Stranger Than Fiction

There are some conversations that no script writer could ever dream up.

Caller: Hello. We were informed that you were involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault.

Me: No.

Caller: Well we were informed you were involved in a car accident. So you were involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault and you say you didn’t know about. Is that right?

Me: If I was involved in a car accident I think I would have known about it.

Caller hangs up.

Truth really can be stranger than fiction.


Bedd Gelert

Bedd Gelert 2

Bedd Gelert – Pronounced Bathe Gel-aert (with a hard ‘g’) means Gelert’s Grave. The village is in North Wales, and no visit to the area is complete without visiting this grave.

And it is a grave; a grave with a legend attached. The legend has a number of versions, all essentially telling the same story. I will merely repeat what is written on the grave stones. (The one on the left is in English, the one on the right is in Welsh.)

In the 13th century, Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, had a palace at Beddgelert.

One day, he went hunting without Gelert, “the faithful hound” who was unaccountably absent. On Llewelyn’s return, the truant, stained and smeared with blood, joyfully sprang to meet his master. The Prince, alarmed, hastened to find his son and saw the infant’s cot empty; the bedclothes and floor covered with blood. The frantic father plunged his sword into the hound’s side, thinking it had killed his heir. The dog’s dying yell was answered by a child’s cry.

Llewelyn searched and discovered his boy, unharmed. But nearby lay the body of a mighty wolf which Gelert had slain.

The prince, filled with remorse, is said never to have smiled again. He buried Gelert here. The spot is called, Beddgelert.

I make no judgements as to the veracity of the legend. But it does teach a lesson:-

We always need to hear both sides of the story.

Folly 25

Well, I hope that I have managed to keep the suspense going for a whole week. Today, I intend to finish this series. But first, for the benefit of those who have not read the entire story so far, and to keep the suspense going, here is the full story. (Those who like to read the last page first can skip to the end!)

Castell Coch 20

The truck pulls over.
“Going my way? Need a lift?”
Foolish, she gets in.

Revs up the engine.
Pulls into heavy traffic.
Smiles a wistful smile.

“Were you waiting long?”
“No. I only just arrived.”
“Good. Looks cold out there.”

“It isn’t so cold.
You get used to the weather
When you have to walk.”

“Thought I’d have to walk.
“Didn’t think I’d get a lift.”
“Then I came along.

“So where have you been?”
“Just wandering through the mall.
“Bought a new outfit.”

“You’re skipping off school?”
“I was bored with the lessons.”
“Is that a good plan?” 

“What class did you skip?”
“Business Finance. I hate it.
“Prefer history.” 

Long miles of tarmac
Drift beneath the pickup’s wheels.
She closes her eyes. 

A feather-like touch
On the back of her pale hand
Startles her awake.

“Where are we going?”
“I thought we’d take a detour.
” I hope you don’t mind.  

“You feeling okay?”
Involuntary shudder,
But says, “I feel fine.” 

The traffic thins out.
As they leave the town behind.
“Where are we going?” 

“Don’t worry. It’s fine.
“I just thought it would be nice
“To have time alone.”  

This wasn’t the plan
When she skipped lessons today.
Frown crosses her face.  

Deft flick of the wrist.
The truck pulls off the highway
Onto a dirt track.  

Dust swirls all around
As the pickup lumbers on.
She stares straight ahead.  

“Ah! We have arrived.”
“Where, exactly, are we now?”
“Let’s go for a walk.”  

“I don’t want to walk.”
“You like history, don’t you?”
Gets out of the truck.  

Surrounded by trees,
Reluctantly, she gets out,
With quivering hands.  

“Let’s go up the hill.”
“What if I don’t want to go?”
“Oh, you want to go.”  

Darkness deepening
As the forest closes in
And the mist descends.  

Breath coming faster.
Gothic towers now appear
Between the tree tops.  

A private castle
Built for the sheer pleasure;
A holiday home.

“I knew you wanted
”To see John Stuart’s Folly.”
”Oh Mom. You’re the best!”

What? You didn’t think I would create something with gratuitous nasty stuff, did you?