Thursday

Keeping warm. Staying whole.

I was driving from my parents' house to Port Talbot town centre yesterday morning and stopped at a pedestrian crossing to let a guy and his young daughter cross the road, obviously on their way to school. His tracksuit bottoms were tucked into long socks, his hoodie pulled tight around his face. Thirty years ago, maybe even twenty years, I'd have thought: man, you're in desperate need of some style advice. Yesterday my immediate response was, good on you for keeping warm mate, and wondered if I should tuck my leggings (under my jeans) into my socks for added warmth.  

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with no central heating and gas fires in only the living room and front room, I used to get dressed under the blankets on winter mornings, pulling my nightie off and my underwear on, tights, vest and petticoat, jumper and skirt, before hurtling downstairs for breakfast. 

As a teenager and in my early twenties I'd freeze in the line for a nightclub, sleeveless, bare legged, daring my teeth not to chatter rather than spoil 'the look' with a coat. 

These days I belong to the same style club as the long socked man: whatever it takes to keep warm in cold weather. 

Age or maturity? (The two don't necessarily go together.)

Heat and warmth and protection from the cold. I had them all at once in Llangrannog last Monday after a visit to Sebastien Boyesen's studio. Boyesen is the sculptor responsible for two pieces of public art in Port Talbot and a whole swathe of them around Wales, sculptures that draw on a region's history and myths, the lives of people who have lived and worked there. His bronze sculpture of St Caranog watches over the coastline here.

At the Patio Cafe/Caffi
Llangrannog, on Wales' west coast, is a one road in/one road out kind of village, roads that make you breathe in (in a futile attempt to reduce the width of your car), with a cliff-framed beach created for satisfied sighs and silent gazing. In a cafe at the shore I had a dish of fish chowder, two hunks of wholemeal buttered bread and a view I could spend my life with. 

Outside, the wind had nearly sliced me in half. Inside the soup, and the sunlight and sea through the window, made me whole again. 







Hungry Writing Prompts
  • Write about something fashionable or unfashionable.
  • Write about keeping warm.
  • Write about an episode from your teenage years.
  • Write about what's at the end of a road.
  • Write about what makes you whole
Llangrannog beach and cove