Before Gaeddren


A wet day has its compensations. Firstly, it waters Jackie’s newest planting well. Secondly, it forces her to take a rest. And thirdly? It enables me to delve into my photographic archives and scan samples to my Apple. Today I returned to the colour negatives of the 1983 holiday in North Wales.

Becky 1983 1

Here is Becky outside the farmhouse where we stayed, in the fields of which

Matthew, Becky, Sam, and cows 1983 2Matthew, Becky, Sam and cow 1983 1

she joined Matthew, Sam, and several obliging cows.

Slate mine disused 1983 1Clouds over slate mine disused 1983 1Clouds over disused slate mine 2

Here are some more photos of the disused slate mine, converted to black and white images.

Sam 1983 1

Sam turns to spur me on up the track beside the house,

Landscape 1983 2

beneath which patchwork quilted landscapes are draped.

As has been mentioned before, this holiday was taken before our friends Ann and Don had completed the refurbishment and conversion of Gaeddren, their house in Cerrigydrudion where we were to enjoy further good times in North Wales.

Scrap metal 1983 1Scrap metal 1983 2Scrap metal 1983 3 Scrap metal 1983 4

On this occasion, somewhere near the village, we came across a scrap metal yard, where dead cars of varying hues rusted away among the corpses of domestic appliances.

This evening, for dinner, Jackie produced chicken marinaded in honey and mustard; sweet potato, crisp carrots and cauliflower; and a juicy melange of onions, leeks,tomatoes, and peppers; accompanied by a slice of egg paratha brought back from Lal Quilla yesterday. A egg custard tart was to follow. The Cook drank Hoegaarden and I finished the fleurie.



  1. My daughters call the region of France I live in ‘the North Wales of France’ … seeing pictures like this convince me they are right.

  2. It looks like it was a wonderful holiday.
    The second black and white photo is stunning, and the second wrecked car photo does look like some kind of sculpture.

  3. What does North Wales and the early eighties put together produce? In your case, some cracking photos! I love Wales. They say of all of England only Wales remained truly English in terms of DNA and so the souls of Arthur and the Isini are in the hills no doubt. And the early eighties were the time I most recall being a little girl and how everything still seemed quite unspoilt and lovely, pre-internet and pre-M4 so some places really were hard to get to and really worth it when you did!

      1. I once visited a hippie commune in Wales, two sisters of my best friend lived there, they were two beauties, and they lives with their kids, in an old slate mine (probably in hindsight not terribly healthy) but it seemed to me like a paradise at the time. I have never forgotten how Wales does appear to have a magic to it.

  4. All of the children are beautiful or handsome, but Sam’s expression, “spurring you on,” Derrick was such a precious one!! <3

  5. Yes, those photos are great, Derrick! I love all those pieces of rusted and not-so-rusted scrap metal! What is an egg paratha? Some kind of egg bread?

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