Everything Else

Land of my Mothers

At the end of a narrow country road that could easily compete with Alton Towers for twists, turns and sudden dips, is a quiet village that I visit once a year when the hedges are full of Daffs and the fields are full of lambs. In my last post I mentioned that it’s traditional in Wales to visit the graves of lost loved ones in the days preceding Palm Sunday and lay flowers. Of course there’s an underlying religious point to it, but growing up it felt more like a huge adventure (and still does); a family quest into the Wilds of Wales (*ahem* Camarthenshire) to find the graves of great grandparents, discover lost houses and crumbling mansions hidden deep within the forest and to stumble around ruins in wellies. As a kid, I looked forward to it all year. With my Mamgu at the helm (in spirit – she couldn’t drive), three generations of us would travel in convoy to the countryside where she was born and where my grandfather is buried.

We still head up there every year – dwindled in numbers. Now that Mamgu’s gone, it’s a trip to visit her too.

Talley is one of my favourite places (and Edwinsford down the road – I’m desperate to get in there, but that’s another story). It’s a tiny village on the edge of the forest and a large lake and it’s perhaps one of the most peaceful places I know.

Next door to the church (and opposite an ancient yellow cottage where Henry VII is said to have stopped off at on his way to Bosworth Field) are the ruins of an old Abbey with towering arches and stone staircases leading nowhere.


Its probably one of the best places to look for Red Kites – which can be seen circling in the sky over fields.

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