IDENTIFYING OTHER FRUITAGES.
The view from the top of the hill above Caerphilly is of the busy town below where I grew up. The town is pleasantly situated in a wide valley, surrounded by fields of rich greens that cover its broad and gentle slopes, and latticed with hedgerows for keeping sheep and cattle. A little lower down are the small houses, many of which are old, built with squared stone and random planning. The rows of grey slated roofs dominate the view, with the window casements outlasting the draughty sashes women risked their lives to clean.
With each year
that passes, small estates of new houses spring up, little by little divesting
the valley of its beautiful greens, but providing much needed homes. While
strolling through the older parts of the town, I became aware of the solitude. I
felt like shouting, 'Where are all your happy children, the friendly voices of
yester-year that made this place feel like home? What do you mourn in the place
of my birth?' But I realized other places were changing too, so why not
this one. On reaching the High Street, I reflected on the surrender
of community spirit in the centre of town, and the relentless noise of one-way
traffic passing through and flooding out its heart. I also thought about
the huge fortress that stood majestically, untouched
I was on a weekend visit to my parent's house. They felt the need to discuss their troubles with me, and it was apparent that they were not getting on very well. A feeling of hopeless resignation had grown between them. Dad was weary of the endless bickering and said he wanted to make his peace with God. He claimed he was repentant, but produced no deeds befitting repentance.
Some time passed, and on the morning of August 16th 1982 I was awoken by a knock at the front door. I heard the mumble of a brief conversation downstairs. Then my wife Diane entered the bedroom. She paused for a few moments, then said,
"Ronnie, it was
a policeman. Your father
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