Ghost Homes

Eluned Gramich

Prifysgol Aberystwyth / Aberystwyth University

elg53@aber.ac.uk

South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, Arts and Humanities Research Council

Question Journal, 2021. Issue 6 (2021), pp. 28-35

DOI: 

Abstract

‘Ghost Homes’ explores the evolving sense of community in a village in rural West Wales, deeply affected by the pandemic. It looks critically at the linguistic and cultural tensions between English holidaymakers and Welsh inhabitants. Using Welsh-English code-switching, it tells the story of a mother and son on the outskirts of Cardigan, navigating illness alongside the isolating pressures of lockdown, highlighting the limitations as well as support of ‘community’. Welsh-speaking Judy is alone at the height of the pandemic, suffering from debilitating back pain. She relies on her middle-aged son, Will, with whom she has a strained relationship. The short story shows the fragile nature of ‘community’ in rural places, especially in West Wales where seaside villages have been bought up as second homes for wealthy English families and, during the pandemic, became ghost towns for the few (often elderly) individuals who continued to live there.

Keywords

Wales, Community, Covid-19, Fiction