Monday, 7 February 2011

Being ME.

You would think, wouldn't you, that I am me all of the time, doing the usual run of the mill housework, doing the things I enjoy doing, chosing what crafts to occupy me, what books to read, what to plant in the garden, trying to find our next dream house. But there is a "real me" which doesn't often get much of an airing these days. This is the "real me" who has a brain, who springs head over heals in excitement at something new learned, who desperately wishes she could have gone on and done an M.Phil - who knows, even a PhD. But this "real me" is subjugated by the demands of still being a wife and mother, who puts other people's needs before my own, who has to think about housework and the logistics of family having to be at work on differing shifts, of their worries as well as my own. This isn't meant to be self-pitying, just a statement of fact - life gets in the way for many of us, doesn't it?!

On Saturday I was "me" all day, as I enjoyed a series of talks about the achievements of Exploration Tywi, which I had hoped to be involved with, but it happened at the wrong time in my life. I would have enjoyed being involved in the churchyard surveys, the Hedgerow surveys, the Digs. I have at least been able to do some studies under my own steam, and hope to do some more research to submit. I loved hearing about archaeological sites which had been checked out but whose position or lack of remains proved a stumbling block; I loved hearing about the stories behind one or two of the names on gravestones in Llandeilo churchyard; I enjoyed hearing the story of a short-lived farmhouse which finally was reduced to rubble by fire, and what the finds said about the last family to live there. I had my brain well and truly stretched by the talk about the movements of the Twyi which is one of the most dynamic rivers in the UK, and certainly the busiest in Wales.

I jotted down something which I found really inspiring about one of the "lost houses" of Wales - that of Danyrallt in the Towy valley, which was raised to the ground about 1840, when new house improvements/extension were found to be wanting. I think I may go into the Archives tomorrow and call up one of the boxes of estate documents . . .

Imagine an old Elizabethan mansion, all angles and tall chimneys, surrounded by fields called The Court, The Bowling Green, The Cherry Orchard, The Orchard, Little Orchard Meadow and Old Hop-Ground - it sounds almost self-sufficient . . . It was formerly called Alltymeibion although this name was dropped around 1628 in favour of Danyrallt. Roughly translated, "meibion" is sons or youths, and "allt" is slope or hill . . . "Dan yr allt" would be roughly translated as under the slope or hill.

But think what was lost when it was demolished. I jotted this down from one of the posters around the hall on Saturday:

"The old house of Danyrallt was a very ancient structure, partly built of excellent masonry and partly carelessly yet strongly put together. There was a chapel above the small parlour, painted and gilt with these mottoes: Ascendit orado, descendit gratia, and Solideas gidria (I think - I DID scribble so). The chapel had a ceiling coloured with azure powdered with gold stars and the sun and moon to represent the firmament . . . ."

I may have dropped a few words in my scribbling, but it was more or less so. What a loss, but I guess this branch of the Lloyds had other houses elsewhere and this one was considered old and tatty by then . . .

Anyway, I haven't forgotten Part II of the Walks, so I will get that sorted in the next day.


  1. I hope you find time to be yourself more often. I sometimes think that the real me is under here somewhere and it would be great if I could get out from the responsibilities from time to time.

    Love the photo (and I know that's not in Wales!)

  2. This sounds like exactly the sort of thing I'd enjoy too. So glad you had chance to be 'You' for a short time at any rate. Have still to read the link you sent properly - been to the vet (don't ask! B Baggins v Squirrel, squirrel lost but not without putting up a fight!), the reflexologist, 2nd alk with D.O.G. and now off to nurse for injections for SA - great joy:( The letter WILL arrive later this week!

  3. It's great to just be "you", and hard to find that time even after kids are grown and you retire. Archeology has always been my first love and thankfully it's one I can share with my husband. We've looked into going on a dig and hope we'll be able to do it some day.

  4. We all need time to ourselves that is important and certainly something I probably neglect at times x

  5. I so understand and appreciate this post! Glad you had some time away to explore and enjoy. Reading your blog so makes me want to visit Wales...England...Ireland...Scotland - all of it!


  6. Ah - why is it that we, as females find it so difficult to be even slightly selfish and take care of ourselves once in awhile? I recently visited my physician and mentioned that I had this great yearning for a room in a 5 Star Hotel, with a king size bed, six fluffy pillows, curtains to blot out the light, a large screen TV and room service (and maybe a jacuzzi tub, eh?)- all for myself. Instantly seeing through me, she suggested that I take at least 10 minutes a day for just me, whether it is a solitary walk, a hot bubble bath or meditation. I was also to leave strict instructions for everyone to leave me be for those "me-time" minutes, even if I was standing on my head in the middle of the hall. My doctor also printed it out on my take home receipt!
    Do just take a deep breath and let your mind wander to wonderful digs in Egypt, South America, Pompeii and Wales and let your mind dream!

  7. Yes I loved history and would loved to have dived into old dusty books researching or getting caked in mud in a dig. Didn't go down that road either :-(

    Your love of history and particularly social history shines through. I hope that when your life restarts at your new house (it feels like that doesn't it? I remember the feeling well) you can make more time for study and new experiences.
    In the meantime please keep up your account. Its always lovely to read your posts.

  8. When I was young, that is what I wanted to do, be a female Indiana Jones. But unfortunatly, in the late seventies, females didn't do that, and I was labeled an oddball and some other nasty names. I was the one who loved to find bones from critters and dig in the dirt and look for arrowheads in my native Sandhills of Nebraska.
    But I still look for bones, and dig in the dirt.
    That is why I love your blog, your in-depth knowledge of history and lore and legends. Dream on BB.

  9. It is so good to hear that you had a chance to "Be You". I do sympathise.

    That sounds a fascinating day and must have stirred up all your old desires and enthusiasms once again. Maybe there could be a way to get involved again, and use your skills and knowledge in some new research?

    Thank you for a photo of Avebury. Now, that is a place where I seem to find yet another version of me altogether!