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Torfaen Tales

A Charmed Life

It was a cold, blustery evening, typical March weather. Philip, the head of the household, was in work. He often worked late at the office where he was the senior partner in a private firm which produced bathroom accessories.

It had been a dark, dismal day and the boys, Evan, 10 years, and William, 7 ½, had long since got fed up with playing games on their individual play stations in their bedrooms. The family lived in a remote area in the Welsh mountains. They could play safely outdoors as long as they didn't wander further than a quarter of a kilometer from the main buildings.

It was seven o'clock in the evening and the boys were watching one of their favourite films on a DVD. Mum Brenda sat on the settee with four year old Matilda by her side. Their tea, a casserole, wasn't quite ready. It wasn't often that Brenda allowed herself to sit down watching TV at this time of day, she was usually far too busy in the kitchen.

Matilda was laid flat out on the three seater settee with her head resting on Brenda's lap. Brenda fondly caressed the four year old and gently pushed back her long fringe from her face, revealing a pair of gentle, velvety, almost black, brown eyes. It wasn't often that Matilda lay still like this, especially when the boys were present. She preferred to jump about. She was inquisitive by nature and often got on the boys' nerves when she rummaged in their toys. “Matty” for short had her own toys but found Evan and William's more interesting. Mum spoiled her rotten. The wind was scarcely allowed to blow on her. If she didn't want her food she was never urged to eat up like the boys were. Evan and William at times were a little jealous of Matty. She was a cissy to say the least. The boys had much more fun with Robby, the family pet, a crossbreed collie dog. He was allowed out with the boys to play in the wet, muddy grass outdoors. He retrieved their balls and even brought sticks back that they had thrown out of reach in the fenced-off pool at the bottom of the garden, He, of course, could jump the fence.

It was no good Matty was treated as a spoilt kid. Once Evan had heard an adult talking about Matty and he described her as having 'a charmed life', whatever that meant. Evan thought the boys had to put up with Matty being a Mum's pet; at times they felt immensely proud of her, especially when she was described as pretty and poised.

Bath time was to be special this evening as the family were having a special day out tomorrow. The boys had been warned they were to have an early night and to behave themselves. No winding Matty up. She too had to be calm and as relaxed as possible. After all three had bathed they were allowed another half hour's relaxation before actually going to bed.

Mum as usual spent a long time on Matty's hair. The four year old was quite good as she was used to all the fuss, and to the utter disgust of the boys she actually liked having her strands and ring curl brushed this way and that, with the hair dryer moving slowly over her.

This time tomorrow night things would definitely be different because Matilda Presley Locksmith would have once more strutted her stuff in the Afghan section for the under fives in the dog show which was to be held in Carmarthen.

N.B. Ring curl of the tail is a distinctive feature of this breed of dog. The dark brown almost black pigment of the eyes is another feature.

By Sylvia Jones

Forthcoming Events

Family of Blaenafon and Family of Miners

Date:
29/08/2017 - 28/01/2018
Description:
Two photographic exhibitions by Walter Waygood documenting the landscape, home life, society, work, religion, mining and youth in Blaenafon from the 1970s onwards.

Winter Art Selling Exhibition 2017

Date:
06 - 21/12/2017
Description:
Pontypool Museum has its annual Winter Art Selling Exhibition in the Barker Gallery - a special exhibition by Members of the Museum who are all local artists!

Pontnewydd Progressive Walk

Date:
11/12/2017
Description:
A moderate intensity 5 mile walk led by a qualified walk leader starting from and returning to the Queen Inn, Upper Cwmbran.

Pontypool Health Walk

Date:
11/12/2017
Description:
A low intensity 1 to 2 mile walk led by a qualified walk leader starting from and returning to Pontypool Active Living Centre
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