Meanderings in Monmouthshire

It’s while since I’ve been in touch with the waiting world but in the interim The Seven has been published, got it’s first review, (a good one), had a quiet launch at Welshpool Library and last week was given the test of it’s first writing group with the generous response of my friend Pat Smaill’s Writing4 Fun group in Monmouthshire.

Before the session could even start, (attendance was delayed by a funeral which caused car parking disruption) one of the group brought in a book which had astonishing relevance for the matter in hand. Joseph Jacobs Celtic Tales was the book which you could say stated all the problems. It was reading the story of Powel Prince of Dyfed, (his spelling not mine) which provided my first taste of the Mabinogion and a quest which has gone on in one way or another ever since.

So having the book in front of me was a suitably inspirational start to the proceedings. I read from the book, both the prologue to set the scene and characters and then the two Part Four scenes which take part in the ancient court of King Arthur and which include the first appearance of my outrageous and irascible Merlin. Here Tony finds that there is someone grumpier than he is and who would rather play computer games than listen to Taliesin spouting his poetry again.

“Mr Wonderful should have coughed up most of that phlegm by now.’

What can I say but Merlin sold the book for me and all five of the group enthusiastically with one even being willing to borrow money to make up enough to do so.

During the few weeks since publication a number of people have read it and responded and this session confirmed what i have been thinking. That although the book was clearly intended for the 8-11 year old age group , adults seem to really appreciate it. What’s more I know at least three who’ve read it twice.

So perhaps that clarion call “Ask After the Seven” is one which should be aimed in the future at a much wider age group. Watch this space but in the meantime thanks for all the responses and interest.


As for this image – it seems highly appropriate for the final part of the book mentioned above. This could so easily be part of the Dark Lord’s kingdom. Or the gateway to one of the seven ‘caers” of Annwn. The Castle of the Sea perhaps.

This second image is only lacking a dragon and Merlin to be Merlin’s cave. (Although clearly you can’t see his computer).