I am awake but don’t move; quiet morning light streams along rough edges of grey brick walls. I hope the ghost is waking up, too. Maybe she’ll pass my bed as she stumbles to the bathroom? Alas, it seems only living beings stumble around with crusty morning eyes. I rise and do just that.
I’m staying with jolly Uncle Willie and Aunt Val (twice removed). For the better half of a century they’ve lived in this 400-year-old converted farmhouse, named Little Llanthomas, on the outskirts of Monmouth, Wales. It’s a black-and-white village in which much of the populous lives in rural outskirts. I’m intrigued by Monmouth and greater Wales. Most people speak Welsh, a lilting, guttural language. One expects to see gnomes and fairies in the fields.
A local told me that Wales feels “tribal.” To me, it feels wonderfully weird.