I’ve lived in Wales all my life so my first blog is about Wales, my motherland. I love Wales, I relish the soft rain that sweeps over its hills and valleys and the sun that shines over its wonderful beaches. It’s a land full of heroes like Llewellyn the Great who fought English attempts to dominate this small Principality; it’s a land full of stories and music: the mediaeval stories of the Mabinogion and the adventures of Gavin and Stacey, endless songs sung by ancient bards and miners’ choirs. I could go on and on about Wales but I’ll spare you the rugby champions, the ancient language etc. and tell you the disturbing story of my dear old motherland’s youth. 

My temperate motherland has a torrid past. The Fossil Swamp, an exhibition in Cardiff Museum shows that 300 million years ago Wales basked in the heat of the equator, and there she gave birth to monstrous club mosses as tall as oaks and outrageous insects: dragonflies as big as daggers and immense crawling creatures with a disconcerting number of legs. I find it hard to imagine my motherland as a swamp lashed by tropical storms and know the children she bore were so different from those she nurtures today. The evidence is overwhelming though, and has been dug up in Brymbo in North Wales Here, under the surface, are the fossils of the plants and animals that once populated the lump of land that is now Wales. 

I might have to accept that my motherland is a compulsive globetrotter. I hear rumours that the old girl may be on the move towards America.

Where will she be in a few million years, what alien creatures will she nourish in a future where all the heroes of Wales will be forgotten, where sheep do not graze and even the familiar hills have been swept away?

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