Welsh Musings


White dragon (wyvern). Adapted from wikipedia image of the wyvern flag of wessex. This two legged dragon (or wyvern) follows the style of the two dragons in Harold Godwinson’s death scene in the original 1066 Bayeux tapestry.

I’m not Welsh, either by heritage or because of where I was born. I don’t speak Welsh – I don’t think knowing “bore da” and “nos da” heralds more than the day or the night… and my struggle to pronounce other simple phrases.

I have to admit that I am a white dragon in red territory. I’m English with a touch of Scottish and a quarter Chilean blood to add some spice. An Englishman living in another country. Our puppy, Quetzal has more claim to being Welsh by birthplace – Garndolbenmaen.

However, my American wife, Juanita and I live in Wales. Our home on Pant Mawr Residential Park in Harlech has views that captivate us, giving life to the dreams that were impossible when linked to the States or Canada. One autumn weekend, in the light-sculpting rain, we made the decision to move.


Now, gazing at the mountain panorama watching the spring light etch shapes or soften edges enchants our eyes. There are days when the house is wrapped in a white blanket but the sea mist stirs us, its aroma rich with estuary life. Birds are everywhere dawn through dusk, calling for mates, warning off interlopers, and enriching our ears.

Our lives and our hearts are in Snowdonia. So my musings must be Welsh for this land inspires them.

I have a novel, “Fates Maelstrom”, which was set on the edge of Dartmoor in its first draft. However, the land plays a crucial part and it calls out for more mountains, wild terrain and mists. In this land of legends there have to be the roots of the novel’s new life. “Accused of murdering her grandfather and condemned by her Romany blood, Twyla Locke faces prejudice,  family tradition, a mysterious double and declining health as she fights to prove her innocence and save her eviction-threatened community.  The arrival of Brogan Keyes, an American journalist offering his assistance, seems too contrived, especially when he claims to know about the Lockes’ past. Twyla fears that she is the victim of a scam that can only end in her death.”

I will post my Welsh Musings on my Blog but the Welsh Musings page will be their home. From there you can travel to each post with ease. Join me on this adventure and share your thoughts.

Snowdon & Portmeirion ~ Juanita Clarke

Snowdon & Portmeirion ~ Juanita Clarke

Light ~ A Welsh Musing


Photo of a cloud illuminated by sunlight. ~ by Ibrahim Iujaz from Rep. Of Maldives

Photo of a cloud illuminated by sunlight. ~ by Ibrahim Iujaz from Rep. Of Maldives


My Welsh Musings began on March 1st. St David’s Day, with some thoughts scribbled on a sheet of paper. Here are those words given digital life – a new thread in this blog, which will evolve into a page, maybe a new Blog.

Tangled growth pierced by light. Light of the sky veiled by clouds. Clouds that drift, shifting the light upon the view.

A view that is more than dreamt of. Some moments the mountains are hidden, sometimes a glimpse of an escarpment or a peak. Out there where the snow catches the light is the mountain that lends the region its name. At this moment the clouds even mask the snow, letting the light settle on lower-lying upland swells.

Between distant mountains and the gentler land lies the estuary leading to the sea. Seagulls and crows soar towards us on the wind stirred currents. Spiralling over the trees, carving the air in graceful turns.

Birds dart among the trees, seeking food and mates in the tangled undergrowth. Birdsong fills the air, from dawn chorus to nocturnal calls. Robin hops across rocks that mark the edge where a wooden fence will support climbing roses.

Summer light will bring flower beds edging a patio creation. Days of sun that can already warm like our welcome to this wonderful new home. Neighbours offering willing arms, warm hearts and gifts to revive us after seven hours travelling. Cats wary of so many visitors, although curious about the woolly ones. But bravery has to come as doors are always opening at Pant Mawr.

For this is Wales, the land of dragons and blessings. The songs and words are in the light, the trees, the warmth, and the smiles. Even the sheep come down from the hills to dash around, pausing to pluck at grass and ornamental shrubs.

Welcome to Snowdonia and the mountain reaching for the light.

Snowdon & Portmeirion ~ Juanita Clarke

Snowdon & Portmeirion ~ Juanita Clarke