When I moved here in July 2018, I had been visiting Aberdovey for over 16 years at all times of year. The village and its surrounding area have been a constant source of delight. When I decided to leave London, Aberdovey was the first place that came to mind, and before I knew it, I had arrived.
Prior to moving here, I lived in an area called Surrey Quays in London for nearly 25 years, and for the last 10 of those years wrote a blog like this one about the local heritage, natural history, local activities and events, and occasional news items of local interest. It was both fun and educational to learn about the local area and take photographs of what I was learning about and seeing, in case others were also interested. I met many people who shared my interest in the local area, and it was great to exchange information and become more involved in the promotion and protection of local heritage and public spaces. For those reasons, when I moved here it seemed like a very good idea to start a new blog focused on similar themes in and around Aberdovey. This is it. I do hope you enjoy it. As a newcomer to permanent living in Aberdovey, I hoped to find out more about what it is like to be here as a fully paid-up member of the community and the surrounding area and I am hoping to add more about local history and archaeology. Please get in touch if you would like to comment or contribute information, photographs or anything else you think would help – it would be great to hear from you.
I should probably mention that I was trained as an archaeologist and my research skills are all about raw materials left in arid desert landscapes (if you are feeling reckless, my PhD thesis about prehistoric livelihoods in today’s deserts of Egypt has been organized as a website, which you can find here). I am not, however, a historian and my historical posts are all based on secondary research (work done by others from original or secondary sources). I have researched in as much detail as possible, but if you are here for a serious research purpose, please check my sources, and then check their sources.
A blog is organized by date, like a diary. In many ways it is not an ideal format for what is essentially magazine content. A list of labels at the right of each page and post will help you to find topics of interest, but under each of the page headings along the top (Heritage, Nature, Food, Living) you will find a sample of the main posts (articles/stories) listed for ease of navigation.
I should add a note on languages. In spite of a maternal grandmother from south Wales and paternal great grandfather from Anglesey I do not speak Welsh, but I travel everywhere armed with a Welsh to English place-name dictionary and have found it a complete revelation. The early Welsh people who named their villages and homes were seamlessly connected with their world, all place-names capturing the profound sense of identification with landscape and place, of one’s relationship with the intricacies of local topography. I thought about whether I should call this blog “Aberdovey Londoner” or “Aberdyfi Londoner” and in the end I opted for the former, because it was a more honest reflection of my origins. But throughout the blog I offer the translations that I have learned from my Welsh-English dictionary and my place-name decoder. In doing so I realize that I am only conveying the dry words and not the ideas and feelings that were incorporated into such an intensely rich language, but I enjoy the descriptive nature of place-names and the connection that they offer with the past.
Finally, on a technical note, if you choose to follow the blog by clicking on the Follow button just underneath the Search field, you will receive an email whenever I post anything (thank you if you do!). You will receive no other emails, just a notification when I have posted. An oddity is that whenever I post a video and you click on the video link in the email it will take you not to my blog but to YouTube. The reason is that the videos on this blog were originally uploaded to YouTube and are linked to from the blog. However, each of the emails has the title of the post as a link at the top of the email, and if you click on that instead of clicking on the video itself it will take you to the blog and you can run the videos from there, which will save you being offered lots of other YouTube content. The joys of technology!
Oh, and to avoid the frequent confusion caused by my name, I should mention that I am female.
All the best