Bonds of Attachment by Emyr Humphreys

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By Emyr Humphreys

During this ultimate novel of the Land of the residing series are the voices of the lifeless poet, John Cilydd extra, and his youngest son Peredur in a twin-track narrative. Humphreys received the English publication of the 12 months 1999 on the Hay pageant.

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It was a chair he should be looking for – perhaps in Ibadan or Abu Dhabi. In this United Kingdom his reputation had gone before him. Every department in the British Isles knew by now how difficult he was to live with. Perhaps he had his eye on a cheap property in the outback, where he could labour at his books and his wife could cook him enormous meals with fresh eggs and he could pop in here twice a week to deliver disquieting lectures and Common Room tirades to subsidise his arcadian existence.

It crowned whatever was left of her good looks. She straightened her back in a conscious effort to keep any incipient dowager’s hump at bay. She looked as wholesome as an idealised linedrawing of a wife and husband picking up the first instalment of a well-earned pension – except there was no husband. She had buried three on her journey to this one-storey modern dwelling and the twin set and pearls. ‘Now for my bit of news,’ she said. She smiled at each of us in turn as though she were examining her refurbished appearance in a triple mirror.

Not an argument or a fleeting point of friction: a 28 full-scale row. And Harry was here to register the shame and horror of it. So far he had heard nothing. I had to get him away. ‘Let’s go to the dunes,’ I said. ’ He stared at my inane grin with manifest suspicion. ‘It’s teatime,’ Harry said. ’ I groaned inwardly. This was another law of the universe. What could I do to subvert it? On an impulse I tried a cartwheel and then standing on my head. They were feeble attempts but I grinned and capered about like a clown who seeks to disparage his own expertise.

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