Hi honeys, I’m home from our short break in North Wales! It was, by necessity, a very short break indeed, but it did my state of mind good nonetheless. I really need these completely off line/away from the PC breaks to keep me sane and functioning. ;-)
North Wales is practically on our doorstep and we try to visit once a year. The coastal scenery, the landscape of Snowdonia, the fresh air and peace -- it’s a favourite getaway destination. Luckily we can cross the border into Wales in around 90 minutes!
We pretty much always visit LLandudno -- a favorite Victorian coastal town that is especially disabled friendly with a wide, flat promenade and accessible shopping area -- but we hadn’t visited the Llandudno WWII Home Front experience before, so I put it top of the list for this trip.
This is a small private collection of British WWII memorabilia, lovingly put together to recreate the experience of living in Britain during WWII. You are led through the period from the heartwrenching announcement: "we are at war", to ration books, ID cards, clothing, gas masks, entertainment, uniforms, visual propaganda, weapons, medical equipment, and all manner of collectable items.
Here I am by the women’s landworker section. This part was especially fascinating for me. Many years ago, as part of my Masters degree, I wrote about the visual propaganda of the period and how the image of women changed and grew because of the home front needs.
At the start of the visit you are given a WWII torch to help you see everything in the displays and to find your way in the "blackout." This is especially important when you get to the air raid shelter. Here I am, amazed to be inside an actual Anderson air raid shelter!
As soon as I went in there, I was inspired. So many images and thoughts assailed me. I also thought about my author pals who write passionate novels set in the 2 world wars: Jina Bacarr and Victoria Janssen. Notice how -- in the second photo –- I’m more subdued as I listen to the sounds of war...
Once you’re in there the warning lamp flickers and the siren sounds. Then you hear the sound of the bombers coming in and children crying. Emotions tumble in. The shelter suddenly seems so fragile... You can just see me clutching my blackout torch!
This is a much recommended collection to visit if you are in North Wales. A true inspiration.
Once last photo, here I am (wrapped up warm!) on the harbour at Conwy, a walled fortress town with a stunning castle. My current work in progress, INESCAPABLE, is partly set in Conwy and North Wales. It was good to touch the place again and think about the story in situ, rather than at the keyboard.
Now I’m at home and I'm trying to get back into the groove. Honest. :)