Ball on a River: The Book
Ball on a River: paintings and poems came out this month (Deecember 2015). It contains 38 pairs of paintings and poems on facing pages, plus two cover images, about 80 pages in all.
The cover price is £10, through Pay Pal (see below), but is complimentary when you purchase one or more prints (see Buy Prints Online).
Enigmatic, you say; now there's a word. I remember when my sister was friendly with a rugby player and after one match the Western Mail sports reporter referred to the 'enigmatic Gordon Wells'. 'What's "enigmatic" Gwilym?' my mother asked, a bit peeved. My father replied: 'Oh, you know, sometimes he's there, sometimes he's not. Sometimes he's unplayable, sometimes he doesn't play'.
But I think I get what you mean, Ralph. As for your da'cus having a 'whiff'. In my village there were three benches on the mountain road, one at each hairpin, and how high a miner walked depended on how dust-free his lungs were, the bench nearest the village being dubbed the '100 per cent bench'. Happy days!?
You haven't seen elephants in Aber, Ralph? Don't you know the vintage postcard titled 'Mixed Bathing at Aberystwyth' showing a herd of them in the water near Consti? I suspect a few must have fallen off the end of the pier for there's a lot of elephant hide on the rocks below! You must pay another visit.
Rob's paintings and poems are a delight. I love the way he portrays a place, an incident, an era with both a paintbrush and a pen. So full of colour and life. I can relate closely to many of the paintings and poems in his collection "Ball on a River". For like Rob I grew up in a "steep-sided corner of South Wales" and left Wales only to return and live in West Wales on Cardigan Bay like Rob and his family. ( We had both studied languages at Cardiff University in the Sixties, Rob studied Spanish and I studied German.)
My favourite paintings and poems are 'Smoke' and 'Detention - the Bus', as they are so reminiscent of my own experiences growing up in the South Wales of the Fifties. And from the Aberystwyth poems I like 'Lustre' and 'Wall' as he captures the movement of the sea wonderfully.
I was very moved recently when Rob showed me the painting of his mother's hands and how she spoke to him in Welsh in the last days of her life, which he describes in his poem 'Going back'.
Dal ati Rob