The Rule of Home


As a few of you may know, I have been working on a much longer project, a book in fact, for quite some time. This work is centred on a walk made coast to coast across England and Wales, from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk to Aberystwyth on the Welsh coast. The idea was to follow a route that traced familiar haunts and places of personal significance, to join up the dots and connect the places along the way with a line made by walking – a pagan pilgrimage, if you like.

An edited fragment of my slog through the Fens appeared on the Burning House Press online journal when it was selected by guest editor C.C. O’Hanlon back in April.

This month’s guest editor, Rachael de Moravia, chose another piece of mine that will eventually find its home in the book in some form or other. This extract, entitled The Green, Green Grass of Ceredigion, comes from near the end of my journey as I approach Aberystwyth. It muses over ideas of home and the Welsh notion of hiraeth. It is also about roots and routes, and the desire paths of personal topography. You can read it here.

PS: I recommend spending some time perusing the Burning House Press website, which is themed monthly under the auspices of various guest editors. There is plenty to enjoy here, with a wide range of writers and artists venturing off into different and sometimes starkly contrasting spheres of the poetic.

4 Replies to “The Rule of Home”

  1. Hello Laurence
    Having been absent from social media for several days I’ve just caught with this and your latest piece for the Arsonist, which I enjoyed very much. You may be interested to know, or perhaps you already do, that Cornish has the same word, ‘hireth’ (sic), to capture that same sense of longing. Look forward to reading your book when it emerges at the end of the trail. All the best from Catalonia.

    1. Hello Alan. Thank you for reading, and also many thanks for the encouragement to finish the whole project – most welcome. It is interesting to know that the same word exists in Cornish, although I am really not all that surprised. So is it actually ‘hireth’, almost identical to the Welsh word? I knew that Welsh was related to Cornish (and Breton?) but I did not realise that it was quite that close. Looking forward to reading your next dispatch from Catalonia. All the best. Laurence

      1. Hi Laurence. Yes, it’s ‘hireth’, as spelt. I’m rather ashamed to say that I only know a handful of words in Cornish, but obviously that has to be one of them! Strangely, at the time you were submitting your piece to The Arsonist, I was working on something related to ‘hireth’ and my own long walk from Catalonia to Cornwall in 2015, but various things got in the way of my finishing it in time for submission. I may post it on my own site over the coming weeks. All the best

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