Sunday, July 06, 2008

One of the good things to come happen over recent weeks is that we have been seeing a lot more of Sue’s boys. Craig and his Girlfriend Anne stayed with us after the Funeral as they now live in Sheffield. We’ve spent sometime with Matthew and quite a lot of time with Carl.

Carl lived with Sue and it’s fair to say that they lived a pretty insular life. Over the past few weeks we’ve been enjoying seeing the world through his eyes and we introduce ourselves into each other’s worlds.

Yesterday for instance we spent the afternoon and evening in around central Bristol together, initially at The Arnolfini for the Far West exhibition. I had popped into see this the previous Sunday when I was dashing off to catch up with Orynthia, her mum and brother for Sunday lunch at The Louie. I though at the time that it was great and was itching to get back and spend more time in the place. Having done that, I’m not actually convinced that it’s as great as I thought it was on first viewing. It’s still an interesting mixture of ideas around the theme of consumerism and worth a visit if you are in the area.

After a wander around the shops of Park Street we then eased back to the waterfront. This time to the other cultural institution in this part of town The Watershed. We were here to meet up with my mum to see the film “The Edge of Love”. Dylan Thomas and his destructive ways are the centre point of the film, he is someone who has always figured in our family. I think that he was a touchstone for my mum when it came to her Welsh heritage.

One of the few holidays that I really remember us all being at, was a 1970 trip to Laugharne in West Wales. It was in this strange little town that Thomas lived and worked for many years. In those days there was no real Dylan Thomas industry so my parents were thrilled when a friendly local who happened to have the keys to the Boathouse, the place that Thomas called home from 1949 offered to let us have a look around. It was empty at the time, which somehow made it even more special. The refurbished Boathouse is now a splendid museum to Dylan and his works.

The film does capture the dank nothingness of much of this part of the world. At the time I wasn’t much taken with the damp underachieving countryside, with it’s scruffy house’s, shop’s that were always closed and cold damp rooms where the silence shouted out at you as you tried to fill the holiday evenings. These days I rather admire their ability to resist the lure of the conformity that has engulfed so much of the UK.

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