Saturday, 12 May 2012

Is Dylan Thomas Following me?

To begin at the beginning, during my creative journey, I have followed the places to which I have been drawn; I have set things up following leads and then if it is meant to happen, so be it, I have not forced the issue. That in itself has been a learning experience.

But as I carry on along the paths laid ahead of me, I keep bumping into Dylan Thomas! 


For instance, New Quay was a favourite  haunt of Dylan's all through his life and he even lived there @ 1944/45. There is  a Dylan Trail showing just how many of the characters from his work originate in New Quay:

I am so very drawn to New Quay since working on Fusion Inspire. I have always loved it but I can honestly say it's grown now into a daily longing.  I belong there, it is as if I can be more creative when I am there, the sea, the waves, yes, but not any sea or random waves, has to be the waves that choose New Quay.

I didn't think too much about Dylan while I've been there. I was aware of the trail because of the blue Dylan Trail signs, but not so much that I thought it to be significant to my personal journey.

But then when I went to Llangrannog, drawn there by the piece of music I heard on Classic FM written by Edward Elgar, his Welsh Tune, I asked a man outside a cafe if he knew where the plaque was for Elgar that is mentioned on the internet. 'That could be it over on the pub,' he said, but when I went over, it was not a plaque for Elgar, but for Dylan Thomas.

If you have been reading my blog from the start, you know how I am about 3 callings ... you can read about it on this blog page:

So here's where I'm at with Dylan:

The night before cat sitting started in New Quay, Annie who owns the Dylan Thomas Birth House, invited me to perform at Cwmdonkin Drive to celebrate Florrie's Birthday. Florrie is/was Dylan's Mother. We celebrated Welsh Mam's Day. We had to choose a room to perform in and I said I would like to play in the front sitting room as it would have been somewhere that Dylan would never have been permitted to bring his friends. They were allowed wednesday nights into his father's office. And so, being the undercover rebel that I am, I played there for all the times Dylan had longed to.

Now I come to think of it, it is my second visit to Cwmdonkin Drive since starting Fusion Inspire .. remember I went to Mab's Poetry Workshop right at the start, and that was at Dylan Thomas Birth House too! Oooo goosebump moment .. BIRTH House at the start of my creative journey! Only just twigged that!

Second, I notice that everywhere I find of interest in New Quay is part of Dylan's Trail. He is said to have written prolifically whilst in New Quay so must have been drawn creatively to it in much the same way as I am.

Thirdly, when I went over to the plaque in Llangrannog pointed out to me by cafe man, it was not a plaque for Elgar, no .. it was a Dylan Thomas Trail plaque!

I was telling a friend this and he said, 'Hey. do you think Dylan Thomas is following you?'

And this set me thinking. I closed my eyes and listened to my inner thoughts and decided that Dylan is inquisitive. He wants to know what I'm doing. He's just keeping an eye, so to speak. Maybe he's waiting for the penny to drop and for me to finally realise that he is a very significant part of this coastline in terms of how the rest of world sees West Wales, through his work, his eyes and consequently for my production to overlook him seems absurd! (Now that I've thought it through with his guidance!)

Off course, a more scientific approach to this conclusion would be that naturally any creative will be drawn to these places because of their beauty and therefore it is a spurious correlation to believe anything other than that of coincidence or that creative people will like these spots. But I'm listening to my inner voice now, the one mother nature gave me, not the one I have been taught through socialisation! And she says .. Eh UP! 3 callings from Dylan ... time to listen!

So, in my prodution, As Dai follows his quest, he will notice Dylan out of the corner of his eye, as a blue face (reference to the trail signs) that always seems to be there ... he feels he knows him ..

'Do I know you?'
'Dai, it's me!'
'I'm sorry, I feel I should know your face but ...'
'Did you not sing at my mother's birthday party, for Florrie? Remember?'
'Ummm ... now you come to ...'
'Surely you remember? It was quite early one morning, you, me and Norman knocking about on these very streets?'
'Yes, yes, I think I do remember that Nogood Boyo'
'Drinking from Cut Glass in the Dolau Inn?'
'Was that me, my friend?'
'I'm watching you Dai, I'm trailing with you every step of the way.'

As I have been writing this tonight I have been thinking about my castle conumdrum after the risk assessment at Llansteffan, I've drawn a bit of a blank ... and I thought to myself, 'I wonder if Llansteffan is part of Dylan's Trail?' And guess what!! It is!!

According to  Llansteffan is the setting for Dylan's short story 'The Outing'

Here is Philip Madoc reading Part 1 of The Outing:

So, I definitely need to go over to Dylan Thomas Boat House really soon. I love to go there but haven't been for ages. It's where Dyaln wrote Under Milk Wood (see first youtube clip)

I'm not sure why, but I need to be near him, so I'm not going to question it, I'm just going to go and see what happens, see how I feel, maybe take a glass in Brown's or have a cuppa and a piece of Bara Brith in the Boat House itself.


  1. What Llansteffan risk assessment?

  2. Have a look at my 'mud dancing in llansteffan' blog :)

  3. Huh. And in answer to your earlier question.

    Yes, Dylan might be following you, kind of.


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