Cwtch-speak Lesson 7: Hiraeth


(adj) homesickness, with a longing for a time or place it's impossible to return to

There has been a recurring theme this week. Hiraeth is a wonderful Welsh word which has no direct English translation but which perfectly describes how I feel whenever I see, or speak to, my Grandparents. The weekend-long visits of my childhood have been replaced by Sunday evening phone calls and a handful of visits to Wales each year. I have a lovely life, but part of me would still like to be the carefree little girl who used to play on the swings in the Welsh valleys, with my Nanna. When reminded of Life's brevity - which happened a few times this week - it is especially true, but I am so thankful for our regular chats and hope they continue for a long time yet.

1. I spotted the Hiraeth knitting pattern on sale a few days ago,  and had to add a copy to my library - it's a lovely long scarf made from three yarns and different textures, just the sort of thing I like to knit and to wear. It's now in my queue. (For the rest of this week, you can download it for just $1 using the code on the pattern page.)

Image from Ravelry (c) Rae Gronmark
2. Today we are dog-sitting for a lovely black labrador that Archie adores. His owners had to go away without him, and I may be anthropomorphising, but he seems to have a little 'hiraeth' going on too.

3. Last night I read a book called George's Grand Tour which also encapsulates 'hiraeth'. It's the tale of retired French butcher George, who sets off on the adventure of a lifetime. Along with his neighbour Charles, George heads off in a Renault Scenic to follow the route of the Tour de France. Little does he realise that the tour will bring him closer to his granddaughter Adele, who is working in London. Funny, touching and invoking a sense of longing for the past I think this poignant little novel is just lovely and will appeal to readers of all ages. It might just have you reaching for your phone... or a tissue. 


  1. As an ex-pat living in New Zealand, I get bouts of hiraeth from time to time. I lived in Wales for 10 years and it certainly stays with me where ever I go. Thanks for this post.

    1. New Zealand looks beautiful, somewhere I'd love to visit X

  2. I had never heard of this word before but it's something which I've definitely experienced. The shawl is beautiful too and well worth the $1 which I have spent on it.

    1. It's pretty, isn't it. And very wearable. Have a lovely day :)


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