So today we had some relative calm before the storm:
I stayed on the Ffarm, concentrating on the chores & going round the whole place, taking the advice on the ‘Weather Warnings’ page of the Met Office’s website & anxiously preparing for the battering we were imminently about to receive. The weather was still pretty grotty whilst daylight prevailed but as night drew in with an ominous lack of luminescence offered by the benign moon, the mild moan of the wind gathered in ire until I was afraid the very roof would be torn from the house; offering me a sleepless night, huddled beside the roaring fire with the cats curled on the sofa & Nanuk gratefully snug in her basket.
I kept myself occupied with concocting new ice cream recipes & ‘tweaking’ some of my less successful cheeses; as well as researching my next article for ‘Smallholder’ magazine which is due to be published in the March edition (although the magazine appears in the shops, one month in advance; so will actually appear on the shelves, on February 1st!). It will be about our Easter experiences here on the Ffarm; & there’s certainly plenty to entertain, what with Tony teaching a gosling to swim in a paddling pool he’d set up in the living room in 2006, to one of the little lady goat kids, Aderyn, breaking her leg & having to live in the house with us for several weeks in 2007!
Meanwhile last Winter ago I’d written a submission for (what I’d mistaken to be) a competition: entitiled ‘In Her Element’, it was about womens’ experiences in the Welsh landscape & is run by Honno, a publisher devoted exclusively to Welsh women writers. Having hurriedly entered a piece of work, I wasn’t quite sure I’d really hit the nail on the head as although I ‘waxed lyrical’ about the changing of the seasons in our locality (as every time of year holds its’ own magic) I had more described our journey to get here, than our time on the Ffarm (which up to that point had not really amounted to much as I’d been commuting to Gloucester!). However, at least it had proved a good exercise as up to that point I hadn’t really dusted off my quill to any serious extent, for literally years. The ‘Us’ page here on the Blog, is an adapted version of what I wrote if you are interested in perusing it (although at present I apologise that the page is currently under painful reconstruction as it crashed a little while ago & I’m having to retype the whole bloomin’ thing!).
Anyway, we’d dropped the submission off at Honno’s offices in Aberystwyth, way back on an unseasonably balmy March morning, taking a little time also to explore the town which we hadn’t really had an opportunity to do, before. It’s a very pleasant, bustling seaside town with the ruins of what must have been a fine castle, on the coast; so we wended our way through the tangle of narrow streets surrounding the main shops & the pier; & gazed from its’ crumbling ramparts at the sunlight sparkling on the leaping, lifting, little white horses which rode the waves & crashed in a flutter of flying spray on the slate-grey spars of rock below us. It was a day of warmth & wonder, & one worth the trip alone.
Months, & the closing date for ‘In Her Element’, have long since passed, however; yet neither I nor several friends of mine had learned of the outcome although by now we were all naturally resigned to negative news. And we’d all faithfully put a stamped, addressed envelope with each of our submissions in order to have them returned in the event they were not required; again, many had not as yet received them. So as Honno’s website had still not published any other information than the closing date having passed, I’d emailed the editor to determine when we might have an update as another writer had mentioned she’d been told in July, that her piece had been successful.
As I’d suspected, my entry had not been chosen & although I’ve been assured my submission had been promptly returned, sadly it appears it has long since been ‘lost in the post’ (I hope whoever’s got it, has enjoyed it!). However I discovered that rather than being a straightforward competition it had in fact been a more direct call for contributions for an anthology of various pieces. Subsequently the editor explained that she felt my submission was “the beginning of something longer” rather than a stand-alone story as it contained a number of anecdotes, rather than focusing on one or two incidents or the details of an experience; & therefore would not fit in with the overall style of the rest of the anthology. However she clearly remembered what I’d written & commented that she’d thoroughly enjoyed it, complimenting what she described as my “light, lovely tone” of writing; & at least the door is open for me to compile a book about our experiences here at Ffarm Fach in its’ own right & send it to Honno, for their consideration for publication.
So what do you think, folks? – Do I crack on (cracking up, more like!) & write that book? Would you want to ‘read all about it’ in a glossy little volume?! Answers in the ‘Comments’ box please….!