• Susanne Devine

A random act of kindness

In this day and age of spam and phishing emails it's rare that I open an email from an unknown sender that has been marked as potential spam, BUT I'm ever so glad I did in this particular case!


Let me tell you a little heart-warming story in these difficult and frustrating times:


It all began during another one of those frustrating albeit sensible lock downs last autumn, on 20th October 2020 to be exact, when I received two emails within minutes of each other from an unknown sender who explained in detail (in German) that he found me on-line, by pure chance, despite the fact that he hadn't been searching for accommodation or me especially. He was in possession of a copy of an engraving produced by a chap called John Boydell (1720-1804) of the beautiful Aber Falls (Rhaeadr Fawr in Welsh) two villages to the West of Penmaenmawr and my little B&B in Abergwyngregyn and, since he shared my passion for Wales as a fellow German and needed to downsize as he and his wife had moved into sheltered accommodation, he wondered if I'd be interested in giving his piece of art a new home!!!


Now what do you say to that?!


I first thought this was a weird kind of scam, but reading the email again and discussing it with my boyfriend together with the fact that he didn't even want any money for his engraving made me reply in kind. Of course, I also took a look at the art on-line and though it's not quite my usual taste, I was very touched that this German gentleman was looking for a good home for his art as he could no longer hang it up himself. He replied to my email and reassured me that I didn't have to take the engraving if I didn't like it, but he'd thought as I live just down the road from the portrayed waterfall I might be interested.


Here a couple of photos I've taken over the years of the actual waterfalls in case you've not been:








So by mid November 2020 the artwork arrived here in North Wales and looks like this:

There is quite a bit of artistic licence here, but it's definitely recognisable and a good quality engraving that has been hand-coloured at the time.


Here some of the little detail scenes for a better look:




Especially the cataract itself with the rock pool overflowing into the little stream is very well depicted and John Boydell also shows Rhaeadr Fach (the little waterfall further West) in this. These days though instead of the cows you'll see sheep (ubiquitous in Wales, I know) and if you ever only see a few other people there, something's off (or we're still in lock down). It's a very popular dog walking route and lots of walkers and hikers make their different ways there on a daily basis. I will be looking to frame it once those kinds of shops open again, but have been unable to do so to date.


Anyhow, apart from now being the owner of a piece of art I didn't even know existed, the German gentleman and I have taken to regular email contact and pen-friendship over this curious and totally accidental encounter. Isn't it encouraging and lovely that kind people like this still exist? Have a good February everyone!



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