop front being in the way this view alone would have contained 5 churches/chapels!

Monday, 3 March 2014

DRENEWYDD (Drhair neoow ithe)

A small market town with plans. In the coming years it will be pedestrianised, with trees, links from the station and of course the long awaited bypass. This should breathe new life into a traffic jammed town.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Malvern Hills

One of my few watercolour painitngs - The Malvern Hills after Aubrey.


Before long - hopefully, we will have moved to a new canvas, with new vistas. But it will be sad to see Malvern disappear over the horizon. This has been my haunt since childhood, often wandering by myself for many hours.

Saturday, 1 March 2014


We went to our first 'Welsh Communion Service' last night, the eve of Saint David's Day. Bendigedig! Diolch Nia.


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