Thursday, November 15, 2007

Where we live

Where we live now there are a cluster of cottages on the side of a hill. On three sides there is sea, and when the storms come you can hear the waves break on the wide beach. You can smell the salt sea. The air is clear and clean and fresh.
Our cottage is small and tatty and held together by the webs of spiders. The garden is wild and full of bright birds. The house is warm. At night lights shine from the windows, and you can hear music and sometimes laughter. Smoke rises from the chimney and when the door is open there is a smell of cooking.
At one time over 100 people lived here with their cats, children, dogs and horses. There were two chapels and even a school house. The cottages were small and poor and farm workers kept the fires burning.
There was a well where the women would meet to talk and draw water and exchange news.

Now the well is dry. Some of the houses have people living in them, but more than half have no one. No lights at night. The windows stare out blindly on the world. No smoke from the chimneys, no voices of children, no cats or dogs. They stand like cold empty shells devoid of all life other than the odd scuttle of mouse. We think it is sad. They would make good homes for more cats.

And there are ruins that once were cottages, small and low, one roomed and full of life. Now they have ivy for walls and the sky for a roof. This is where the ghost cats sing.
Tonight the sharp claw moon rides again in a clear sky. All is stillness outside, except for the flutter of late bats who should be at their winter sleep. Not even a sound from the calm sea.


Daisy said...

It is so beautiful where you live, I do not understand why all the houses are not all filled up with many people!

Jackie Morris said...

All the houses are not filled up because people are strange. They value money more than anything and see houses as investments rather than homes. So, people from away buy holiday homes. And some rent them out which brings tourists here and others leave them empty and use them for a week here, a week there, an investment for their future.
Meanwhile young local people find that the price of a home has soared to beyond anything they could ever wish to afford, or they mortgage themselves so deeply they cannot afford to have families. The school finds that their numbers fall so low that yet another teacher is made redundant and the school becomes threatened with closure.
You can drive down one street in StDavids on an evening in the winter and never a light shines from a window. Empty. Dead.
And when those who own the houses and leave them empty come for their weeks holiday in the summer and tell me how lucky I am to be able to afford to live here I think, yes, I am lucky, because I know the value of time. Money you can spend, and then you can get more. Time is spent and never comes back. So spend it well.

kathyann said...

We would love to live in one of those houses and make it our own ,we love open spaces where the cats can roam and play safely,its wonderful to see all you three ginger cats exploring the countyside around you .Kathyann (meg's mum's muffins )

kathyann said...

There are six of us we are all very friendly and we would love to come and play,I'm sure we'd have a wonderful time,lots of places to hide and explore.We live with our mum and her daughters and we are looking for a new home near the countryside! Misty

dragonladych said...

I need to come back someday. I spent a night at the "Youth Hostel" in St Davids years ago. I loved the place, if not for the huge spider that lived in the restrooms... I'm not too happy around spiders.

I was supposed to show my byofriend around South Wales (he's from the North but never really visited the "other" part of his own country! But then we separated, now I need another excuse to go back to Wales!

The Misadventures Of Me said...

So very beautiful. Mommy Bean has longed to move to a peaceful quiet area with all us kittys and her family.

She had found Wales very beautifuls when she visited and thinks her next visit may have to includes where you lovely gingers live.

Claire at PV said...

Yes, we would like one of those houses! That way we'd be able to wander home after we've had dinner at your house, instead of having to drive. Poor, sad, deserted houses! Sob.