Last Updated 18/05/10
My dear wife Betty passed away on the 28th of April 2010 after a short illness. Don Lucking
It stood for two hundred years or more, a grand old hostelry,
The Min y Don with it`s back to the cliff and it`s front to the Irish Sea,
Withstanding many a savage storm and many a spiteful squall
Defying the wind and violent waves lashing the old sea wall.
Built to last from old grey stone, steeped in history,
The Min y Don at Red Wharf Bay on the Isle of Anglesey.
In the early days the fishermen’s ways dominated the quay,
With the catch brought in they’d meet at "The Min" and talk of their day at sea,
They’d hear the sound of plunging hooves as horses coming in
Carried weary travellers to the well-known coaching inn.
Time marches on and with fishing days gone people came to stay
To enjoy the sun and the family fun on a summer holiday.
In modern times the Min y Don was a place for revelry,
With weddings, discos, parties and Christmas festivity.
The old grey walls absorbed it all as ghosts from the past looked on,
Content with all that happened in that place called the Min y Don.
They`ve demolished it now to build houses, bulldozed from ceiling to floor,
Without a thought for the age-old past and the people who’d gone before.
They’ve put up modern buildings, very trendy and smart,
But that’s only part of the story since they tore out it’s very heart.
The past is linked to the future so whatever is said and done
The ghosts of yesteryear will haunt that place called the Min y Don,
They will linger in shadowy corners and whisper of people who came,
Nothing has changed as far as they know so to them "The Min" is the same.
They’ll be at their posts and re-live what they did and walk where they walked before
For now they’re disturbed they’re up and about, looking and wanting more.
There’s the red-haired girl with the clustering curls who waits by the coach-house door
For the boat coming in bringing Dafydd home but he’ll come home no more.
When the boat went down he was left to drown, the one they couldn’t save,
Now Dafydd, and his little pet dog sleep in a watery grave.
The old sea captain will walk the floor following his routine
When he got well-fed then went to bed and died in room fifteen.
So many spirits will linger as the cold east wind kicks in
Remembering the winter time and evenings spent at "The Min".
The incoming waves will come racing reminding us as they roll
That Red Wharf Bay once had character and the Min y Don had a soul.
Ó Betty Weaver-Lucking 2003
Once upon a time there was a newt called Nigel. He didn`t know his name was Nigel. He didn`t even know he was a newt, let alone a very important one. You see he was an aristocrat among newts, one of the Great Crested variety, an endangered and protected species. A very rare and extremely pretty newt. This meant that no one could touch him, invade his space or mess with his habitat which was a lovely meadow with a little whispering stream, wild flowers and many other species of wild life such as field mice, voles, birds, rabbits and a visiting cat called Clyde who chased butterflies but never caught one.
Sometimes a few horses were brought in to graze but Nigel didn`t mind. He knew how to avoid the occasional hoof. It was easy because there was so much space. To Nigel the meadow was the world, a world that began to crumble the day some people began stomping about carrying clipboards. They were called Jones and they were going to build houses.
A bunch of people, all friends and neighbours living close to Nigel`s habitat got wind of this. They were the Smiths and they quickly formed a committee. Support was mustered within days. Petitions were signed, letters dispatched and posters printed, all opposing the destruction of Nigel`s meadow.
Nigel oblivious to the furore was busy growing his brightly coloured crest and preparing to meet his mate Sybil at the whispering stream. She would eventually lay just one egg, and a suitable leaf would be found to hide and nurture that single precious offering.
Meanwhile support for the Smiths grew. More and more Smiths contributed to the flurry of mail aimed at a marble hall which housed a gaggle of people, again called Jones. These were the people who had wilfully sanctioned the wrecking of Nigel`s meadow.
At first, they paid little attention to the outpourings of the Smiths who were seen as insects to be swiftly brushed aside. They were untouchable in their marble hall, wallowing in bovine tranquillity, secure in the knowledge that they would by hook or by crook do what they wanted to do and never mind what the people they were appointed to serve wanted. Collectively they were God. They were wrong of course in this arrogant assumption. God was in the meadow with Nigel, Sybil, Clyde and a newborn foal. They couldn`t appreciate this, and never would.
Replies to the Smiths were extremely thin. This wasn`t surprising since the wheels of marble halls run on procrastination, misinformation or no information at all. Silence is a powerful weapon. A few standard postcards filtered through to the Smiths to the effect that "The matter was being attended to" or "Remarks were noted." Occasionally a proper letter winged it`s way to the Smith committee, but after weeding out the waffle nothing constructive emerged.
The Smiths began telephoning people who sat in the marble hall. They wanted answers. Sadly the telephone was manned by a robot programmed to deter anyone (especially the Smiths) pursuing information. The person targeted was always out of the office, in a meeting or, if it came to the crunch, away on holiday. The latter was a good one because the robot never knew when he or she would be back.
Not quite. The Smiths found out about Nigel, Nigel could well save his meadow, but he couldn`t do it on his own. The Smiths rallied support from the heavy brigade, a body of people called Green. Their job was to argue Nigel`s case.
This turn of events rattled the Jones` cage, the last thing they expected was their project to be held up by a newt. It was ridiculous. The whole thing was becoming a nightmare. The tranquillity of the marble hall was severely disturbed. A serious epidemic of foaming at the mouth broke out and an atmospheric change turned the air blue.
A newt survey was arranged to establish Nigel`s existence. The Smiths were not privy to the result, but they watched as a structure referred to as a newt fence was constructed across the meadow. Nigel was supposed to climb over or get under this fence to the other side and stay there, thus keeping out of the way of the mechanical diggers poised to invade his meadow.
Whether or not Nigel understood this is debatable. He hadn`t read the handbook so could only rely on his instinct to save his life.
We can hope that Nigel did get to the other side of the fence to meet Sybil at the whispering stream, that they made that baby and lived happily ever after.
If he didn`t, his demise would be wicked and unforgivable.
Assuming that he did escape the bulldozers he will still need his wits about him, for now the Jones` have turned half the meadow into a building site they will not be content until they have violated Nigel`s half as well.
Nigel and the Smiths must be forever vigilant.
Copyright: Betty Jean Weaver-Lucking 2002.
What lovely meadows have I seen in the sun
With their large families of little flowers
Smiling beneath quiet, peaceful skies.
Let no man trespass on these happy hours
And think acquaintance waits in my two eyes.
This glorious light that makes the butterfly
Go staggering like a drunkard through the air
Till he lies dazed and panting on a stone –
This light I feel is both my light and fire,
And love may bleed to death till it has gone.
W.H. DAVIES. 1871 - 1940
Nigel`s Meadow-May 2001. Just Before Work Started
Nigel`s Meadow-January 2002.
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