Mad Woman at Harlech Castle


Sunday 21 December, 2014 by Uncle Spike

This is my annual ‘special’, in which I retell stories about my late wife, published each year on her birthday as a kind of memorial to one of the most bonkers gals I ever met. Last year saw the sharing of a classic tale of her spraying a white Volvo station-wagon with black paint 🙂


Hands up who’s seen the 1964 classic film Zulu, starring Michael Caine? Well my late wife was a total nut-job for that film, having watched it over and over again – and we are talking once a month for years! The daft thing is, she would cower behind a pillow every time, petrified by the chanting, singing and shield-banging of the thousands of Zulu warriors.

For those unfamiliar with this classic, you can click on the image below, or click this link to view a clip of the movie. I didn’t embed the YouTube clip as I preferred it not to be the featured image on WP Reader).



Anyway, for many years we had motorbikes, mostly large, laid-back and loud was our type. Often we would try and grab a weekend away, touring some beauty spot around the UK or on the near continent, otherwise known as France. 

One such adventure was a weekend touring North Wales. Basically it was a mad dash from one castle to another, by way of some spectacular scenery en-route that was especially created for those of the brother/sisterhood of motorcycling.

Now back to the film. The song “Men of Harlech” referred to the place called Harlech, and that place happens to have a rather stupendous castle there, so naturally it was on our itinerary to pay it a visit. Harlech Castle was built by King Edward I during his invasion of Wales way back in the 1280s. Nowadays it’s a ruin of course, but still in fairly good order – they built houses (and castles) to last back in those days!

“Men of Harlech” or “The March of the Men of Harlech” (in Welsh: Rhyfelgyrch Gwŷr Harlech) is a song and military march which is traditionally said to describe events during the seven-year siege of Harlech Castle between 1461 and 1468.





The bike was parked and chained up like some old nag outside a dodgy saloon, and in we went to explore the site. There is always something special about castles, don’t ya think? Anyway, unbeknown to me, the good lady was cooking up a plan. I, on the other hand was oblivious, as usual, just squeaking up and down the ramparts in my thick old bike leathers.

Upon reaching the highest accessible point of said castle, I noticed her standing there, standing in the empty window space, staring out across the Irish Sea. She too was clad in black leather from head to foot, complete with tassels (on her jacket, not elsewhere) and carrying her beloved open-face black crash helmet that was adorned by two grey and pink fluffy bunny ears stuck on the sides (don’t ask).

Suddenly she drew in a big breath and started to sing…. she sang the entire Men of Harlech song unashamedly at the top of her voice. I didn’t know whether to applaud like a supportive husband should, or run and hide in meek embarrassment! Instead I just stood there and pretended I was invisible.

Once finished, lungs all emptied of that long-awaited rendition from her favourite flick, she turned around, sat down (actual foto below) and grinned at me. The faces of the other visitors to the castle were memorable to say the least. I think she even made it on to a video of one of the globe-trotting army of Japanese tourists. 


harlech 3


In memory of…

Today is the birthday of my late wife and this post is dedicated to her memory. She was a fun-loving, caring and altogether zany person, who is no doubt causing absolute havoc up there on her cloud right about now. 

I want to thank the girls for their consent to me sharing this story about their mum, and to my wife, dear Aunty Spike, for being so gracious and supportive of my writing memoirs from before our time together.


26 thoughts on “Mad Woman at Harlech Castle

  1. […] tale of her spraying a white Volvo station-wagon with black paint and then last year how she sang Men of Harlech on top of Harlech Castle in Wales, dressed in biking leathers […]


  2. writeknit says:

    Sounds like she lived life to the fullest – and took you along 🙂 Tks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dunelight says:

    I am sorry for your loss of the love of your life. What a marvelous story. Thanks for sharing it.


  4. Jude says:

    A wonderful post and the sort of tribute I bet your wife would just love!


  5. irinadim says:

    Great story! Nice to meet you, Spike. Thanks for visiting my blog. Cheers 🙂 Irina


  6. brickthomas says:

    Thanks for giving us all the chance to enjoy that moment. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha…should have recorded it. Lovely tribute! ヅ

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Cheers to her and her memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. joannesisco says:

    I love that sense of spirit! Happy Birthday to her … wherever she is 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mei-Mei says:

    Wonderful story, thank you for sharing it!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. dayphoto says:

    This is a great story! I really am glad your family past and present allow you to share with the world the memory of a huge part of yourself. It’s all part and parcel of who you are and who you have become…it also speaks volumes of the gentle woamn you are married to now!



  12. Thank you for sharing this with us! I smiled the whole way through, saddened only by the thought of not knowing this woman who was so full of life.


  13. This is a moving post in honor of your late wife. I’m sure that she enjoys your fun blog from her cloud. I like it that your daughters and current wife allow you to honor the memory of a woman who mattered in your life. This is love at its best.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. John says:

    Absolutely excellent !

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Lynn says:

    I love that she took the opportunity to belt out one of her favourites tunes, unabashed at any people within earshot! What a lovely tribute:)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. cjwild2014 says:

    such a perfect tribute to your late wife

    Liked by 1 person

  17. suej says:

    What a zany story… it!

    Liked by 1 person

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