A fellow enthusiast of all things Mawddach recommended Four Fields, Five Gates by Anne Loris Hill. It’s a wonderful story of how three women teachers renovated a ruined shepherd’s cottage in the hills above the Mawddach during and after the Second World war and their adventures with the landscape at Blaen-cwm-mynach. I particularly enjoyed the references to places I know so well like the George III at Penmaenpool and ‘the little station’ where the Anne and Mat arrived from Oxford.
Today I’d like to share a wonderfully evocative piece of writing describing some adventures during the July heat on the Mawddach written by DoubleSkinnyMacchiato, the celebrated coffee blogger – who in the interests of full disclosure also happens to be my daughter, Bex:
A Summer Weekend on The Mawddach
A wonder 541 million years in the making
I am not a Marian and I have never been to Farchynys. Most of my school years were spent forty miles down the coast in Aberystwyth and University was Abertawe. I was never in the CCF but I was in the Scouts. And yet Farchynys on the Mawddach seems somehow as real, as quintessentially Welsh, as romantic as anything I experienced in my teenage years.
The Editor, Paul Walton, one of the early Marians on the Mawddach, does a wonderful job of paying tribute to a time and place only 541 million years in the making. And if you’ve climbed Cadair Idris and looked across the Mawddach to Snowdon you know that those were years well spent. The place is certainly the star of Walton’s little masterpiece but it’s the colourful array of characters, locals and Marians, that brings the book to life and gives it its warmth and charm. It’s the characters that will have you wanting to run [or cycle] the half marathon, eat fish and chips in Barmouth or, perhaps, visit the resting place of “Mai the Milk”.
But watch out, like me, you may begin to wonder what sort of activities will be on offer to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of Barmouth Bridge to rail traffic on October 10th. – any excuse to make the trip!
Bryn Mawr, PA