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A Visit to Nain’s House

There is a Welsh word meaning homesick which is “Hireath”. Except Mum says it means more than just homesick and that there really isn’t an English equivalent. She says it means a powerful and emotional magnetic pull to home. A yearning one cannot ignore.

She says it was ‘Hireath’ that pulled her back to her childhood home of Anglesy and visiting as often as I do, I really cannot blame her.

‘Our Beach’ White beach, which is a 2 minute walk from her house and, of course, a picture of the spectacular Menai Bridge…Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 19.33.42      sus_bridge5

First let me tell you a little bit about my Mother; Photographer, Art Director and Artist extraordinaire, Maggie Jones Maizels.

My Mum grew up In Menai Bridge with her brother (the established Welsh Artist David Jones) and her very traditional and very Welsh parent’s Glynn and Glen Jones (both Jones before and after marriage, rather delightfully).

My late Grandperants died when I was a teenager, but my memories of them are very fond indeed. My Nain was a busy, bustling jolly Nain, she would sing “You are My Sunshine” when I sat on her knee. My Taid was equally jolly, supplying us with a constant supply of chocolate buttons and tales of his life in the Navy. He was, to our enormous pride, a long serving Mayor of Menai Bridge.

Their cottage was on the banks of the Menai Straights and from their bedroom window you could see the bridge. We were told how Menai Bridge was lit up at night ‘because of Taid’. I can only assume that as Mayor, he ‘made this happen’. Anyway, I have told my own children the same thing, so if it isn’t true I don’t want to know 🙂

My Mother only left Menai Bridge to go to the big brave world of Art School. She met my father at Chelsea School of Art and then went on to The Royal College of Art. With a successful career illustrating and lecturing followed by her long term position as Art Director of my parent’s magazine Raw Vision.

Mum is insanely talented and has always been an enormous source of inspiration for me, her work is stunning.

Here are some pieces I photographed whilst staying in her house…

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So, talking of her house, it is rather a special place.

We stayed there this half term and as I tend to Instagram anything pretty I see, I snapped her house and her work during my stay. There was an overwhelming sense that people wanted to see more, to see more of Mum’s creativity and of her colour, her work spaces and even her rest places.

The house is called ‘Gog’, which is Welsh for Cuckoo and is nestled in the hills overlooking Snowdonia near Beaumaris.

The views from her house are simply stunning.

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There isn’t a corner that hasn’t been carefully thought out and full of her creative touch…

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With her work and her collections dotted around the house (look at her miniature Welsh Dresser!) it is easy to spend hours just snooping around!

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Nain also, as well as being an extraordinary painter, is an extraordinary knitter and master of Crochet…

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My Children adore staying at ‘Gog’, it is so cosy and welcoming and when the North Wales wind is howling, it is such a peaceful and warm haven.

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Mum has been more prolific in this house than ever before, here is where she paints, peacefully, overlooking the mountains…

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On her sofa is a cushion with the word ‘Cariad’ (the Welsh word for Darling), the girls love that it tells them how welcome they are, whenever they arrive.

At the end of each visit, we try to find a little blue item to place on her blue Welsh dresser, sometimes it’s a painted pebble, a piece of china, but it is hard however, to add to perfection…

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So, until next time ‘Gog’ and Nain, thanks so much for having us… xxx