Cath lives in Abergavenny, Wales. She won the New Welsh Writing AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella in 2017 for The Plankton Collector, which was published in September 2018 by New Welsh Review under their Rarebyte imprint.
Her second novella In the Sweep of the Bay was published in November 2020 by LWB.
Cath tweets @CathBarton1
Cath's favourite novel is Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and her favourite novella is Animal Farm by George Orwell. Her top poet is U. A. Fanthorpe.
Photo: Toril Brancher
Please enjoy the opening lines of In the Sweep of the Bay...
When they put up the statue in 1999, they advertised for someone to look after it. I’ve been a street sweeper all my life, got all the qualifications, so I knew I had a good chance. It’s a part-time job, which suits me fine. Some folk say the Brits are lazy, but it’s not true up here. Good workers, the men of Lancashire, always have been. But there comes a time when you want to spend a bit more of the day with your feet up. Over seventy years of age – no, I don’t look it, I know, people are always saying – it’s reasonable, don’t you think? But there’s only me at home now and looking at the four walls all day drives you up them. So I’m glad of the job. Bit of extra on top of my pension comes in handy, too. I have holidays in places I never dreamt I’d go. Canada I went to last year. Those Rocky Mountains, wow! Though our Lakeland Fells are just as beautiful, in my opinion, just not quite as high, and they’re right in my line of vision every day, out there on the other side of the bay. Marvellous.
When people look at me and say, How could you do that job? I tell them about my view. I meet people from all over the world. This statue I look after, it’s the most photographed sight in the world, straight up! You google it if you don’t believe me. Folk come from New Zealand. They’ve got big mountains there where they filmed Lord of the Rings, but according to what I understand they played about with them, man-ip-u-lated them into something they’re not for those films. They wouldn’t have had to do that if they’d chosen our mountains here in England. Anyway, as I was saying, people come from the four corners. I’ve had people from Fiji, Shangri-la, Timbuktu, you name it.