Funny how our travels often take us to the homes of famous writers.
In June 2014 we visited Grasmere in the Lake District, home to William Wordsworth (famous for his poetry, “I wandered lonely as a cloud.”) July 2016 is best remembered for our trip to Yorkshire where I had a spooky experience in the home of the Bronte sisters. I never forgot my pledge, where a brand new book of character stories is well underway.
This year, we enjoyed an unplanned diversion to Wales.
I haven’t actually travelled around Wales much, a delightful country with a wild coast and miles of unspoiled countryside. I have vague recollections of a geography field trip near Snowdonia but apart from a week in the Brecon Beacons with my family, that’s as far as my exploration goes.
My brother in law, Garry, is Welsh and loves the country with a passion. More recently however, two of our best friends embarked on a life-changing move.
Up until summer, Nicki lived in North London working for various ethical companies. I enjoyed staying in her flat on occasions, between yomping around the Capital, doing research for my books. Jason (who my husband has known since school days) is someone I’d describe as entrepreneurial and adventurous. More accustomed to a unconventional lifestyle that combines living in a narrowboat and working as a carer, he has a talent of crafting old bits of wood into beautiful pieces for the home and selling them at craft shows.
To cut a long story short, they have embarked on a move to South Wales, having invested funds in a fabulous house in Ferryside, (an idyllic coastal village in Camarthenshire.) The house is simply gorgeous with exposed brick in the dining area, terracotta tiled floors, a homely interior and plenty of space. With four bedrooms, the couple plan to start their own Air B&B next year, so both hubby and I had the pleasure of staying with them.
So what does any of this have to do with writers?
It was Garry who recommended a visit to Laugharne. He must have guessed we’d love it there, a pretty town with pastel coloured houses, enchanting tea houses and the rambling ruins of a castle.
Visiting the castle, we enjoyed the views over the richly wooded hills, marsh lands and long sandy beaches. There is a gazebo in the same grounds, where Dylan Thomas did much of his famous writing. Even the guidebook suggested I would find inspiration there, as a budding writer. (The photos below are in a slideshow format.)
Seated by a very old typewriter with the sea shimmering through the glass, I scribbled out a few lines just for the fun of it. A glance out to sea drew my attention to a sunken puddle in the middle of the marsh, so I let my imagination run loose… but didn’t keep it.
Moving on from the castle, you can take a circular walk which brings you along the coast to the boat house of Dylan Thomas and also his house. It’s a pretty route and you do eventually end up by the church where he is buried.
So it was nice to pay homage to another writer, but purely a co-incidence. For the rest of our visit, we enjoyed relaxing with our friends in their lovely new residence, savoured the views of the coast, enjoyed many a walk there and were rewarded with a tranquil sunset.
The whole area seems very peaceful, far removed from the overcrowded roads back in Sussex. We hope to return next year when Nicki and Jason’s Air B&B is more established and will recommend it to others.. I will finish this post by saying I wish them all the luck in the world for their new venture and cannot wait to return.
Now we are home, I have resumed the writing of a new work in progress, the Rosebrook Chronicles, and hope to deliver the stories soon.