Monday, August 9

“The Celtic Fringe” by Barrie Griffiths

Hi Lena,

“Wales” is indeed perfectly correct though the name for our country is actually ‘Old English’ and means “Foreigners”, which is a bit of a cheek really as we were here long before they arrived and drove us out of the land now called “England”!

We are (so we are told) together with the Irish, the Scots, and the Bretons of France, members of one of the oldest races to still survive in modern Europe. It was originally thought we were descendants of the Celts who occupied much of France and Switzerland and fought against the Romans in the early days of their rise to power. For this reason we are now known collectively as “The Celtic Fringe”, but our own legends and those of the Irish tended to indicate that we arrived in Britain by sea from the west. Modern research with DNA is now tending to confirm this, indicating that we came from northern Spain or Portugal.
Anne and I have ‘themed’ the part of our garden nearest to the house to reflect these early “Celts” who worshipped stone and water. Hence we have a couple of small pools with fountains and some standing stones (which are a common feature in our country). We decided against building a stone circle (like the one at Stonehenge), however! The two little statues represent Matholwg, a hero of Welsh legend and a young “Gwrach” (“witch”) with a baby dragon (out of sight) at her feet. The red dragon (“y ddraig goch”) is of course one of the emblems of our country and appears on our national flag.

The yellow flower at the front is known as the Welsh Poppy, and many people won’t have it in their gardens because it spreads itself everywhere. We love it however as it blooms from spring well into the summer. Anne keeps it in check by daily cutting off any dead flower heads and this has the added bonus of making it flower even more.

Hopefully I have not bored you with my brief history of “The Welsh”. Love and best wishes from us both,

Anne & Barrie