I had an incredible experience while we were holidaying this week at Bluestone in Wales. We were heading off to go on a steam train somewhere in the Welsh countryside, but we got horribly lost and it soon became apparent that we’d miss the train. Instead of getting stressed out, I told Hubs to keep driving and see where the road took us. At the next junction there was a sign pointing to “Dylan Thomas Boathouse” so I suggested we follow it.
The road weaved and climbed though the Welsh landscape, wending down through Laugharne and towards the wonderful Taf estuary. We parked at the back of a bakery and walked down the coastal path towards the house, we found his writing shed at the top, almost as he’d left it, the curtains open to afford a view of the sea and the coastline from his writing desk. It made me want a writing space half as special as that. A girl can dream.
We followed the path down some more, leaning over the wall we could see the clean slate roof of his home near the shore of the estuary. We walked down the wooden steps and through his garden, shells littered the flower beds and an old shirt and pair of long johns hung jauntily on the washing line. It felt very intimate and quite special.
Opening his front door we were met with a hubbub of chatter, the home felt warm and welcoming. We were damp from the rain and the small boy was hungry, so we walked down the steep staircase to the bottom and found an old parlour of sorts, we bustled in and found a table in the corner.
A wonderful lady called Cheryl Beer (an award winning singer, song writer and musician) came over for a chat with the boy. She showed him some of her great selection of musical instruments and they were soon playing a variety of drums together, whilst I played with a singing bowl. Together we made some lovely music and it felt very, very special. The house felt almost spiritual and I can’t help but feel that something had drawn us there, especially when we were told that it was the very first International Dylan Thomas Day (on 14th May 2015).
We had tea and cake (both excellent), popped to the gift shop and then lazily walked back up the path to our car. It was an intensely wonderful experience, on the way home we stopped to pay our respects at the grave of the great man at St Martins Church in Laugharne. His grave marked by a simple wooden cross and at its base the ground is scattered with seashells and pennies left by visitors.
In the garden of the boathouse there is a bench with the words “The funny thing is, I find myself going back again and again”; and do you know what, I think I will.
You can find out more about Dylan Thomas boathouse on the website, if you’re in the area I urge you to visit.