I have the wonderful opportunity to be part of the blog tour for Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave by Richard Williams. Here is a synopsis:
“When Mostyn, an ageing Pembrokeshire farmer on the brink of bankruptcy, runs into young Jethro, his fortunes appear to take a positive turn. The pair secretly mobilise the locals of the village pub to help put on the greatest money-spinning event in the history of Little Emlyn: Lewistock. But things do not go to plan.
Moneylenders, drug dealers, the county council and the bank all set a collision course with Mostyn and Jethro. As the clock ticks down to the August Bank Holiday event and the young revellers begin to pour in from all corners of the county, the tension heats up. It’s not clear who exactly will get out alive.
Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave pits a struggling Welsh farming community steeped in centuries of religion and tradition against the unstoppable youth movement of early 1990s rave culture with often poignant and riotous consequences.”
For my stop on the blog tour here is an extract from the book:
From Chapter 1 of
Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave by Richard Williams
‘Good afternoon, Mr Thomas. How are you today?’
‘Aye, not so bad thanks, Jane. Just bloody overdressed again. Dew,
dew, look at me sweating here.’ Mostyn pinched the collar of his shirt and wafted the damp heat out of his chest.
‘Yes, it’s close, isn’t it?’
‘Aye, almost touching, girl. So what’s the Kaiser’s mood like today?’
Jane laughed. ‘Oh, the usual.’
‘Come on.’ Jane winked and waved him forward affectionately.
‘He’s just going through your file now.’
Mostyn took off his cap as he followed Jane down the silent corridor and into Mr Price’s office.
The room had faint scents of cold cigarette and lavender, and the metal blinds had a sickly off-yellow tint. Mostyn noticed the undernourished cheese plant in the far corner of the room and wondered how Mr Price could fail to maintain it.
‘Hello there, Mostyn,’ said Mr Price as he breezed into the office, arm extended for his customary strong and uncomfortably long handshake. Mostyn always considered this to solidify rather than break the ice between them. ‘Take a seat, please. Can Jane fix you a glass of water now?’
‘Aye, please, that would be lovely,’ said Mostyn.
Mr Price settled in his chair and fumbled for a pen. He grabbed each side of the desk, rolled himself up close, then jolted his arms up and forward in mid-air, like he’d just received a shock of electric current, only to settle his sleeves. He aligned his notepad, slid his glasses back up his nose with his right index finger, placed both elbows on the desk, resting his chin on his clenched fists, and finally grinned as he locked eyes with Mostyn, who was mesmerised by the entire performance.
Jane put the glass of water on the desk, smiled at Mostyn and left the room, closing the door behind her. Mostyn picked up the glass and took a long swallow.
‘So, how’s it going, Mostyn?’
‘Aye, not so bad, Mr Price.’
‘Good. Good. I hope you’re giving yourself a bit of time off now the
cattle are out. Have you started the second cut of silage yet? The grass seems lovely out Clarbeston way with all these long periods of sun and rain.’
‘Well, I’ve been trying, Mr Price, but there’s always a gate to mend or feet to do. The lanes were full of stones this spring after all that ice we had, so a lot of the animals are hobbling around in need of a trim. But the weather has been good, considering, so the silage and barley are looking healthy, that’s a big relief. Let’s just hope this weather holds up now till after the County Show.’
Mr Price smiled and studied Mostyn’s face for a short moment. His cleft lip had become less noticeable with age and his thick grey hair remained perfectly side-parted, with boyish curls that rose up just under his earlobes. His eyes shone with a proud light and a resilient kindness. They could have belonged to an innocent adolescent trapped inside the ageing, wrinkled face of a troubled man who’d toiled alone in the elements for a lifetime. The wilt of his collar gave away his steady contraction into old age. Mr Price wondered how this solitary farmer would survive through his final years.
‘Good, good,’ said Mr Price.
Dust drifted through the hot afternoon sunrays as Mostyn took
off his cardigan.
‘So, what can I do for you today, Mostyn?’
Mostyn shuffled up in his chair and took another sip of water. The
sweat that dampened his armpits was now blotting the front of his shirt. ‘Well, things are still a bit tight. I’m not really getting anywhere, as you can probably see,’ he said, pointing at the open file in front of Mr Price.
Mr Price nodded respectfully.
Mostyn drew a deep breath. ‘So I think I need to expand.’
Mr Price’s eyes widened. He eased back in his chair, folding his
arms, thoughts brewing.
‘I’d just like to widen and deepen the slurry pit so I can look for more head of cattle by the end of the year. I’m full to the brim now, even overflowing after a few days of solid rai—’
‘Mostyn,’ Mr Price interjected, ‘are you seriously planning on asking the bank for another loan?’
‘Yes, Mr Price.’
‘For heaven’s sake. Don’t you realise you’ve missed your last nine overdraft repayments? And the loan for the cubicles, don’t forget that. Look.’ Mr Price’s limp finger tapped on the spreadsheet as he rotated it for Mostyn to see, but Mostyn could see nothing. Such requests had just been formalities since his first loan back in 1971. He swallowed the last fingers of water, searching for a response.
Mr Price swivelled back and fore, slowly rolling his fingertips on
the blotter of his desk.
‘Look, Mostyn, let me spell it out.’ Mr Price wiggled upright in his chair. He placed both elbows abreast on the table, brought his hands together in a prayer-like motion and began tapping his lower lip, his nose twitching. ‘I’ve spent years fighting with Cardiff to keep small family farms afloat, all over the county. But due to all the current issues, the bank has a new policy that blocks further financing for farms that are not able to pay their overdrafts and loan repayments. And as I’ve just explained, Mostyn, you fall into that category.’
Mostyn took in a new and distant coldness in Mr Price’s face. His mind raced for a solution. He could always sell land, but that would scupper his expansion plans. And the takings for the next lot of cattle going in a couple of weeks were already earmarked to cover overdue feed and vet bills. It would be another four months until the next lot of bullocks were ready.
‘I’ll find a solution, Mr Price. I’ve got a few score of cattle ready now
in the next few weeks. If prices don’t drop, I should be alright.’
Mr Price nodded again, calmly, knowingly…
Mostyn Thomas and the Big Rave by Richard Williams is available now in paperback (£8.99) https://www.graffeg.com/product/mostyn-thomas-and-the-big-rave/ and find on Twitter: @graffeg_books
Garreg is an independent Welsh publisher, I am all about supporting indie books and authors. The author has also copiled a spotify playlist for the book you can listen here
Thanks for the opportunity to be part of this tour 🙂