Unbroken Thread: an intimate journey of the daily life in the Welsh countryside of England's best-loved woman novelist - Oliver Sandys (Marguerite Caradoc Evans) Rider & Co., 1948

Roedd Marguerite Caradoc Evans yn byw ym Mhenrhyn-coch 1946-52 yn Heddle (Dolwen heddiw -y bungalow cyntaf ar y chwith wrth ddod at y pentref - heibio Panteg).

PYTIAU o'r dyddiadur, a ysgrifennwyd ar ôl marwolaeth ei gŵr Caradoc:

August 23rd 1945
page 14 "your last wish that we should sleep together. It [receipt] came through the post the other morning, made out by the Big Head of Chapel Horeb."

Received from Mrs Caradoc Evans the sum of ten shillings for 2 grave plots at Horeb cemetery. £0 10s 0d. Signed : John Ellis

page 15 "Thanksgiving Sunday after World Peace"
We went forth into the grey mist, Nick and I and Timber [pet dog], and as we came out at the gate the stillness was broken by the most beautiful singing.
It was as beautiful and unexpected as the song of birds, but this was the singing of human voices in perfect unison. We guided our steps by it, and our steps brought us to the rugged white cross of local stone hewn out of a mountainside that is the monument to the village lads of Penrhyn-coch who gave their lives in the war before this, and there with the Cross for background were the ones who were making such beautiful sounds - community singers, members of the chapel.

The people were singing in Welsh, led by the house decorator who decorated and painted this house, David James. He is an artist at his work, and he has the sensitive face of a poet, and when I saw his delicate, masterly handling of the community singers I understood what makes him an artist.

I am at home here in Wales - in Penrhyn-coch. I never was at home with other people, except the Welsh - your people, my people.

David James says "Good evening ma'am!? to me.
I couldn't let him go like that - not such an artist.

"Splendid, Mr. James. I listened in to St Paul's Cathedral this morning-trumpets and fanfares, and oh! such a great gathering, but I much preferred the music by the Cross to-night, and I shall never forget it - truly.?

"Is that so, indeed? Thank you very much, Mrs. Evans, and I am glad we pleased you".
Thank you, Mr. James. Thank you, all you sweet singers with the voices of birds.

September 10th 1945
page 29
To church this morning - as a tribute of politeness to the Vicar, the Reverend Jenkin Williams who has been so kind to me in helping me to find a servant.
A handful in church to-day - ten persons, the service in English. In the evening it will be in Welsh.

November 1st 1945
page 92
On Wednesday I ordered a duck from Mr. Rowlands, the farmer at Frondeg, who obliges us by delivering our milk twice a day- the milk from Frondeg - cream four inches thick down the neck of the bottle.

Frondeg, grey, stone-built, ancient, is on the breast of the hill and you go over a bridge and up a long, rutty, climbing lane to get to it.

Mr. Rowlands is a big, heavy, handsome, kindly, elderly man. When he is dressed for town he looks 'county'? The Penrhyncoch lot are mostly burly and well shapen. Jack Jones, farmer, haulier and contractor is another you would swear has aristocratic blood in him.

January 1st 1946
page 129
There is a village called Salem not far from here. A child fell ill just recently with this mysterious sickness which is really dysentry brought over through the war from somewhere. She lives with her grandmother who boiled a mouse and gave her gravy from the mouse to drink for a cure. The child is cured.

A young married woman in this village with a beautiful complexion tells me of a terrible burning accident to her face, when her paraffin stove set alight. Her face is unscarred because she went straight away to the cow-shed and plastered her face with fresh cow-dung. She kept this mess on for two days, renewing it when it dried. Her skin healed and in a week it was without blemish.

January 6th 1946
page 131
I go for a walk very often up the climbing, rutty lane at the side of Penrhyncoch Post Office that leads up to two farms, the first of which is Penyberth. Here live John and Maud Evans, his wife and their three beautiful little girls, ages six to eleven, two are like blush roses and the youngest, who is six, has curly hair the colour of the sun coming out on a winter's day and her skin is snow with the exact pink in it of the wintry sun shining on snow.

January 17th 1946
page 134-6
Ever since we came here nearly eight months ago there has been trouble over the water supply?
We are not on the main water supply. The main water from Borth come as far as the memorial cross about 150 yards from this bungalow. There is also a tap just by the smithy and this water comes from a spring and a reservoir which is on a high land some miles or so away belonging to Sir Lewis Pryse, Goggerden, who is too old and ill to be worried with a little village water 'piff'.

January 19th 1946
page 145

Penrhyncoch lips are tight shut and they know secrets - heaven knows what secrets. Age-old secrets that they only tell amongst themselves.

page 146
Penrhyncoch cottage doors are always closed except for the Post Office and the two open doors of the two old ladies with the cats outside. These stand at their open doors and pass the time of day, but even so, you are not asked within.
The exceptions are the house opposite, trim within and trim without, as trim and neat and shimmering with cleanliness as the beautiful blue-eyed housewife, Olwen Jenkins, who slips in and out of my house as I slip in and out of hers - always a smile and a welcome there.
The other is the cottage half way to Garth, a continuation of Penrhyncoch, where lives the sweet little elderly woman, Miss Jenkins, who gives Charlie [my brother] his bed and breakfast.
Her eighty-four-year-old mother on whom she waited hand-and-foot died last October and now she lives alone and her cottage is another shimmering delight - door-knobs, brass candlesticks, furniture?you never saw such a shimmer and a shine and as if that were not enough there is the shine of her smile. She does my mending for me.

January 24th 1946
page 148
A farmer you would have liked to talk with is Mr. Hughes of Pencwm Farm. He is a man about forty with the reddest, roundest, honestest face and the sturdiest body I have ever seen. He is married to a neat wife and they have a little boy of three.
"Have you farmed all your life?"
"Not quite" In the coal mines I started, but I got out of it. My father was in the coal mines? Eighty-four he was when he died and never ill a day. They didn't get that silicosis in his time when they worked with the pick and shovel?

March 27th 1946
page 182
Evan Williams, who does the garden for me, goes forth on his bicycle to his work at seven o?clock every morning to the plant-breeding centre at Aberystwyth. He takes his lunch and a Thermos with him. At six?not before?he is back? On his way home he looks in: "Can I boil myself a cup of tea now, Mrs. Evans, if you don't mind. I have brought a little pinch of tea and sugar with me. The days are lengthening and I had better dig the ground for your shallots and I see that Mr. Jack Jones has left a load of manure at the back for you and I had better spread that as well - and if I am able to, I will come to-morrow the same time to put these plants in for you and attend to your rhubarb.