Saturday 6 February 2016


All our belongings were in four large suitcases. Two were balanced on the pram, two stood on the platform. I leaned out as far as I dared and looked to the south where the line skirted the edge of Cors Fochno. The steam from the engine was bright against the hills like a great Welsh dragon. Soon, the train from Aberystwyth crept under the footbridge. To the east past Tre-taliesin the sun lit the hills and reflected on pools in Cors Fochno. The summit of Cader Idris caught the sunlight. The tales of the landscape were bright in my mind.
I looked towards the village, but could see little from the platform. But as I thought of the tales, I imagined the local people were secretly the characters in the stories. Perhaps Mrs. Galloway was Ceridwen, with a great cauldon in her kitchen behind the toy shop. Her son, was he Morfran? He looked smart enough. Mr. Bowen the chemist must have been Merlin the magician, with all those potions. Trefor the Butcher … my mind quaked with fear, perhaps he was Owain Glyndwr. Emlyn the donkey man was surely Gwyddno Garanhir. I imagined him feeding the donkeys up beside the railway line, then going down to the waters edge, gazing over his lost lands. His son Bill would have been Elffin. Perhaps, on his days off, Sgt Davis the policeman was the giant Idris. I imagined him seated high on his mountain chair, gazing at the stars.

The Gathering of the Heroes

In my mind I stand outside the shop looking at the toys. In the greengrocers Aran Morris is chatting amiably to his customers.
“Hello Mrs. Galloway, how are you? … Yes I can imagine, all that stirring.  … no, and firewood not cheap neither.”
“Hello Mr. Bowen … I’m sure, very tiring, prophecy, … yes, dragons was it? … No, not surprised.”
“Hello Trefor … I know, it’s not the same … ach y fi, invading were they?  … No, no respect.
 “Hello Emlyn, … What, no fish at all? … You don’t believe that?  … Who’s the mother then?
“Afternoon Sgt. Davis, … yes of course, very tiring,  … but I’m sure the stars were lovely.”

That’s what they call this place: Land of the Summer Stars.